'People who can’t grow potatoes': Former Howard staffer unleashes Irish insults

Grahame Morris (Sky News) Source: Sky News

Conservative commentator Grahame Morris has let loose a string of anti-Irish insults during a debate on marriage equality in Australia.

The former chief of staff to Prime Minister John Howard dismissed the Irish as “people who can’t grow potatoes” during a discussion on same-sex marriage on Sky News on Monday.

Speaking on the bill put forward by the Labor Party, Mr Morris cited Ireland’s referendum as the trigger.

“I love the Irish - the parliament is full of Irishmen - but these are people who can’t grow potatoes, who have a mutant lawn weed as their national symbol and they can’t verbalise the difference between tree and the number three,” he said.

“And then all of a sudden, Australia has to follow suit.”

Mr Morris, whose website described him as “one of Australia’s most respected political commentators”, said the electorate wasn’t ready for a vote on marriage equality.

The incident comes less than three months after comments from Prime Minister Tony Abbott irked his Irish counterpart, who said Mr Abbott painted Ireland as synonymous with alcohol.

"It's been said of us that the English made the laws, the Scots made the money, and the Irish made the songs," Mr Abbott said in his annual St Patrick’s Day video.

Source: SBS

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch