Shane Greer awakens a hornet’s nest over NI’s £7 billion annual ‘dig out’ from England

Just been listening to Shane Greer getting it in the neck on the Nolan Show… It was extraordinary, for the amount of raw abuse he took for, wait for it, his mid Atlantic accent… He had to go early to catch a business flight to DC… Here’s some quotes from callers:

“Nolan is mad for having you on… You need to take lessons in speech.. All Americans are stupid anyway”

“Your accent is not like any American accent I have ever heard… It’s because you are ashamed of where you come from…”

And more on the topic of conversation (the £7 billion subvention from HM Treasury), from ‘Robert’:

“England owes us and they will have to pay to rectify it. Until the people are united whether you like it or not”.

Several things strike me:

  • Some of this ill-tempered reaction may have arisen from the shock of being aggressively presented with the raw facts of Stormont’s deeply embedded parent-child relationship with Westminster;
  • How inadvisable it is to completely lose your accent when you leave if you want anyone to listen to what you have to say when you come home (and that goes for the pub as well as the TV or Radio);
  • There is something in this smouldering English resentment at being paymasters for the Union that is serving to fuel emotional fires that have always been there culturally, but now have political impetus, certainly in Scotland where the Tory gloves have been off for some time.

And what’s fascinating too is that he was getting it in the neck from everyone, Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter…

So, my hmmm… at the end of yesterday’s post is not so much aimed at the coherence of Shane’s economic argument (let the private sector grow), so much as whether the new Conservatives actually care about the political life of the United Kingdom any more, or is the electoral reality forcing them to act as the England only party they have been for more than a generation now?

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty