DOUGLAS Murray, director of the Centre for Social Cohesion in Britain, got more than he bargained for when he invited people to post "Irish jokes" on his blog. But no more than he might have expected, had he given the matter a moment's thought.
The predictable result was a flood of crass and offensive contributions. Mr Murray, who must be one of the world's innocents, has not read them -- or apparently realised how much they conflict with his "social cohesion" position. Any Irish person, however, will find their content easy to guess.
First, these items are usually not Irish jokes at all. The same rubbish has been directed from time to time against blacks, Jews, Pakistanis, French Canadians, and so on and on.
Secondly, as a rule they are not in the least funny. They do not remotely resemble the genuine jokes about our particularities in matters of language and logic. They are stupid entertainment for stupid people.
Unfortunately, they have resurfaced at a bad time. In recent years, everything Irish was fashionable in England. Now we are ridiculed, there and elsewhere, for the mishandling of the economy. Is there a connection with the resurgence of the so-called Irish joke? Let us hope not.
In any case, the one thing we absolutely must not do is take offence and thereby please the perpetrators. As for Mr Murray, we can content ourselves with an authentic Irish appellation. He's an eejit.