Naughty Step

Groups based on common interests are an outlet for people with similar aspects (hobbies, interests, preference, book clubs etc.) to get together and socialise. Yes, this is a basic explanation, but bear with me. These common interest groups (or “groups” from here on) greatly rely on the coming and going of members for their club’s longevity. I would assume most groups are open to new members since they are social by their nature; websites and flyers often read “new members most welcome”. One would think nothing of dropping into one of their meetings, no?

Despite the social nature of such groups, I have crossed paths with many that made me feel most unwelcome on my first visit. There was the DIT LGB club that operated a two-tier membership status. The higher echelon had command over the club’s budget. In college I also tried the Dance Soc. They made my friends and I feel like we had crashed the party despite securing their details off an “Everyone Welcome Poster”. I also encountered a running club whose beginners group were delightful. The intermediate and advanced level groups looked at me as if I were something alien on the sole of a running shoe.

I understand members of these groups may know one another a long time. Integrating or simply spending time with a newbie surely reduces the enjoyment a long-time member might potentially have at a social meet. I get this. I just don’t know why long-term members might show hostility or unfriendliness to newcomers. It contradicts the very nature of the group. Perhaps, long term members should remind themselves they were once new to the group. I am certain they appreciated any effort made to welcome them when they first attended a group-meet.

My logic is that it takes far more effort for one person to attempt integrate among a group than it does for a group – all of whom know one another – to include the new person. This is basic politeness and common decency to me. I am temporarily putting xenophobic common-interest groups on the Naughty Step for the simple reason they royally piss me off!

There is nothing more exciting than meeting a good looking guy in a bar. He engages you in some conversation, offers to buy you a drink and passes the Does-He-Have-a-Brain-Test with flying colours. You could be forgiven for relishing his attention.

There is nothing more disappointing than when the situation reaches a climax . The suitor leans in only to plant a terrible kiss on you. You give him another attempt  to prove you wrong only to be doubly disappointed. It is OK for me to put this anonymous person on the Naughty Step, right? Man, I was disappointed.

This week, it would be far too obvious to put Enda Kenny on the Naughty Step. I would gladly put Richard Bruton and Cowen alongside him. The lot of them pissed me off royally this week with their childish shenanigans that got no one no where. They are not going on my Naughty Step. I don’t want this shower of eejits anywhere near me. Piss off ye stupid feckers or I’ll call the Gardaí on yas!

To snub the above incompetents, I call Sir Paul McCartney, aka Macca, to the Naughty Step. Paul McCartney played at the O2 last weekend. All reports describe the concert as amazing. One reviewer of the gig reported that Macca insist his one hundred and thirty strong entourage not eat meat for the time they work for him. Am I right in thinking demands like this make J-Lo a shrinking violet?

Macca’s veganism is a massive tribute to his deceased wife, Linda McCartney. For this I admire him. I have great respect for vegetarians and vegans. I regularly consider vegetarianism myself since I can’t tell pork from lamb. However, if you try shove your views and ethos down my neck, I will forcefully shove your tofu where it most definitely does not belong.

I did not exactly establish the rules of the Naughty Step, so I don’t feel too bad for deciding to put an inanimate object on the step. To fellow shit-Nokia-phone users, it will come as no surprise to see this piece of crap on there.

The Nokia 5230 has caused me nothing but bother since that fateful day I purchased it. Besides its useless functionality, it has an assortment of problems such as dropping calls, dodgy touch screen, good and bad day internet connection and countless other issues.

I put this phone on the step in the hope the Fake Sheikh crushes it when he leaves. This phone, that attempts to imitate the Iphone, will do nothing more than boost the sales of Apple’s darling product.

This week Mazher Mahmood, aka The Fake Sheikh, replaces Minister Eamon Ryan on the MyopicPsychotic Naughty Step.

Mahmood bugged me this week in his assistance with the News of the World to set up Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson. Mazher (under disguise) coerced Ferguson into offering access to her ex-husband for business deals in exchange for money. The entire exchange was captured on film. Descriptions from the Sunday Independent last weekend described it as tacky and seedy; ‘Ferguson sat with a cigarette in a dimly lit room, revealing how little money she had following her divorce from her ex-husband’.

Following the divorce, Sarah Ferguson receives an annual maintenance of £15,000. Her daughters are maintained under a separate agreement. Ferguson has made many financial bungles over time. All of which have been smeared across British tabloids. This particular story stinks of desperation on the part of Ferguson. Mahmood obviously thinks nothing of kicking when a person is down. I found coverage of the incident distasteful.

From reading about Mahmood it seems he made a name for himself at the age of eighteen with investigative journalism. Over time he has exposed criminals and celebrities alike. Targets include Sven Goran Eriksson and Cherie Blair’s former adviser Carole Caplin. Mahmood operates under a series of disguises, one of which is the Fake Sheikh. He is rewarded considerably for his efforts with a salary of £120,000 per annum.

I personally think there is irony in someone using – and maintaining – a disguise to expose criminals and dupe unwitting public figures. Mahmood demonstrates determination and guile in the pursuit of his targets; there is no fear of accountability or repercussion. The media maintain his secret-identity since his work is guaranteed to sell newspapers and beneficial spin-off media attention. He is good for news.

The Fake Sheikh should reveal himself to the world. I for one would forgive him and even praise some of his efforts to date. This would more than likely put an end to his career and lavish lifestyle. At least he would have his morals back. All would not be lost: I’m sure there is many a FAS course he could do. He could even have a go at the ACCAs if he wished. He should call it a day and hang up his disguises. Enough is enough!

This week, Minister for Communications, Eamon Ryan, is on the MypopicPsychotic Naughty Step for being a bold boy. Minister Ryan is there to think long and hard on his interference with national rugby last week. This was done as he announced he wished to make Irish rugby games “free-to-air”.

Be it far from me to decide what’s best for Irish rugby nor the IRFU. However, the manner in which Minister Dempsey went about his intentions was far from appropriate. Dear Dempsey announced his plans to the nation – and the IRFU, Vitners Association and whomever else cares  – on Matt Cooper’s Last Word.

The Minister’s vision is that all Irish games will be available to the masses of Ireland. “Why should anyone have to go to a bar to watch a rugby game?”, he asked Matt Cooper. Apparently, he had a Eureka moment, while in a pub watching the game, presumably over a pint or two.

Dear Minister, if you are going to make plans as grand as these, you should maybe consult stakeholders before announcing it on national radio of all places. You are, after all, meant to be competent in communications. You are on the Naughty Step for not thinking things through. You are a trouble maker!

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