ENTERTAINING film though it is, Mel Gibson’s Braveheart has often been criticised for taking liberties with historical fact. Some people, however, find slightly more esoteric grounds for picking faults.

Author Helen (H is for Hawk) Macdonald has tweeted that she once discussed films with a group of Oxford ornithologists. One of them expressed the view that Braveheart was “brilliant, but the gulls ruined it for me.”

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“The gulls?” she said.

“Yeah”, came the reply. “Pretty sure black-headed gulls didn’t breed inland in Scotland in the 14th century.”

“And we all nodded and made sounds of horrified agreement”, Helen writes. “I’ve not watched Braveheart since.”

Quick off the mark

ELECTION News (1). Jim McGovern and his wife Norma have been among those campaigning in the local council elections.

Many properties have controlled-entry, he says, and depending on the timer you can get access using the “Trades/Service” button. Otherwise you have to press residents’ intercom buttons hoping someone will answer and allow you in to deliver leaflets.

Thus on Tuesday did he find himself talking by intercom to one resident, a Mrs Hendry, and asking if she could open the door for him and his election material.

“Jeez, you guys don’t waste any time,” she said. “The Prime Minister only announced it about twenty minutes ago!”

Not wishing to turn a potential positive into a possible negative, Jim said,” That’s politics, Mrs Hendry. If you’re not fast you’re last!” She let him in.

Tatton bye, George

ELECTION News (2). “The power of the Diary knows no bounds!” says John B Henderson, who was in this column yesterday on the subject of the multitasking former Chancellor. “It seems George Osborne has realised he might have a few jobs too many by announcing he’s not standing in Tatton on June 8”.

Going for a song

WE could have devoted all of today’s Diary to your shop song titles, but that would have been unusually lazy, even for us. Herewith, instead, another bracing selection:

* Lidl things mean a lot

* It Asda be you

* I never promised you a Waitrose garden (all Christine Brooks)

* Monsoon River (Moira Campbell)

* Hoey, Good Lookin’

* Sexual Healy’s (both Christine Munro)

* Dune is Bustin’ out all over;

* Wish Schuh were Here;

* It’s a Harrod Rain’s a-Gonna Fall;

* Lewis-ing My Religion;

* Watt a Wonderful World;

* Ma Sher-ee Amour ( all David Walker.).

More tomorrow.

Ankers aweigh

AND finally ... John Mulholland says his five-year old daughter pointed to a car registration number the other day and said, ‘Look, daddy, A...N...K. If you add E...R to that you get Anker.’

“What did you just say?” John asked in alarm.

“Anker, daddy”.

“Thank goodness for that,” John replied. “For a moment there I thought you called me a ‘banker’.”