Playing the game

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The Independent Online

Britain is divided again. A nation which only recently seemed to rediscover a unity of sentiment and reaction in the face of unfolding events has spent the past few days in fierce argument over the actions of one man. Idealist or grandstander? An inspiration or just plain misguided?

Here, we are clear: Lloyd Scott, the 40-year-old from Rainham, Essex, who has been walking the London Marathon in a 120lb antique diving suit, is the proud embodiment of many of our finest traditions.

You will not need us to point out the significance of the surname of a man who has found undying fame in not finishing first, thus adding his name to the glorious roll that has in its number Boadicea, Ethelred the Unredy, King Harold, the Black Hole of Calcutta, Balaclava, Rorke's Drift, Dunkirk, Tim Henman, and Sir Cliff Richard (second in the Eurovision Song Contest, 1968).

Others may reflect on Mr Scott as an example of "the great British eccentric": we prefer to celebrate the last remnant of our island taste for adventure.

So salute, along with Mr Scott, Mick Deacon, the current garden pea throwing world champion (145 feet, at Lewes); Amy Lambert, of Tonbridge, Kent, who has a collection of 830 ornamental camels; and Gill Kerr, whose 389cm effort won the longest piece of peel award at last year's Apple Day event in Iver Heath. Well done all!

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