Prominent DUP MP Gregory Campbell has penned a book on political humour, drawing from some of his own exchanges over his 40 years in politics.
Titled ‘No Holds Barred’, the short book is essentially a collection of the witticisms used by Mr Campbell over his long career, with one or two “gems” from his political opponents thrown in for good measure.
Although he may not appreciate the comparison, Mr Campbell’s book is in a similar vein to the light-hearted ‘Little Book of Tweets’ published by Gerry Adams published earlier this year.
In the foreword, Mr Campbell explains how humour can be used to great effect in political discourse.
“Quite often political debate can become intense, arguments become heated and tempers become raised,” he writes.
“Political humour however cuts across much of the sanctimonious humbug that masquerades as political commentary.”
An example of Mr Campbell using humour to raise a genuine political issue can be found on page 17 of ‘No Holds Barred’.
Remarking on a BBC News story from 2013 when human remains were found inside Londonderry’s historic walls during an archaeological dig, Mr Campbell said: “I hope that it is not discovered that these three were Protestants waiting for jobs with the Housing Executive.”
On page 22, commenting on plans by Korean car manufacturer Kia to name one of their vehicles ‘Provo’, Mr Campbell ponders whether there might be “a new car, launched around July, called the Red Honda Ulster”.
A keen football fan, Mr Campbell refers to the 2011 appointment of Martin O’Neill as manager of Sunderland in ‘No Holds Barred’.
Mr Campbell writes of O’Neill, a former manager of Celtic FC: “As he hails from Kilrea in my constituency it was entirely appropriate that I should congratulate him. He was an outstanding player for Northern Ireland and is to be commended since he moved into management. Having progressed through a series of clubs such as Wycombe Wanderers, Norwich City, Leicester City and Celtic, I am delighted he has now moved to a big club like Sunderland!”
Mr Campbell, in his foreword, writes: “From national and international political figures through to local council level, satire and humour has, on occasion, been used to defuse difficulties. On other occasions it has been used to devastating effect leaving opponents floundering for an adequate response. I have seen, heard and used this weapon.
“I hope you enjoy my recollection of the events as much as I did using many of them.”
No Holds Barred goes on sale from 10am today with all profits going to charity.