Something for the Weekend: Running up that hill

Recess is over, Parliament has returned from its Christmas break, and so has Something for the Weekend. Thank goodness it’s Saturday. You find me relaxing on a beach, sipping a mojito and catching some rays. And not in Cowley Street, oh no.

In the Something for the Weekend goody bag today: we reveal the secret of Hillary Clinton’s problems in Iowa; we discover Yorkshire England Area; a plethora of chickens; and more!

» Good Week

Hillary pointsIt’s been a good week for obscure New York Senator Hillary Clinton, who this week won a New Hampshire Primary School on a scratchcard (or something like that).

This means she now has the “big mo” and is the “Comeback Queen”, her rewards for having lost the Iowa Caucus the week before. As Millennium Elephant points out, she and Barack Obama both took nine delegates away from New Hampshire – and therefore Obama is still one delegate ahead (excluding mystical superdelegates, who put Hillary in the lead for the moment).

Senator Clinton’s victory in New Hampshire has been attributed to her spontaneous tears during a television interview, helping her pick up what psephologists almost certainly call the “chick flick” voter. Rumours that her campaign released an operational note giving journalists advanced notice of “a possible lachrymatory incident” are almost certainly unfounded.

» Bad Week

Poor Peter Hain. About the only excuse left for why he failed to declare donations to his Labour deputy leadership campaign is that he was too busy learning new song and dance routines with the other Oompa-Loompas.

I shan’t rehearse the various different elements to the particular donations scandal battering down his ministerial door – you can read about them in numerous previous Liberal Democrat Voice posts – but needless to say it’s all a bit of a mess, and at the end of it he didn’t even win. Or come second. Or third. Or fourth. Bad luck, Peter. Not a great return for two hundred grand.*

*Or however much he spent. We can’t be quite sure, for obvious reasons.

The bad news for Gordon Brown – quite aside from the Labour Government being associated with yet more sleaze – is that Peter “I’m just too busy” Hain has two Cabinet jobs, at Works & Pensions and as Viceroy of Wales, and therefore if he has to resign, Mr Bean will have two holes to fill.

» The English Democrats lead by example

Well, according to their website, “England is being dismembered into nine regions” and they “reject any attempt to break England into Euro Regions”.

Now, far be it for me, as a member of a party that doesn’t believe that we need to run and hide from Europe, to advise the English Democrats, but I’d like to suggest that that if you don’t like the idea of English regions, organising your National Council Officers that way arguably sends out the wrong message.

They have renamed Yorkshire and Humber “Yorkshire England Area” though, in case it gets any ideas.

» Does Hillary know what day it is?

We return briefly to the States and the Clinton campaign.

I have in front of me Hillary Clinton’s “Countdown to Victory” calendar. Here, in gorgeous low resolution cameraphonevision is an excerpt:
From the Clinton calendar
As you probably can’t see, January 14th is labelled with the Iowa caucus and the 22nd with the New Hampshire primary. Problem is, it’s January 12th and both of those have already happened. Maybe the Iowa caucus caught the Hillary campaign by surprise?

The calendar, which has a smiling Hillary for every month, is also expecting the South Carolina Democratic primary on the 29th, rather than the three days earlier it’s actually taking place. I think I might stick with Wikipedia.

» Facebook groups of the week

Save Bristol Old Vic is campaigning for the revival of the theatre, which closed last summer. Bristol West MP Stephen Williams has tabled an early day motion (EDM 630) on the subject.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Chicken Out! campaign has made it to Facebook. As is the nature of people-powered campaigning, there are three different groups: Chicken Out (1,282 members), Chicken Out! (577 members), and River Cottage’s Chicken Out Campaign (3,203 members).

» Coming up

A parchment arrives from Flock Together indicating these upcoming appearances by Lib Dems on the electric wireless and telly box:

  • Sunday: Vince Cable, GMTV Sunday (it starts at 6am, early risers) on ITV1
  • Sunday: David Laws, The Westminster Hour on BBC Radio 4
  • Thursday: Chris Huhne will join opposite number Jacqui Smith on Question Time, BBC One

» And finally…

Teh internets say I should back no-hoper Mike Gravel for the Democrats’ presidential nomination. I’m not going to, but in honour of his zero convention delegates so far, here’s a video from his campaign.


* Something for next weekend? Drop us a line at [email protected]

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