RUSSIAN ‘FAN GROUP’ GUTTED OVER OLYMPIC BAN
BANNED: Russia’s female track and field team captain
NEWS of Team Russia’s track and field ban at the Rio Olympics 2016 has been met with dismay by members of the Spartak Gladiators ‘fan group’.
The group, known for their energetic street support for Russian football and their use of baseball bats at fan “demonstrations”, had been planning a number of events to coincide with the tournament.
Vasily Shprygin (35), head of the Spartak Gladiators, said: “We’re all obviously very disappointed by the decision.
“We had hoped to showcase the very best of Russian fandom at the games, with a choreographed flare display at the shot-put and street clashes before the pole vault.”
However, Mr Shprygin did promise that he and his 150 strong ‘ultra’ group would still be there in force for the synchronised swimming.
ONLINE BODYGUARD POSITION AVAILABLE
Bodyguard sought to defend vulnerable and high-risk target from online attacks. Quick reflexes needed to block attackers. Must be able to handle a whip. Strictly off the books.
Contact Regina on firstname.lastname@example.org
SEASONED SAILOR LOOKING FOR WORK
Experienced and well-travelled first mate looking for new ship to work on after latest sinking. (Will not work Mondays.)
PARTY MEMBERS WANTED
Forward-thinking-conservative-progressive-right-of-centre-liberal-centre-right-party seeks lots of new members to replace recent vacancies.
Good luck getting anyone to reply.
COVENEY BINS JARGON RUBBISH FOR NOW
In his latest guarantee on waste management, Environment Minister Simon ‘Simple’ Coveney has assured householders that there will be “no increase” in the jargon being dumped on people in regard to waste collection discussions “for at least a year.”
Phrases such as ‘pay-by-weight’, ‘polluter pays’, ‘below-cost selling’ and even ‘delivering change’ have piled pressure on stressed homeowners already up to their necks in confusing media reports about the crisis.
“I am fully aware that people are well and truly sick of seeing recycled sound bytes and mindless tokenistic platitudes getting dropped everywhere and that’s why I’ve told my department to put a lid on that kind of garbage for a year, going forward,” says the minister.
However, Simple refused to bin the use of all jargon and said an exemption would be made for one regularly used phrase. “‘Kicking the can down the road’ is here to stay. Indeed, it is now as integral to government practice as ‘wheeling out’ and ‘recycling old stuff’. We simply can’t operate without it.”
WE’LL MISS MARIA!
TOP tennis totty Maria Sharapova will be sorely missed at this year’s Wimbledon.
The ravishing Russian is set for a spell on the sidelines after tennis bosses [surely “chiefs” – Ed] served her with a suspension in June.
The tennis ace was caught using a naughty substance after last year’s Australian Open and faces two years off the court.
But the Belarussian babe [check this – Ed] is the Grand Slam champ of our hearts and hopefully she’ll be ‘courting’ success again soon with her [alright, that’s quite enough – Ed].
Party’s demise is Howlin’s Labour of love
Labour Party hacks are confident they can get rid of the party’s remaining seven Dáil seats by rowing back on as many election promises as possible.
In what is being lauded as a political masterstroke that is destined to help him jettison some votes, Labour leader Brendan Howlin said last week that the party won’t support a UK-style abortion regime despite campaigning for it during the February election.
“Look, we’re not certain that this will definitely lose us the seats we have left, but it’s definitely a good start,” said one senior Labour strategist.
“Our last few loyal voters have come to expect a certain standard from the party. It’s our job to disappoint and betray them at every opportunity.
“If we can just keep on this path without distraction, we’re confident we can off load these Dáil seats to the Soc Dems or the Trots. Brendan’s comments are a step in the right direction.”
Ireland fans shame country
SO-CALLED IRELAND fans who were caught on camera singing Boyzone and Westlife songs at Euro 2016 will be banned from attending all future football games at home and abroad, says the FAI.
It is believed that some fans met former Boyzone lad Keith Duffy on the streets in La Rochelle and that started an impromptu version of the song No Matter What, while another clip showed fans singing Westlife’s World of our Own.
Video emerged on social media in which the songs could be clearly identified.
