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Ian O'Doherty: Sorry, did I just call you dear?

They say you can judge a society by the way it treats its elderly.

Frankly, I would have thought that you can judge a society by the way it treats me, but what can you do?

No, it's vital that we treat our elderly with dignity and respect. After all, they'll just start bloody moaning if you don't -- it's not worth the hassle.

So it was nice to see a senior British health official come out and attack any medical professional who treats elderly patients with anything but the height of compassion.

According to Sir Keith Pearson: "If there is evidence that someone is not providing the kind of dignified care that we want, we will need to take those people to one side and see if we can manage it. If they can't, then they will have to go."

That's obviously a laudable sentiment and if anything it's a sad state of affairs that something like that even needs to be stated.

So, he wants patient care to be improved.

And he also wants to ban hospital staff using the word 'dear' to the elderly.

This, he says, is a patronising and offensive term and he wants to see it completely disappear.

Yup -- I'm sure that if you're sick, old and infirm and stuck in a hospital and surrounded by strangers, the first thing you think of is "they better bloody not call me dear".

Somehow I suspect they might have other things on their mind . . .

Sinn Féin/IRA -- the gits that keep on giving

Even Mary Lou McDonald has come out and said that Aengus Ó Snodaigh's crippling cartridge habit was "excessive" but that obviously has nothing to do with both of them getting ready to make a push for the leadership of their party when Adams finally fecks off, oh no. And you'd be a monster for thinking otherwise.

In typical Sinn Féin/IRA fashion, Ó Snodaigh has defended his decision by saying: "Part of my job as a public representative is to make sure that the people who elect me are all kept informed of all issues in their area."

It's the usual mealy-mouthed claptrap we have come to expect from this shower of chancers but I do have one comment to make -- to my shock and horror I discovered at the last election that I am in Ó Snodaigh's constituency and, therefore, am one of those people who needs to be kept informed of the relevant issues.

And the relevant issue that bugs me at the moment?

Well, the fact that an elected representative in my voting area spent 50 bloody grand on junk mail, for starters.

Although despite being a constituent, I don't recall receiving any literature from the Shinners in recent memory.

It's almost like they know where I live or something.

Now that's scary thought.

The nicest guy in the world?

People who post abusive messages on Facebook or Twitter or any of other innumerable forums are a disgrace to their species and there are quite a few I would personally like to hunt down and then spend a nice, relaxing afternoon slowly throttling with my bare hands.

And the latest craze to sweep through the murky undergrowth on the online community is 'RIP Trolling'.

This involves people posting abusive messages on webpages dedicated to dead people.

So why would someone do something so disgusting?

Well, one troll -- an unemployed 19-year-old Australian called Ben -- once posted the phrase "how's it hanging" on the Facebook page of a young girl who had just committed suicide. He explained: "I've lost all hope for humanity. I don't think we can be saved. It makes me happy when I make people angry. The angrier they get, the happier I am."

I bet his mother is real proud.

Brilliant. That's the spirit!

I've a funny feeling that English sport is going to give us all a great deal of grim laughter over the summer.

The FA have certainly had a head start and the last few weeks have been like watching a farce created by Frasier writer Joe Keenan.

And as the Olympics come bearing down on London, it's going to be vital that the city pulls itself together and puts on a good show in front of the rest of the world.

But not if the head of the trade union Unite has its way.

As Len McCluskey puts it: "The idea that the world should arrive in London and have these wonderful games and think everything is rosy in the garden is unthinkable. The unions and the general public have every right to be out protesting. I'm calling for civil disobedience."

And so many people who are members of public sector unions wonder why the rest of us resent them so much?

And now for something completely different . . .

Yesterday, I wrote about how so many cyclists were obnoxious, smug, superior gits.

And then, within an hour of filing my carefully crafted and well considered thoughts, I was getting out of a taxi on Baggot Street when a female cyclist nearly creamed the open door.

And the result?

I apologised to her, she apologised to me and pleasantly insisted that I get out first past her.

Wow, civility between cyclist and pedestrian.

Who wudda thunk it?

Irish Independent