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7 June 2007 Edition

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Fifth Column

Let’s get ready to rumble

It seems like there’s a rash of political infighting all over Ireland, Scotland and England.
In Glasgow, two Scottish political heavyweights – former Scottish Assembly member Tommy Sheridan and Respect MP George Galloway – are donning the gloves to box the heads off their opponents.
Tommy Sheridan, who gave the News of the World a bloody nose in the libel court, will step into the ring on 17 June in a celebrity boxing bout for charity. He’ll face the new chief executive of the Scottish Football Association, Gordon Smith, a former Rangers striker, at the Marriott Hotel.
Sun-bed devotee Sheridan has been given the moniker ‘The Musketeer – Dark Tan Yin’; Smith has been dubbed ‘Pretty Boy’. Sheridan lost a previous fight between the two on a points decision and he’s out for revenge.
Another grudge match on the night will be between two Old Firm enemies: Celtic battler Frank ‘Goldie Locks’ McAvennie and Graham ‘Daddy Bear’ Roberts of Rangers. The duo have form, having already clashed on the pitch in the 1987 Old Firm derby known as ‘The Battle of Ibrox’.

Gauntlet for Gaunt

Further south, ‘Gorgeous George’ Galloway has challenged his fellow TalkSport radio host, Jon Gaunt, to five rounds in an East London boxing arena after the right-wing Sun columnist called George a coward.
‘Gobby’ Gaunt’s weeks of taunting have shown that he can talk a good fight but he isn’t ready to take on the former amateur boxer from Dundee in a bust-up in Bethnal Green.
George describes Gaunt’s diatribes as “crypto-fascist... like Richard Littlejohn but without the intellect or the wit”.
George isn’t giving up though, insisting in his rasping Scottish tones with a decided hint of menace: “I’m going to chase that wee fat piggy.”
I wonder if there’s any chance that we could arrange a similar charity fight night here in Ireland.
How about Sinn Féin Councillor Alex Maskey (former amateur boxer with 71 wins out of 75 fights) versus Kevin ‘Union Jack’ Myers or John Waters, who seems to have the same stylist as ‘The Undertaker’?

Thirds in, seconds out

One political lightweight who looks like they’re out for the count after wrestling for a seat in Dublin Central is Fianna Fáil Councillor Mary Fitzpatrick.
Mary is smarting over having had to slug it out with not just opponents but also against fellow Fianna Fáiler Cyprian Brady with reigning champion Bertie ‘The Big Bossman’ Ahern in his corner.
In the FF camp, Bertie romped home first, with Fitzer polling second with 1,725 firsts while Brady trailed behind a dismal third with just 939. But Fitzer’s erstwhile team mates had turned the contest into a one-sided tag-match, with The Big Bossman dispatching 30,000 letters in the wee small hours of election day morning asking voters to give the old one-two to himself and Cyprian and the Number 3 to Mary. Bertie’s 2,403 pick-me-ups saw Brady stagger to an unconvincing win.
Bruised by her experience, Fitzer told an RTÉ documentary last week, in no uncertain terms, that she was well and truly  clipped by her less than beloved leader to get his understudy elected.
Now there are mutterings amongst the boys in the backroom at Fianna Fáil that Fitzer’s dishing the dirt on RTÉ means she won’t get a shot at the title of senator.
A double knock-out, if ever there was one.

McDowell’s pole beats his poll

‘The Rumble in Ranelagh’, the yah-sucks-boo spat between Michael ‘Leaky’ McDowell and Green Party contender John Gormley, has been viewed on YouTube by more than 5,000 people  – more than McDowell got in first preference votes!

Eoghan Harris has left the building

Eoghan Harris, who has swung from the KGB-funded Workers’ Party (where he was a guru to Pat Rabbitte) to the Ulster Unionist Party and Fine Gael, rumbled out of The Last Word studio in a post-election bust-up with Matt Cooper and Fintan O’Toole when the ignorant old Stalinist was asked to stop interrupting by roaring when he didn’t agree with something said.
You can enjoy Eoghan Harris’s little temper tantrum at Today FM through Roy Greenslade’s Guardian blog at

Paris Hilton POW (Prisoner of Wealth)

I am sure that republican ex-prisoners will want to spare a thought for Paris Hilton, the glamorous hotel heiress now languishing in jail like some common felon of the land.
The 26-year-old mega-rich ‘actress’ is in the Los Angeles County Jail for breaking her probation on a drink-driving charge.
Before she was issued her convict’s uniform, Paris swallowed hard and told reporters: “I am trying to be strong right now. I’m really scared but I’m ready to face my sentence.”
She is serving 23 days. Yes, that’s days. Not 23 years; not 23 months; not even 23 weeks – 23 DAYS.
Anyone even thinking of proposing Paris Hilton as a member of the Felons’ Club will have their partners notified.

Brain drain

Ian Paisley Snr told the Business in the Community Awards in Belfast City Hall last week that if hi-tech and knowledge-based enterprises are to be developed in the Six Counties then they have to stop the ‘brain drain’.
There is no risk of Ian Paisley Jnr being part of the brain drain.

Proper Charlie

A DUP councillor has threatened to take the Equality Commission to court after discovering that only 35 per cent of its staff are Protestant.
The Castlereagh councillor said he has been monitoring the commission’s employment record for two years and the proportion of Catholics to Protestants has risen in that period.
His name is Charlie Tosh.

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