“There’s no excuse for that at all,” said John Delaney. “We genuinely thought that those dark days were behind us. Those songs belong in the past and have no part to play in today’s world, notwithstanding McFadden’s latest cringe-fest. As usual, it’s a minority that spoil it for the rest. We vow to track down these people and ban them.”
IRELAND TOUR OF SOUTH AFRICA LEIXCON
Lock – What the Irish will be on after the 1st Test
Bore War – Springboks thrashing Ireland again in the 3rd Test
Apartheid – IRFU discrimination against Darren Cave
Rainbow Nation – Formerly SA, now Ireland
The Free State – What the Ulster players call the other lads
Royal Visit Mugs
To commemorate the visit of HRH Charles, Prince of Wales and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall to Donegal, Good Friday
Accessories Ltd present this limited edition pair of earthy mugs as timeless reminders of this unique visit.
Moulded from authentic Royal Ascot horse dung interwoven with the UK’s top brass, this unique pair of receptacles will bring a taste of
history to any occasion.
Each piece is uniquely designed with the distinctive large Chazz-eared handle for easy lifting, and polished to a perfect finish with Parisian tunnel wax.
- Certified to the highest standard of approval as decreed by the Adams Crockery Research Bureau
- Way more manageable than your old rude china
- Comes with miniature replicas of protestors in Celtic tops
- May be a bit cracked to be honest
Purchase online at pairofmugs.co.uk
A reading from the book of Hollywood
And in that land at that time, lived a man who called himself the ‘Chosen One’. And he ruled over all the fields and the roads and the rivers and the winds. And great was his ambition to be ruler of all things that moved and did not move, even though many didst gnash their teeth when he spoke of his dream. And verily too did many run to their homes and shut their doors when he didst approach for his voice didst make all men fall asleep.
And it came to pass that one night the ‘Chosen One’ was in his home when there came to him a voice. And great was his excitement for he recognised the voice as the Angel Bono, best friend of God. And the voice said to AK47 – for it was he – that he must help his people to make a new world of fantasy so that they could become rich in shekels and happiness, and after which they wouldst give thanks on their knees to the Angel Bono for the work and praise his name for all eternity.
And it is written that a great sorrow fell on AK47 when he saw that God’s plan was to render him a servant to the Angel Bono, who would lead the people to this new land, for verily didst AK too wish to lead the people to a Promised Land where he would reign as ruler.
And great became the belief amongst the people that AK47 was not the real ‘Chosen One’ and so they poured scorn on him and all his dreams were smited. Amen.
Protests as viewers wake up during new Brendan O’Connor show
by Our Media Staff – Dee List
RTÉ switchboards were completely jammed last night after the station was inundated with angry complaints about its latest mid-week chat show, Cutting Out Entertainment.
The new panel programme involves C-list celebrity guests and various Sindo hacks who sit around scraping a small wooden barrel while host Brendan O’Connor talks loudly about any inane nonsense that comes into his head.
Over recent weeks, the sound has become so deafening that viewers have furiously woken up in their thousands.
“In all my years as a multi-talented broadcaster, I’ve never had such a reaction from licence-payers,” said a delighted Benny. “It just goes to prove that there are no limits to how low RTÉ can stoop when it comes to trashy programming.”
BIDEN HIS TIME
|IF STAYING IN EU
||IF LEAVING EU
- Thousands will die on streets
- Mass unemployment will occur
- Giant rats will eat devour babies
- David Cameron will remain as PM
- Streets will be piled high with bodies
- Nobody will have a job
- Massive snakes will orphan our young
- Boris Johnson will take over the country
INSIDE BRENDAN HOWLIN’S HEAD
1. Must invite Baldy over for a nice sip from the decanter
2. This’ll ease me nicely into retirement
3. I feel two feet taller already!
4. What the hell is this ‘socialist’ thing people keep asking me about?
5. Please, please God let Enda notice me and wave today!
6. I’ll never forget the look on that smug fecker’s face when he couldn’t get a seconder!
7. Can’t wait for the holliers.
Strike it lucky with TESCO
Strike it lucky with your shopping this week by coming along to TESCO’S!
All of our stores are currently still open and we have a wide variety of super bargains for you while staf… er, stock lasts!!
Just consider these bargain proposals:
- Visit our confectionary aisle and take the biscuit or choose from our wide selection of cake and eat it offers!
- Milk it for all you can get away with in our dairy section while feeling cheesed off with us creaming it!
