Squinter - a sideways look at the week

Squinter IMC’s and hears all on the political scene

Squinter infiltrates PM’s post to dispel republican fears about the IMC

Rust never sleeps, Squinter never stops.
While the rest of you were girding your loins for St Patrick’s Day, Squinter was slinking around the cesspits and septic tanks of the political scene in an attempt to bring you the truth about why the peace process is going down the toilet.
Don’t ask where the following information came from – let’s just say that, like Tony Blair, Squinter sees and hears everything, from what’s going on in the back of Gerry Adams’ car, to what Kofi Annan has ordered from the local sandwich shop.
So here it is. An unabridged account of correspondence between Number 10 and the Independent Monitoring Commission, that fine body of men whose job it is to log the egregious excesses of loyalist and republican paramilitaries.
Squinter and his spies have intercepted a series of letters which passed between Number 10 and the IMC – the correspondence throws a fascinating light on how the commission operates, and gives the lie to claims by republican whingers that it is nothing more than a sop to unionism.

Dear IMC,
I was wondering if you could see your way clear to bringing out your first report a bit earlier than we had agreed at first.
Some time around late May, early June would be great for me.
Means the fellows in Ulster can enjoy their summer holidays without having this thing hanging over their heads and it will be out of the way well before the marching season really hots up.
Oh yes, and it’ll bugger Sinn Féin in the local and Euro elections in the Republic.
Yours, Tony.

Dear Tony,
Naturally we’d be delighted. Name the day and the report will be on your lap.
We’ve got quite a lot of it done already – we’ve had researchers trawling back issues of the Daily Telegraph and Combat for some time now.
Regards, IMC.

Dear IMC,
You will be aware of the Bobby Tohill incident and what the Chief Constable had to say about it afterwards.
Naturally, this is the worst act of depravity ever to have taken place in Ulster in the history of the Province, so I was wondering if you wouldn’t be a good bunch of chaps and reflect that in your report.
Don’t worry about the fact that none of those arrested have been charged with IRA membership, or that the matter is still before the courts. This is Ulster we’re talking about.
Yours, Tony.

Dear Tony,
We’ve had a full briefing on the matter from the Sunday Independent editorial board and Special Branch/REMIT and we’re in full possession of the facts. Shall we recommend expulsion or execution?
Regards, IMC

Dear IMC,
You may be aware that a report last week pointed out that loyalists have killed 7 people and been behind 41 bomb attacks.
The government would like to point out that these statistics are deeply flawed because they weren’t pulled off the internet.
You will be aware, of course, that the UDA has just renewed its ceasefire.
Yours, Tony.

Dear Tony,
What’s the UDA?
Regards, IMC.

Dear IMC,
Big community group, but never mind that.
I hate to be a pain in the derriere about this, what with you being so good to us and all. But we were wondering if you could see your way fit to doing a stand-alone report about the Bobby Tohill thing.
We’re worried that some people might think everything’s not Sinn Féin’s fault. And that attack was awfully vicious, after all.
That cut beneath his eye on the front of the Andytown News looked terribly sore and I haven’t seen a fat lip like that since Ginger Farquhar got hit in the face with a shinty ball during P.E. at Fettes.
Yours, Tony.

Dear Tony,
Can we do that? If so, consider it done.
And to be clear, that means we’re giving you a one-subject, uncalled-for report ahead of our first report, which is actually going to be our second report because the first one is coming out early, after the single-subject one that we thought of. Is that about the height of it?
And just to save us a bit of time on the old research, maybe you’d let us know ASAP how many people were killed during the Tohill thing, how many shots were fired and what kind of explosive was used.
Also, was Gerry Adams driving the tank or was he the one caught in the back with the bazooka?
Yours, IMC.

Dear IMC,
Don’t worry about the small details.
Leave that bit blank and we’ll fill it in.
Suggest you call the report: Tohill: Sinn Féin’s Stalingrad.
Love, Tony.

Super dad sets shining example
Spotted, 1.15pm, Monday, March 15 at petrol station near entrance to Twinbrook.
Bloke with barcode moustache, Caesar haircut and all the accessories riding a scrambler along the pavement. On the handlebars was an infant not yet of walking age.
If you’re that motorcyclist and you’re reading this (unlikely, it’s true), please contact Squinter who will be delighted to nominate you as Father of the Year.

Read all about it! IRA and ETA responsible for everything bad that’s ever happened... ever!
It has come to our attention that our front page editorial last week – ‘Time to annihilate ETA and their Sinn Féin/IRA cronies’ – might have been taken by some to infer that we thought the Spanish terror group was behind the Madrid bombings. This is clearly not the case.
Nor would it be correct to say that our headline on the following day – ‘Sinn Féin’s ETA links sound death knell for peace process’ – could in any way be construed as meaning that republicans were in some way to blame for the carnage in Madrid.
Meanwhile, our picture on page two – an IRA/ETA mural in West Belfast with the caption ‘Deadly trail that led from the Falls to Madrid’ – was never intended to suggest in any way that a) ETA were behind the Madrid bombing or b) republicans were in any way to blame for the slaughter.
Our star columnist has asked us to point out that while his column on the day after the bombing was headlined ‘Sinn Féin and ETA two sides of the same murderous coin’, it was actually considerably more thoughtful and informed than the headline suggested.
He has asked us in particular to point out that he left room for the possibility that another terror group may have been behind the bombings when he wrote: “The world and its granny knows that it was those murdering bastards ETA and their bloodsoaked cousins in the IRA.
“Al Qaeda? Don’t make me laugh! Anyone with the tiniest brain (me) knows that Osama has no interest in attacking Spain and that a week before the bombings a top ETA operative was arrested in Madrid with 50 kilos of high explosive and a Post-It stuck to his mobile phone reading ‘Don’t forget no-warning bomb attacks next Thursday’.”
Meanwhile, our security correspondent points out that his sources within the Spanish intelligence services are standing by the information that they gave him three minutes after the first explosion. We’re hopeful that his report, which we reproduce here, will win him the Journalist of the Year award.
“The Basque terror group ETA was behind the deadly series of bomb attacks that ripped through Madrid on Thursday morning.
“Spanish intelligence agents were aware that an ETA attack was imminent, but the bombers struck before they could act.
“A copy of the Spanish Yellow Pages found at the home of a top Basque terrorist had Atocha train station circled with a big red marker and a receipt from the Spanish hardware giant ByQ showed that the same man had bought surgical gloves, detonators and a copy of ‘Bombs Made Easy’ the day before the explosions.
“And in a sensational revelation that’s bound to bring the Irish peace process crashing down, our sources say that the attack bore remarkable similarities to Bloody Friday, but not to Dublin/Monaghan.”

Action man Ford gets tough on governments
Alliance party leader David Ford called for the two governments (Irish and British, presumably, he didn’t say) to take action against Sinn Féin to force the IRA to end paramilitary violence.
Dave was speaking at the party’s weekend conference in Dunadry. Ah, thought Squinter, the Dunadry Inn.
Nice hotel, nice staff, sure you couldn’t beat it. But on further inquiry it turned out that the conference was held in the village phone box (©Ye Olde Joke Shoppe).
Squinter read the papers over and over, but try as he might, he couldn’t find exactly what it was that the two governments should do. Just that they should “take action”.
Ever the diligent journalist, Squinter called his old pal Dave and asked him to outline exactly what it was that the two governments should do, and back came this reply.
1) Give Gerry Adams a really, really stiff talking-to
2) Convene a Coffee Morning for Peace
3) Withdraw invite to North Down Spring Gymkhana
4) Push Sinn Féin’s blanket back five rows at the Castleward open-air opera

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