A 60-year study conducted by researchers at the University of Edinburgh has revealed that personality is not, as had previously been thought, immutable. This may be good news for all those in their 20s and 30s who wake up most days feeling anxious and are hoping it won’t last forever, but it’s not so great for those of us who have reached our 60s and detect no discernible difference from our younger selves.

I feel inadequate enough at the best of times. I frequently wake up with the gnawing feeling that I’ve failed at my day even before I’ve actually done anything – and now I don’t even have the excuse of being a personality type. Rather, my feelings of failure aren’t related to low self-worth; they are actually pegged to reality. I don’t just feel I have failed, I have failed. I have failed to grow up into a well-rounded adult. I have failed at life. I am the architect of my own arrested development.

I need a personality Fitbit to measure my way to being a more confident and better socialised person. Congratulations John. You are now 10,000 steps towards being less of a failure.


Sometimes I can’t help wondering if the people who run the Football Association don’t actually secretly hate football. That at least is the only explanation I can come up with for the FA’s po-faced investigation into the pie-eating stunt that has led to Wayne Shaw, Sutton’s 23-stone reserve goalkeeper, being sacked after his club’s FA Cup 5th-round tie against Arsenal.

Treating him as if he was a Premier League footballer has to be verging on the pointless; now that their cup run is over there won’t be a televised game involving Sutton for years.

The pie-eating was the one memorable highlight of a fairly dull game. Besides which, it wasn’t his fault that so many football clubs have sold themselves to online betting firms, one of which was daft enough to offer odds on Wayne eating a pie during the game.

Whatever Wayne had done, whether he had eaten the pie or not, he would still be in the dock. So give Wayne a break.


Theme parks aren’t what they used to be. When my kids were young, a day out at Chessington World of Adventures trying to persuade them to go on something a little more exciting than a pink plastic tea cup going slowly round in circles was a highlight – for them, if not for me. But now the Russians are building a military theme park outside Moscow in which kids will be able to re-enact the storming of the Reichstag by the Red Army in 1945.

After Boris Johnson’s remarks about “the liberation of Britain” it can’t be long before Britain has its very own Brexit theme park. What more could any child want than the opportunity to be part of a crack platoon, led by Sgt Bozza, that launches a daylight raid on a mock-up of the European parliament in Brussels, kicks out scores of MEPs from the main debating chamber before raising the flag of St George from the roof?

Elsewhere in the park, fathers will be able to copy Nigel Farage’s example and set up their very own love nest with a much younger French woman in a replica of Mar-a-Lago.


Last week’s Twitter war was between JK Rowling and Piers Morgan. A war that Morgan comprehensively lost – mainly because he doesn’t actually believe in anything except his own brand. This week the stakes have just got a whole lot higher as Pope “My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius @Pontifex” Francis (10 million followers) has declared Twitter war on Donald Trump (25 million followers).

The pontiff began with a guerrilla offensive by tweeting: “How often in the Bible the Lord asks us to welcome migrants and foreigners, reminding us that we too are foreigners!” Trump replied with: “Give the public a break – The FAKE NEWS media is trying to say that large scale immigration in Sweden is working out just beautifully. NOT!”

This was the first time the pope had been called out for being part of the FAKE NEWS liberal elite and he has just upped the ante with: “Do not underestimate the value of example, for it is more powerful than a thousand words, a thousand “likes”, retweets or YouTube videos.” Stand by for Trump’s reply.


Just what damage Storm Doris did to Labour in the Copeland byelection might be hard to calculate. Traditionally, it’s harder for Labour to get its vote out in bad weather, but Doris could have given the party an ideal excuse for losing a seat it would have lost anyway. Clarence House had its own take. Just before Doris hit the north-west of the UK, it posted a tweet of the Duchess of Cornwall on a skiing holiday with the caption, “Take care in the snow today. #StormDoris”. If the royal family wants to show it is in touch with people’s concerns, a selfie from Klosters is a strange way of going about it.

Digested week, digested: Losing is winning.

Picture of the week: From SS-GB … ‘The Brexit negotiations are going well.’ Photograph: Laurie Sparham/BBC/Sid Gentle Films Ltd/Laurie Sparham