I can't stand the Irish!! There, I've said it. I'll sit by my computer for the next couple of hours as the insults come in (with any luck). I meant what I said - I don't like the Irish collectively as a race. I see this as no different to British disdain for the French or the Germans. The difference is the response I'll likely receive from Irishmen and women. You see, they belong to a race with an unbridled capacity for hatred (mostly of we Brits), yet expect to be loved and lauded the world over by everybody else. I see the Irish as an incredibly cosmetic race: all blarney and bullshit on the surface with the customary 'Ah, top of the mornin' to ya' and 'come on in an' hav' a pint a' Porter' plus all the other pimply Hibernian hyperbolic greetings, etc; whilst simultaneously in possession of a talent for being amazingly two-faced and backstabbing. Just speaking from experience, folks.
However, I can get away with my opinions. After all, I help to run A Tangled Web with David and our visitors should, by now, know what to expect when they visit our numerous blogs. If I was a journalist in a newspaper, however, echoing similar sentiments or even making intimations as to the characteristics of an entire race, I would expect to face serious questions form the managerial board.
How is it, then, that Jude Collins can get away with drawing a subtle equivalence between being British and dislikable? He says of the wonderful Kelly Holmes: 'In the 2004 world of personalities, Kelly Holmes showed how someone who is British and likeable can move from a lifetime of also-rans to two Olympic gold medals without the word 'drugs' being so much as whispered. Eat your heart out, Michelle Smith.
Boris Johnson showed how someone who is British and likeable can put his foot in his mouth and then shoot himself in it, providing his loathing for those less fortunate than himself is strong enough.'
Why the need to lump the two adjectives in the same sentence? I have no doubt some of the readers of the Irish News will consist of the 1 million or so citizens of Northern Ireland who are British - including the 84,000 people who were born in Great Britain but now reside in the province. I wonder how they will feel in reading such sentiments? Will they create a brouhaha of seismic proportions like the whinging nationalists did when Trimble identified the Republic as 'mono-cultural and pathetic'? Never. They'll just be expected to take it on the chin from the various spokesmen of a community which becomes more imbibed with the tonic of anti-Britishness by the year - hence Collins' hubristic predictions of further Sinn Fein electoral rises. If those rushing to denounce my anti-Irishness would pause for a moment to consider why I hold the opinions I do, I believe they would find the answer in the journalistic rants of ideologically nationalist aficionados together with the intensified admiration of fascistic murderers held by the same.