An Phoblacht 2 - 2022 small

8 May 1997 Edition

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Editor's desk

Paddy Mayhew had an unfortunate experience a few days before the election which must have given him a warning that his party was heading for a wipeout. He was to have dinner with an old friend, broadcaster Keith Kyle, in Kyle's North London home.

The Special Branch went round, checked the place out with sniffer dogs, bug detection equipment, the lot.

But come the night when the Branch took the hapless Paddy round for dinner they arrived at a house with a poster for Glenda Jackson, the local Labour candidate, in the window. ``Must be the wrong place,'' mumbled Paddy and the Branch drove him around looking in vain for the right house. Eventually, a Branchman rang Kyle and explained that they were lost. They told him about the Labour poster. ``That's my house,'' Kyle explained.

It was difficult night for the well-mannered Mayhew as he ate his dinner through gritted teeth.


Liz McPherson, the Irish News diarist whose wit always appears to me to be as sparkling as coal dust, told us on Monday the story of how Martin McGuinness shook hands with Ken Maginnis after the Shinner's victory in Mid-Ulster. According to Liz, Ken ``got chatting to a woman attending the event and became so engrossed in conversation'' that he didn't notice our Martin approaching. And who was the mysterious woman? None other than Liz's buddy, Suzanne Breen of the Irish Times.


Francis Wheen of the Guardian is wonderful at digging for significance in political events. This week he tells us that whereas the Tories received 31% of the vote in the British election, a MORI poll says that 37% of people agreed that Britain no longer needed a monarchy. ``In short,'' he tells his readers, ``there are now more republicans in this country than there are Conservatives.''

And who will represent them? Step forward Martin and Gerry. The British people need you.

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