Those damnable Fenians at the Dorchester: sláinte, Boris ...
Yes, you might think it too soon to be talking about St Patrick's Day, but not for some, it seems.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson , has decided to start the celebrations early with some remarkably ill judged comments about the former St Patrick's Day gala dinner, which he described in an interview in the New Statesman as 'lefty crap' and ' a dinner at the Dorchester for Sinn Fein' costing £20,000.'
Not surprisingly, this has outraged the large Irish community in London, and was reported in the Irish republic with disbelief, damaging the always fragile relations between the two countries.
What on earth does this say about Boris Johnson's view of the Irish? Sinn Fein? Is he really saying the gala dinner was a hotbed of Irish republicanism? All those middle managers' wives in John Lewis ball gowns making polite conversation, while their husbands talked about golf and drank themselves under the table?
May be take some time to acquaint yourself with Irish history, Mr Mayor, and acquire some understanding of the complexities and subtle differences between nationalism, republicanism, patriotism - and terrorism.
But Boris would appear not to care very much about putting things right.
The London based 'Irish Post' reports:
"On Monday, the Mayor’s office was pressed on whether an apology would be offered in light of the remarks.
But a spokesperson for the mayor responded by saying that “they have nothing to add (to previous statements) and “it was about the use of public resources”.
A spokesman for the mayor’s office had previously said: "The Mayor does not believe that he was elected to organise exclusive and expensive dinners at the Dorchester hotel."
Hmm. No. Hang on, what was Boris elected for, can anyone remember? Mrs Angry thought she would try and remind us all what he does with himself, on our behalf, God bless his Honour, like the great man he is.
Anyway, so: the Mayor's declarations of gifts and hospitality. Let's see ... what have we here? Oh well done: couple of hampers from Boots in December - gave them to charity. Not wanted. Ah: a Fortnum and Mason's hamper from the Hinduja family ... he would have given that to charity, wouldn't he? No?
(Here is a funny thing, by the way: since Mrs Angry noted the gifts and hospitality last night, the Mayor's declarations have become unavailable. Perhaps they are being updated: Mrs Angry will check later).
Well, Boris might not like Irish gala dinners. Dreadful lot, the Irish. Always fighting and dancing and moaning about the IMF and singing Kevin Barry at the drop of a hat. Not our sort of people.
Boris does like pretty much any other sort of dinner though. Churchill dinners. Dinner at the London Transport museum. Ah, yes: dinner with the Eton Society. The London Government dinner, courtesty of the City of London Corporation. The Berkeley Group Dinner. Dinner with the Telegraph Media Group.
Boris likes to lunch as well. Australian Business lunches. The Heron Lunch. Oh: lunch with Evgeny Lebedev, of that very obliging newspaper, the Evening Standard, and then, hello, what do we have here, lunch with a James Murdoch, from something called News International. Fair enough, a man's got to eat, and you can't stand by and let Brian Coleman have all the hospitality fun, can you?
Our Mayor may not have been elected to organise exclusive and expensive dinners at the Dorchester, and he may not wish to attend the Irish gala event, but it seems he is not averse to attending a controversial, exclusive and very expensive event held on behalf of the Conservative Party.
See the article here from the Daily Mail last February 'Revealed: the £1m bash that Tories are keeping hush hush' ... This is the Black and White Ball, organised to raise funds for the Conservative party, with tickets costing from £400 to £1,000 a ticket and which, according to his declarations, Boris attended on February 7th. Right wing crap, rather than lefty: so much more acceptable. And no Fenians allowed through the door: one or two in the kitchens maybe, doing the washing up, and, one might hope, pissing in the soup.
Just one thing, though: if between 2-3 % of Londoners define themselves as Irish, and an even larger percentage are of Irish descent, then, oops: insulting so many voters in the last few weeks before the election may not have been the wisest move.
Here in our Barnet and Camden GLA constituency we have a huge Irish community, one of the largest in the Irish diaspora. We also have Brian Coleman. Oh dear, Boris: what have you done?
Never mind: it's all great craic, isn't it Mr Mayor?
Here is a real Fenian for you: a favourite song of Mrs Angry's granny: sadly, couldn't find a version by Daniel O'Donnell.