Issue 3-2023-200dpi

16 September 2004 Edition

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Fifth Column

Batman makes a laugh of SAS joker

ALL THE QUEEN'S horses and all the queen's SAS men couldn't stop Batman breaching royal palace security again.

The 'Fathers 4 Justice' (F4J) parental rights group pulled off a worldwide publicity coup this week when activists got into Buckingham Palace simply by climbing over the railings with a ladder.

One protestor reached a first-floor ledge near Queenie's balcony while wearing a Batman outfit and stayed there for more than five hours. (Did he have the ladder in his tights?)

But where was Robin, the Boy Wonder, in the comic caper?

F4J's Robin, the less dynamic of the Dynamic Duo, had been caught by the constabulary. A Channel 4 on-the-spot, eyewitness reporter told viewers live on-air that the Boy Blunder was told, in no uncertain terms, that if he tried to scale the wall to join his pointy-eared pal he would be shot dead.

The fiendish plot was hatched under the nose of former SAS Brigadier Jeff Cook, the joker who was drafted in four months ago as a hot-shot security wizard.

Queen Elizabrit is not amused.

Bullet proof tights

METROPOLITAN POLICE Commissioner Sir John Stevens said after the escapade that Batman was not shot on sight because his behaviour and clothes did not mark him out as a terror threat.

But London's top cop told the BBC: "If it had been someone carrying a bomb, the probability is he would have been shot."

Good job the protestors left the Anarchist and Guy Fawkes costumes at home then.

Dog's dinner

QUEENIE'S daughter, Princess Anne, abandoned her uniform for civilian dress when she paid a two-day visit to Dublin last week to be the star turn at an event for the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

Two years ago, Annie (godmother of several British Army regiments, including the Royal Signals, the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters and the Royal Logistics Corps, the quartermasters of the British Army) was the first royal to be found guilty of a criminal offence for over 350 years after pleading guilty to failing to control her dogs when they mauled two children walking in the park.

Tactfully, no one mentioned Annie's little dog doo-dah.

UUP referee for UDA racketeer

WE ALL KNOW that the Paisleyite DUP and Trimble's Ulster Unionist Party line that they won't talk to 'terrorists' is all a load of old optics while they sit with the UVF and the UDA on the unionist West Belfast Parades Forum. But now a top UUP figure has given a character reference to a leading Shankill loyalist convicted of running a UDA protection racket.

UUP Assembly member Fred Cobain was reported last week in a Belfast High Court ruling as praising the community work of Thomas Potts, a former ally of UFF 'C' Company commander Johnny Adair.

Potts was arrested for blackmail in August 2002 while doing his "community work" and already on bail for allegedly taking part in a UDA attack on the Rex Bar, where UVF men had been drinking. He was arrested while trying to extort £10,000 from an undercover police officer posing as a building contractor.

Cobain's testimonial didn't help Potts. The UDA man's original sentence was increased from three to five years.

British Army sex attacker in Lisburn

A BRITISH ARMY instructor who has admitted a series of sexual assaults on young British soldiers was merely demoted when he was posted to the Six Counties and court-martialled for exposing himself to a teenager in Lisburn.

Leslie Skinner was a staff sergeant and senior instructor at the Princess Royal Barracks at Deepcut in Surrey and Arnhem Barracks in Aldershot before he was let loose in the North.

Kingston Crown Court heard last week that the 46-year-old pervert in charge of young recruits had shown one 17-year-old his locker full of sado-masochistic "implements" and ordered him to cane him before abusing the youngster.

Skinner confessed to five counts of indecent assault on four male soldiers between 1992 and 1997. He will be returned for sentence on October 22nd.

Tory boss told to f*** off

THE TORY council chief who caused a storm with his racist comments against the Irish has been banned for two years by Britain's local authority watchdog.

Carrickfergus Borough Council wrote to Peterborough Council and other local authorities in England last year. They were seeking support for an independent investigation into the apparent suicide of a teenage RIR soldier, Paul Cochrane, at his County Armagh barracks three years ago.

Peterborough Council chief Neville Sanders (above) replied with a handwritten note which said: "Soldiers do get killed... that is what they are paid for."

When contacted by a confused council and local media about the note, an unabashed Sanders responded by roaring that he was fed up paying taxes to cover for "lazy b******* in Ireland". The Conservative Party figurehead added that the Six Counties could "f*** off and run its own affairs".

Now Sanders will have two years to shuffle off and run his own affairs.

Fianna Fáil sounds the same

FIANNA FÁIL'S much-trumpeted shift to become more caring and sharing (prompted by the rise Sinn Féin) was accompanied by a pledge to "listen more" to the public.

The electorally-bruised FF press office headlined that the well-known anti-poverty campaigner, Fr Seán Healy of the Cori Justice Commission, was to address Bertie's floundering leadership cabal in Inchydoney, West Cork, last week.

No sooner had Seán given the well-heeled leadership the benefit of his many years' experience than Bertie's 'listening Fianna Fáil' reverted to type by rubbishing his views.

Outgoing Finance Minister Charlie McCreevy was first out of the trap, insulted him and accused him of "preaching nonsense" that would bankrupt the country.

On RTÉ TV's Questions & Answers this week, senior minister Dermot Ahern jumped on the McCreevy bandwagon and dissed the voice of the Cori Justice Commission.

Which begs the question: why on earth did Fianna Fáil invite him in the first place?

Mann overboard

EX-SAS officer Simon Mann and close Old Etonian chum of Margaret Thatcher's useless son, Sir Mark, has been sentenced to seven years' jail in Zimbabwe for arms offences connected to a failed coup plot in Equatorial Guinea.

One name that appears on documents is "AJH Archer", coincidentally the same name as another disgraced Thatcher flunky, Lord Jeffrey Archer.

International arrest warrants for Simon Mann and Sir Mark Thatcher have been applied for by Equatorial Guinea. The country's leader, regular readers will recall, is alleged to eat his enemies' testicles.

For once, we shall refrain from any bad taste.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1