How does any woman find the time to vote, with so much cooking and cleaning to do?

(Send your answer to the dolts at Better Together)

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The Independent Online

When she hurled herself in front of King George V’s horse, Emily Davison can’t have known it would end like this. With an actress in a fake kitchen, cradling a giant mug of tea and saying that she would like to think about playing her democratic part in the biggest moment in her country’s history, “But there’s only so many hours in the day”. Perhaps if she drank less tea, she would get more done.

This is the latest broadcast from Better Together, the campaign to keep Scotland in the UK at next month’s referendum. It is a monologue from an Everyday Upstanding Scottish Woman – we know she is one of these because she is wearing a wedding ring (close-up), one of her child’s loom bands (close-up) and has a biscuit nearby.

She doesn’t have a name because she doesn’t need one – she is All Scottish Women – and it is her husband Paul who has the voice in this relationship. He is always talking about the referendum, even at breakfast! “I say, it’s too early to be discussing politics. Eat your cereal.” He is as bad as “that guy off the telly”. Scottish Woman doesn’t know his name but she means Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland for the past seven years and highest-profile Scottish MP for some 20 years before that. How on earth is she supposed to get the cooking and cleaning done with all their endless chitchat about independence? In the end, she decides to vote against it, for her children’s sake, and goes back to her mangle and cupcakes.

It is lame, crushingly dull and patronising – so much so that “Patronising Better Together Lady” has already inspired a slew of internet spoofs. “Ah’d do proper research into the most important decision of my life. But the floor won’t scrub itself”, and so on.

In general, the Better Together campaign appears to have been orchestrated by bureaucrats who have never met real people. Previously they have deployed an open letter, signed by celebrities and presented by leading political lights Ben Fogle and June Sarpong, and used Lego figures to explain to the Scottish people that they would be £1,400 better off per year if they stayed with the UK, a sum of money that could buy them fish and chips every day for 10 weeks, a season of pies and Bovril at Aberdeen football club, and so on.

So the campaign has effectively patronised everyone, not just women. There is still something particularly insidious in the way “The Woman Who Made Up Her Mind” video perpetuates the idea of the baffled female floating voter, too mired in laundry and packed lunches to have time to think about the bigger picture. It is doubtless the result of many hours of research and focus groups, but if that is the case, how did they get it so wrong?

The idea that “women voters” can be won round with the odd YouTube video or cosmetic cabinet reshuffle is an insulting nonsense. “Women voters” are just like men voters, in that they are all different and all care about the different issues that affect them. Women have had the vote for almost 100 years now: a good start to engaging those that aren’t already switched on to politics might be to lose the “women” and start addressing them simply as “voters”.

Supermarket dash to be the cheapest censor in town

Perhaps hoping to wrest the headlines away from Lidl and its best-selling champagne (£11.99, hangover comes free), Aldi has banned a book.

While it is heartening to discover that the shop sells books at all among the naan breads, thermal onesies and Teutonic truffles scattered at random about its aisles, that’s not the story here.

The offending volume, removed from Aldi’s Australian stores following a complaint, is not The Satanic Verses, nor Fifty Shades of Grey, nor even the new Martin Amis. It is Revolting Rhymes, by Roald Dahl. The issue is that Dahl’s mischievous take on Cinderella includes the word “slut”:  The Prince cried, “Who’s this dirty slut? Off with her nut!’”

It is quite obvious that Dahl, writing in the 1980s, meant “slut” in the old-fashioned sense of untidy woman, and not as the loaded, sexual insult of recent years. Dahl, the master of skipping the line between dark and funny, would not go that far – and nor would his editors.

Aldi has been not only stupid but craven in banning an item that might encourage children to read because of one Facebook comment – “an unacceptable word for kids!!! Not OK!” No doubt the aisles stuffed with sweets and sugary breakfast cereals are also “unacceptable for kids!!!” but they will not disappear soon. Why the pussy-footing around when it comes to books? The customer is always right, except when he or she is utterly wrong.

I’ve got an idea to stop all this fighting in the aisle

To recline or not? It’s the question of the week, as not one but two flights have erupted in fisticuffs over seat angles. On Wednesday, a flight from Miami to Paris had to turn back after a passenger became “disruptive” when the person in front tried to recline. Before that, a flight from Newark to Denver had to make an emergency landing when a fight broke out over one passenger fixing a “knee defender” device to his tray table that prevented the person in front from moving their seat back.

I am not a recliner myself and so one of those awful passive-aggressive types who tuts loudly as soon as the seat in front starts its descent. But I can see I am probably in the wrong. The solution surely is for the crew to force the recline on everyone after take-off – in the manner of a kindly dentist – then passengers can opt out. Sorted. But what to do about the incessant jabbing in the back of the neck from the person behind as they operate the touchscreen of their in-flight entertainment? Loud tutting it is.

Baked Alaska in the bin, and toys out of the pram

Some of us are still recovering from the Great Custard Theft of 2013 – when Debbie used Howard’s superior crème anglaise in her trifle “by mistake” – so this week’s Great British Bake Off drama was quite the ordeal. The episode took a turn for the murky when Iain discovered the ice cream for his baked Alaska in a milky puddle, after it had been left out of the freezer by fellow contestant Diana.

In a rage, he threw his half-baked creation in the bin and, come judging time, was forced to present nothing more edible than a 50-litre Brabantia flavoured with his shame and tears. Aghast, Mary Berry promptly knocked him out of the contest.

Viewers were outraged. Sabotage! they cried; 556 of them actually complained to the BBC. Paul Hollywood had to call for calm on Twitter. Iain went on Newsnight. And Diana, 69, gave a tearful interview in which she blamed shoddy editing for stitching her up. She has since left the show “for health reasons”. Whatever the truth, since the series was filmed months ago, the high drama of the past two days smacks of no little sensationalist tweaking behind the scenes.

Shame – not just for making a pensioner cry but because the beauty of the Bake Off was that it was never about sob stories or scandals, but about nice people making nice cakes. Still is, really, though you’d never guess as much from the headlines.

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