Ah, Those Lovely April Fools….

First, apologies: should any of the following be genuine, then sorry for assuming, given the time of the year, that…..

So, says The Scottish Sun (page 9): A statue of Susan Boyle and her pet cat, Pebbles, is to welcome visitors to Holyrood from April 1 next year.

Under the headline, ‘Subo Statue is a Liberty’, the Sun says plans to erect a £150,000 bronze sculpture of the Britain’s Got Talent singer have been approved by First Minister, Alex Salmond.

The proposal has provoked a backlash from the Taxpayers’ Alliance, though, with a spokesman quoted as saying: “Susan Boyle is famous for her beautiful voice, not her appearance.”

Boyle, it seems, will be the first in a series of ‘Living Legends’ statues paying tribute to Scottish stars, including Sir Sean Connery, Hollywood actor Gerard Butler and The Krankies. Of The Krankies, the Sun reports an insider adding: “It should only be a third of the cost when we make the cast of Wee Jimmy Krankie.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Gordon Brown is set to pull out all the stops to win the next General Election – even if it means squaring up to Conservative leader David Cameron in “a bare-knuckle fistfight for the future of Britain”, the Guardian (page 3) reports. 

A new poster campaign launched by Labour will see Brown embrace a hard-man image like “a sort of Dirty Harry figure”. Party strategists have also discussed the option of Brown starting a fight with Cameron during one of the upcoming televised debates, writes Olaf Priol.

Says Priol: “For their part, Conservative strategists are said to be troubled by internal research suggesting that several members of the shadow cabinet – including Cameron and George Osborne – would in fact not “come here and say that” if challenged by Brown, instead turning pale and running away, or arranging for an older brother to wait outside the Houses of Parliament to attack him when he is least expecting it.”

Staying with Gordon Brown, and The Times reports the PM’s most exciting speeches from the last three years will be hitting the book shelves in The Change We Choose: Speeches 2007-2009.

“Those who have sought inspiration from the oratory of Gladstone, Disraeli and Churchill can now turn to Mr Brown’s discussion of millennium development goals, his appeal for global solutions to global problems and his promise of a points-based immigration system,” writes Will Pavia.

Meanwhile, The Queen has taken to the skies with easyJet, reports the Scottish Daily Express (page 9). “When it comes to saving money, the Queen is no fool,” says the Express. “Yesterday she took a budget easyJet flight – at a cost to the taxpayer of just £22.99.”

Turning to the Scottish Daily Mail (page 27) and if you want to show your colours in the upcoming General Election then why not purchase a limited edition BMW badge. Available in the colours of all major UK parties, the badge “can be replaced in a matter of seconds, which is great news for the floating voter”. If interested, contact Uwe.Beanhadde@bmw.co.uk.

Finally, on the BBC's website, John Beattie reports that Scotland's rugby team face being demoted to the bottom of the Six Nations rugby table, on account of stand-off, Dan Parks, admitting to kicking for goal with the aid of a laser light.

Writes Beattie: “The fly-half's use of the illegal aid came to light when an English rugby fan sustained eye damage in the 15-15 draw at Murrayfield last month. It means the Scots, who finished second bottom in this season's competition, face a points deduction. And they will now receive the Wooden Spoon instead of Italy.

“Parks held his hands up when confronted by BBC Scotland. 'It is pretty simple really,' said the Glasgow Warriors player. 'It is just a laser which I have in my tee and basically, when I point it towards my target, it hits the mark.'”