Back in December I wrote about Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books and noted the libertarian theme. Each day the Scotsman is publishing an episode of a "daily novel" by Mr McCall Smith. I believe that's how writers like Dickens published their stories in the nineteenth century. 44 Scotland Street portrays the lives of the residents of a typical block of flats in the Edinburgh New Town, and it's become the first thing I read in the paper each day.
Today one of the residents has gently teased her visitor, Angus Lordie, as being "a well-known failure, a roue and a painter of dubious talent". But Angus has a talent:
"Did I tell you, by the way, that I composed a hymn about Belgium? The Church of Scotland has been revising its hymnary and was asking for more modern contributions. I composed one of which I was rightly rather proud. I called it God looks down on Belgium."Surely this means that God is a Eurosceptic, even if the Kirk hasn't quite got the message yet.
"And the words?" asked Domenica.
Angus Lordie cleared his throat. "The first verse goes as follows," he began:
God's never heard of Belgium,
But loves it just the same,
For God is kind
And doesn't mind -
He's not impressed with fame.
Domenica looked at Angus Lordie and raised an eyebrow. "Did the Church of Scotland use it?" she asked.
"Inexplicably, no," said Angus Lordie. "I had a very polite letter back, but I fear that they feel that it's not suitable. I suppose it's something to do with comity within Europe. We have to pretend to take Belgium seriously."