Heroes and Villains: John Reid and Bill Clinton
NB: we know that there are far more worthy heroes than those listed here - doctors, nurses, aid workers, Franck Sauzee, etc. Similarly, murderers, rapists and dictators are indisputably far greater villains. This column does not deal with them. It is designed to honour those who have caused surprise by their actions.
Hero: John Reid
John Reid probably isn't going to spend the weekend sitting in an easy chair thinking "Boy, I played a blinder this week." In an attempt to calm the increasingly sticky row over the non-existence - sorry, that should read non-appearance - of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, the Leader of the House suggested that rogue elements in the security services were working against the government.
Surprisingly, the low-key gambit of speculating about right wing covens in MI5 and MI6 subverting the Prime Minister failed to end the matter. In fact, New Labour had to indulge in more back-pedalling than the Tour de France passing a chemist.
Many people, some of whom live in the SW1A 2AA postcode area, would suggest Mr Reid had been a bit of a tube.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The man's a hero.
At a time when Westminster is adrift in a sea of moribund politics, Reid's timely (not to mention borderline paranoid) intervention has inestimably added to the gaiety of the nation.
Moreover, his words had an important cultural impact for a key demographic group: conspiracy theorists. The world is now eagerly waiting to see if John Reid will fill the gaping void left since the X-Files jumped the shark.
Much depends on his next move. Will he revert to tedious New Labour mouthpiece mode or boldly embrace his new role, announcing in the Commons that the radio in his head has picked up a message from Arcturus revealing that wombats in the pay of Rupert Murdoch have possessed the Chancellor of the Exchequer as part of a vast right wing conspiracy to steal the nation's underpants?
Villain: Bill Clinton
Talk of a vast right wing conspiracy brings us nicely on to the lady who coined the phrase, Hillary Clinton.
She has penned her autobiography. Her husband does not come out of it well.
Now, in my book, Bill's already a villain because he had the opportunity to be a great force for good in the world after the Reagan/Bush years but instead spent most of his presidency paralysed because he couldn’t keep his damn trousers on.
But it gets worse. It turns out that he didn't tell Hillary the truth about the Monica Lewinksy stuff until the weekend before he confessed to the grand jury investigating the affair.
It turns out all the obfuscation, prevarication and "I didn't inhale" nonsense wasn't a cunning political strategy to save his presidency. It was the desperate flailing of a man too scared to tell his missus he'd been a very naughty boy.
Of course, he didn't let Hillary in on his big secret until after she'd defended him in public. Not only did he have sexual relations with that woman he made his wife look like an idiot as well. And he only coughed to his misdemeanours at absolutely the last possible moment. His excuse? He was trying to protect her. Thanks, dear.
Oddest story of the week: Bull in a talking shop
We're all too familiar with the concept of bull in a legislative assembly, however a bull in a legislative assembly is a different matter.
Three people were injured in the Yemeni parliament when un toro stormed the building. Apparently the animal was going to be slaughtered as a protest about something but decided it had a better idea.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 10 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North east