Vignette, [old] York, St Helen’s Square, Saturday lunch-time.
A lady is passing out flyers denouncing UKIP. As, of course, is her democratic right — provided the leaflet is clean, decent, has an imprint, and fulfils the legal requirements. You take one or leave it.
Not good enough for the convinced Kipper who was loudly denouncing here and all her works. Offensively.
It was he, not she, who was blocking the pavement, and making a scene.
Where have I seen similar phenomenon before?
Well, many times. Many, many times. [Thank you, Dame Celia. Don’t call us. We’ll call you.]
It all began in the Congo Civil War of the early 1960s. The Irish government made one of its first forays into international peacekeeping and despatched a batch of troops to join ONUC.
On 8th November 1960 a platoon of the 33rd Battalion were set upon by a Baluba party. Nine Irish soldiers died. Only eight bodies were recovered immediately.
I remember the parade and the crowds in Dublin’s O’Connell Street — nothing would be seen like it until JFK came to town.
There is nothing queasy about Irish humour at its broadest. It hasn’t really recovered from the excesses of Swift’s satire.
So, “Baluba” went into the Irish political vocabulary — specifically it meant the “culchies” (itself a Dubliner’s derisory term for “agricultural” country folk) who annually turned up at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fhéis to the despair of the polished urban hierarchs.
I hereby declare many Kippers are also “culchies”, and — as seen at their worst last Saturday in York, akin to “Balubas”