Belfast Telegraph

'Mr Exeter' unites all after 'you hate each other' slur during Stormont national anthem row radio debate

Northern Ireland issues 'more nuanced than what a blunt instrument will ever understand,' responds caller.

It took a man from Exeter to unite all sides in a debate over the national anthem being sung at the close of a remembrance service event at Stormont.

The BBC's Stephen Nolan Show, this morning, debated the furore surrounding the impromptu singing of God Save The Queen at Stormont.

Unionists reacted with anger that the anthem was dropped from the service, while Sinn Fein, whose senior members were in attendance, branded the incident a "stunt".

Following the ceremony, Mike Nesbitt apologised to Martin McGuinness for the "stunt".

As callers took their respective positions on either side of the debate during the mid-morning radio show, it took one man to unite them all.

Caller David from Exeter, sparked the ire of all with his remarks.

He immediately started off on the wrong foot.

"I'm going to be offensive here," he said.

"To all us here in England, you are fighting over a little small patch of land, you all sound the same - you sound a bit silly to be honest with you.

"Basically its only a small country with a small population, economically it's sort of deprived.

"To us in England it all looks a bit silly... the fact you are fighting over this small piece of land.

"It's not meant to be offensive, but it sounds offensive."

Dubbed Mr Exeter by Nolan, he also said people in Northern Ireland were "not in the UK, they are over there in Ireland," branding the nationality of those that consider themselves British as a "technicality".

When asked about his knowledge of Northern Ireland, he said he "knocked about with a Northern Irish girl".

But it was his "you all hate each other" comment that really stirred up tensions.

The Nolan show was inundated with calls from people rounding on "Mr Exeter".

However, it was Ooangh who was left to put Mr Exeter firmly in his place.

She said: "We are not all one camp or another, we are different. We have different opinions, different aspirations.

"It is more nuanced than what a blunt instrument from Exeter can ever understand."

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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