Alex has clearly had an overdose of Unionist biographies recently. He comes up with a nice line in bumptious hyperbole in tribute to the acres of print spilled during our recent, prolonged spell in the horse latitudes of politics.My dozens of dedicated readers will be delighted by the news that I, too, have been approached by a publisher, keen to produce an intimate biographical portrait charting the up and ups of my predestined path from obscurity to the front pages of the Ballybungle Thunderer.
After some seven or eight seconds of inner turmoil, I finally wrestled my doubts to the floor, swallowed my pride and agreed to sacrifice my humility, safe in the knowledge that my fellow unionists would soon be presented with a fully one-sided chronology of events.
But what would I call this momentous tome? I juggled with many titles, including “Myself Alone—But With A Little Might Now And Again,” only to discover that lesser mortals had had similar ideas. In the end, I plumped for the suitably modest, “Citizen Kane: Always Able, Always Right.”
The book will spare no-one. I will tell of how I stood shoulder to backside with my leader, Obidiah Tremble, and, armed only with the same speech, saw off the combined Parliamentary forces of Hagrid Bannside, Martina Smithsonianinstitute and Godfrey Donaldduckson. I will share the truth of how I threw my not inconsiderable weight behind Lord Lurid’s tremendously important campaign to place an Ulster-Scots translation on the back of Pot Noodles, or, “bag o’ boke,” as we say in the hamely tongue.
Thanks to my ennobled chum I have been made aware of a decades old Da Vinci style secret code involving Pot Noodle—an acronym for, Protestants Out; Tartans Next; Orange Order Doomed; Less English. Undaunted, we will continue with our endeavours to ensure that when innocent Protestant students go to cash machines near Queen’s University, they will be greeted with an Ulster-Scots message warning them of the hidden dangers of snack foods. By luring them back to porridge and haggis we will, once again, retake the Student’s Union.
I will also recount my Road to Damascus conversion, as I lay in my bath scrubbing myself down with a sturdy sponge. It was like a metaphorical baptism, allowing me to emerge squeaky clean and armed with the conviction of the great Protestant reformers. I describe it as my Martin Loofah moment: “Here I stand, stuck in a rut.”
In the opening chapter I will recall my early roots, before they all fell out, leaving me bald as a billiard ball. I will tell of my first memory, that of emerging from the womb and informing the other babies in the ward that I was destined to follow in the giant political footsteps of the illustrious Lord Frank Carson. The chorus of wails, and the whiff of poo-poo, prepared me for the arduous battles which lay ahead.
Pedants and critics will look to these columns as an indicator of my judgments. Well, I can assure the snipers and sneerers that I have been consistent. Sometimes the other politicians got it wrong. Sometimes the sub-editors got it wrong. Sometimes the electorate got it wrong. Sometimes you, my readers, got it wrong. I was always right.
Copies of the book, priced £16.90, and published by Vanity of Vanities (a wholly owned subsidiary of Self-Promotions R Us) will be available from car boot sales and the Nutts Corner Market, from now until the end of time. In the event of sluggish sales, I may turn my hand to other forms of fiction, including my first novel, “Daniel O’Donald And The Quest For Power!”
First published in the Newsletter on Saturday 9th October 2004
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty