Saving the Union in a way that bears fruit, writes VIRGINIA BLACKBURN

Saving the Union in a way that bears fruit, writes VIRGINIA BLACKBURN

Updated: 2 months, 2 days, 8 hours, 18 minutes, 14 seconds ago

The majority of sperm donors come from abroad

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Experts are saying that this may be due to difficulties in finding a UK donor, or a belief on the part of the mother that the child would be less likely to try to seek out its father. But what caught my eye is this: you can actually get a catalogue for these men and choose them on the basis of physical attributes or professions.

You want your progeny to be a doctor or a lawyer? Why not ensure it's in the genes from the start?

Now, no one is seeking to make light of the desperation some women feel to have a child and the lengths to which they would go to achieve that aim, but you can't help wondering if there is more at play here than just a UK donor being hard to find.

The US is a place of ample opportunity as long as you have the drive to see it through: why not seek out a donor with the characteristics of a tech billionaire (nerdiness combined with massive entrepreneurial flair), hope your child inherits the talent and, bang, there's your pension sorted out.

As for the Danes, they tend to be very good-looking in a Nordic sort of way and they are an exceptionally reasonable people. Also, they like to eat herring, which for some of us is a plus.

Of course, it's terribly racist now to say that some countries have national characteristics, but let's throw caution to the wind and see what's out there. 

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Want to have a philosopher child? Look to France.

Musical one? Germany should do the trick.

As for an Italian father, while that gorgeous country can sometimes be a little scatty these days, with something of a dark side beneath the beauty, this is the home of the Renaissance, the birth of opera and ballet, the most stunning churches in the world (the Duomo in Milan and St Mark's Basilica in Venice) and some seriously good wine and cheese.

Who wouldn't want a taste of that? But the best of all does actually lie in the UK if you can find them.

A proud people, brilliant engineers, explorers, writers and living in some of the most beautiful countryside on earth: the Scots.

Now there's a thought. Ignore the dreaded Nicola Sturgeon and ensure the future of the Union by peopling the place with half Scots, half everything else.

Aye, we could all lift a wee dram to that!

Rehearsals for Mandela, the musical

Musical is surely missing a trick without a cast of Meghans...

A new musical has opened, Mandela, about the life of the South African leader.

Given the Duchess of Sussex's claim that on her marriage to Prince Harry, people of the Rainbow Nation celebrated in the streets as they did when Madiba - as our hero was nicknamed - was released, should the production not feature a line-up of singing and dancing Meghan Markle lookalikes in tribute to the great man?

Fewer than half the population is Christian 

So Britain is no longer a Christian country, with fewer than half the population considering themselves to be Christian.

This is down by 25 percent over the last 20 years. Partly, it is due to changing demographics caused by immigration, but this is yet another unwelcome development that can be traced back to Sir Tony Blair.

I still remember the shock I felt when, in the early days of his government, I heard a spokesman referring to Christians as a separate part of the population, because up until then it was simply accepted that the vast majority of the population was Christian unless specifically otherwise.

No doubt this was meant to put everyone in every religion on the same level by putting Christians a par with had until then been religious minorities.

But I bet even Blair didn't think he was destroying this country's religious make-up.

Is there anything that man touched that didn't turn to dust?

Football fans were warned not to let banter turn into insult

Footballing banter is half the gameplay

Football fans were warned not to let banter turn into insult when England and Wales played the other night. I rather suspect most footie fans could take it.

Some years ago I edited a book written by a famous coach: two memories stand out. The first is that every other paragraph (or so it seemed) started with the phrase, "Me and the lads..."

The second is that every other paragraph (or so it seemed) ended with a recollection of meeting the opposition: "We had a bit of banter and then we all shook hands."

Not that that would be allowed these days. And with it goes half the fun.

Israel rarely gets a mention regarding LGBT rights

Everyone whinging that Qatar doesn't respect LGBT rights might bear in mind that there is only one country in the Middle East that does: Israel.

But it rarely gets a mention.

Funny that.

Andy Cohen forgot meeting Meghan

Wise words to avoid a faux pas

Andy Cohen, the executive producer of the Real Housewives TV series, put his foot in it on Meghan Markle's Archetypes podcast when he appeared to forget having met her despite having done so twice.

He should take a leaf out of Nicholas Haslam's book, who has the best manners of anyone in the world (excluding my husband.)

I was at a party once, chatting to a chum, when Nicky manifested himself by our side.

"Have you MET VIRGINIA?" asked my friend. "Yes, of course, how are you?" asked Nicky.

In actual fact we'd never encountered each other before, but Nicky has met just about everyone else in the world and could scarcely be expected to remember everyone.

He clearly wanted to avoid one of those awful embarrassments when one remembers meeting and the other doesn't.

Here's a tip: never say, "Pleased to meet you," as Andy did. There's a good reason why "How do you do" is the accepted form of addressing people. It keeps the gaffe count down.

December babies receive 160 fewer presents

New research has revealed that people born in December receive on average 160 fewer presents over a lifetime than those born in other months: yah boo sucks and it's not fair.

Yes, I am a December baby (it's today, since you ask) and matters have been made even worse by Facebook sanctimoniously asking if you'd like to raise money for a good cause in lieu of receiving presents.

As a friend put it, no I jolly well wouldn't.

Give me stuff, instead.