Terrific piece by Douglas Murray in the latest edition of the magazine. He explains how he was reported to the Press Complaints Commission for having repeated an Irish joke made by a councillor (who was forced to apologise for it) and called for readers to send in more Irish jokes by way of protest. One of the points which Douglas doesn’t make is that the joke in question doesn’t necessarily confer the intimation of stupidity upon the Irishman in question. It could just as well be the intimation of great wit or knowing perversity. The joke is this: man walks into a Dublin bar and sees his friend sitting with an empty glass. “Can I get you another, Paddy?” the man enquires. “Well now what would I be wanting with another empty glass,” Paddy replies.
As Douglas says, it’s not a very good joke. But why the furore? The witless idiot of a union rep who heard this joke uttered by the aforementioned councillor instituted legal proceedings which eventually won him thousands of quid in compensation. This is a madness, isn’t it?