- Put a sock in it in our drapery department and see if we can give you the boot!
- Or drop by the fruit section and check out the latest in our mandates range!
Visits TESCO’S – where every little new contract helps!
THOSE EURO 2016 DANGERMEN
Goan Harpoonimson (Iceland): Ruddy-faced stopper currently plying his trade with German side FC Kaiserslaughterm. Tends to drift in and out of the contest but will spill blood for the cause – as long as it’s not his own.
Haffa Bierbelli (Italy): Barrel-chested midfielder who has spent his entire career with West Hammered; a gutsy performer who will counter attack at every opportunity and will be first to react every time if the keeper spills one.
Izzie Ondrugz (Russia): High flying winger now leading the line with Italian outfit Intravenous Milan, having been signed from Croatian side Hadjuk Spliff. Fantastically fit and will not shy away from any ‘needle’ encounters during the tournament. Is also a world champion sprinter, swimmer, wrestler, boxer, weightlifter etc.
Mande Blokadz (France): Fiery striker presently doing the business with French outfit Angers, following a loan spell with Northern Ireland side Portadowntools. Away from the pitch, this “gentle giant” is a tireless community activist who makes regular unpaid hospital visits – usually to check in on opponents.
Rolan Overanover (Romania): Injury-prone playmaker earning his crust with Dutch side Feignoord and… (That’s enough Euros – Ed.)
TAOISEACH PROMISES ‘AS MANY NOTEBOOKS AS IT TAKES’ TO DESTROY GANGS
By Des Aster
As pressure builds on the Government to resolve Dublin’s gangland crime wave, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has made his most radical pledge yet to provide An Garda Síochána with the extra resources needed to stem the tide of savagery.
“I have instructed the justice minister to make available as many notebooks and pencils as are needed with immediate effect,” the stern-faced Fine Gael leader announced today. “Once we have written down the names and a description of these people, then we can start looking for them. And if that means searching at night, then however many torches and back-up batteries are needed will be instantly available,” Mr. Kenny vowed.
In a further display of resolve, the Taoiseach also promised to introduce new legislation to tackle the urgent problem. “If we have to extend opening hours for discount stores to make these resources more accessible, then we will do so immediately after the Dáil’s summer recess,” he promised.
Gardaí may appoint Vickers
An Garda Síochána have said they are giving “serious consideration” to appointing Canadian ambassador Kevin Vickers to a special role fighting gangland crime. Vickers last week tackled a protestor during a remembrance ceremony at Grangegorman Military Cemetery, and it is believed that he later single-handedly fought off a dozen men in an attempted robbery on the way home.
“Vickers may be just what we need,” said a Garda spokesman. “The kind of guy who kicks ass first and asks questions later – he’d be right at home in the force.” Elsewhere, it is also suggested that the Canadian ambassador – who previously took down an armed terrorist gunman – may be Conor McGregor’s next opponent.
Vickers was unavailable for comment last night, as according to his representatives, he was singlehandedly taking down a rogue guerrilla army in a South American jungle.
CHARLIE BIRD BOOK EXTRACT
In this compelling extract from the RTÉ reporter’s new book on last May’s marriage referendum, he talks to one of the key figures in the day’s drama
Charlie Bird: “For many years, I have had to deal with the supposed shame of being an RTÉ correspondent who likes appearing at major news events and shooting his mouth off. On the historic day, nothing gave me greater pleasure than to be able to turn to the RTÉ cameraman who accompanies me everywhere and say, ‘I couldn’t live without you.’ Afterwards, when I went back to my house, I got unbelievable joy out of being able to say to the man I care most about, ‘I love you.’ I was staring in the mirror at the time, but still you’d need a heart of stone not to be moved.”
News filler not about Leaving Cert shock
by Our Examinations Staff – Eddie Kation
In an unprecedented piece of journalism yesterday, a national newspaper ran a lengthy news article that he nothing to do with this year’s Leaving Cert examinations.
Said the editor: “I know it is unusual, but a real news story landed on my desk last night and I felt an obligation to publish it. I can only apologise to readers for doing the right thing in this case.”
Reaction to the non-Leaving Cert filler was immediate and intense, with countless social media posts complaining of “low standards” and “lazy journalism”.
