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26 June 2008 Edition

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Fifth Column

Mrs Doyle’s green mist

WHAT are we to make of Avril Doyle, Fine Gael MEP and upper-class twit, wrapping the green flag around her and lacing into the Paddywhackery of the British Eurosceptic MEPs in the EU Parliament who were latching on to the Irish ‘No to Lisbon’?
The aristocratic Doyle – more Lady Muck and chukka ar lá than tiocfaidh ar lá  – had her toffee nose put of joint by the UKIP’s horrendous green jumpers on our bandwagon.
“How the history books could have been written differently,” Mrs Doyle thundered to stunned onlookers, “if respect for the Irish vote from some of our British colleagues was always there.”
And what about respect by Fine Gael for the Irish vote saying ‘No’ to Lisbon and ‘Yes’ to Sinn Féin in the Six Counties, Mrs D?

Bertie’s Baldrick blunders

IF Avril Doyle’s TV alter ego is Penelope Keith in To the Manor Born, then Fianna Fáil TD Cyprian Brady must be Baldrick to Bertie’s Blackadder.
Smarting from the fact that he couldn’t deliver a ‘Yes’ vote in his Boss’s backyard, Cyprian tried to make light of his dismal failure in the Dáil debate after the Lisbon referendum:
“On examination, one finds the ‘No’ team comprised two international Del Boys and, in our area, two failed candidates in the last general election.”
What Cyprian didn’t mention, of course, is that one of those candidates, Mary Lou McDonald, got more than three times the first preference votes than his miserable 939 and that he owes his Dáil seat only to The Most Cunning and Devious One’s massive surplus dragging him over the finishing line by the arse of his pants.
Bertie Blackadder won’t be around to bail Baldrick out next time.

Scouting for royalists

THE Boy Scouts are legendary for being nice and doing helpful things for people in ‘bob a job week’ (in the days before hyper-inflation). Now they’re getting a name for making little boys cry – and they don’t care.
Scottish mum Tracy Anne McVeigh could be taking a case to the European Court of Human Rights because the Cub Scouts won’t let her eight-year-old son become a full member unless he swears an oath of allegiance to the British queen.
Tracy Anne has no problem with little Matthew swearing an oath of allegiance to his country (and I’m assuming that would stretch from Scotland to include Britain) but she draws the line at the queen, the unelected head of a sectarian dynasty that bars Catholics from succeeding her as monarch of the glen or anywhere else.
The McVeighs are objecting on religious grounds to the Cub Scout Promise because it has the line “I promise to do my duty to God and to the queen.”
Matthew and mum came up with a compromise – “I promise to do my duty to God and my country” – but the big boys with the big sticks in the big tent aren’t budging. If little Matthew McVeigh won’t give in and swear allegiance to Queen Elizabeth then they won’t give him his neckerchief, badge and woggle. He can’t be a full Cub Scout.
His mum is not giving in to the bullies, though.
“It’s a disgrace in this day and age. We are supposed to live in a multicultural age but this flies in the face of that.
“The 1701 Act of Settlement specifically discriminates against Catholic people and only allows for Protestants to take the throne – so why should we take an oath to the monarchy?
“The monarchy actively discriminates against Catholics. Matthew is an intelligent boy and did not want to say the promise to the queen just for the sake of saying it.
“I was gobsmacked that the Cub Scout commissioner said that if Matthew didn’t say the promise then he would effectively be out the door.”
Although the Scout Association’s rules allow for people to replace the word God in the promise with other named deities according to their religion, a Scout Association spokesperson said the guidelines are strict when it comes to the section regarding the queen.
“For people of other nationalities resident in the UK making the Cub Scout Promise, the phrase may be replaced by ‘duty to the country in which I am now living’.
“However, British subjects must promise to do their duty to the queen. It is simply UK Scout Association policy that all British subjects must promise that.”
So there.
Matthew’s mum may see you in court without your woggle.

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