Monday, 28 March 2011

Election 2012. Constituency Profiles, Strangfurd, Nairth Doon, West Trone an' Aist Belfawst.

The mair palitically astute o' yis will by now hiv realised thit there is yet ano'er election loomin', evidenced by the fak thit electoral crap his started fur til land on oor doorsteps. It is aways a matter o' interest tae me how many "regular" party newsletters oany appear "regularly" aroun' election time, though til be fair we hiv mair elections than a Chinese Viagra salesman sae maybe the parties hiv a point. Hivin' lived in nae fewer than three differn constituencies in racent times, Ah am alsae interested tae note that parties oany send oot these newlsetters in areas where they reckon their surt is in the majority. Thus when livin' amung the o'er surt, Ah gat Nationalist information, an' vice versa. Clearly the parties hiv gie up oan tryin' tae persuade the o'er community til come roun' til their way o' thinkin', preferrin' insteid til sleg aff the o'er party frae their ain surt.

Anyway, as pramised the o'er day, ma election coverage will frae the now start in earnets, an' Ah hiv noticed thit prapur palitical wabsites tend fur til dae a wee summary o' the differn' constituencies fur til better inform their raidership. Ah shall dae likewise, an' if Ah start now, wi' any luck Ah'll get the hole lat done before the election itself. Thus taeday we begin wi....


Nae better place til start. Until racently helt by the delectible an' sadly missed Mrs Rabinson, Strangfurd is noo represented in Westminister by the equally attractive Big Jim Shannon. Accordin' til the 2000 an' 1 census, Strangfurd has a papulation o' about 98,000, wi' oany 15% the o'er surt, an' 68% Staunch, Loyal, Ulster Pratestants. The rest dinnae gie a shite or are some foreign religion or o'er sae dinnae count. Such figures make it a fertile stampin' groun' fur the DUP, who successfully gat 4 o' the 6 saits in the last Arseembly election, wi' the Ulster Unionists gittin' just the yin. The o'er surt in these parts saim til vote fur the Alliance who alsae gat yin sait.  This is a guid thing, fur they are a superior surt o' o'er surt til the Shinners an' the SDLP. Wi' a strang Ulster Scots community, mainly based in large cities like Ballyhalbert an' Cloughey, we here at 1690 perdict No Change in the 2011 election.

West Trone.

Chalk an' cheese ye micht say. Here the o'er surt are in the predominance, wi' 68% o' the papulation mainin' that Pat Doherty o the Shinners is the MP, though naebudy ever sees him in betwain elections, an' he is quite scary when ye dae see him. West Trone is famous fur bein hame til whit his been officially described as Ulster's shitest toon, Strabane, though Ah fur yin quite like it, especially when compared til Larne, Lurgan an' Craigavon. Maist folk in the area are employed in the agriculture, retail an' black economies, wi' a strang preponderance o' yins daein' the double whilst wurkin' in Donegal. At the last election the Shinners gat 3 saits, wi' the DUP managin' a creditable 2, despite at laist yin o' the their MLAs clearly bein' a special naids case. Everybudy must be sick o' independent Kieran Deeny by now, wi' his single issue Haspital business finished wi', sae we perdict an SDLP gain frae Independents wi the o'er saits remainin' as is.

Nairth Doon.

Undoubtedly the maist middle class o' oor consituencies, wi maist o' its papulation o' 86,000 employed in the Wine Tastin' an' "Bespoke Weddin' Invitations whilst hubby works in banking" sectors. A staggerin' 82% o' the folk are pratestant, though maist o' them arnae prapur Staunch,  Loyal, Ulster Pratestants, a choice sadly lackin' oan the census forms Ah note. They alsae hiv the highest percentage o' "Nae Religion" folk, as they "don't really doooo religion, it is so last season. In fact some of our best friends are Catholics, though we don't invite them round often in case they try to steal the children." Nairth Doon is notoriously hard til perdict fur palitical pundits like messel, as they are fur ever electin' wishy washy odd folk who dinnae sound like they come frae here, or Rab McCartney. Currently represented by mad haired Lady Sylvia, they turned in twa DUP, twa UCUNFS, an Alliance an' a Green (Jaysus!) last time roun'. Wi' Alan McFarland havin' since goan independent as he quite likes Lady S, we perdict that he will stail the Green sait, as naebudy really gies a shite about trees when the economy is bucked. "The bottom has fallen out of my corsage business Hilary, I might soon have to go to Tesco rather than Marksies."

Aist Belfawst.

