Gregory Campbell from the DUP is a former culture minister. His actions this week have been scary.Irish Voice

Sometimes when you see the hatred some Unionists have for their Nationalist neighbors and their traditions up close it is a scary sight.

Gregory Campbell from the Democratic Unionist Party is a former culture minister in the Northern Irish government.

In that job he had clearly encountered Nationalist culture, from fellow Derry man Seamus Heaney to Field Day (which currently has a play on Broadway) to the West Belfast Festival. So surely he understood that it was a dynamic and extraordinary culture that has won Nobel Prizes, not to mention world accolades.

Instead of being proud of that and sharing that culture widely in the new Northern Ireland, Campbell has adopted the Bourbon motto that he will learn nothing and forget nothing.

His new attack on the Irish language is bigoted, saying essentially that he would wipe his backside with the Irish Language Act if given the opportunity.

“On behalf of our party let me say clearly, and slowly so that Caitríona Ruane and Gerry Adams understand, we will never agree to an Irish Language Act at Stormont and we will treat their entire wish list as no more than toilet paper. They better get used to it,” he said.

This is a man first to the ramparts when his beloved Orange marches, pure walking bigotry, are rerouted away from Nationalist areas, a man who will rail at the slightest hint of an insult against his beloved and deeply sectarian Orange culture.

Yet he cannot see, except like a Cyclops out of one eye.

When he deeply insults the Nationalist culture he sees no harm in that or no blowback reflecting on his own bigotry.

But surely his party leader, Peter Robinson, would admonish his colleague, call for his resignation even, given the crass and bile filled nature of the attack?

Not at all. Not even likely.

Robinson’s response to the BBC was equally telling:

"Lighten up will you? It's a party conference and it was a bit of comedy in the middle of it; let's get on with some real business.

"If all that you have out of the whole of the party conference is to question me about that, then there are better things I could be doing with my time.”

One wonders what his response would have been if a SDLP or Sinn Fein member had talked about wiping their backside with an Orange flag or a Union Jack. The outrage can only be imagined.

Dominic Bradley, Irish language spokesman for the Nationalist SDLP, was appalled and said it best. Campbell's remarks were "beneath contempt and reflect more on his own narrow-minded mentality and his unwillingness to move forward.”

He added, "Peter Robinson's attempt to trivialize these remarks clearly shows the tensions within the DUP. It remains to be seen if Mr. Robinson has the remaining leadership clout to face them down."

It’s a sad day yet again in Northern Ireland where bigotry is treated as a joke.