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Bigger news

OK, I was wrong … the biggest news of the day is the announcement that Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, is pregnant with her and Prince William’s first child.   But can you spot the similarity between these two photos:

Royal collage

The answer?  Well they’re both expecting baby W[h]ales of course!!!  BOOM!!!!!

The Palace have taken the unusual step of publicising the Royal pregnancy prior to the 12 weeks stage because Kate has been admitted to hospital suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness requiring supplementary hydration and nutrients.

This baby’s future is of course already mapped out.   He/she will be third in line to the throne, after Prince Charles and Prince William and will one day be head of the armed forces, supreme governor of the Church of England and subsequently head of state of 16 countries.

So congratulations to them – just remember Kate, one more and your job is done!

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Eligibility to vote

They really haven’t thought this whole referendum thing through!

Mr Salmond and his cronies in the SNP continue to tell us that Independence is what the people of Scotland want.  But let’s have a look at the population and who actually are “the people of Scotland”.

When the referendum is held in the autumn of 2014, only residents of Scotland will be eligible to vote.  As a result, almost 400,000 living north of the border but born in other parts of the UK will get to take part, while 800,000 Scots living in England, Northern Ireland and Wales will not.   Given that Scotland has a population of just five million, 800,000 is a huge number.

In protest at being disenfranchised, James Wallace, a 23-year-old Dumfries native turned London resident, has launched a petition demanding that expat Scots in other parts of the UK be allowed to participate in the referendum.  Scots ministers say this simply would not be practical.   And, indeed, it’s difficult to imagine how an electoral register of everyone who considered themselves a Scot might be drawn up.   Who, after all, is Scottish? Those born in Scotland? People with Scottish ancestry? Anyone who is partial to Haggis and the Proclaimers?

For James Mitchell, professor of politics at the University of Strathclyde, residency is the only logical definition of Scottishness in terms of political representation. If you want a say over Scotland’s constitutional status he believes you should move back there.  “It would be absurd to allow anyone who claimed to be Scottish a vote,” Mitchell says.

So Mr Salmond, after reducing the voting age to 16, perhaps you should now try winning the hearts and minds of those of us who live in Scotland but come from different parts of the UK and are eligible to vote if you are to stand any chance of realising your dream – you’re not achieving this at the moment sunshine!

So close

With all eyes on Wales this morning, the whole of the UK were willing the team on in this, their most important game for 24 years. The game had it all, a very close scoreline (9-8), a dramatic early sending off and an exciting game for the spectators

There was the usual flurry of comments on the message boards and social media channels when the referee red-carded the Welsh captain, Sam Warburton. It was a hugely controversial decision from referee Alain Rolland. Warburton picked Clerc up and took him over the horizontal, and he failed to return him safely to the ground. But he did not drive him into the turf and it looked like a yellow card to me. Austin Healy on Twitter called it a “most ridiculous decision” but this was soon followed by a tweet from @misterhutt saying “To all of you complaining: what’s the point in having rules if they are not enforced? How’d u feel if Warburton was the victim here?”

The Welsh boys can however hold their heads up high. To play like they did for 70 minutes with 14 men was a tremendous achievement and they were within a hair’s breadth of winning the game on a couple of occasions … but it was not meant to be. They were the better team for most of the game, and had any one of three penalties, one conversion or two drop-goals found their way between the sticks, they would have reached their first ever World Cup final. Instead it is France who go through to face the winners of Sunday’s game between New Zealand and Australia.

Up and Under … down and out

So this morning England have spectacularly departed the Rugby World Cup 2011 at the Quarter Final Stage. 

This is the moment when Mark Cueto of England went over the line to score his try on the 75th minute, bringing the score to England 12-19 France.  At this moment, we were in with a (slim) chance as a conversion at this point would bring us level and the game would go to extra time.

In true English fashion, we then managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of a possible victory when Toby Flood failed to make the conversion when his shot went wide of the post.  (Mind you, if you check his stats he only has a conversion success rate of 69% so perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised!).

They ran out of time and inspiration as Les Bleus set up a well deserved semi-final clash with Wales.

My nomination for tweet of the week goes to Jonathan Allen who said “The sweet chariot swung pretty low during this world cup, got what we deserved #bbcrwc”

Come on the Welsh – the only home nation still in contention!!! 

“And we were singing hymns and arias, ‘Land of my Fathers’, ‘Ar hyd y nos’.

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