In the House of Commons on 23 May 1892, following a speech by Joseph Chamberlain in qualified support of Balfour's Irish Local Government Bill, Tim Healy assailed ‘our Birmingham Diogenes’ with considerable warmth for the manner in which such support was habitually rendered:
What happens is this. The Government bring in a Bill. Its proposals are attacked, and the Government gets into distress, and then of course ‘a friend in need is a friend indeed’. The Rt.hon.Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham gets up and makes a speech. I have heard him make a speech on the Coercion Bill of 1887 in almost identical terms, and also on the Parnell Commission Bill of 1888.