IT was another Saturday to forget for the Donaghadee Dynamo after his beloved Rangers 2012 again went down like a blazing Spitfire at Celtic Park as they continued their bid to put a third piece of silverware in the Ibrox trophy room.

It was do or die day for the Teddy Bears as a win would have put the clubs even on points with two games remaining, leading to a nail-biting finish to a season which Celtic seemed to have wrapped up some time ago. A loss, on the other hand, would have increased the gap to a virtually unbridgeable six points, leaving the Hoops needing just a point to claim another Scottish  title.

The matter was decided in the first half, with Celtic racing into a two-goal lead before Scouse clogger John Lundstram earned himself a red card just before half time for attempting to amputate Alistair Johnston’s right leg below the right knee without anaesthetic. A headed Rangers goal had threatened to make it a contest, but in the event it was the same old story, with a demoralised away team trooping off at the end having maintained their record of not winning at Paradise since the Pope was an altar boy.

Jamie was determined to put a brave face on after another gut-wrenching disappointment and so he took to Twitter to rally the despondent loyal troops with his analysis of the proceedings.

“Great effort Rangers, hard being constantly cheated at key moments. As ever, those in green, white and gold get everything from the powers that be. Still, I’d rather lose as a Rangers man than win as one of them.”

Inspirational to see that kind of strength shine through after such a monumental setback and while there’s much to admire in the missive, a couple of things in particular stood out for Squinter. Jamie has begun referring to the colours of the Irish flag as green, white and gold, when of course they are green, white and orange, something that he knows fine rightly as one of the many grown men who dress up as milkmen to go a-marchin’ on the Twelfth. The choice of word is likely a rejection of the proposition that the orange represents the unionist and Protestant tradition on this island and while of course it’s the prerogative of North Down’s most celebrated taxi dispatcher/bouncer to call a  colour whatever he wants, it’s a little problematic to say the least for someone so emotionally attached to the Orange tradition and so knowledgeable about soccer to pretend that the Wolves kit is the same colour as Luton’s.

Jamie hasn’t been holding those anti-whatever protest meetings that nobody attends in Gold Halls; the gay guy on the white horse he likes so much isn’t Prince William of Gold; Mervyn Gibson isn’t head of the Gold Order and he doesn’t wear a Gold Sash with his bowler hat and white gloves; and if somebody was to call Jamie a “Gold “B*****d” he might struggle – even as the North’s most eminent paralegal – to convince the PSNI to get the handcuffs out. Which brings us to the Seaside Superstar’s admission that he’d rather be a loser than a winner. That’s for his fellow Rangers fans because it’s true they’d prefer to watch a video of a hard-fought win away to Livingston on a rainy Wednesday evening in a Rangers scarf than watch another SFA Premiership flag run up the flagpole at Parkhead beside the green, white and orange. Sorry, gold. But that attitude isn’t going to cut it when Jamie’s in an important legal consultation.

How, when you’re one of Loyal Ulster’s most devoted sons, do you square the circle of being happy to lose in the right circumstances with the ‘No Surrender!’ battle cry that defines your very existence? Is it time for Jamie to consider after an unfortunate and very public series of losses to his bewigged adversaries whether his admitted willingness to be a loyal loser isn’t taking a toll on his professional record.

‘Hello, Eurovision? How much does a vote cost?’

’PARNTLY Ireland giving Israel dix points in the Eurovision on Saturday night means the Paddies aren’t the most anti-semitic shower of gobshites on the planet after all.

For half a year now we’ve heard the Middle East’s Only Democracy© and its supporters complain bitterly about the fact that the Irish aren’t that keen on landing 2,000lb bombs on apartment blocks. Its aversion to the industrial-scale murder of babies, children, women, aid workers, journalists and health workers up to now has been proof positive that the Irish are worse than the Nazis. But that picture changed dramatically when the Irish representative smiled at the camera and announced ‘Israel, ten points’, helping the only Holy Land state in Europe to claim a very respectable fifth place.

MESSAGE: Ireland’s entry, Bambie Thug

MESSAGE: Ireland’s entry, Bambie Thug

Suddenly, talk of an Israeli invasion force hitting the beach at Dollymount Strand has melted away and the threat of Merkava tanks on the Leinster House lawn has receded dramatically, because it seems the great Irish public loves the Tel Aviv regime after all. The people of Howth and Haifa are not in fact at daggers drawn and actually share deep and abiding bonds of trust and affection. It must be so. The people voted, didn’t they?

Well, no, not really. Not if you consider buying as many votes as you like to be the equivalent of a general election. Because the televoting system which put Israel at number two on Ireland’s list of favourites on Saturday night enabled viewers to ring up and vote as many times as they wanted – as long as they’d a few quid to spare. Indeed, one of social media’s most ardent Irish Zionists proudly boasted that he had voted 60 times for Israel (at about a euro a pop) without casting a single vote for his home country. And the same bloke was one of those who pointed to the vote which he had done so much to shape as evidence that Israel – and he – had been wrong all along about the Irish.

But that’s not the whole story. A huge number of Irish people not that keen on incinerating infants joined in the widely publicised boycott of Eurovision and didn’t even watch the show, let alone vote. And that number can only have been significantly boosted by the decision of Eurovision to expel the Dutch entry for not being cool with genocide and to order the Irish entry to erase the call for a ceasefire they had painted on their face in ancient and utterably undecipherable Ogham script.

The most recent polling (Ireland Thinks, January 2024) had 71 per cent of Irish people agreeing that Israel is an apartheid state. Is that stat trumped by a paid-for TV vote on a controversy-soaked talent competition? Did the people of Ireland change their minds in a massive and sudden shift over the course the Eurovision week? Whaddya think?

Maybe we should have a vote on it.