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Well, at least her excuses are original

Accusing a chick-lit author of plagiarism is like accusing a size-zero model of starvation dieting; what you're actually doing is complimenting their professional dedication. If readers of so-called pink books wanted genuinely creative writing, they wouldn't be purchasing novels on the basis of colour-coding in the first place.

Even allowing for the genre's disdain for originality, however, there is something eye-popping about the liberal extent to which Claudia Carroll has seasoned her latest opus with jokes from Sex And The City, Friends and Bridget Jones. Carroll denies copycatting and claims the appropriated quips are "expressions" which have filtered into daily conversation. "Who knows what is original any more?" she asks.

Talent borrows, genius steals. However, refusing to give your readers at least a little credit is always a sign of low-grade hackwork.

Community pitches in to say goodbye

Confusion continues over what collection method the Government will use for its proposed "community charge". In the interests of showing the public how their taxes are spent, ministers should outsource the job to the 19 former senators who are currently awaiting the bestowal of their golden handshakes.

Over the coming year, these decommissioned gasbags will receive lump sums averaging almost €230,000 each. The payments are in addition to their pension pots of over a half million euro.

Comparing the community charge to Margaret Thatcher's poll tax is misleading; given the vast amounts of state money still being splurged on featherbedding politicians, it could more accurately be described as a pol tax.

Indo Review