This week In The Papers 4


What planet do these Judges we have here live on or are they all the same wherever you go? This week provided a couple of examples of how these guys are totally detached form the real world. Justice Weir,  in Belfast last week, told the PSNI to stand on their ‘own two feet’ and ignore advice from community reps. He was deliberating over a bail application by two Belfast men and when prosecution lawyers informed the court that the PSNI had relayed details of community concerns if these men were released – he ‘took a blue one’. Is listening to communities more not one of the building blocks of a new form of Policing? Weird! Also, Barney McElholm jailed a guy for three months after he had said he would like to blow Barney up! There must be thousands of these types of threats issued by drunks every weekend – and nobody ends up in Jail over it. Come on guys chill out!

Those of you who watched Nolan’s first TV show may remember, though he is easy to forget, Paul Smyth’s appearance on the show – what, forgot him already! Paul is the Director of Public Achievement and he was wheeled out to sit opposite Jim Wilson - an East Belfast Community worker and former member of the PUP, and discuss the recent spate of punishment beatings. I’ve known Paul for a number of years and he is a nice guy, very capable in his own field – but I found his appearance on Nolan a bit of a surprise. I asked myself, ‘Why are Public Achievement getting involved in this discourse for?’ It was strange. But it got stranger. Anne-Marie McClure, Chief Executive of Opportunity Youth, then appears in the media commenting about punishment shootings in Londonderry. Has there been some agreement reached amongst NGO’s about raising the profile of their organisations on these issues – or are they competing for the same niche? Watch this space.

£74.3 million pounds is the amount Edvard Munch’s celebrated work – ‘The Scream’ was sold for last week. The owner, Petter Olsen, whose Father was Munch’s patron sold the piece and has pledged the money to build a Museum to honour Munch. This is fantastic news for the Art World and a great example of an individual putting his money to a great use. Which is something that can’t be said about Bernie Ecclestone’s daughter Petra.   Petra’s  sad life was highlighted in the Times and the story headline was  ‘It’s not easy being this rich’. She details her daily routine – after rising, a work-out with either the personal trainer or Pilate’s trainer – breakfast served by her personal chef, delivered by her personal butler, Rodney (he also helps with her seven dogs). After breakfast it’s into the Range Rover for a hike in Runyon Canyon. Petra’s  Husband, James, has a Range Rover as well. It sits beside his black Lamborghini just down from his black Rolls Royce –Petra’s also has a Rolls Royce, its white, as is her Ferrari. After the hike, its back home to her £85 million home. It has a ‘wrapping room’ – but she can’t wrap so she doesn’t use it.  The house has two kitchens – one for the staff and one for them. When she recently decorated she decided to keep the gym, beauty salons, bowling alley and cinema. She has admitted only using the cinema once and she has never been in the pool. I would tell you all the stuff she said about handbags – but it would make you as annoyed with her as I am – Munch must have met her in a previous life! There is something, fundamentally wrong with people like her and the society that allows this to happen. Though, maybe I’m just jealous!!

Tony Allen-Mills from the Sunday Times reported that, as part of a ‘drugs war’ in Northern Mexico, nine mutilated bodies had been found hanging from a bridge close to the Texas border. A further discovery of 14 heads in ice boxes was made – their headless bodies were found in a van nearby. The strange thing is that the drug lord responsible left a banner stating he was behind it! It’s impossible to understand how life is for ordinary people over there – this wee place seems an even greater place to live in.

Last thing. What is it Hugh Jordan has got against Sandy Row? Every-time he mentions the area he brings up an old, and quite offensive, mantra – Sandy Row, were the Fenians never go! ‘Fenians’ travel in and out of Sandy Row every day and there is not a word said to them – it’s getting boring Hugh, time for you to move on my friend.


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