Nevin's Notes: An alternative take on the election

*Now it gets dirty. Well. Nick Clegg was warned he would now come under close scrutiny. Let me tell you a few things that have been mentioned recently: 1. His mother is Dutch. 2. His father is half-Russian. 3. His spin doctor is German. 4. His wife is Spanish. 5. He has lived in Hungary. 6. And Belgium. 7. His children have Spanish first names. 8. He speaks a lot of foreign languages. 9. His children are on holiday in Spain. 10. He once worked as a ski instructor in Austria. Are you getting the picture, or pintura, as he doubtless says? No? How about this exclusive: you know that in Scotland a clegg is a horsefly? I can reveal that it has the exactly the same meaning in Norwegian. Enough said?

*Much Missed. This is becoming an election of candidates who are strangely reluctant to inhale the oxygen of publicity. Among those we are ever hopeful of hearing more from are Charles Clarke, former Cabinet member and media bestrider; Hazel Blears, ditto, now known in her Salford constituency as the Scarlet Pimpernel for obvious reasons and her elusiveness; Gloria de Piero, former 85th most sexy woman in the world, now Labour candidate in Ashfield; and, of course, any candidate called Rees-Mogg. Special offer: why not allow me to take the strain out of the whole business? Just send me 140 words or less including your favourite book and fruit, and inclusion here will be guaranteed!

*Sports News! Prepare for a very important announcement, possibly on 7 May. This was the Press Association, yesterday: "David Cameron has followed Gordon Brown in agreeing to be grilled by Jeremy Paxman in the run-in to the general election." And this was The Daily Telegraph, just before the leaders' debate, quoting Mr Cameron: "If I want to be shouted at by an overpaid prima donna, I'll join a Premier League football club." Funny old game, isn't it?

*Foreign News Extra! Two of Sarah Brown's "Best British Recipes", as revealed in The Observer, contain both garlic and olive oil.

*Now it gets really dirty. More on that Mr Clegg. 1. Louis Theroux says he was his fag at Westminster. 2. And he was a really deep sleeper. 3. Do you remember his story about the school trip indiscretion which torched two German greenhouses and their prized collection of cacti? Now it's been claimed that it was only a few cacti, lightly singed. 4. And that he uses Boots Number 7 anti-shine lotion. 5. Wimp!