Monday, 6 December 2010

A sporting chance

HEAD of Sports NI Eamonn McCartan made a comment or two about why no 2012 Olympic teams have as yet booked their training camp in Norn Iron – citing the poor image of shootings and bombings.

This provoked more than a little ire from Ministers, who rushed to defend Norn Iron from such comments.

But we wanted to contribute to the push to get teams booking their flights to Belfast ahead of London 2012.

First off Afghanistan – the Royal Irish Regiment currently on duty could encourage the Afghan national shooting team to lay off attacks and come practice on our streets instead.

Next – we undertook extensive research (two minutes on Wikipedia) to check on the country with the highest murder rates. El Salvador claimed that dubious prize, so we could suggest their team comes to Norn Iron for some relative tranquility.

Then there is, of course, Russia. After them sparing us the gloating of English sports journalists for the next eight years by taking the World Cup away, we should offer them free facilities as well as plentiful supplies Buckfast and Poteen in exchange for some of their fine vodka. After all last week saw the first ever shipment of potatoes from here to Russia, and as they say one good turn deserves another...

I want to break free

HARRY ‘Mercury’ Hamilton has said goodbye to the Ulster Unionist party. Despite being the party’s Westminster candidate and grabbing 10,000+ votes the Upper Bann association chose not to offer him the Assembly poll ticket.

The renowned Freddie Mercury tribute singer this week announced he had resigned from the party, no doubt singing to himself:
“I want to break free
I want to break free
I want to break free from your lies
You’re so self-satisfied I don't need you
I’ve got to break free
God knows, God knows I want to break free...”

In response Party Leader Tom Elliott was heard to murmur: “Easy come, easy go...” and rhyming off Bohemian Rhapsody lyrics.

In Mr Hamilton’s public announcement of his resignation he said that would not reject a call from the Alliance Party, but as “Hanging on the Telephone” is a Blondie song he didn’t know the lyrics...

Sinn Féin’s poll rises

NOT only have Sinn Féin got another TD, but it appears that their poll ratings in the south of Ireland are rising.

We have thought long and hard over this – well three minutes, but we were waiting on the tea lady to deliver some char. And we’ve got it all figured out. And it goes like this.

Sometime ago a secret deal was struck. A cabal of senior politicos in Dublin agreed that they’d transfer Caitriona Ruane ‘up north’. In return we would transfer Gerry Adams to Louth. They accepted the difficulties attached to having the Sinn Féin leader in their patch, but it was a small price to pay for watching all the giggles and fun as Minister Ruane teased those ghastly grammar schools.

All we ask you to note is that with the onslaught on grammar school education, Ulster rugby has been eclipsed by its southern counterparts. Surely no coincidence!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Why we need wikileaks in Northern Ireland...

THERE is a culture in Northern Ireland that is both oppressively secretive and obsessively built on gossip.

Spend five minutes at any given political party’s annual conference and it all begins to resemble a Monty Python ‘nudge, nudge, wink, wink’ sketch...

Not that we are implying that there is a tendency for badly dressed men to wander around conferences seeking sexual favours from glamorous wives of stout Ulsterfolk (and if you’ve ever been to any of the party conferences you’ll see that glamorous wives and stout Ulsterfolk are very much in the minority!)

Instead we are merely pointing out that politics – especially in Northern Ireland – is a trade shrouded in the hints and half-truths that can disembowel (figuratively of course) political opponents, and even those within one’s own party.

What we need is a wide-ranging exposé of the secret communiqués between political allies and foes alike. Except that is that too few of them actually have anything genuinely interesting to say.

Seriously when was the last time when a politician in Norn Iron said something truly new and exciting (okay, we won’t mention the Robinsons if you won’t!).

Look or listen to any given debate, news appearance, radio call show, phone-in debate and you will not be able to say with your hand on your heart that you could not predict the robotic diatribe that is about to come out of their mouths.

Therefore, for those that are genuinely interesting – of which given the laws of probability there must be two or three – we need a wikileaks exposé of what their inner most secrets are. Heck, we’d even settle for a few of the MLAs slagging each off in colourful language!