MINISTER OF STATE - THE REVERED BRIAN WILSON
 
Welcome Comrades, Failte Comradan (better use some Gaelic or Joni will make me go to the Church of Scotland again).

It is an honour to be the First Minister - (...that sounds good, bet big Dan at the Scotland Office will panic when he hears this speech!)... to write in the columns of such a prestigious publication. I have to admit that were it not that your Prime Minister - Donnie Foot, was too busy putting on his body armour then it would have been him you'd be subjected to. Lucky you!

I am delighted that I fit so well into my charge at Leith. Cardinal Winning himself recommended me for the post after I met him at Parkhead and told him I'd sort out wee Wendy (I'll speak to her oldman at the assembly and he'll fix her for me).

I've spent most of my time in the parish (that's what Scotland is according to most of my colleagues) trying to keep one step ahead of these Mickey Mouse Ministers from the Scottish Parliament. I must admit I've had a job keeping up with fast talking Ali Morrison but there again he's got inside information and easy Beeb interviews.

Well you know, this power is a great thing - so sweet that I can't stop smacking my lips. Not only am I a media magnate (sssh! The Wee Paper's in someone elses name) but I travel the country and the world all in the name of public service. Joni and I even got to stay in the Penthouse at Sabhal Mor Ostaig once but it was spoilt a bit because the place was crawling with Special Branch. I had to convince our security chief that the Gaelic Mafia were harmless so they would clear off.

I never realised just how good being in the noble order of St Anthony at 'Westmunstur' would be (got that pronounciation from John Morrison at the Beeb). Pity that poor Calum got the heave as we had a good few sessions in the bar (when we could get past fat Charlie Kennedy of course).

The only problems since my induction have been with the Servants (as well as a few wee u-turns). After Harold left for better things, I was left with a bunch that just didn't understand me. It wasn't anything to do with my accent or my policies; it's that they'd never seen a minister wearing a poloshirt,(a black one at that) whilst on official duties. But, my tweed jackets have gone down a gone down a treat as special branch don't have to give me any protection. Apparently they tested them out and not even an 'exocet' would penetrate the clo mhor. (I wonder if they'd survive a 'Jeremy Paxman' though? - ED).

BEEP, BEEP, BEEP Oh O! Archbishop Alastair Campbell, the Tiree Tyrant's on the bleeper. Wait till I read it............

Oh, he's saying that I'm meant to talk religion. He should know better. I never say what I'm meant to - just ask Anne MacKenzie. I've sent him a message telling him to stick his bagpipes where the sun doesn't shine.

OK here's some religion, New Labour style - the Free Presbyterians are too conservative, the Church of Scotland far too liberal and as for the Episcopalians, well they're a load of SNP (Snobby Nosed P -oh,oh!, better stop you there, ED).

So there it is, stick with us left footers and you'll be ok. I'd better be off now as I'm even getting bored with all this drivel. See you all soon and don't forget to call me 'Father' if you see me at Celtic Park.

Brian
 
THE NESS MONSTER - FANTASY OR REALITY?
 
The argument over whether or not there is a creature known as 'The Ness Monster' has once more brought a number of island communities to the brink of fullscale war. Some people are of the opinion that the monster is the stuff of myths and legends while others believe wholeheartedly that such a being does exist. What is certain is that while there are those that believe in the so called monster, life in these islands will never be the same again.

Over the last 30 years, arguments have raged over the creature's existence and in recent years these have become increasingly acrimonious. Communities, friends and even families in the normally close knit islands have been divided as a result of the arguments, to the extent that many have now gone their separate ways.

The latest controversy began about 10 years ago when the monster allegedly surfaced in the antipodes. The ripples caused when it allegedly appeared turned into a tidal wave by the time it reached the Hebrides, and resulted in some people being swept away in a tide of disbelief.

According to some observers, the monster then began to stick it's neck out every Thursday, refuting allegations that he had been a horrible beast in the past and in turn, accused his critics of being the dinosaurs. This caused small battles to rage throughout the normally tranquil islands, with both sides firing heavy salvos. Even the no-mans land in the Stornoway Gazette became the scene of many a battle, the likes of which had never been seen in the Butt to Barra. Eventually, on the directions of the UN, a temporary truce was called but this unfortunately was short lived and fighting resumed once again.

