THE history books are packed with titanic struggles. Wellington versus Napoleon… Stalin versus Trotsky… Bugs Bunny versus Elmer Fudd.

But nothing compares to Gary Lineker versus the BBC (Okay, perhaps Bugs v. Fudd comes close).

Should those working for the Beeb appear apolitical when it comes to government policy?

That’s a complex question, though if you are yearning for balanced, temperate reporting, the Diary’s contributors are stoutly impartial in matters of state.

Which is why reader Foster Evans offers up the following curiosity without prejudicial comment.

He merely notes that in 2021 the UK Home Office stated: “British citizenship is a privilege, not a right.”

While back in 1979, the comic book character, Judge Dredd – who happens to be an authoritarian, gun-totting, bullet-shooting police officer in a dystopian future - stated: “Let every man know that citizenship is a privilege – not a right.”

“Coincidence?” muses Foster, innocently.

Tray-mendous idea

WE’RE discussing the furnishings that are often found on the top of office desks. Jeff Auton, from Bathgate, tells us there were three trays on his desk, which read: In, Out and Shake It All About.

Loopy lingo

OUR linguistically astute readers continue to translate French phrases into English. Says David Donaldson: “My mother used to tell me that someone in her class at Whitehill School translated ‘Les minces peupliers frissonnait dans la nuit’ as ‘The people were frying mince in the night.’”

Mum’s the word

THE time is fast approaching when children, both young and old, have the opportunity to abjectly apologise for their selfish and wicked behaviour towards mum during the past 364 days by attempting to be kind and considerate to that same victimised parent for an entire 24 hours.

In other words, it’s Mother’s Day this Sunday.

To herald this auspicious occasion, the Diary is listing the finest gifts and cards the market place has to offer.

Russell Smith, from Largs, recalls a card he once purchased, which contained the doting message: ‘You made me the person I am today – how the hell can you sleep at night?’

Dotty, spotty story

THE wife of reader Jeff Macdonald happened to mention she had spotted a deer on her drive to work.

This confused Jeff, who said: “How did you know it was driving to its work, and why did you feel the need to cover the poor beast in spots?”

Reversal of fortune

OBSERVANT reader Margaret McKee points out: “Anyone who can spell the word drawer backwards will get a reward.”