23 August 2007 Edition
Stoop Down Low Party
SDLP Councillor Danny ‘Meatloaf’ O’Connor has upset disability groups with his riposte when he was described as “fat” by DUP Councillor Bobby McKee MBE during a heated planning debate at last week’s meeting of Larne Council. The SDLP man lashed back, calling his antagonist “Stumpy” – former UVF man McKee lost both his legs when a bomb exploded in his car in 1974.
The council meeting had to be adjourned to try and instill peace in the chamber and the pair have since apologised to each other. McKee said:
“He accused me of bullying and said that I had been a colonel in the UVF, but that was 35 years ago.
“I have moved on from there and I would like to think that I have made a positive contribution to both sides of the community since then.
“I lost two legs as a result of the Troubles. It is hard to take when someone calls you ‘Stumpy’.
“I also called him fat and it wasn’t a very nice thing to say at all and I have apologised to him. These things happen.”
The bust-up happened at the Larne Council offices: Smiley Buildings.
Missing in action
The DUP isn’t as upfront about Bobby McKee’s past as a UVF commander as he is.
The DUP official website merely says that Bobby McKee was “disabled as a result of the Troubles”. No mention there about terrorism, the UVF or their Bobby being one of the top guns in the loyalist death squads.
Paisley Jnr wrestles Top Gear’s Clarkson
Ian Paisley Jnr is in a manly tussle with fellow petrol-head and motor-mouth Jeremy Clarkson for a top prize – ‘Bigot of the Year’, awarded by Stonewall, the gay rights campaign.
Little Ian has been nominated in the Stonewall Awards for saying that he’s “repulsed” by gay people and refusing to apologise, and Jeremy Clarkson for refusing to apologise despite being reprimanded by the BBC for derogatory jibes against gay people on TV. Three other self-styled ‘Christians’ are also in the running for ‘Bigot of the Year’.
Sky One TV is running its third series of The Toughest Pubs in Britain, where it examines the real dregs of John Bull’s boozers. And it’s not pleasant viewing. Sky itself describes it as, “An insight into intimidating ale houses, uncovering random acts of violence, dire facilities and sordid entertainment.”
Last Saturday showed us the very unsavoury local of the Parachute Regiment, The Pegasus, in the garrison town of Aldershot.
The Pegasus (named after the regiment’s flying horse emblem) is a shrine to the Paras and was full of them as Sky surveyed the battle honours and mementoes plastered all over the walls and the ceilings.
To show how ‘hard’ they are – in between being filmed imitating sex acts with each other on the pool table – the ‘elite’ Paras use office staplers to pin beer mats to their foreheads (which may help explain their limited cranial capacity).
The Pegasus even has its own resident Para, one Ireland/Falklands veteran who lives above the bar in a bed-sit that could do with a visit by Kim and Aggie from How Clean Is Your House? or the environmental health officer.
On the walls of his filth-strewn hovel were messages scribbled in marker by his ‘conquests’. “This one’s from a mother and daughter,” this proud Para brags to camera.
“I’m the scum of the earth,” he confesses. And he rejoices in his nickname: “I’m proud to be called ‘Scum’.” Just what I’ve always called Paras, and some people wonder why.
Top of the tops
The Ulster Unionist Party is getting shirty about the Sinn Féin Bookshop’s latest line in leisure wear that is flying off the shelves faster than the British Army flying home on Ryanair.
The South Armagh UUP’s Kenny Donaldson doesn’t like the newest republican T-shirt, which has a cartoon depiction of an IRA Volunteer giving a British soldier the toe-end of his boot under the slogan “Good riddance!!”
Kenny thinks that the T-shirt is “irony in the extreme” because he thinks the IRA was defeated by the British Army and that’s why republicans are in power in the Six Counties.
Anyway, if you’d like to get your hands on one of the hottest-selling lines in the republican wardrobe – for just €15 + P&P – you can order online from www.sinnfeinbookshop.com.
A Japanese satellite TV show is going to carry on regardless despite having its government funding withdrawn from its innovative programme for hearing-impaired viewers, Naked Sign Language News.
The news bulletin is attracting viewers by a newsreader taking her clothes off between news headlines she delivers in sign language. The Tokyo government is taking away its 400,000 yen (€2,600) grant but Paradise TV’s news stripper will continue taking her clothes off.
Charlie Bird and Ivan Little will be watching with interest.