IT is suspected that the neo-Fascists in the European Parliament have

declared war on Alex Falconer, MEP for Mid-Scotland and Fife.

The Falcon, as he is known in Euro-circles, is not a man to mess with

unless you are brave or daft. He is more than 6ft and close to 18

stones. As a former shop steward at Rosyth, the Falcon is capable of

dealing with those who ruffle his feathers.

He has not been forgiven by le Pen's men for his role in having their

Edinburgh trip cancelled last month. On one occasion he nearly came to

blows with some of them outside the chamber of the parliament in

Strasbourg after he attacked them in debate. Wisely, they backed off

when a rearrangement of their features appeared to be on the cards.

Was it coincidental or did their revenge come in Strasbourg this week

when Mr Falconer found his hotel reservation had been mysteriously

cancelled? In Strasbourg, where hotel beds during parliament week are

scarce, this creates something of a problem.

The Falcon had to share a double bed with his chum Ken Stewart, Labour

Euro-MP for Merseyside West. An interesting night for him since Mr

Stewart, a former paratrooper, is built to Falconer proportions and is a

member of the loud-snoring tendency.

And there was more hoax trouble for the Fife Fascist-buster. When

eventually he did get his own hotel bed the next night he was rung up in

the wee small hours by the receptionist to tell him that a lady of the

night had turned up to meet him ''as arranged''.

Gaelic blockbusters

WE asked for suggestions as to what Gaelic blockbuster movies the

Comataidh Telebhisein Gaidhlig might fund out of its #10m annual budget.

The many entries for Back to the Teuchter were immediately binned since

that pejorative word is banned from the Diary.

There were multiple nominations for High Dunoon, Murdo on the Orient

Express, and Every Which Way But Lewis.

On the fundamentalist front we had Born Wee Free (Bob Johnston,

Paisley) and Wee Free Amigos (Alison Gollings of the Ferry Inn, Renfrew

who also wants to write the musical Give My Regards to Broadford), and

Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath.

But today's prize of the unpeated Glengoyne malt goes to Ron Douglas

of Hyndland, Glasgow, for a movie hit-list including Two Muileachs for

Sister Sara, The Crinan Game, Nuns on the Rhum, and Blade Rona.

Librarians and sex

THE Diary must apologise for casting aspersions at librarians. In an

item about a new range of raunchy fiction for women, we suggested it was

faintly risible that the first erotic tome in the series should be

penned by a lady who had spent her working life in the local library

stamping books and telling weans to wheesht.

We now find that librarians are, almost without exception, fascinating

people and dead sexy with it. Casanova was a librarian. So was Mao

Tse-tung. For this information we are indebted to Alan Taylor, author of

a whole book on this absorbing breed. It is called Long Overdue and will

be published by Mainstream in November.

Included in Mr Taylor's cornucopia of tales from this not-so-dusty

world is Anthony Burgess on how he was picked up in Manchester Public

Library. It's amazing what goes on under the covers.

Tall in the saddle

WE are very nearly grateful to Stephen Cassie of Glasgow for a photie

(which thankfully we do not have room to reproduce) from Chemist &

Druggist magazine. It is of a team which took part in a Belfast-Dublin

charity cycle race. Sponsored by Warner Lambert, manufacturers of a

product called Anusol, they entered as Team Haemorrhoid.


THE Diary is always on the lookout for new culinary experiences. But

sometimes we have them thrust upon us.

One such was the pizza we ordered in the bar of the Tron Theatre in

Glasgow, a place renowned for a range of tasty international food.

We chose a seafood topping for our pizza. It arrived, a sea of molten

cheese, onions, and peppers. And, presumably, some seafood lurking

beneath the waves.

Our first fishing expedition brought to the surface a baby octopus.

Not our favourite pizza topping and less so since it was not fresh but

one of those pickled baby octopuses to be found in the big jars of

seafood in Italian delis.

The next foray into the pizza produced another hot pickled baby

octopus. The third attempt uncovered yet another hot pickled baby


At this point we abandoned eating the pizza and went on a fishing

expedition in search of a mussel, a prawn, a daud of clam. Nae luck. But

we did find a further seven baby octopuses, whose corpses we asked be

given a decent burial.

So, what's got 80 tiny legs and fairly takes the edge off your

appetite? Yes, a Tron Theatre octopizza.