After a summer consisting of writing large tracts of my upcoming book, wearing a Del Monte man hat and harpoon fishing with Jeremy Paxman and his awesome beard, I've now returned to my usual beat. And just in time, because I wouldn't miss the Liberal Democrat Party Conference for the world.
Up in Glasgow, the main news at 'LibDemFest 2013: Dear God, Make It Stop' was that the party is willing to use the 9 MP's they'll have after the next election to put Labour into government, a bit like in a gangster film when a stricken informer gets redemption in his last action by shooting the bad guy, then dies.
But not a minute before the next election, Paddy Ashdown insists, as he's come out swinging at the sections within the party that reckon they should jump ship prior, in the vain hope that they can scrub themselves clean with a good year. Ashdown said nobody he respects in the party is proposing it, but this is a party where self-respect is lower than a mine canary cheating on his girlfriend.
The Lib Dems aren't the only ones gearing up for the 2015 election though. Jeremy Clarkson is thinking of it too, which makes my description of the Lib Dems. Originally, he said he was thinking about running in Doncaster North, where he's from orginally. That constituency also just happens to be the one represented by Ed Milliband. Clarkson, Picasso of wind ups that he is, later stated he was pissed when he floated the idea. He actually intended to run elsewhere in Yorkshire, in Sheffield Hallam: Nick Clegg's constituency. The Lib Dems just can't rest at all. Though for some mysterious reason, he's not actually thought about running in the constituency where he actually lives, Witney.
Elsewhere in the world of fanciful election candidacy, Jeff Wagner is running for Mayor of Minneapolis, the city of that gave us Hubert Humphrey, Prince and, eh, these pyjama-wearing friends of Prince. Who is Jeff Wagner, you say? Good question: he's the one with the campaign video of a nutter. It's hard to know what is the best element of it: the fact he has the bathing regimen of Reginald Perrin, his pledge not to take money from developers or go to stripclubs if elected, his intensity point and stare, or his campaign slogan that he clearly borrowed from a drill sergeant. And even in this economy, what the hell kind of job is serving coffee to a man in a lake? Thanks a lot, Obama.
Meanwhile at the Miss America pageant, American lunacy was kicked up a notch when the announcement of this year's winner, 24-year old doctor Nina Davuluri was met with an inedible sandwich of flagrant racism and fundamental world ignorance. By that logic, the complaints board must light up every time an episode of The Mindy Project comes on.
That some people are idiots on Twitter comes as no real shock (albeit no less dismaying) but when you hear of an ostensible scientist making claims that make this guy seem cogent, you know you're in trouble. Case in point: Lagos postgrad science student Chibuihem Amalaha reckons he's got scientific proof that gay marriage is wrong. You know how? Magnets. Repellent, indeed.
Although, he may have a slightly greater grasp of technology that the BBC's Simon McCoy, who inexplicably held a ream of A4 paper while reading the news, which he took by mistake while reaching for his tablet. Puts a whole new spin on the phrase "Copy Desk Chief".