THE Hartlepool by-election result emphasises the disconnect between the local working class and the Labour Party, notes former Falkirk MP Dennis Canavan. It also reminds him of the time Peter Mandelson was selected as Hartlepool candidate. He was said to have wandered into a local chip shop, where the favourite delicacy was chips and mushy peas.

When asked by a customer what he thought of the food, Mandelson replied: “The chips were quite good but the guacamole was squisita.”

Pointless point

Meanwhile, the Holyrood election was the inspiration for numerous astute observations from celebrated commentators, including Sir John Curtice, Professor of Politics at Strathclyde University.

But none of the analysis on offer has been as profound as that which the Diary provides for its lucky readers.

For example, Bert Peattie, from Kirkcaldy, notes that in spite of winning the Eurovision Song Contest (albeit back in the 1970s) and having smash-hit musicals on both sides of the Atlantic, plus two blockbuster movies, Alba failed to gain a single Holyrood seat.

Hmmm. On further consideration, Bert might want to swap one of those letters in Alba before developing his thesis any further…

Tipple too far

TWO rather refined elderly ladies were overheard chatting on a train from Whitecraigs to Glasgow Central by reader Liz Cameron, who provides us with the following vignette.

Posh Lady 1: So how much is she drinking?

Posh Lady 2: She’s out cold, Doreen. Every single night.

Posh Lady 1: Heavens! So she’s a little bit more than an occasional tippler, would you say?

Talking Turkey

WE recently mentioned a famous Turkish waterway. Which reminds Stevie Campbell, from Hamilton, of the time he and three chums went strolling near Bothwell Castle and were confronted by a bunch of rowdy local fellows, who rather eccentrically threatened Stevie and Co. by alluding to that very Turkish waterway.

“They said that if we didn't vamoose fast, they would boot our Bosphorus,” explains Stevie.

Food for thought

CURIOUS reader Albert Ross has been thinking about the great innovators of the past. He says: “If the chap who named the walkie-talkie had also named other important inventions, would the kitchen table and chairs now be known as the sittie-eattie?”

Moody moniker

WE’VE been devising names for corvids. Reader Alan Thomson, who we assume enjoys the work of gothic horror writer Edgar Allan Poe, says: “Surely an appropriate name for a raven is Quoth?”

Trilling times two

MUSIC-LOVING Denis Bruce, from Bishopbriggs, wonders: “Could a singer who is confused about their identity have an alto ego?”