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The Rev Ian Paisley and the Romantic poets

This blog, originally a writing class project, might interest some readers for its antique properties; it illuminates the surreal shadow cast by the troubles; in between atrocities there were the "melting moments". I can't remember who sent me the Democratic Unionist Party recipe book but it must have been slipped through the door in a brown envelope, it must ... On rereading, it's the cats, Byron and Shelley, that intrigue: show me what a DUP firebrand calls his cats and I will show you his secret soul. However, that's another blog so you can look forward to Ian Paisley and the Romantic poets the sequel.

"Ian Paisley is the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party. He is the archetypal Protestant To the outside world, he is viewed as a demagogue, in other words someone who gains power by appealing to people’s baser instincts. Amongst his followers he is a demigod. What does it mean to be an archetypal Protestant in Northern Ireland? Most importantly it signifies an extreme fear of Catholicism and in particular its leader, The Pope. To Mr Paisley the Pope lurks around every corner, he hovers around children’s cradles, wielding crucifixes, he haunts the media, he is the dark shadow on the edge of every ballroom, inciting revellers to indulge in exotic practices, like line dancing.

Mr Paisley’s brand of Protestantism also has links to American style religious fundamentalism. He is the leader of the Free Presbyterian Church, which views the pope as the antichrist, his pet subjects are fire and brimstone and he takes his message onto the streets. Shoppers on Northern Ireland’s High streets regularly complain of being consistently told they are going to hell as they are about to go into shops to buy a bag of chips As a super Protestant the Rev Ian eschews alcohol and cigarettes but he and his flock are extremely fond of food, particularly food with a high sugar content. His wife Eileen bakes her own cakes and religious gatherings often feature treats such as Mars Bar sandwiches and melting moments. He enjoys a cup of cocoa at bedtime and he is particularly fond of a recipe featured in the Democratic Unionist Party’s official cookbook, Ulster Home Cooking.

Here is a typical recipe:

Get a large jar called the jar of carefulness Place your husband in it and set him near the fire of conjugal love Let it be clean, above all the warmth be constant Cover him over with affection and kindness, a spice of pleasantry, kiss and other confectionery accompanied with secrecy, mixed with prudence and good sense. Put in smiles as thick as plums in plum pudding and bake by the warmth which stems from a loving heart. All wives would do well to try this and realise how admirable a dish a husband is when properly cooked. Note: Be particular about the selection of your jar. Family jar must be strictly avoided. Take care your husband is not done brown. *obviiously not a big hit with the racial equality council.

In addion to being a Protestant, the Rev Ian Paisley is also a sex symbol. Women cry during his sermons and psychologists report that many become exceedingly frustrated when forced to Watch him eat chocolate eclairs at Sunday school parties. The Rev Ian Paisley has two cats called Byron and Shelley."

One can only hope that Mr Paisley has put all “the troubles” finally behind him, embraced his secret poet’s soul, and is in heaven now, tending to orphaned roses.

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