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29 January 2004 Edition

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The 5th Column

Sunday World exposes itself

SUNDAY WORLD readers might have been cheered on 18 January to learn that campaigning journalism showed signs of life in the front-page lead and two-page feature which lifted the lid on those grubby little types profiting from Dublin's seedy lap dancing industry and the 21st Century slave trade exploiting vulnerable young women, particularly from Eastern Europe.

Eagle-eyed readers might have been dismayed, though, if they turned to the Entertainment section on Page 88 and the big advertisement for Honeyz lap dancing club in Capel Street, and with a free admission coupon! Honeyz was subsequently raided by the Garda and some of the 'exotic dancers' featured in the Sunday World ad carted off to face who knows what fate.

The Colour Orange

A 'KICK THE POPE' loyalist band's fund-raising drive is following up its release of a CD of sectarian tunes with a kiddies' colouring book!

The Pride of the Shore Flute Band, from North Belfast, is targeting pre-school children with the colouring book showing loyalist icons such as King Billy. They hope to have it published by a Shankill Road firm in time for the marching season and, no doubt, the top table at the DUP annual conference.

Loyalist colouring parties will probably only need an orange felt pen, as all the green and black ones will be run out by the UDA.

PSNI bus passes

BUS PASSENGERS have to put up with all sorts of clowns and shifty characters who plague public transport, but spare a thought for Ballymena bus people.

PSNI foot patrols are being given a free ride on Translink buses to save their poor flat feet from having to carry the full weight of the law out to the public. And in another cringe-inducing 'community initiative', the Ballymena Peelers' boss, Superintendent Terry Shevlin, is urging PSNI freeloaders to use the chance to "mix with the community" by plonking themselves alongside fare-paying passengers or peering over their shoulders to make them talk to them.

It is not clear if Translink will warn schoolchildren and pensioners that anything they say on the bus may be taken down and used in evidence against them.

Brit captain dismissed

A BRITISH ARMY OFFICER used his position to try and force other soldiers stationed at Ballykelly to perform sex acts with him has been jailed for 14 weeks.

Captain Roderick Bryce-Stafford, of the Royal Scots, was found guilty by a military court of a string of offences involving male and female soldiers at Ballykelly between January and October 2002.

Unlike Scots Guards Wright and Fisher, who were jailed and later released after murdering Belfastman Peter McBride, Captain Bryce-Stafford will be booted out of the British Army in disgrace.

Green shoots from the lip

FINE GAEL leader Enda Kenny droned on in Leinster House on Tuesday yet again with unsubstantiated tripe about Sinn Féin's funding.

Enda Dreary's lifeless style would have bored the arse off a Thunderbirds puppet, but it provided the background for a brief discussion on RTÉ Radio 1's Tonight With Vincent Browne between 'Vincent the Inquisitor' and Irish Times political hack Michael O'Regan. A slip of the tongue by O'Regan said that all the Leinster House parties had "a past" (ie associations with armed struggle movements), except for the Progressive Democrats.

The prickly leader of the Green Party, Trevor Sargent, was straight on the hotline to admonish O'Regan for lumping the Greens in with any militant shenanigans in the republican plotting shed.

O'Regan shot back: "Trevor, you might be more interesting if you had a past", before Browne put the gumboot in with: "The question is: does the Green Party have a future?"

They shouldn't hit a man who won't fight back.

The battle for Bobby Sands Street

CONTINUING their crusade in the Middle East after 'victories' in Afghanistan and Iraq against 'Johnny Arab', Britain's Foreign Office and MI6 are putting the political squeeze on the Iranians.

After Bobby Sands was elected MP for Fermanagh/South Tyrone during the epic H-Block Hunger Strike of 1981, Iran named a street after the republican hero, only the street was the one where the British Embassy was located and named after the Western imperialist warmonger, Winston Churchill!

The Spooks in Whitehall and the Embassy bunker have been tugging at their starched collars ever since at having to open mail addressed to Her Royal Britannic Majesty's Government in "Bobby Sands Boulevard".

Now Whitehall (formerly sponsors, protectors and armourers of the hated and corrupt former Shah of Iran) wants the name of Bobby Sands removed. But a resistance movement has been started by the irrepressible Danny Morrison through an online petition to the President of Iran, Hojjatoleslam Sayed Mohammad Khatami.

If you'd like to join the online resistance, then log on to BSands81/petition.html

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