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3 July 2008 Edition

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Fifth Column

Sing your hearts out for the lads

SPAIN may have been on song for once in the Euro 2008 Championship but the makers of the PC game of Euro 2008 have left loyalist fans of ‘Northern Ireland’ sick as an Orange-bellied Parrot.
Backroom boys at computer games maestros EA Sports have fielded authentic national teams, including ‘Northern Ireland’ even though the Brits themselves describe it as nothing more than a province. Anyway, PC players lining up the ‘Northern Ireland’ team before virtual kick-off were bemused to see them standing to attention for the national anthem, only to hear the familiar strains of The Soldier’s Song!
Yes, some wizard off the ball must have Googled Ireland for its national anthem and come up with The Soldier’s Song instead of God Save the Queen.
One Norn Iron fan complained in an online forum: “I’m a Northern Ireland fan and I’m shocked.”
Get over it, pal. There are no easy games.


One rule for Mugabe

BRITAIN has stripped Robert Mugabe of his honorary knighthood because of his repression of civil rights.
Britain will not, however, be stripping Colonel Derek Wilford of the Parachute Regiment of his Order of the British Empire for shooting people in Derry on Bloody Sunday 1972 who were marching for civil rights.
The 1 Para O/C was, after all, given the OBE by Queen Elizabeth for doing just that.

Hartley-mobile rams PSNI

NEWLY-ELECTED Belfast First Citizen Tom Hartley’s mayoral motor rammed a PSNI patrol car last week – in front of the members of the West Belfast District Policing Partnership.
Now this isn’t the first time that the cycling-mad Shinner has come up against the law. Amongst his various other honours is one for riotous behaviour back in the 1970s. But this time Tom can plead not guilty. Tom had left his bicycle clips behind for a ride in the BMW and just got out in a hotel car park when the driver accidentally reversed into a waiting PSNI Vauxhall Vectra.
The Peelers reported “no damage and no injuries” but the collision will obviously impact on the debate on whether the £54,000 BMW 7-Series saloon is the right transport for the mayor.

The fruits of evil

A COUPLE of weeks back we reported how the cops in Mayo were not arresting Shell to Sea protesters so as to avoid the publicity from court cases. It seems the same tactic is being applied in Britain in the campaign to boycott goods from Israeli-occupied Palestinian land.
Carmel Agrexco’s British depot was shut down for six hours in a 6am action against the Israeli company when activists d-locked the front gate and vehicle barrier. Others climbed on a lorry.
The Israeli flag which normally flies over the building was replaced with a black flag, representing the Palestinian deaths in Gaza.
While police ignored the violence by security against the protesters, a police sergeant told protesters that the instruction to not arrest was an order from ‘higher up’. The last thing Carmel Agrexco wants is its activities under the spotlight of the media during any trials with uppity agitators telling everyone about how it gets its business.
Activists say the campaign against Carmel is a win-win for the protesters – without arrests there’s nothing stopping protesters from coming back time and time again.


A song for Lisbon

A LITTLE light relief on the Lisbon front last week with a YouTube video clip and Joe Duffy’s ‘Funny Friday’ Liveline show on RTÉ Radio 1.
The clip is from the Hitler movie, Downfall, and has been reworked as Cowen’s Downfall, complete with Brian Cowen in his bunker berating Mícheál Martin, Brian Lenihan and the rest of his generals trying to come to grips with disaster.
Joe Duffy’s resident lyricist, Clint Velour, has been on the job even while he’s been on honeymoon (there’s dedication for you). Clint penned a parody of Amy Winehouse’s Rehab (sung authentically by Martha Connolly and about a third through the show if you go online) which could become a folk anthem if Cowen & Co insist on a replay with a chorus line that goes:
They tried to make me vote for Lisbon/I said, ‘No, no, no.’
Don’t try that crack/of bringing it back.
Sing along, now...
They tried to make me vote for Lisbon/I said, ‘No, no, no.’
They’ll get the sack, if they bring it back/I said, ‘No, no, no.’

Rush to flush

SAN FRANCISCO residents who think their outgoing president is crap want to mark his end of office with a fitting memorial – the George W Bush Sewage Plant.
The  activists in the ‘Presidential Memorial Commission of San Francisco’ reckon they will get enough signatures on a petition by this weekend to have the name changed from the Oceanside Wastewater Treatment Facility in time for 20 January, the day the new president is inaugurated (San Francisco citizens can log on to http://presidentialmemorial.wordpress.com if they want to sign up).
This unique occasion will be heralded by a mass “synchronised flush” of Californian toilets.
As the good folks over at Schnews report of our American cousins:
“They’re not the only ones who can’t wait to pull the Cheney on the Bush presidency.”

The Loos Brothers

A MEAT company in Scotland that supplies Tesco is taking the pee out of its workers. It’s making them clock out every time they go to the toilet.
Workers are docked pay for the time they take to remove their wellies, overalls and hairnets, the time they’re in the loo, and the time they take to get their work gear back on again.
Unite the Union has branded the firm “Dickensian” for “essentially stopping staff pay when they visit the toilet”.
The name of the firm in Dumfriesshire? Brown Brothers.

 

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