- Today’s scary article about pre-exam stress – p. 2
- My 15 A1 grades by Fintan Tool – p. 3
- Top Tips For Anxious Parents – p. 4
- How to use up your remaining revision time – p. 5
- How to fill up newspaper pages during June – p. 6
Film: Catch Me If You Can
Feel good comedy about a rogue garda who enjoys cancelling penalty points for his powerful mates
Film: Apocalypse Now
Live coverage of the GAA Ulster football championship
Jobless figures drop in inner city
THE GOVERNMENT has welcomed news that unemployment levels in Dublin’s north inner city have dropped. The latest figures suggest that fewer people are signing on due to taking up short-term positions with an expanding company in the locality.
Jobs that have been filled range from ‘looking out’, ‘writing threatening graffiti on walls’ and ‘courier and delivery services’ to ‘shooting lads dead’. “There’s always a silver lining when gangland feuds ramp up,” said a Government spokesman. “But the media just ignores the good stories.”
Gangland attacks intensify
by Our Crime Staff – Conor Lolly
With no end in sight to the vicious political in-fighting currently raging on Dublin’s streets, there were fears last night that gangland violence is likely to intensify over the coming months.
Hostilities between the rival outfits – led by Enda “Dull Boy” Kennyhan and Micheál “The Monk” Martin – have seen a significant rise in back stabbings as both groups scramble to gain complete control of the notorious Kildare Street area.
“These are ruthless individuals who have been getting away with murder for years,” said a Garda spokesman last night, “and nobody has a clue about how to deal with them – especially us.”
Meanwhile, insiders are predicting that the increasingly brutal dispute could be resolved by the end of the year when Martin’s gang members are expected to make a final effort to wipe out Kennyhan and his associates for good.
Said leading crime writer, Paul ‘Appalling’ Williams: “Everyone who reads my sensational articles believes that it is now only a matter of time until the Monk decides to go straight – to the Taoiseach’s office.”
KENNY REVEALS NEW GANGLAND PLAN
Following the outrage over the latest gangland killing, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has revealed his plan to stop the violence.
“I have ordered the construction of a large two-dimensional bat-shaped object,” said the Fine Gael leader. “We will place it over a giant floodlight and aim it into the night sky. We have done a lot of research on this and it appears to be foolproof. A Dark Knight will show up and the baddies will stop shooting each other and we all live happily ever after.” Asked where he concocted such a plan, Kenny replied: “I met a man and he told me it would work.”
“Every cliché” to be exhausted in Garda reform
By Our Police Corr – Frank Drebin
Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan has vowed that “every cliché” will be exhaustively explored as the force deals with the fallout from the O’Higgins report. The Gardaí were sharply criticised by the Policing Authority last week and are also facing questions over the ongoing gangland killings.
“Rest assured I’m doing everything in my power to make sure this whole thing blows over,” Commissioner O’Sullivan commented yesterday. “The time for action is now and I will be leaving no stock phrase or platitude unturned as we seek to turn the Gardaí into a modern, effective police force – and all the other stuff we usually say whenever there’s a crisis.”
Gangland criminals have reacted with panic to the latest hard-hitting Garda measures, which aim to halt the wave of violence. “Wait a minute – you mean Ireland has a police force?!” said well-known Dublin criminal The Moose from beside the pool at his villa in the south of France last night.
Chinese ‘almost as bad as O’Gara’ shock!
By Ben Denee – Royal correspondent
A “furious and appalled” Queen Elizabeth now considers the Chinese government “almost as rude as Ronan O’Gara”, according to Buckingham Palace insiders.
The shock revelation comes days after the Queen had confided privately to her umbrella that she considered the treatment of the British ambassador to China by Chinese officials on a State visit to be“very rude.”
Speaking anonymously, a Buckingham Palace source says, “The Oriental chappies weren’t in the same league as fiddling loose change in one’s pockets in the presence of Royalty, as that dreadful Cork rugby fellow, O’Gurrier, did over in our Northern Ireland outpost. But they came damn close! I’m afraid the whole thing rather reawakened memories of that very dark day for Her Majesty. Dreadful
business all round.”
