28 August 2003 Edition
The Fifth Column
These little piggies went to market
UUP MP JEFFREY DONALDSON, well used to making a pig's ear of everything he touches, is in a sweat about who's bringing home the bacon. Jeffrey is worried that a contract to supply his porky pals in the PSNI has been gobbled up by a Dublin-based catering firm.
Campbell's Catering - which also has staff in Belfast - has been hired to feed the faces of the PSNI in 70 bases across the Six Counties. The publicity hungry Jeffrey says he is tormented by the prospect of subversives stuffing more than sausage meat in the bangers destined for the PSNI trough.
"It is clear that there are organisations who will seek to infiltrate companies who carry out contracts, and I am worried about the vetting arrangements for employees who are going to be involved in these catering contracts in police stations," Jeffrey says.
And the PSNI's porky pal is worried that giving the contract to some swine from Dublin will mean fewer pennies in the Six Counties' piggy bank.
"It inevitably means that we will lose income generated from this very valuable contract to the local economy, at a time when we have seen significant job losses recently."
It's enough to make Jeffrey choke.
Should Wellington get the boot?
RTÉ talk show host Valerie Cox's loose style went off into rambling country on Tuesday when she was refereeing a good-natured on-air debate about the merits of a monument in Trim, County Meath, to the Duke of Wellington.
Supporters of the 'Iron Duke' say it's 'only history and in the past' so we should just celebrate his achievements and presence as a tourist attraction. Others (local republicans among them) point to his record as a ruthless general, head of the military wing executing the policies of the British Empire across the globe.
Valerie leaned towards the line of 'local lad done well for himself'. After all, she chirped, he had achieved a lot.
Ah, yes, - a chip off the old power bloc.
Lunatics taking up asylum
AS SHE WAITS in exile in Bolton for the release in the next 18 months of her beloved führer, Johnny Adair, Gina Adair was up against the law last week. Gina was in Manchester County Court fighting Bolton Council's decision to refuse her and her children local authority housing.
Lawyers for Bolton Council argued that it had rejected her application for a house due to her failing the relevant criteria because she was "intentionally" homeless as a result of events such as the UFF feud in Belfast and the Adair family's primary role in unionist paramilitary and consequent "anti-social behaviour".
Bolton Council's legal eagle's means of illustrating the pedigree of 'Mad Dog's' family raised a few eyebrows, though, particularly when he dramatically produced in evidence an article and photograph from your very own An Phoblacht detailing Gina's Downing Street protest three years ago at which she demanded the release of her jailed Johnny.
A court verdict on Gina's appeal is due on 30 September.
JUST IMAGINE how the 'Bolton Wanderers' of C Company feel about the way their new neighbours view them.
Gina's UDA camp followers have given all because of their loyalty to all things British, particularly their defence of faith and fatherland and the link which they were prepared to fight and (in some cases) die for. Quis Separabit? ('Who Will Separate Us?') is the UDA/UFF motto. As British as Finchley, as Margaret Thatcher used to say.
Gina's new neighbours don't think so.
Since they arrived with the bang of a gun attack on their Bolton bolthole, the loyalists were compared by the locals, according to Belfast Telegraph reporter Mary Fitzgerald last week, to ASYLUM SEEKERS!
Johnny Adair graduated to the dizzy heights of UFF führership from the even dizzier low life of glue sniffing with the Belfast National Front. Having his wife and bonehead buddies being considered as asylum seekers in his beloved Land of Hope and Glory by the UFF's erstwhile kith and kin must have the steroid-filled blood vessels in Johnny's blood vessels near to bursting point.
RUC old boys get together
A CURIOUS detail appeared in an item from the unionist daily, The News Letter, on the formation of an RUC veterans' association.
The RUC (George Cross) Association claims to already have 1,500 members across the Six Counties. The association will mark the anniversary of the formation of the RUC on 1 June 1922 every year with church services.
The News Letter reports: "It is open to all former RUC officers, of all religions, including full-time and part-time reservists."
Of all religions?
Why the need to mention ALL religions? And if it's modelled on the military's British Legion (as its organisers say), will serving PSNI members be allowed to join?
Association chief Gorringe goes on to say: "We have been very careful to make it a non-contentious thing. It is open to all religions and, with no political agenda at all, it should not be offensive to anyone."
A group of RUC officers without a political agenda? Isn't that like an England football hooligan without a passport?