Squinter has been a regular feature of the Andersonstown News since the early 1970s. The diary column has been written by a number of people over the years and the present incumbent has been taking a sideways look at the week just gone – or indeed the one to come – for over 20 years now. The column has a wide remit, wandering from humorous items of local interest to local and national politics. See Squinter on Twitter for daily doses of the funny, the strange and the totally bonkers.
BORIS Johnson earned his journalistic spurs writing fantastical stories about the EU, much to the delight of the spluttering Majors and permanently indignant schoolmarms among the paper’s venerable readership.
A WEEKEND trip to the city centre with the first grandchild as the mercury crept up towards the 30 mark. As ever with a trip into Belfast, Squinter elects to take the bus, mostly because four hours parking in CastleCourt would pay for Christmas, but also because – and without being too Greta about it – Squinter’s more and more inclined to use public transport as the pursuit of carbon-neutral grows every more urgent.
SO, farewell, then, Simon Byrne, the Crossmaglen Rambo. After a week of circling the Land Rovers he’s emerged from behind the shields and the guns and the water cannon to wave the white flag, his epaulettes ripped off by Jeffrey Donaldson and his sword broken over the knee of Jim Allister in the courtyard of Tayto Castle.
INTERVIEW with organiser of Brian Robinson memorial parade, to be held on the Shankill on Saturday afternoon.
Could we have our first contestant, please?Name: Blue Bin Boy.Specialist subject: Terrorfests.Your two minutes begin now: What is the largest Terrorfest on the island of Ireland? The West Belfast Terrorfest?No, the Twelfth Terrorfest. How many IRA songs were sung at the West Belfast Terrorfest this year? Three thousand?No, three. How many anti-Catholic pro-UVF/UDA songs are sung in the marching season? Three?No, three thousand. How many IRA banners were flown at the West Belfast Terrorfest this year? Five?
THE News Letter and the Biggest Woe in the Country are on Féile’s case. Again. Both reported rather excitedly last week that the Charity Commissioner is considering reporting itself to its appeals body, for which a brief explanation is probably required.
NOT much point in a House of Commons Early Day Motion, if the truth be told. They’re motions that are put forward without an allocated time and so very few EDMs are actually debated.
ELON Musk is trying to build a rocket that can bring people to Mars, but he won’t put his hand in his pocket to pay his Twitter bills.
A DISSIE active service unit carried out a daring strike on crown forces in Derry at the weekend, capturing a heavily defended bus stop and taking one poster hostage. All volunteers returned safely to base.
HOT on the heels of the video emerging of a Christmas party at Conserv-ative Central Head-quarters while a ban on mixing indoors was in place for the hoi-polloi, turns out that a festive invite was sent to attendees.
AS unionist fury© subsides after a week of moralising about John Finucane speaking at a South Armagh commemoration, it occurs to Squinter that it’s six weeks since the Easter Sunday parade in Belfast brought half the city to a standstill.
THE quickening pace of the debate on Irish unity has combined with the high temperatures this week to spread a certain sense of discombobulation, Squinter feels.
DANNY Kennedy had a great election, though he didn’t stand. As part of a panel during the BBC’s coverage on Saturday, the former UUP MLA bemoaned the fact that Sinn Féin had run six candidates in the Slieve Gullion District Electoral Area because they may have taken the UUP’s only seat on Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.
SPEAKING at a weekend conference in London hosted by a hard-right US political think-tank, British Home Secretary Suella Braverman (above) said that the UK needs to train up lots more fruit-pickers to ensure that post-Brexit food doesn’t continue to rot in the field and on the branch.
CARLA'S CORONATION JOY