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Editor's Viewpoint: Hitting a bum note

If the Eurovision Song Contest proves anything it is that Ireland and the UK have few friends in Europe.

Of course it is not a real talent contest, with every territorial bloc, like the Balkan or Scandinavian countries unashamedly voting for each other no matter how dire the dirge involved.

It is difficult to understand why Britain and Ireland - the record winners of Eurovision - should now have fallen among the also-rans. Perhaps it is jealousy or just plain politics. After all, these islands have a distinguished musical heritage having given the world some of the outstanding pop music of the last 50 years. Maybe we are just too good to be appreciated by the rest of Europe.