A BRAINTEASER from reader Brian Murphy.

Question: Why is watching the broadcast of an Education Secretary stumbling his way through an apology for exam results similar to a 1970s cop show about souped-up vehicles chasing, then pranging, one another on the mean streets of London?

Answer: Because whether you’re watching the Swinney or The Sweeney, they’re both car-crash TV.

Expelling ET

WE’RE devising movie sequels that honestly reflect how the story would proceed in the real world. Alice Gordon suggests a follow-up to a Spielberg classic.

“In the second movie ET is spotted in the UK by Nigel Farage,” our reader explains. “The wee chap doesn’t have documentation proving his right to be here. So he’s dumped in a dinghy off the English Channel then ordered to skedaddle to Calais.”


CONTINUING with the contentious subject of policing our borders… we’ve previously noted that Andrew Neil is a tenacious newshound, willing to focus his intellect on any foolish combatant who provokes his ire. Though his latest adversary may melt under pressure. It’s a tub of ice-cream. Or the makers of that tub, at any rate.

On social media Ben & Jerry’s have been criticising Priti Patel’s hard-line reaction to asylum seekers. Andrew bites back by telling B& to stop posing as hippy ice-cream dudes. “You’re now wholly owned by a massive global conglomerate called Unilever,” he booms. “Perhaps if it paid the taxes HMRC thinks it should pay we could afford to accommodate many more asylum seekers.”

Ice-cream dudes duly liquefied.

Sucker for soccer

TRAINSPOTTING author Irvine Welsh can be cynical, even about football: “Okay, this global pandemic has its downside,” admits the fan of a certain Easter Road-based team. “But any force that relegates Hearts and sees Hibs top of the table has something going for it.”

Battery-charged Battersea

DURING a stroll, David Donaldson spotted an electrical contractor's van with the puzzling registration plate SH15 TZU. Our reader wondered if the vehicle’s owner had purchased a fancy pet from Battersea Dogs Ohm.

Fake feminist?

THE auctioning of Gandhi’s spectacles has our readers scrabbling for stuff to punt, sometimes of dubious authenticity. “Do I have any offers for Robert Burns’s signed copy of The Female Eunuch?” asks John Dunlop in a tone we can only describe as Del Boy-esqe.

Cop out

“I GOT stung by nettles,” reveals reader Dan Ferguson. “He charged me a hundred quid for a signed Bergerac DVD.” (Well, we started today’s Diary with a ‘70s cop show gag. So why not end with the 1980s variety?)

Read more: Those were the days