Scooch finished second last in the Eurovision Song Contest and, thanks only to our friends in Ireland and plucky little Malta, narrowly managed to avoid the infamous nil points.
Naturally Scooch were terrible, but no more so than any of the other entries. In fact, they were among the least appalling of a truly appalling lot. There has always been political voting in Eurovision (Sweden and Norway always swap 12s), but it is now clear that the competition has a completely new agenda.
The music is literally irrelevant – instead, it is a chance for troubled Eastern European states to give each other little friendship tokens. Fourteen of the top sixteen places were Eastern European. I suppose that when Bosnia and Serbia are voting for each other, it is churlish to complain about artistic integrity.
The old Western European states are spare parts at Eurovision now – out of place and awkward, like uncles at a disco.
One minor point of satisfaction – for the first time ever, the French contestants sang in English, a remarkable admission of cultural defeat that has gone almost unnoticed.