Much excitement over here, I explain for overseas readers as Harriet ('Hattie') Harman who is Deputy Leader of the Labour Party has made some disobliging comments about Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury - the Beaker lookalike the rabbit mentioned last Wednesday. Hattie, who the rabbit met a couple of times a few years ago and didn't take to, pronounced of the Beaker lookalike 'many of us in the Labour Party are conservationists and we all love the red squirrel but there's one ginger rodent we never want to see in the highlands of Scotland - Danny Alexander'.
Um righty. A little gingerist perhaps. Cue uproar. George Lyon, Scottish Liberal Democrat election chair pronounced gravely 'there is no depths to which the Labour Party will not stoop'. A little hyperbolic perhaps. Hattie called him a 'ginger rodent'. She didn't try to blow him up or frame him as the supposed centre of a paedophile ring. Beaker can dish it back, it transpires. 'I am proud to be ginger and rodents do valuable work cleaning up mess others leave behind. Red squirrel deserves to survive, unlike Labour' he riposted.
So snooks to Hattie. Anyway, the upshot is that Hattie has withdrawn the gingerist insult and apologised to Beaker. Her remarks may not have been the most tactful thing to say in Scotland where apparently 5% of the population is - erm - ginger as opposed to 1% in Europe generally.
Meanwhile en France all is not well. Regular readers will recall former the French Justice Minister's unfortunate slip of the tongue when she confused inflation and - erm - fellation. As one does. Now some bold French fellow has e-mailed Rachida asking for 'an inflation'. Rachida was not amused and the poor fellow has been arrested. After being kept in a cell for 48 hours, he has been charged with displaying contempt towards a public servant (sic), an offence which is punishable with a prison sentence of up to a month and a €10,000 (£8,700) fine and is due to appear in court on the 3rd December.
This seems a touch over the top. The French sense of humour is sometimes more than passing strange but it does seem excessive for a democratic country to have a milder variant of the 'insulting the glorious leader' type offence that fills the prisons in various totalitarian countries used to prosecute someone for making a bad joke. Below is Rachida contemplating the bold fellow's unusual request. Hat Tip to Mahal.