BARBARIC TREATMENT OF PRISONERS SLAMMED
Amnesty International have called for an end to the barbaric treatment of prisoners after Niamh Horan visited Wheatfield Prison for a Sindo piece. According a spokesman, this inhumane approach to reform needs to be stamped out immediately. “We’re not saying prison should be a holiday camp,” he commented, “but inflicting self-promoting Sindo hacks on the prison populace is unjustified. Having such a shrill, irritating presence as Niamh Horan on the premises is one of the cruellest things I can think of. It doesn’t get much worse.”
NEW EUROVISION OUTRAGE
EUROVISION BOSSES have demanded an apology from Ireland after sending another turkey to the song contest. “We warned you about this,” said organisers, “after that Dustin thing. The EU built your roads, paid off your farmers and bailed you out after you ALL partied. And this is how you repay us? By sending an even bigger turkey to represent a once-proud Eurovision nation. Nicky Byrne? Shame on you, we expect an apology, or we will consider a barring order.”
The EU has also warned of possible economic sanctions against Ireland if the dismal standard of Eurovision performance continues.
“We told you to back Ukraine and we expect to be obeyed,” cautioned a spokesman.
WEST HAM chairman David Sullivan has blamed “low-quality glass” for the scenes that marred the Irons’ last home game at Upton Park. The Londoners were hosting Manchester United in the Premier League but the visitors’ bus was attacked by fans outside the ground.
Videos and pictures showed home supporters throwing bottles at the bus windows and Red Devils’ players taking cover inside.
“It’s low-quality glass that’s really at fault here,” said Sullivan. “If the United bus had reinforced bullet proof windows, none of this wudda ‘appened. I’m really disappointed with United, first turning up late and then allowing a couple of beer bottles to smash the windows. I ‘ope the Premier League bosses will come down ‘ard on them as a lesson to other clubs. I know they’ve ‘ad a very poor defensive record all season but they should at least have their transport sorted before getting to London.”
GARDA PULSE COMPUTER GUIDE
PAUL McGUINNESS’S iPHONE PLAYLIST
- I Just Called Mossack Fonseca To Say I Love You
- Accountants Move In Mysterious Ways
- Money Money Money
- Stayin’ Alive (And Offshore)
- Big Spender
- A View To A Killing
- You Sexy Shareholding
Nation stunned as report finds Garda unit investigated crime
By Apalling Williams
The Irish nation was in shock again last night as it emerged that gardaí in the Cavan/Monaghan division investigated a burglary at a house in the district in 2008. The shock finding reveals that the force dispatched a squad car in accordance with basic response procedure before a garda took statements from the burgled victim.
“We realise this revelation may cause a panic and distress amongst some of the criminal fraternity of the region, but we can assure you that it was absolutely a one-off event and the garda in question was immediately placed on desk duty once the details emerged,” said a contrite Garda spokesman.
Nobody was ever arrested for the break-in. “It happened the day before an All-Ireland final and the garda had to knock off early as a generous motorist had given him a ticket in return favour for something”, confirmed the spokesman. “So it all ended happily anyway. Off you go, there’s no more to see here.”
The Government has announced an immediate inquiry into the episode. According to a spokesman, it will be chaired by a retired judge and delivered two years late.
BRENDAN O’CONNOR’S BRAIN
1. Abysmal TV shows
2. Fawning Sindo profiles
3. Stray self-effacing quark
4. Speck of charisma
5. Ropy articles
6. Entire brain under oily hairdo
A reading from the Book of Áras
Chapter 12, Verse 10: Jesus, she doesn’t half go on
And in the 16th year there didth walk amongst the people of the land a woman they called Sabina, wife of the Poet Michael of D with whom she didst abide in the Big House.
And being rich of robes and high of heel Sabina didst draw much attention to herself. And lo too was Sabina loud of voice in her hatted head when she didth grow angry and possess gripe.
Then going to the Mountain of Mics didst Sabina rattle her throat and wag her finger and the trees and the scribes didst shake before her venom. For pouring great scorn upon the rulers, she didst declare outrage upon outrage against their laws! And great was her chiding!
But verily, many gnashed their teeth at Sabina’s rage and called on her tongue to be smited and her trap shutted. Yet, others fell on their knees and reached forth that they might touch her hem thinking she was St. Sinéad of O’Connor come to cure them of their torment.
But all agreed in praise that it was still better than the poetry of Michael of D. Amen to that.
Labour want Big Sam!
