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Friday 17 May 2013

UKIP – Another Bigot Surfaces

[Updates, two so far, at end of post]

St Boniface’s Catholic College in Plymouth has had its fair share of problems recently: after the discovery of a “black hole” in its finances – the amount being pitched is over £1 million – the head teacher, Peter Eccles, was suspended at the end of March after a complaint about his private life. And now one of its teachers has been caught making a spectacle of himself on Twitter.
Step forward Ron Northcott, who has been a supply teacher at St Boniface’s for around 16 months. His Twitter bio has been hastily cleansed of detail, but Google’s cache clearly identifies him as “Married, Father of 4, B. Ed. Hons. Secondary School Teacher. UKIP candidate in Plymouth”. His LinkedIn profile states that his latest berth is at St Boniface’s college.
Northcott may have escaped attention, had he not referred on one Tweet to “some of my Y11 students”. That was the Tweet after the one where he suggested that his beloved Nigel “Thirsty” Farage was “the democrat”, and that Young Dave, Corporal Clegg and Mil The Elder were not. Yes, Ron Northcott is not only a UKIP candidate, but also not backward at coming forward with his views.

And when it comes to Scots, he is virulently intolerant, routinely referring to them as “Jocks”, and calling Andrew “Brillo Pad” Neil “that doughnut on the settee”. Then he sneered “Amazed that fifty jocks could get out of bed that early. It’s not signing on day. Is it or is the chemist open?” which he then topped by telling another Tweeter “Go home you tartan turd. We don’t trust a ‘man’ who wears skirts”.
It got worse: he then observed “Just saw a clip of jocks haranguing Nigel Farage. Unbelievably, one strung a whole sentence together – ‘Scum’ – and was sober”. This Tweet was bookended with abusive remarks about a number of politicians who hail from north of the border, together with allegations about how prescriptions, tuition fees and care for the elderly was funded there.
All of this would not have been out of place in the saloon bars of 30 or 40 years ago, but the world has moved on – at least, most of it apart from the likes of Ron Northcott has. His bigotry suggests that UKIP is still a long way from a mature political party, and I can imagine some of the St Boniface’s parents may be uneasy about his presence on the staff after reading his Twitter feed.

And I didn’t screenshot Northcott’s mentions of Muslims, a subject which one might think the party’s candidates would avoid in the week after Eric Kitson, newly elected on their ticket to Worcestershire County Council, was forced to resign aftersharing offensive material about Muslims on Facebook”. At this rate, getting jostled by a group of angry Scots will be the least of Farage’s problems.

He needs to look long and hard at some of those who aspire to represent his party.

[UPDATE1 1340 hours: since this post was first published, Ron Northcott has - surprise, surprise - deleted all those Scots-bashing Tweets. Now there is nothing there dated later than 14 May. So good to see you're looking in, Ron.

What I didn't say earlier was that I also took screenshots of a several more potentially embarrassing Tweets, including some less than fraternal quotes about the Spanish, and a particularly nasty remark about Kirsty Wark. These may, at my discretion, form part of a follow-up post.

In the meantime, I'm sure Ron will have his excuses ready for St Boniface's acting head and all those parents, plus the local UKIP party leadership. Never mind, eh?]

[UPDATE2 18 May 1415 hours: the Plymouth Herald has today brought the news that Ron Northcott has resigned from UKIP. The party's chairman in the city told that "Ron is not talking to any member of the press ... he has stepped down and will be leaving UKIP ... I spoke to him by phone. He realised what he had done and apologised. He said he would have to fall on his sword".

Northcott has removed the party logo from his Twitter feed. So there will be no need for a follow-up post. Thus another success for Zelo Street, but wouldn't it have been better for all concerned if UKIP had bothered to do their homework properly in the first place?]


tomasz. said...

another blogger also anticipated this, screencapped his entire feed and posted to tumblr.


Unknown said...

I don't mind him being in UKIP. What worries me is that he is a teacher!

Tim Fenton said...


As the Plymouth Herald has carried the story of his resignation, the people at St Boniface's will know all about it come next Monday.

What they will make of it is anyone's guess, but I suspect they may not be impressed, especially as he has also made a number of Catholic-bashing comments on Twitter.

Captcha is Rubbish said...

"Thus another success for Zelo Street,"

You must have an awfully low threshold.