22 July 2004 Edition
The Fifth Column
The Three Sinn Féin Bears
FINE GAELERS on Louth County Council aren't best pleased at being ousted by Sinn Féin as the main opposition party.
When the Blueshirts turned up at Monday's meeting of the council, Gene Yore of the Dundalk Democrat writes, "they found that somebody had stolen their porridge — and chairs".
"The little Sinn Féin bears had got in early and were all sitting in a row in the Fine Gael seats."
Pointing to the republicans, FG Councillor Jim Lennon mumbled: "I was sitting up there for 14 years."
The Dundalk Democrat reports that fellow Fine Gaeler Finnan McCoy "looked equally bewildered when he entered the chamber and found that his seat had also been taken in the SF coup".
After the tea break, two Independents, Jim Ryan and Mary Grehan, crossed from the Opposition side to sit with Fianna Fáil.
It's more than the seating arrangements that are going to change where Sinn Féin has increased its presence. As the Dundalk Democrat says of Sinn Féin's opponents: "There's only one thing for it: they'll simply have to get up earlier and eat more porridge."
Low flying tactic
A RECRUITING SERGEANT for the British military isn't just trying to enlist young people from nationalist areas of nationalist areas but actually sits on the board of a West Belfast school.
The Royal Air Force's 'Schools Liaison Officer', Pat Jamison MBE, operates out of Palace Barracks and carries out recruiting drives in schools for service in the RAF, including the elite RAF Regiment and RAF Intelligence.
And the Andersonstown News says that Jamison, who originally comes from Belfast, admitted being on the Board of Governors of Glen Road Christian Brothers Secondary School.
Jamison reveals that he has written to local principals wearing his RAF hat and "has been invited into several schools in West Belfast over the past 12 months but says that at no time has he spoken about a career in the RAF to local schoolchildren" because he knows it is "sensitive". Instead, Jamison claims that he offers a free service, which involves him talking to students about interview techniques, job application forms, presentation skills and "building self-confidence as well as team-building exercises", according to the Andytown News.
Marvellous, public spirited stuff. So, our fly boy wants us to believe that he writes to schools under his RAF uniform title, gives loads of tips on careers, and doesn't mention a career with his employers who pay him to, er, recruit school leavers into the RAF? Look out for porkies flying over Palace Barracks.
Euro MP's bloomers
EUROPE will be a cold house for women if new UK Independence Party MEP Godfrey Bloom has his way.
Mr Bloom is a member of the European Parliament's Women's Rights Committee. On his first day at work this Tuesday, he revealed what he thinks is a previously ignored crucial element of women's lives: "I just don't think they clean behind the fridge enough."
The bowler-wearing Bloom, from York, announced:
"I am here to represent Yorkshire women, who always have dinner on the table when you get home. I am going to promote men's rights."
Godfrey is an investment fund manager and he knows what's good for women in the workplace.
"The more women's rights you have, it's actually a bar to their employment. No self-respecting small businessman with a brain in the right place would ever employ a lady of child-bearing age. That isn't politically correct, is it? But it's a fact of life. I know, because I am a businessman. If you want to have a baby, you hand in your resignation and free up a job for another young lady."
Mr Bloom's party wants Ian Paisley's replacement as MEP, Jim Allister, to ally with them. He should feel right at home.
DUP gunning for the UDA?
THE DUP leadership is quietly compiling its own list of paramilitary activity — by loyalists as well as republicans — ahead of renewed political talks in the autumn, because it doesn't trust the British Government.
The DUP's Sammy Wilson wants PSNI supremo Hugh Orde to tell him how many people and PSNI and prison officers have been warned this year that their details are in the hands of paramilitaries.
But DUP sources have told the press that they are mainly concerned about alleged IRA activity.
Which is a pity seeing that the DUP should be able to actually do something about the latest scandal of people's personal files being leaked by British soldiers from Castlereagh PSNI/British Army base to the UDA death squads. The DUP (and Trimble's Ulster Unionist Party) sit on the unionist West Belfast Parades Forum with their good buddies in the UVF, Red Hand Commando and the UDA.
Perhaps Sammy could ask his UDA pals about the files before he puts them on his naughty list.
Wizard praise for McDowell
MICHAEL McDOWELL, the 26-County Justice and Equality Minister, is at pains to tell us that his citizenship referendum wasn't racist, but some overseas admirers who make a living out of racism beg to differ.
David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klan Klan, told The Dubliner magazine:
"Than you, Minister McDowell, for defending the heritage of our mothers and fathers." Those pointy hats the Ku Klux Kooks wear must have suffocated a few of the Duke's brain cells as he went on to claim that, without Minister McDowell's "amazing step", "Ireland would come to resemble Bangladesh or Uganda".
Completing the fruit loop is Eugene Terreblanche, leader of the neo-Nazi Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB). The white terror chief joined the kooks in the Ku Klux Klan cloaks in hailing McDowell. "I congratulate the Minister on trying to protect the people against immigrants who they don't want to be in Ireland. For our [white] people in South Africa you are really an inspiration because we don't want to be changed by the 'new nation' idea in South Africa either — to go into a majority which will definitely mean the end of the small Afrikaner Boer people."
Or maybe just the end of small-minded Afrikaner racists who admire Michael McDowell.