Scotland -

Pagans and other humdrum Scottish notes…

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“So are we only going to expect updates to the mighty when you meet celebrities?” said a solitary email that flooded into my mailbox a few minutes ago. Now, less of the sarcasm, mister. I suppose I should be glad that someone’s noticed there’s been an update – my audience must have dwindled a little over the last few months, while I flew around making business and personal ends meet and generally working myself into a frenzy. As it happens, I came back last week from Edinburgh. It was a dull week, by all accounts – the glorious sunshine that bathed the south of England didn’t manage to reach the wilds of Scotland – but the hotel made it all the better. It’s the only Edinburgh hotel I’ve stayed in, one where all the staff make a decent stab at looking happy about life. It’s called The Glasshouse, a converted church that sits at the bottom of an ominous hill. An ominous hill, I found out the next morning, that hosted a “pagan sex festival” the night before, which may explain the random clothes I saw as I looked out my hotel window. I mentioned it to my friend Marcel, who immediately incriminated himself by identifying the event as the Beltane. “Ah, I remember those days,” he muttered, allowing me to inwardly combust with shock and awe at this seemingly straight-laced man.
Anyway, Edinburgh’s nice. Very nice. But not nice enough to make me long for home on the third morning up there. There’s nothing like a girlfriend, a 40″ television and an XBOX 360 to come home to on Friday evening, let me tell you…

The Fat Labour’s sung

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It’s all over. Labour, inevitably, has managed to hold on to its lead. Give it credit though – they tried hard. For instance, the overseas army and navy soldiers – the great majority of whom do not know why the hell they’re out there and wouldn’t be supporting Labour – *accidently* didn’t receive their postal voting slips until it was too late. And when John Humphries, editor of the BBC today programme, went to vote he found that his vote had already been cast. By someone else. Mariella Frostrup phoned the show and said the same had happened to her. Presumably this didn’t just happen to them in particular. And in a final insult to all who may think this election is fair to all, a tally of the votes so far cast shows that in fact Labour came second polling 35,906 votes fewer than the Tories. but the way the system is balanced, Labour still win with a large majority. As Richard from Manchester said on the BBC page ‘Labour victory: Your reaction‘, “Scotland has its parliament, Wales its Assembly yet they are in effect deciding who governs England. Time for an English parliament on the same basis as the Scots.”
As ever, Boris Johnson’s columns hit the nail on the head. “If Labour is re-elected,” he warned three weeks ago, “it will be with the help of one of the most gerrymandered systems in the western world.”
But still, there’s no need to be overly bitter. The reduced majority means that at least the government can’t railroad their proposals through, and at least another term of Labour will mean we’ll definitely want to see the back of them next time…

Freak Dishwasher Accident

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There’s been a fair bit in the papers in the last couple of days about the freak dishwasher accident that killed that woman in Scotland (here’s the BBC News story). I was reading an article in the Daily Mail all about it yesterday – “very rare accident”, it said, “only one other case known in existence”, it said, a twelve year old boy back in 1997. Not so, I immediately countered – I had done exactly the same thing in 1985, while playboxing with my dad! I still have the amusingly placed scar on my right buttock. Sensing fame, I’ve duly fired off a couple of emails to the newspaper and the seemingly pointless Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. I expect to be on This Morning with Fern Britton within days.