By Sikassa Parrot – football correspondent
In a move set to rock the worlds of politics and football, Ireland’s Labour Party want Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce as its next leader, according to leaked information.
The Black Cats gaffer is currently regarded as a hero on one half of Tyneside, having successfully guided the Premiership club out of relegation trouble. Many in the beleaguered party believe he is the only man that can save them from slipping out of the lucrative field of Irish politics.
“Sam has proved time and again that he can salvage lost causes and turn clueless no-hopers into serious competitors,” says one veteran Labourite. “Admittedly, Labour presents a far stiffer challenge than keeping Sunderland afloat, but at least he wouldn’t have John O’Shea giving away soft penalties. He’s the only chance we’ve got.”
Varadkar memo to St. Vincent’s hospital
Re: The Mother of all Rows
I hereby refer to recent issues whereby the arrival of the above mentioned has given birth to a fast-growing dispute. This department is expecting you to produce a maternity service free of cramping and it is inconceivable that I will allow this kind of situation to de foetus.
Hence I am urging you to push hard to deliver a satisfactory conclusion and without complications. Failure to do so may see me induce an early termination of your €150m funding, as I have no intention of being cot holding the baby on this one.
(Acting) Minister for Health,
Alan Shatter Uncovered
1. We should never forget the real victims in this sorry affair, ie. myself
2. My reputation has been restored – I’m the country’s smuggest politician again
3. And its greatest author –
just remember my bonkbuster novel, phworr!
4. A simple Senate seat is the very least I deserve
5. I’m tired of people not realising my political genius
6. Especially Enda, the bollox
In recent times and in line with other publications and media outlets, we may have occasionally promoted the impression that former justice minister Alan Shatter was a man who delivered a substandard performance in ministerial office.
Headlines such as ‘Shatter Deals with Satan’, ‘Is Alan Shatter the Worst TD Ever?’ and ‘Shatter Stays in Bed until Noon’ may have inadvertently led some readers to assume that he was simply not up to scratch.
However, in the wake of the O’Higgins report, we feel it is timely to reassure our readers that Mr Shatter is a man of the bravest bravery. It is obvious from the report that he is someone who would never so much as consider parking one wheel on a double yellow line or dropping a sweet wrapper on a pavement.
It is equally apparent that this brave and much misunderstood servant of the State did everything expected of him to keep us safe from terrorists and supervillains during his career. If only we had more Alan Shatters! We hope this clarifies our position.
O’Higgins inquiry findings (in full)
1 Nobody in An Garda Síochána has ever done anything wrong.
2 Especially not senior management.
3 Indeed, most of whistleblower McCabe’s allegations were overstated.
4 Anyway, the only gardaí to blame are those young inexperienced trainees.
5 But that’s all in the past now and everyone has been completely vindicated, including former Commissioner Callinan and even Minister Shatter.
6 Of course, lessons will be learnt from the inquiry into why lessons weren’t learnt the last time there was an inquiry and the time before that and…
Leadership battle heats up
It emerged last night that all seven Labour Party deputies have now thrown their hats into the ring in the leadership contest.
The current front-runners for the prestigious post are:
l Brendan Howling, 60. Dynamic middle-of-centre pro-European who believes passionately in a new kind of collective non-leadership and in raffish grey suits.
l Alan “AK47” Kelly, 41. Boyish, intensely self-important left, right and centre politician who is actively reaching out to the remaining three or four people nationwide intending to vote Labour in the next election.
Meanwhile, analysts are predicting that first round results will be extremely close since every candidate is very likely to win one vote.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON’S GOLFING LEXICON
Gimme – More interest from my account in Panama
Hazard – The risk of dealing with Mossack Fonseca
Moving Day – Time management team changed investment funds
Wire-to-wire – How banking works
Labour Party ‘could be next Alan Kelly leader’
Labour Party TDs were last night declining to comment on speculation that they will lead Alan Kelly in opposition in the new Dáil. The party is understood to be considering the proposal from the South Tipperary TD following the resignation of its Tánaiste Joan Burton.
“I feel it’s a great opportunity for the Labour Party to portray itself in a new, dynamic light by representing me on the back benches,” enthuses the outspoken politician. “I don’t see it being merely symbolic move either. There’s a tonne of clerical work and dishwashing to be done behind the scenes as I prepare the groundwork for a return to power.”