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20 November 1997 Edition

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Editor's desk

Our quaint friends in the Daily Telegraph reported on Lee Clegg's latest appeal this week. They wrote: ``The proceedings were halted briefly when republican protestors raised banners and shouted anti-English slogans before being ejected.''

The bounders! Anti-English? Only if you consider ``Clegg Out! All Out!'' and ``Free the POWs!'' to be anti-English.

 


But the Daily Telegraph's terminology might be getting better. On Wednesday, in a piece about Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman, they said that when he was a reporter, his TV crew ``filmed an army roadblock''. The army, ``alas'', according to the Torygraph, was of the Irish Republican variety.

 


I noticed this week that the media have begun referring to Colin Duffy as a ``prominent republican''. He certainly is that, but not through any desire on his part - it is only because the RUC continue arresting him on false charges.

 


An audit report into the DoE's funding of Positively Belfast was published two weeks ago. Positively Belfast ran for 4 years from April 1992 to promote Belfast's image. The audit into the publicly funded, private company headed by British civil servants, Lord Glentoran and William Pinkerton found that almost £2.5 million was mis-spent.

The audit found £500,000 from the social needs budget in Belfast was used as prize money for professional golfers at a golfing championship in Portrush. This was money which was supposed to help deprived areas like West Belfast. More than £100,000 was spent on a power boat championship on the Lagan that never took place, and £635,000 was paid out to a PR consultant. Of the civil servants responsible, paymaster and financial auditor Pinkerton retired without comment in 1995 and Lord Glentoran denied responsibility

And what rewarding little position was given to Lord Glentoran? He now sits on the Millennium Commission which has millions at its disposal.

The Millennium Commission will provide maximum grants of over £63.5 million to 12 major projects in the Six Counties. The largest being a possible £45 million to the Odyssey project on the banks of the Lagan in East Belfast, which will include an ice hockey rink to facilitate this rapidly growing sport!

An Phoblacht
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