What Tory commentators think of Northern Ireland

‘Criticise ye not’ seems to be the message from Tory commentator, pundit, sometime blogger and all round media personality, Iain Dale.  Dale got embroiled in a Twitter row with Belfast blogger John Collins, who writes the Politics NI blog. It followed a piece by Dale’s stablemate at Total Politics, Shane Greer, who wrote a piece titled ‘Northern Ireland is a beggar‘. which included words such as:

And let me be clear, as someone born and raised in Northern Ireland who now lives in London and will never return to the province, I feel sickened by the way ‘my country’ comes cap-in-hand; particularly at a time when the people in England have their own financial challenges to contend with.


After all, what opportunity is there in a nation which wants nothing more than to live off the hard work of others. It’s pathetic, and so long as there are people like Bumper [Bumper Graham, the assistant general secretary of the Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance] around that’s how it will stay.

It seems Greer thinks the trade unions are Northern Ireland and therefore the entire province is a beggar. But of course that doesn’t generate a headline, so he has purposely chosen (wrongly) to tar the entire place with the same brush.  It is as lazy as it is dishonest. He would have been well advised to suggest the State should stop its incessant meddling in NI which is the reason so much taxpayer money gets spent there, buying off terrorists and bile filled interest groups of various stripes.

Greer likes to come over as controversial in order to get attention for his generally mediocre fayre and is the blue equivalent of the moronic Labour mouthpiece Laurie Penny (PennyRed).  Needless to say, an indignant Collins took issue with Greer’s blanket description of the province being a beggar. It was after seeing this that Dale jumped in to defend the CEO of his publishing company – even though he hadn’t read Greer’s piece. The row swept back and forth, but it was Dale’s last comment on the subject (at the time of writing) that underlined the low regard in which he holds Northern Irish folk:

Perhaps there is an awareness among Northern Irish people that this is the way they are viewed by the Tory talking heads, which possibly accounts for the dismal electoral showing for anyone professing to be a Cameron Conservative. After all, why would people in the province vote for a party whose visible supporters in the media demonstrate such undisguised contempt for them?

Now I am a supporter of the Union and also believe England should have its own Parliament within it. But Dale’s wrongheaded and arrogant comments demonstrate an ignorance of the contribution Northern Ireland makes to the Union and a desire to couch everything in narrow financial terms.  One wonders what CCHQ thinks of its vocal cheerleaders spouting such views.

6 Responses to “What Tory commentators think of Northern Ireland”

  1. 1 Curmudgeon 08/06/2011 at 2:57 pm

    It’s worth remembering that (amongst others) Alan Brooke and Montgomery both came from Northern Ireland.

  2. 2 Grumpy Old Man 08/06/2011 at 3:52 pm

    What is far more worrying is that Greer writes as if he doesn’t perceive Ulster as part of the UK at all. The people of N Ireland took the brunt of a wicked campaign , cowardly waged, to prevent the forcible annexation of a part of the UK by terrorists with no popular mandate but that of fear of a brutality which by its very nature eschewed all pretence of liberal democracy. Greer has by his own words washed his hands of his birthplace. He should therefore keep his mouth firmly closed on the issue.

    @ curmudgeon. So did Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington. Greer stacks up against none of them.

  3. 3 TheRagingTory 08/06/2011 at 8:17 pm

    “But Dale’s wrongheaded and arrogant comments demonstrate an ignorance of the contribution Northern Ireland makes to the Union and a desire to couch everything in narrow financial terms.”

    I’m curious what other terms we should view it in?
    Social good?

    I’m sorry but your arguement sounds awfully like, I want this, you pay for it.

    Unashamed Englishman

  4. 4 Chris 10/06/2011 at 9:58 am

    Dale is a self important baffoon who likes to associate with other self important baffoons – most notably that horrendous creature Nadine “MPs are close to suicide” Dorres.

    Its interesting to note that Dale wants NI to go off and earn some money so he doesn’t have to pay for it, yet he earns more or less all of his income selling to those who work in, report on, hang on to the coat-tails of the increasingly detatched ‘political elite’.

    And we all know who has to pay for them, their expenses, their social events, their travel, their homes, their makeup, their garden makeovers and if they had their way their campaigns to pursuade an ever decreasing number of us to vote for them.

    Yep, the rest of us who they no longer represent.

  5. 5 Uncle Badger 10/06/2011 at 12:09 pm

    Dale is a nauseating self-publicist, pandered to by the BBC et al on account of his TINO and gay credentials.

    I’m sorry to see any posts that mention him, thus feeding his bloated ego.

  6. 6 jameshigham 10/06/2011 at 3:35 pm

    Ah, now I see the Greer-Dale-AM thingy which has been all over Twitter. Hmmmm.

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