Friday 16 November 2018

Crowning glory for Grizzly Adams

Eilis O'Hanlon

IT'S going to be just like old times for the queen when she pays a visit this year, what with the Irish being poor and in thrall to a foreign empire once more. This time the evil empire's German and it's our own fault we're broke. Apart from that, same old same old.

Liz II might even have some authentic toffs on hand to greet her when she arrives, in the shape of the Baron of the Manor of Northstead -- or Gerry Adams, as he's better known to his friends. (Of course he has some. Don't be so cheeky.) Under the centuries-old English tradition, conferring such a title on the Sinn Fein leader was the only way he could legally resign his Westminster seat and run for the Dail.

To great hilarity all round, UK Prime Minister David Cameron even told the House of Commons last week that Adams had agreed to go along with the tradition -- a statement which was immediately denied by Provos in Belfast, who may be happy enough to take the queen's shilling and the Northern Bank millions but firmly draw the line at taking anything like the Chiltern Hundreds as well.

Of course, some might say the Shinners have all been paid servants of the Crown ever since they traded in the Kalashnikovs for comfy offices up at Stormont. The Brits certainly know the Provos have been bought, because they've got the receipts.

Nonetheless, Cameron got it wrong -- Adams was given the "office of profit under the Crown" against his will on a technicality -- and the British prime minister apologised for the mistake.

Now if only Sinn Fein would apologise for trying to dump their ageing bearded has-beens from West Belfast on the Irish Parliament, we'd really be getting somewhere.

Eilis O'Hanlon

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