This sait gie us the biggest shack o' the Westminister election, wi' Naomi oustin' Pater in a close focht battle. Aist Belfawst has the lowest papulation in Norn Iron, but alsae the lowest percentage o' the o'er surt, makin' an Alliance victory all the mair surprisin'. Ah put this doon the the fact thit maist men in Aist Belfawst are lazy, work shy gits who were in the pub whilst the votin' was oan, strokin' their greyhouns an' shitty wee moustaches, whilst their big women folk all went oot an' voted in Naomi. Since bein' unsaited, Pater has attempted fur til curry favour wi' the locals by helpin' til save Glentoran Fitba Club, sadly furgettin' that the men will still be in the pub an' he'd be better aff offerin' money aff vouchers fur Gin. Last time roun' the DUPers won 3 o' the 6 saits, wi the Alliance, UCUNF an' Wee Dawn sharin' the o'er 3. Wi'oot Naomi stannin' it is hard tae see much change here, the Aist Belfaswt wimmin will rally behine Wee Dawn, mainin' nae change in this constituency.

Nixt time, shortly Ah hape, a rake mair saits.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Memoirs o' a Sleep Hunting Man, or Nocturnal Admissions.

Ah'm nat a pallet trucker ah'm a pallet trucker's son.
Yin o' ma mair esoteric posts the nicht, but yin o' ma mair loyal fallyers has bin gi'en me a bit o' hassle fur nat gittin' ma finger oot an' postin some shite. Ah must apalygise til ma Welsh correspondant, an assure hissel thit Ah hiv nat retired frae the cultural arena. Wi' an election loomin', Ah intend fur til emerge frae ma naval gazin' til dissect the palitical doins o' oor masters, sheddin' light oan their meanderins like a muck spreader sheds shite oan a Spring day.

Ah alsae feel thit Ah must explain ma dearth o' postin' til ma raidership, as Ah ken thit yis luk til messel fur laidership in these difficult an complex times. As yis micht be aware, the wee red faced finance minister stripped ma cultural oraganisation o' its funnin', leavin' me laguishin' fur a time on the limited financial support affered by Her Majesty's Brew Department, barely enough til keep me in beer, fags an' Veda. However, fur all ma failins in life, Ah dinnae lack the 'Pratestant Wurk Ethnic', an' Ah hiv gat aff ma arse, cast aside the rarefied wurld o' Academia, an am now wurkin' mad hoors as a logistics aperative, or warehouse lackey til the unititiated. Thus Ah start wurk at 5pm an' finish when there is nathin' mair til stick oan the back o' a lorry. This leaves little time fur Ulster Scots Shite Writin' an his left me wi' begs unner ma eyes the likes o' which ye wudnae see in the Balmoral Prize Bull enclosure.

Howiver this is nat wi'oot its benefits til a high falutin' person like messel, as it has put me back in touch wi' the ordinary Ulster Scots wurker, an' opened ma eyes til a whole new nocturnal wurld o' bleary eyed mad folk ridin' aboot in forklifts an' sayin' 'Fuck' a lot. As maist o' ma raidership is drawn frae the intelligentsia, Ah thunk Ah wud share a few o' the enlightenin' things Ah hiv larnt in ma new sleep deprived existence.

1. Yokes: Ulster Scots is alive an' well in the warehouse wurld. Basically the jab involves taken shite aff the back o' a trailer, puttin' it aroun' a big shed, then puttin' it oan the back o' a different trailer in a different order. A remarkably complex task, yin carried oot by ridin' aroun' in whit is technically termed a "pallet truck" or mair exotically, "a pallet chariot". Such terms cut nay ice wi ma fella operatives, they are referred tae by all an sunry as "yokes", even in the maist prapur o' circumstances. Thus Ah observed ma superior aperative laive a note fur management which stated "Billy's yoke keeps stoppin, could youse get the boy out til look at it." It is good til see thit the word yoke is alive an' well, an' Ah urge all o' yis tae use it as often as passible. (Incidentally ma yoke is furever breakin' doon, limitin ma ability til shift shite aboot. If by any chance management does raid this, git me a new yoke ASAP)

2. Mair yokes: Confusinly fur a newly installed aperative such as messel, the wurd yoke nat oany refers til the pallet chariot, but alsae lorrries, trailers, cars an' wimmin. Thus oan askin' the big fella whit Ah shud be at, Ah will be instructed til get oan ma yoke an' strip thon yoke oot, so that the driver can hook his yoke up til it an' get til Fuck. Alsae the wee girl who wurks on the fry counter in Centra might alsae be described as a quare wee yoke, makin' it a mair attractive place til visit than the Spar.

3. Rude Wurds: Ah hiv larnt mair new rude wurds in the last twa months than in ma previous farty years oan this earth, as well as all manner o' durty talk. Unlike in ma previous academic employment, instructions are issued wi' a string o' expletives attached. Ah micht, fur example, be taul til "Tip til Fuck" when it is time til empty a trailer yoke, or alternatively til "Load til Fuck." Ah am adaptin' til this linguistic methodology, nae langer askin' the eejit in charge if it is "OK to gae hame?", rather "Can Ah get til Fuck noo?"

