Ian O'Doherty: You have the right to think . . . as you're told
When I was younger – that's a phrase I find myself using with distressing regularity – I knew a family who fostered kids.
They were an incredible couple who quite literally transformed the lives of the children they took in. Many had come from troubled backgrounds, but ended up on the straight and narrow after being fostered.
Yup, it takes a particularly warm-hearted and generous person to walk into the emotional minefield that is the world of fostering and we should encourage and thank anyone who does it.
As long as they vote Labour, that is.
That's the reaction to the frankly incredible news that a couple in Rotherham who were fostering three kids have had them removed by the local, Labour-run council's social services unit.
And the reason?
Well, they are guilty of the heinous crime of being supporters of UKIP, the anti-immigration party.
Now UKIP used to be home to every swivel-eyed Colonel Blimp nutter that was out there. But as public dissatisfaction with the mainstream parties continues to grow in Britain, they are becoming ever more popular.
Just not in Rotherham, obviously.
They have defended their decision, insisting that it was not appropriate to allow children to be raised in an environment "which did not encourage multi-culturalism and tolerance".
Now apart from the irony of someone completely missing what 'tolerance' is all about there is a twist to the tale – the three kids are from Eastern Europe.
That sounds pretty multicultural and tolerant to me.
Don't you judge him!
We see some rather odd crimes from time to time.
In fact, as the recession bites even deeper and people are becoming ever desperate, we're probably likely to see the levels of invention used by criminals to increase exponentially.
Just take the strange case of 28-year-old Paul Murtagh, who was arrested last month in the East Wall area of Dublin.
The reason he came to the attention of the gardaí?
Well, he has been charged with being in possession of . . . a stolen monkey.
In fact, the charge sheet states: "To wit, one common South American marmoset."
And why did they call him common?
Well, when the pair was apprehended, the marmoset is alleged to have told gardaí: "Get yer f***ing hands off me yiz pigs. Come on, I'll have the lot of ye."
Which, I suppose, is pretty common.
Now that's what you call sensitive . . .
There's an excellent South Park episode featuring the inexorable rise of Peruvian pan-pipe buskers in America.
Here in Ireland, our equivalent is Christmas markets, which are popping up everywhere. Likewise in Britain.
But festive shoppers at a German-themed market in Birmingham got a bit of a shock over the weekend.
The Frankfurt Christmas Market is popular with Brummies but shoppers were surprised to hear the music being played from the carousel – the theme from 1950s war classic The Dam Busters.
Some were amused, but some were aghast, with one saying: "It was incredibly insensitive."
Well, if you want a true case of insensitivity towards the Germans and the war you need look no further than Motorhead's Lemmy (pictured).
When the band played Cologne a few years back, the band had a scale model of a Lancaster bomber suspended from the ceiling.
When Lemmy walked on stage, he pointed to the bomber and simply said: "I bet it's a while since you've seen one of these, eh?"
Sure you'd have to . . .
So, you feel sorry for him yet?
I've said it before and I'll say it again – I can't bloody stand Rihanna.
She is crass, vulgar and the common perception of her being some 'Bajan beauty' completely flummoxes me.
And then there's her on-again, off-again boyfriend, the repellent Chris Brown (pictured), whose main claim to fame is that he beat her up. Badly.
But Brown is now the victim in all of this, apparently.
He has been forced to shut down his Twitter account after having a series of spats with numerous people, most recently with American comedian Jenny Johnson.
Things became rather heated between the pair and got to such a level that he threatened to defecate on her face.
He has since closed down his Twitter account, claiming that people are being mean and unfair to him and that it's none of their business that he battered his then girlfriend.
Feeling sorry from him yet?
Nope, I didn't think so.
Really Charles? You sure about that?
I don't know about you, but I really love being lectured by my elders and betters. You know, people like Prince Charles.
He came out the other day with another cracker, claiming that we are committing global suicide because of our carbon emissions.
Well, Charlie boy, if you didn't spend your time flying around the world on an RAF jet giving out to people about their carbon footprint, you might be on slightly more solid ground with your argument . . .