Giving a political twist to some favourite films
MY selections for the seasonal political Top 10 is:
Groundhog Day: James Brokenshire reprises the role of Phil (Bill Murray), who wakes up in Hillsborough Castle and travels to Stormont, to find it's the same political day, over and over and over again ... well, this is Northern Ireland.
Legally Blonde: A teenage comedy concerning a young female leader of a nationalist/republican party, who has to take elocution lessons to slow her delivery at public speaking, as nobody can comprehend a single word she says.
Dumbo: A fairytale (or nightmare) about an old man with a dodgy hairstyle who is gifted with a brain the size of a pea and, incredibly, becomes US President.
The Hangover: Prime Minister Theresa May wakes every morning with a migraine as Jean-Claude Juncker thinks he's Jean-Claude Van Damme and constantly hits her with a bill for £100m - or is that euros?
Frozen: Another children's favourite where 90 (used to be 108) MLAs get paid full wages and expenses for a full year of doing little or nothing, but then discover their pay is to be frozen indefinitely ... brrrrr.
Scrooge: A seasonal special, where Government departments and senior civil servants withhold a miserable 1% pay increase from all public-sector workers and the money never reaches them in time for Christmas. Bah! Humbug!
Jurassic World: Almost 25 years after Jurassic Park hit our screens, we go back to the same theme - everyone being entertained by watching NI's Government in the control of dinosaurs from the past.
The Borrowers: The incredible tale of how 10 local MPs hold a Conservative government to ransom in a cash-for-votes deal worth a cool £1bn. Sadly, the money never reaches the needy local people and services it was intended for, so we might have a sequel.
Heat: An action-packed movie about millions of little chicks, who, because they are so warm, living in overheated hen houses, pluck their own feathers and are delivered for processing already cooked. There will almost certainly be a follow-up to this one.
It's A Wonderful Life: George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) realises, through all his adversity, he really has led a wonderful life. Yes, we may not be millionaires, have high-flying jobs or elaborate homes, but compared to millions around the world, we too are blessed to live in this wee country I call home.
Merry Christmas everyone.
Newtownards, Co Down
Falcon on my fence is a sight to behold
EAMON Sweeney is spot-on when he reminds readers of the importance of the protection of rare birds here.
While sipping coffee a few days ago, what should appear on the fence beside my window but a beautiful falcon.
It is not unusual to see such birds on the wing in Glengormley, but it is wonderful to see them perched in the front garden.
They fly for sheer joy, tumbling, gliding and flying at full speed and then feeding a glancing female while on the wing and without as much as a pause.
Are we not so lucky in this neck of the woods to view a bird with such astounding beauty? Some bird fanciers would travel for several miles, hoping to get a glance at a falcon.
They eat flies in flight and small birds after taking them to the ground or to a tree to pluck.
We know that several hundred pairs live in England and Wales and now Northern Ireland can boast our very own falcons.
So thanks, Eamon, for highlighting the risks to these beautiful birds - and what a delight to see one so near.
DR ROSALEEN ROGERS
Newtownabbey, Co Antrim
Greyhound statistics make for grim reading
NEWLY released statistics from the Irish Greyhound Board show that so far this year, 283 greyhounds have been injured and 96 killed at tracks around the country.
The dogs suffered injuries to legs, shoulders, backs, tails, muscles and toes.
The latest figures follow horrifying revelations that, in 2016, 427 greyhounds sustained on-track injuries and 139 were put down.
Added to this are the thousands of greyhounds who 'disappear' every year - most likely killed when found to be too slow to win races.
Anyone considering attending a Christmas party at a greyhound track should know that seeing an injured dog writhing in agony and crying out in pain is deeply upsetting and sure to provide a night to remember for all the wrong reasons.
Please make the compassionate choice to stay away from tracks.
Irish Council Against Bloodsports