Sad news - Birdsong, Britain's most restful and purely enjoyable radio station, has gone, to be replaced by the usual cacophany (in fact an interactive cacophany, God help us). Surely there must be a home for birdsong somewhere else on the dial - perhaps featuring more extensive and ambitious recordings than Birdsong's. I note from para 5of the BBC story that the garden where Birdsong was recorded has gone on to an illustrious career in radio - why not give another garden a break? Or an entire wood?
Meanwhile, Pa Broon yields to the public will and announces that he will be, er... setting up a National Council for Democratic Renewal. What do we want? A National Council for Democratic Renewal! When do we want it? Now! There's a man with his finger on the pulse. And by the way I'm quite sure - pace The Yard - that he won't be gone by June. If ever there was an immovable object, it is Gordon Brown. In this, as in many things, he resembles that great comic creation, Augustus Carp, Esq, who, you may recall, commended at length his own remarkable abilities in playing the game Nuts In May. His laborious account of the game ends thus:
'Ultimately it might happen, and indeed it often did, that one of the sides would finally absorb the other, and the absorbing side usually including myself, my services were naturally in the keenest demand. I soon found, in fact, that, in spite of my ill-health, I was singularly adapted to this form of recreation. Inheriting, as I did, to a very great extent, my father's powerful and sonorous voice, I was able to throw myself with dominating effect into the preliminary vocal exchanges, while my physique stood me in admirable stead in the later stages of the game. For though I was short, with singularly slender arms, my abdomen was large and well covered, while my feet, with their exceptional length and breadth and almost imperceptible arches, enabled me to obtain a tenacious hold of the ground upon which they were set.'