John Gibson: Quince, it’s a right load of mince

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For haggis, neeps and tatties, read Marmite and quince tarts. We should be reaching for our claymores. The English, by jove, are out to nick our Burns Supper Night with a rival national Shakespeare Supper Night.

T’was only a matter of time, give or take a few hundred years. The copycat version would be held every April 23, Shakespeare’s birthday as well as St George’s Day.

Culture secretary Maria Miller has been dragged into the act and it’s hoped the Queen will rubber stamp it. I can hear it now . . . great chieftain of the Marmite race . . . Doesnae sound right somehow, Marmite and quince tarts. A right load of mince.

Tail of woe

Barking up the wrong tree. The barmy former Scottish Executive six years ago made it illegal to cut the tails off (docking) working dogs, mainly spaniels, retrievers, terriers. Six months in jail and a £5,000 fine the penalty.

Good luck to the Scottish Gamekeepers Association, which is campaigning for the law to be changed. Long tails cause injuries for dogs working in dense rough cover.

Cocker spaniels without tails look daft. Doubtless fee-chasing vets will disagree. I wouldn’t have allowed my speniels over the door had they not been docked at birth. Good for them. Bad for vets.

A sorry tale. Here’s hoping every member of the Scottish Executive was microchipped.

Afterwords . .

. . . A word in your ear from Richard Wilson (grumpy Victor Meldrew to you): “I don’t mind people saying I’m gay, because I am. But I don’t live in a gay relationship. That is probably why I go to counselling.”