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13 May 2004 Edition

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The 5th Column

Wee Sammy's not in the pink

THE DUP's 'cheeky chappie', Councillor Sammy Wilson, shocked many Paisleyite nature lovers when his naked romp in the forest with a young lady was captured by the tabloid press. Now he is being investigated for allegedly homophobic remarks about Belfast's gay community.

This comes a month after DUP Newtownabbey Councillor Arthur Templeton was fined £250 for harassing a gay colleague on the local district policing partnership.

A motion last week by the DUP (supported by the self-styled liberals in the neo-unionist Alliance Party) failed to block a civic reception for the Belfast Pride festival later this year.

When Ulster Unionists were told that they were free to vote as individuals, Wee Sammy is said to have shouted, "AC/DC!" at them.

When the DUP's motion fell, the rumpled former mayor is reported to have sidled up to journalists in the council chamber to snort: "Will there be fairy cakes on the menu?"

Or will Sammy be going for his tea?

No grassing on Sundays

MAYBE Shaggy Wilson's more puritan-minded DUP colleagues were shivering at the mental images of a naked Wilson skipping through God's green pastures when they voted to halt cutting the grass in Ballymena on the Sabbath.

Ulster Unionist Mayor Joe McKernan said that he was contacted by a resident (that's right, one whole person) who was "amazed" that grass verges were being cut on a Sunday. DUP Councillor Tommy Nicholl said that he had received complaints from "several" residents (that's more than the UUP mayor's one).

The Roads Service explained that a Scottish contractor they'd brought in was responsible for the merry mowing and he would mow no more on the Sabbath.

Swearing by the DUP

SWEARING IN PUBLIC will also be an indictable offence if Ballymena DUP Councillor Robin Stirling has his way.

Ruthless Robin wants anyone cursing (at any time) to be thrown in the slammer. The DUP sentinel says that if people expose themselves in the street they'd be grabbed by the Peelers (watch out, Sammy!) and if they swear they should face the same fate.

Words fail us, which is probably just as well.

Paisley Patten

SAMMY WILSON'S smarter-suited DUP colleague, Ian Paisley Junior, must have inherited some of his daddy's anti-Papist genes with his labelling of the Catholic Primate of All-Ireland as a "terrorist sympathiser", because Archbishop Seán Brady dared to criticise the pig's ear that is called policing in the Six Counties, post-Patten.

In a speech in London last week, Dr Brady ruffled the Paisley peacock's feathers by accusing Tony Blair's administration of failing to sort out the old RUC Special Branch, MI5, Military Intelligence and all the other spies and spooks in the Six-County woodwork.

The Catholic Primate said that the political parties had to "go the extra mile" to bring about police changes, and accept the full implications of the Good Friday Agreement and the legitimacy of the nationalist aspiration to a united Ireland.

Son of Paisley exploded. "Not only do we have appeasements to the nationalist community which deliberately discriminate against unionists but now we have this bellyful of bigotry. The Archbishop has dropped his prayer book and picked up An Phoblacht. These reprobate comments are the quotes of a terrorist sympathiser."

Mr Smarty Pants Paisley is a big noise on the Policing Board. And he is the guy the British administration decided was suitable to address last month's passing out ceremony for new graduates of the PSNI.

That alone says something about policing in the Six Counties.

Carson Trailer trash

SAMMY WILSON (yes, it's that man again) is up in arms because SDLP Belfast Mayor Martin Morgan attended a 1916 Easter Rising wreath-laying ceremony in Dublin.

Sammy, a former teacher, simmered: "The events of 1916 were very much a prelude to the terrorism we have experienced in Northern Ireland and the rebels were involved in the kind of activities that the IRA have engaged in in more recent times.

"Many citizens in Belfast, particularly in the unionist community, will be alarmed that he attended the ceremony officially as lord mayor because they see it as giving credence to those who have carried out terrorist acts against them over the past 35 years."

Not like all those folksy gigs like the DUP's 'Carson Trail' celebrating Lord Carson's putsch for the Six-County sectarian state, the UVF and the UDR, eh, Sammy?

Wedding party

RTÉ RADIO 1's weekly review last Saturday recalled one major anarchist mob's intervention that curiously failed to feature in the endless hours of RTÉ's sensationalist TV footage and airtime debates and analysis that ran after the May Day anti-globalisation scuffles in Dublin.

Reporter Valerie Cox joined the Dublin Grassroots Network's motley crew lazing in the sun in St Stephen's Green. The leaderless, self-governing collective then rambled in the general direction of... anywhere really. The rag-tag rabble the Irish Star told us was hell-bent on tearing down the pillars of civilised society was stopped in its tracks when a wedding party emerged from the nearby Unitarian Church. Did the blushing bride and groom come under a hail of missiles in a violent, venomous protest at this unified symbol of religion, consumerism and petit-bourgeois conformism in society? It was far more horrible than that.

The anarchist mob stoppe

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