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Saturday 26 January 2019

Brexit Latest Ploy - Insult The Irish

After James “saviour of Western civilisation” Delingpole showed the world that he didn’t know one end of WTO rules from the other, and Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin let the world know that he was against EU laws, but didn’t know which ones, a new wheeze was needed by those pretending that Britain will be fine outside the European Union.
And that new wheeze is to kick the Irish, a ploy that has been used by such diverse media outlets as Spiked, so named because it should have been long ago, and to its shame the BBC, in the person of well-beyond-his-shelf-life Today Programme host John Humphrys. The insensitivity and lack of self-awareness, is, though, consistent.
The first salvo came from Michael Fitzpatrick at Spiked, whose scribblings were Tweeted out with the message “Fintan O’Toole has become the most sneering member of the Remainer aristocracy. His scorn for the British masses exposes the nasty elitism that underpins the pro-EU brigade, says Michael Fitzpatrick”. Ri-i-i-ight.
Considering that Fintan O’Toole is Irish, that he is writing from an Irish perspective, and that support for the EU in The Republic last May was at 92% (96% in Dublin and 97% among 18 to 24 year olds), he has good reason to speak from a Remain angle. And, as he is Irish - did I mention that? - that is his, and his country’s business, and not ours.
O’Toole has taken a mildly sceptical stance on this attack, noting “It is especially delightful for a Paddy to be decried by as an aristocratic elitist by an outfit funded by the US multi-billionaire oligarch Koch brothers. Might this act not be wearing a bit thin?” And Declan Gaffney reminded the Spiked team whence they came. “Looking right down my big Irish nose at the sadsacks formerly known as the RCP. 'Wanna hear about the fight for Irish freedom mate?' That was your catchphrase back in the day”.
So far, so predictable from Clickbait Corner. But the real jaw-dropper came this morning when Humphrys asked Helen McEntee TD, Irish Minister of State for European Affairs, “Why doesn't Dublin, and the Republic of Ireland, leave the European Union and throw your lot in with this country?” One hopes he was standing well back when he asked that.
It is as if almost 200 years of Irish history had been wiped from the collective consciousness of the Beeb’s finest. One could have understood that kind of question being asked by one of the less clued-up hosts at Murdoch-owned TalkRADIO, and in time the likes of Julia Hartley Dooda may be doing just that. But no instance of such ignorance can be excused, although it is a superb example of Brit Superior Attitude Disorder.
It was bad enough for Priyamvada Gopal of Cambridge University to muse “It's a truly astounding and massively historically ignorant remark to make. I have to take my hat off to Humphrys, such cool willingness to be a complete illiterate arse on national radio … Please, Dog, whatever else my students turn out to be, when they join the BBC & other media orgs as part of the massive Oxbridge quota, make it so they will not say things like this. They will not say things like this, actually. They're being given their history”.
Trying do dump on the Irish is supremely ignorant. But it seems that both Spiked and the BBC are prepared to rise to the task. Small wonder the EU debate is so badly informed.
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Anonymous said...

Humphrys is a good example for the case for compulsory retirement at 65 as is imaginable..

HarrietVane said...

Ah the ould fella is clearly confused and thinks it's 1919 and Ireland is still in the empire. Brava to Helen McEntee for not asphyxiating with laughter at him!

Anonymous said...

Sooner or later it will dawn even on the Northern Ireland Unionists that the British Establishment hates ALL the Irish. Except where the Unionists can be bribed to suit the tories.

Humphrys of course is just a visibly decaying messenger boy who has got steadily more bitter as retirement looms. A wrinkly sell out with no pride.

If I was Irish I'd tell Humphrys to go fuck himself with a brass loofah.

Nigel Stapley said...

Astonishing even by contemporary standards. But it is illustrative of one of the elements which have led to Brexit, namely the total inability of large parts of the English population to recognise the disobliging truths of their own past.

Whether it is the ongoing adulation of a mass-murdering bigot like Churchill (ask any Bengali; or, indeed, Irish), or the spreading of near-counterfactual 'history' by such revisionists as Ferguson and Roberts which seek (literally and metaphorically) to whitewash the plundering and genocide of Empire (rah, rah!), or the effects of three generations of people brought up to believe that 'The Wo-wah' was won by dear Dickie Attenborough and darling Johnny Mills on the backlot at Shepperton, the English have never been forced to confront the reality of their past in the ways that other former imperial powers have had to.

Hence there is a deep disinclination on the part of the English to understand that - Scotland, Wales, part of Ireland and few small territories aside - they haven't had an empire for a long time. So it is that they think that the fact that most of Ireland hasn't been under their rule for very nearly a century now is a mere aberration, and that as soon as those colonial Johnnies realise their mistake, they'll come back to the 'mother country' ('mother' here is, of course, an abbreviation).

This infests even the so-called 'liberal' end of English society, as I describe here: http://www.thejudge.me.uk/Rants/Rants_20180908.htm

It would be hilarious were it not so rebarbative.

Sam Best said...

Perhaps the obvious response to such a ludicrous question from an Imperialist was "why doesn't the UK throws it's lot in with Ireland and remain in the EU ?".

Anonymous said...

The producer of "Today" is Sarah Sands.

In Sonia Purnell's book "Just Boris", Sarah Sands is mentioned about a dozen times, being described each time as a close friend of the Johnson family. The problem with the "Today" programme is not just its presenter. The programme is institutionally too close to a certain political faction.

(NB When Johnson was Mayor of London, Sarah Sands was editor of the "Evening Standard" because Johnson had put a word in for her when the paper was looking for an editor. Sands was a big cheerleader for the Johnson vanity project "The Garden Bridge", though in her interview with Margaret Hodge for the inquiry into that project Sands appeared to know none of the basic facts about it (or pretended not to know).