After the fighting had gone on another while, some serving officers resigned their commission and formed an assembly outside the monster's body. However, this does not seem to have stopped the monster who is still active despite being badly hurt. Infact, he continues to splash out every week, leaving more controversy in his wake, according to some observers.

As we go to press, our correspondent reports that the argument is ongoing with no word of a deal being struck or a mediator appointed. We sincerely hope, for the sake of the islands, that peace will prevail and that the 'monster' will be left alone.

 
FOOTball
 
The forthcoming season looks to be an exciting time in the Western League. All teams have been busy in the transfer market and there have a number of personnel changes.
Shock of the season was the free transfer of Ness FC's star striker Angus Smith to a rugby league side - Stornoway and District FPs. It is believed that his decision had something to do with poor sponsorship deals and he was soon followed by his team-mate Hugh Cartwright. They have since taken up coaching roles with former team-mates and will no doubt be heard from the sidelines during this season where talk of a breakaway league is rife.

With the Lewis sides seriously depleted , it looks as if newcomers South Uist FC will have the chance to make an impact in the league this year. Their tussle with the formidable Portree FC side, led by the experienced defender Willie MacLeod , promises to be a hard fought affair with pundits relishing the clash of South Uist's left footers with Portree's right wingers. South Uist are believed to have overcome their pre-season difficulties caused by players refusing to use the communal changing rooms. This was as a result of them being told their captain was "Kinky".

A number of Glasgow sides have not returned from their pre season training as yet so we have had difficulty predicting their potential for the season. Discussions between a number of these clubs are ongoing and it is thought that there will be a number of personnel changes here too, with a last minute tranfer market flurry.

Over in Edinburgh, teams appear to have got off on the right Foot and look strong under young leadership though it remains to be seen whether their youth is a match for the more experienced players in the north.(not).

Our only problem will be trying to distinguish the referee from the rest of the field..........

 
CONFESSION
 
A drunken bodach from North Uist, on his way to the sheep sales in Lochboisdale, staggers in to St Peter's in Daliburgh and wanders over to the confessional box. He opens the door, sits down and says nothing.
The bewildered priest waits for a few minutes, allowing the bodach some time to collect his thoughts. Growing impatient, the priest coughs to attract his attention, but still the man says nothing.

The priest then knocks on the wall three times in a final attempt to get the man to speak. Finally, the bodach replies: "No use knocking a' charaid, there's no paper in this one either."

 
SUITABLE PARISHIONER
 
A Church of Scotland minister in Stornoway was recently concerned that one of his previously faithful parishioners, a bachelor from the Cearns, had missed a numbers of services. Because of this, the minister decided to visit the man to find out why he had been missing.
At first, the humble bachelor refused to give a reason for his absence, and instead insisted that the minister devote his time to important parish issues such as the forthcoming OAP's disco. The minister refused to relent and eventually, the poor bachelor conceded and disclosed his predicament - he had spent all his money in the bookies and didn't have enough to buy suitable attire for attending church.

Hearing this, the minister, along with his charge immediately drove to the church, took a handful from the collection plate and then drove to Lewis Crofters where a large sum was spent on Hogg's shoes, moleskin trousers and the finest Hearrach Tweed jacket. As he dropped the man back in the Cearns, the minister shouted " See you on Sunday!" and drove off, proud that because of his compassion, the congregation would be increased by 50% on Sunday.

When the Sabbath arrived, the minister was astonished to see that the bachelor's pew was once again empty. Immediately after the service he drove to the Cearns and enquired as to why the man had not been at the service. "Och, I'm very sorry minister," explained the parishioner "...but when I looked at myself in mirror, I looked so posh that I went to the Epispocal church instead".
 
ED's note - Amadan doesn't wish to trivialise the goings on in the Free Church and does not wish to cause any offence. This page came about due to the constant press coverage regarding the 'split' and as the title lent itself to being used some way! Hopefully it will bring a laugh to both sides.

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