Colonialism: just an imaginary problem

I’m no expert in Irish history, but I do know that the root of modern conflicts were planted in the 17th century, when the English colonized Ireland, and native Irish Catholics were displaced by grants of land around Ulster to Protestant invaders. This is a problem that has simmered for centuries and erupted in the Troubles and is still a huge political issue between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

OK, I’ve exhausted my knowledge of the history of the region, but as an American, it is my right to be oblivious of the concerns of foreign countries. Wouldn’t it be tragic if an Irish person were to forget the history of their country?

Behold, Glinner:

Graham Linehan: ‘Colonialism’, another American obsession. The Irish Left doesn’t have a single thought unless Americans had it first.

Gosh. Did American liberals invent the IRA?


  1. raven says

    I had no idea who Graham Linehan is.
    I don’t follow Irish politics all that closely either.


    Graham George Linehan is an Irish comedy writer and anti-transgender activist. He created or co-created the sitcoms Father Ted, Black Books, and The IT Crowd, and he has written for shows including Count Arthur Strong, Brass Eye and The Fast Show. Early in his career, he partnered with the writer Arthur Mathews.
    Born: 1968 (age 55 years), Dublin, Ireland

    He is an Irish Catholic TV writer.

    Anti-transgender activist. Says it all.
    A bigot and hater.

  2. chrislawson says

    This is ignorant on so many levels, including the idea that critiques of colonialism were invented by Americans. The foundational texts in the field were written by people from France, Ghana, Martinique, Germany, Tunisia, Sri Lanka, India… The best known American postcolonialist writer is Edward Said, and he was born and raised in the Palestinian Mandate.

    This is nothing more than Linehan’s continuing descent into ‘anti-wokeism’, a reactionary and regressive worldview that can be maintained only by repeatedly lying to oneself. He has now reached the terminal phase. By terminal, I don’t mean that he is about to die, but that his critical faculties are now irretrievably corroded.

  3. raven says


    Linehan is involved in anti-transgender activism.[31]

    Linehan said he was sceptical of gender self-identification, objecting to “privileged white people saying you must accept anyone who says they are a woman”. He said that “anyone suffering from gender dysphoria needs to be helped and supported”, but he voiced concern over early transgender intervention for children.[36] He used the social network Twitter to criticise “trans ideology”, which he believes misrepresents transgender people and lesbians.[38]

    For someone who claims the Irish left hasn’t had an original idea since the American colonies revolted, Graham Linehan doesn’t look all that self aware here.

    .1. Gender self identification is a fundamental right.
    Who else has the right to decide which gender you identify as?

    .2. Trans people aren’t just privileged white people nor are all anti-Transphobes privileged white people.

    .3. I’ve never heard of trans ideology before.
    That sounds a lot like the Gay Agenda.
    Something Transphobes made up that doesn’t exist in reality.

    Linehan is wrong on the facts here. No surprise.
    It’s motivated reasoning, the hate comes first and the rationalizations come later.

  4. Matt G says

    Yes, American liberals did invent the individual retirement account. Didn’t we?

  5. raven says


    Police issued Linehan a verbal warning not to contact Hayden.[45]
    “I’m now in a position where I can answer the question honestly of ‘if you were around at the time of something terrible happening like Nazism, or whatever it happened to be, would you be one of the people who said “no, this is wrong”, despite being opposed?'”.
    On 27 June 2020, Linehan’s Twitter account was permanently suspended after what Twitter called “repeated violations of our rules against hateful conduct and platform manipulation”
    In interviews in 2022 and 2023, Linehan said the debate over transgender issues had “consumed his life”: it had lost him work, made him financially destitute, and ended his marriage.[19][20][63]

    Graham Linehan has been in trouble with the police for harrassing Trans people, claims people who don’t hate Trans people are Nazis, and his wife got fed up and left him.

    Basically he let a mindless and irrational hatred of Trans people wreck his life. To the point where normal people ended up afraid of him and avoiding him for those reasons.
    He isn’t reasonable, he is hostile and aggressive towards Trans people and people who don’t share his hatred.
    In the old days, we would say Graham Linehan is a mean guy with a mean streak.

    I can’t explain this or understand it, but sometimes you have to keep people who are dangerous to you at a distance and watch out for them. And that is all you can do.

  6. robro says

    I have read and heard several stories of Irish young men coming to the US to learn how to conduct warfare so they could go home and drive out the English. Apparently there was a large number during the Civil War. There is a story of a unit of some 400 Irish recruits in the US army during the Mexican war but they switched sides shortly after getting to the zone of conflict.

  7. Tethys says

    Fun fact: What holiday is celebrated every year by the largest number of humans worldwide?

    A: Independence (from Britain) Day

    It’s clear that glinner is another entitled cis white man who is very angry that Liberals find him hateful and irrelevant in 2024.

  8. Elijah Terrell says

    Ironically, I followed the man on Twitter briefly when he was promoting the referendum to legalize abortion in Ireland. It was clear even then that not all was right with him, but that seems like just such a left wing cause that he’s complaining about now. Hmm.

