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LENDING is frozen. So now are cars. Scotland was nervous of turning into Iceland.
THE Information Tribunal this week ordered the release of records from key cabinet meetings. Less reported was its decision that Gordon Brown's diary should also be made public. Here is an exclusive extract:
'LADIES and gentlemen, companies of the free world. I stand here humbly and tell you my drawers are up for grabs. I will work with you. I will slide with you. Together we can create perfect storage."
'WOMEN condemn the Brown Bulge." Mark my words, that will appear on a placard very soon. It will be taken to Downing Street, expressing the collective female message: 'Put the VAT back on, Mr Brown.'
THINK out of the box, Britain. This is not a plea to be lateral, and have inventive New Year resolutions. It's a request to companies to use more finger-friendly packaging when sending 2009's food, drink and Christmas presents through the post.
LIKE Santa, I have entered the lives of others. He goes down the chimney. I just went into the Rangers megastore.
NUTRITIONISTS talk about calorie banks. What you eat is a calorie credit; what you expend in energy is a calorie debit. I currently have so many calories in the bank there is no chance Lloyds will have to take me over. If only BoS had followed the BoG model.
THE 1970s are back, with recession and a wave of unemployment. On the railways, they never went away. There they've always espoused the values of the 70s. Their motto: "Can't do that. The system won't let me."
A BLACK hole in national finances is forecast. Fantastic. Alistair Darling's critics have given women an opportunity to reveal that those great voids in space may henceforth be known as Black & Decker Holes.
IF SEX and the City were still on, would Gordon Brown have a cameo role? Glamorous photos showed him in New York earlier this week, striding between its tall buildings, exuding an air of being financial fabulous. He showed confidence. And all the strength the pound doesn't. He seemed at one with Manhattan, not just because his dark circles suggest he doesn't sleep either. Given that stateside the status test is appearing in an iconic TV show, I wondered: would he? And what would he play?
OH, TO have been a fly on the wall. Or a microphone on the secret-service agent's suit. The other transition – the domestic one – is what I'm interested in, yet few details have leaked about the verbatim conversational exchanges as the Bushes showed the Obamas round their future home.
SO, WHAT else will change in America? Here's an imagined view of the post-Obama victory landscape:
THE Iron Curtain, Peter Mandelson has allegedly said, is to be renamed the Aluminium Curtain. This is not to promote one metal over another, but so children can practise spelling whilst learning history.
'AND now, live from Edinburgh… Strictly Come Scottish Dancing." Cue professional dancers wearing backless kilts with sequins. Celebrities looking awkward in plaid-trimmed spangled bodices. And comments from the judges including "your bahookie stuck out during that jig" – Craig. Or Bruno: "You birl… like a girl…" Arlene in tartan might look scarily like Lorraine Kelly, but we could cope. Should a kilt whoosh up too far, Brucie would say: "ooh, I couldn't look. Not
IT SHOULD be crunch time, as in leaves. It is not, at least in my street. So I'm hoping the effects of the other crunch – the credit one – help restore the autumnal thrill of kicking one's way along crisp golden pavements.
AS BACON butties go, you can't beat this one. The butty is lightly tanned – part-baked rather then Fake Baked – and the bacon is so lean, it's size zero. It's a celebrity buttie, which is appropriate as it's on the menu at a breakfast debate asking the question: "Does the media break more celebrities than it makes?"
TWO-FOR-ONE offers abound in shops. But since when were double entendres included? In recent retail trips, I've had two when one would certainly have been enough.
FOR the last month or so Scotland couldn't have been wetter had the Siberian ice-sheet melted on our heads.