Euro Pallet Shite.
4. Pallets: There is a European pallet plat afoot, yin wi' potentially far reachin' consequences fur Ulster Scots culture. Lidl, the papular cut price supermarket an' purveyor o' oddly named alternatives til common hoosehaul goods, insists oan usin' the "Euro pallet" a smaller alternative til the traditional big, nearly square, Ulster Pratestant Blue Pallet. Ah am aware thit this is an irritation o' limited interest til yersels, but when ye insert the forks o' yer pallet yoke intil lift a Euro pallet, they can poke oot the o'er side, an' yer yoke's wheels break the pallet forcin ye til take all the stuff aff it, an' rebuild it oan an o'er skittery wee Euro. The big Blue Pallets are vastly superior, but increasinly the Euro is takin' over, in a grey squirrel like fashion. "Ah dinnae gie a shit whither or nat ye break pallets McWilliams," Ah hear ye say, but stap, an' think. If the Euro Pallet replaces the square pallet, frae whit will 11th Nicht bonefires be constructed? Nat frae these inherently unstable pieces o' shite. Ah feel a campaign comin' oan.

5. Alternative wurk positions: Everyone kens thit in any jab ye hiv yer ain' position, Human Resources manager, Head of Histry, Warehouse Operative, plus ye hiv a range o' other things ye have adapted til daein' ootside yer jab description. Thus in a previous jab, Ah was alsae termed "Head of things", wi' ma cohorts bein' "Head o' other things" and "Head o' the things naeone else wants til dae". Likewise in the Warehouse wurld ma fella wurkers alsae have positions like "Person in charge of makin up nicknames", "Warehouse Radio Station Chooser" an' "Kettle Boiler". Ah am in charge o' openin' the Freezer door an' takin Photos o' things sent to us that are already bust so we dinnae get the blame fur it. The latter is a high level pasition given til me as Ah hiv a phone wi' email an' ken how til wurk it.

Ulster Pratestant Blue Pallet
6. Cookin': Ma detestation o' Jamie "Smug Bastard" Oliver is well knain, mainly because anyone cud cook a thurty minute meal if ye have 3 oven's, 2 hobs an' some lackey til chap the vig up, but Ah wud challenge the pucka git til come an' make healthy an' nutritious meals usin' oany a kettle an' a durty microwave. Wi such limited facilities Ah hiv become an expert oan all manner o' pat snacks, if ye can add boilin' watter til it, Ah've ate it. Tesco snacks, we hiv agreed o'er post prandial fegs, are shite, an' while the "Bombay Bad Boy" Pat Noodle is tasty, the fact that it includes peas is a source o' irritation til the wee fella in wurk. (All vigtables are a source o' irritation til the wee fella, it was wi' great difficulty thit Ah persuaded him that ye cudnae order a Chicken Chow Mein wi nae vigtables whitsoever). After much discussion, we hiv decided thit an Ulster Fry Pat Noodle is missin' frae the range oan affer, an' Ah hiv agreed til get oantil the manufacturers til right this cultural ommission.

Ah hape the above explains ma lack o' informative postin'. Sae far as Ah kin see nathin' has happened in the wurld the last cupple o' months anyhow. An election in the Free State, somethin' in Japan, an' some kine o' carry on in Libya Ah think, but Ah've mainly missed the news an' been forced til listen til Cool FM by the "Person in charge o' the Radio." However Ah assure young Dewi thit Ah will shake messel up, drink mair beer, restart the Histry an' cover the election. Must register til vote, Ah'll add thy'on til ma lang list o' things til dae when Ah'm awake. 

Incidentally, if any o' yis ken o' a jab thit disnae involve wurkin' til dawn, gie me a shout. 

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

50/50 Polisin' an farewell til folk.

Accordin' til the BBC, the goverment in Westminister has decided fur til end the 50/50 polisin' recruitment palicy in 6 days time. Fur ma foreign fallyers the palicy was introduced under the Pattin reforms o' 1999, an' aimed til give a fairer balance in oor polisin' service. Unner the legislation, 50% o' polis afficers had tae be lazy work shy bastards wha sat on their arses in cars atin' chinese, whilst the o'er 50% lay on theirs in the station drinkin' caffee an' lookin' at dodgy wabsites.

Welcomin' the change, a goverment spakesman said "As Norn Iron moves into the Twentieth Century, it is oany right thit polis afficers git til choose where til faff aboot daein' nathin'. In future afficers can go til Starbucks oor the Chinese, as the mood takes them."

The change in palicy will alsae allow the PSNI to increase the nummer o' thick, arrogant gits in the force, whilst weedin' oot those who turn up wi'in 12 days o' a crime bein' reported.

Bon Voyige.

Til Wee Daftie an' Wee Davy, twa key memmers o' the 1690 back affice staff o'er the past lock o' years. Whit wi' Sammy Wilson bein' a complait bastard, haulin' the purse strings like a Ballymena mawn, ma twa cohorts are fur emigratin' til somewhere foreign. Ah will miss the pair o' them, fur they cud drink wi' the best o' them, an' wish them the best o' luck. Ah alsae expect a free hallyday at some point or o'er.