  9. call me mark says

    Trigger-warning: transphobic violence

    There’s an episode of The IT Crowd (first broadcast 2008) that basically plays “trans-panic” for laughs. The “boss” character dates a trans woman thinking she’s cis, and when he finds out the truth, he starts a fist-fight with her. So Glinner has had some pretty unpleasant anti-trans opinions for a long time now.

  10. pancho35 says

    To add needless detail to robro’s post (7): St. Patrick’s Batallion (“Batallón de San Patricio”).

  11. jenorafeuer says

    And the NYPD was responsible for a significant chunk of funding for the IRA back when the Troubles were at their height.

    As someone whose Irish ancestors immigrated to Canada during the Famine and set up a grist mill over here (and who, honestly, had been getting it from both sides prior to leaving because they were still willing to do business with some English people which meant they got treated as traitors by a number of Irish people)… yeah, Linehan is a wilfully ignorant bastard.

    Of course, the current mess between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is largely due to Brexit, which was pushed by the idiots who thought of colonialism as ‘the good old days’. During the lead-up to Brexit, people were pointing out that it would cause problems with the Easter Sunday Accords due to trade guarantees, but not enough people were interested in listening…

  12. says

    Over decades now I’ve followed Linehan’s career with interest, and for a long time he seemed to be one of the good guys; one of us, with strong anti-clerical leanings. I even looked forward to TV interviews with him, such as Charlie Brooker’s interviews on screenwriting and games, or his guest appearances on various shows (including Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace). There were blips, such as on the IT Crowd, which could at the time be excused as not knowing better. But yeah, there came a day when a switch flipped in his head and ever since he’s made a concerted effort to ruin lives, including his own. It’s really sad.

  13. Tethys says

    @Adiposa Dolorosa

    I originally heard it on a trivia question, but the only source I can find that breaks it down is a Catholic Priest from Texas, and I don’t want to link to him. (Though he does point out that colonialism is the basis of white supremacy).

    It would be more accurate to call it the most popular National holiday, since at one time Britain ruled 1/5th of the world. 48 different countries celebrate Independence from the British Empire.

  14. jenorafeuer says

    @Adiposis Dolorosa:
    I suspect Tethys is referring to every country that has gained independence, even if via politics rather than revolution, and even if still part of the Commonwealth:
    – The U.S.A. on July 4th 1776,
    – Canada on July 1st 1867,
    – Jamaica on August 6th 1962,
    – Hong Kong on July 1st 1997,

    While I don’t know whether it actually qualifies as the single most-celebrated ‘holiday’ across all its different incarnations, the number of countries that were previously colonies of the UK is pretty impressive.

  15. crimsonsage says

    Some irish union veterans also tried to invade Canada. As I recall the idea was to like hold it hostage for Irish independence or something crazy. Suffice to say it didn’t work. Valiant effort at opposing empire though.

  16. jenorafeuer says

    Adding to the above… remember that India is one of the countries to celebrate ‘independence from the UK’ in some form. Given that India is the second-most populous country in the world (and not far behind China) and the U.S. is the third… those two by themselves account for over 20% of the population of the planet.

  17. robro says

    I would assume the former UK colonies in Africa as well as Malaysia and Singapore celebrate their independence in some way.

  18. numerobis says

    Adiposis Dolorosa:
    * India: August 15. 1428M people.
    * US: July 4. 335M people.
    * Pakistan: August 14. 242M people.
    * Nigeria: October 1. 231M people.
    * Kenya: December 12. 52M people.

    I stopped looking when I added up to about the same number as the number of adherents of any single religion (namely, Christianity). And I was just counting countries that had a violent exit.

  19. Rob Grigjanis says

    jenorafeuer @16:

    Hong Kong on July 1st 1997

    Hm, not sure “independence” is quite the right word here.

  20. gijoel says

    Glinner wrote Father Ted, Black Books and IT crowd. They are all hilarious, and I would recommend them heartily but I don’t want to send even a penny to that hateful turd. If you are interested in watching them pirate them. Also as @10 pointed out there’s a transphobic episode on the IT crowd.

  21. Prax says

    Every time Graham Linehan says something stupid, I confuse him with Graham Norton and spend several minutes being surprised and disappointed.

  22. Acacia Eocene says


    There were blips, such as on the IT Crowd, which could at the time be excused as not knowing better. But yeah, there came a day when a switch flipped in his head and ever since he’s made a concerted effort to ruin lives, including his own.

    My understanding is the two are connected. Someone said “this episode of the IT Crowd is transphobic” on Twitter and he blew up his career, reputation and marriage over it.

  23. says

    How much of transphobia is simply down to people with very thin skin being mildly corrected on a single point and then turning it into their entire personality?

  24. jenorafeuer says

    Probably a good chunk of it. I think most of it boils down to one or both of two attitudes:
    – People with essentialist attitudes who get really uncomfortable with anyone who doesn’t fit into a nice neat category that they ‘know’ how to handle (includes but is far from limited to many of the religious complaints)
    – People who, as you said, thought they were smart, got corrected on the issue, and their egos demanded that they double/triple/etc down on the issue rather than admit that they might made a mistake.
    You might think that comedians, of all people, wouldn’t have problems with the first given how much of comedy is inherently transgressive, but it seems unlikely that the second point will blow up quite this spectacularly without some underlying aspects of the first as well

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