AMONGST the 2200-plus reader comments prompted by The Economist's controversial cover article on Scottish independence the week before last, there was a heartfelt plea by an English correspondent for all Scots currently in England to be repatriated – "including all those infesting Westminster with their socialist nonsense",

"You can have Brown and all his cronies," he/she later adds. "I don't care what you do with them. Will you also take back the Tennent's Super drinkers too please?" No thanks –we have enough of them already.

Chipping in

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BEARING in mind the old adage that today's newspapers are tomorrow's chip wrappings, we like the Clydebank Post's offer of a bag of chips with every copy. A free meal ... plus something to carry it home in.

A nice try...

THE Yemen Tourism Promotion Board for the UK and Ireland has launched a cinema advert promoting the country, inspired by Ewan McGregor's new romcom, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. The PRs say the ad offers an insight into "the real Yemen through images depicting beautiful natural sites, enchanting architecture and colourful culture" and that, amidst the Arab Spring, "finding increased serenity and booking a flight to Yemen would be real catch".'

Impressed, we were just about to phone our travel agent, when we saw this message on the Foreign Office website: "The situation in Yemen remains volatile with reports of continuing unrest and violent clashes. We advise against all travel to Yemen and strongly urge British nationals to leave now by commercial means." Damn. Maybe next year, then.

PS. Turns out the film was shot mainly in Morocco, too.

That sinking feeling

ALASTAIR Cherry alerts us to what he describes as a "not very sensitive link" on BBC TV the other day. "I wonder who had the idea that following a rather mournful but thought-provoking report from the Titanic Exhibition in Belfast there was an advert for the latest Sport Relief charity event?"

The event was called "The Big Splash" – and it showed swimmers diving into the water from assorted diving boards.

Drummed out?

OLD jokes' home; this one from a semi-pro guitarist of our acquaintance. What do you call a beautiful woman on a drummer's arm? A tattoo.

Whit a stushie...

ANDREW Foster, in Ontario, seeing that we made fun of his "michty me!" expression last week, gets back in touch: "It might be interesting for the Diary to ask for expressions that say it all, and are difficult to put in other words. 'Help ma boab!' was around among some older engineers when I worked in Renfrew a few years ago, and the nearest I can get to that is the yiddish, 'Oy vey!' –a lovely phrase, and very useful."

Any takers?