Something for the Weekend: Money, money, money

I was planning to pay my son thousands of pounds of public money to write this week’s Something for the Weekend for me. Unfortunately, he didn’t do any of the work. And then I remembered that I don’t have a son. Or access to thousands of pounds of public money. So I done it all myself.

In the Something for the Weekend swag bag today: Boris overlooks 32 small things; Ken asks the questions; Derek says sorry; another cheap Peter Hain gag; and more!

» Good Week

It’s been a good week for those like me who hate “credit-squashing” on TV shows. The BBC has followed ITV by shrinking programme credits into the corner of the screen so that it can plug other programmes. But the credits are so small as to be illegible, which defeats the point of showing them at all.

The good news is that the BBC said yesterday that it would review the situation following complaints from viewers that the names of cast and crew members are now too small to read.

Tiny credits join irritating and entirely redundant on-screen channel logos in my list of modern TV annoyances.

» Bad Week

Derek Conway MP hasn’t had the best week. First he was suspended from the Commons and ordered to return thousands of pounds of public money paid to his younger son; then payments to his elder son were brought into question; Dave Cameron flip-flopped and, having said Conway had been punished enough, decided a day later to withdraw the Tory whip; Conway faces a possible police investigation; and he’s had to announce that he’ll stand down at the next general election. But he can at least look forward to take £60k a year of taxpayers’ money until then.

The BBC reports a Westminster Village gag:

Derek Conway has announced he’s going to stand down as a MP in order to spend more time with his staff.

» Also in the news

Woolworths have withdrawn a range of children’s beds bogglingly named Lolita.

Andrew Lloyd Webber has planted his next stage star in young people’s TV soap Hollyoaks as the line between fact and fiction blurs further…

HMRC delayed the filing deadline for tax returns after their self-assessment website went down. They would have rebooted straight away but they couldn’t find the CDs…

Bizarre rumours have been circulating this week that Peter Hain might defect to the Liberal Democrats. Just in case, the Campaigns Department are already researching the correct Pantone for his skin…

» Has Boris forgotten about the boroughs?

I’m always wary of criticising other people’s websites as it’s just setting myself up for a fall, but I’m going to pick on Boris Johnson’s “Back Boris” mayoral campaign website for one particular feature.

Ever since it was redesigned around a month ago, the site has been promising a guide to the London boroughs. Here’s what it was promising a couple of weeks ago:
“to be launched later this month”
Indeed, when the site was relaunched in early January, that image promised that the boroughs section would launch on January 14th. Once that date passed, the promise became “later this month” – and that’s what’s still being promised now we’re in February.

Don’t you care about the boroughs, Boris?

» Roll up, roll up for Ken’s pub quiz night

While we’re on the subject of the London mayoral election, let’s look at what “innovative” fundraising ideas the current mayor, Ken Livingstone, will be using to raise funds top up his trade union donations.

According to the Financial Times, these will include a fish and chips dinner and quiz nights.

I’m sure Ken would make a great pub quizmaster:

Question 1: Who is the best Mayor of London?
Question 2: Which current Mayor of London should be re-elected?
Question 3: Wensleydale or Red Leicester?
Question 4: Who is the best Mayor of London?

I’m sure it’ll be a riveting night.

» Facebook groups of the week

Tying in with today’s Good Week, there’s

And dovetailing with today’s Bad Week is Derek Conway should resign as an MP.

If you don’t like TV credit squashing, join Stop Shrinking Credits!

Finally, as I’ve mentioned the other two main candidates, I’d better plug Brian Paddick too. His Facebook Page has seen the number of supporters increase by more than half over the few days.

» Coming up

Lib Dem MPs will continue to pop up on the news during the week (and at PMQs, of course), but I have only one planned appearance to report, and that’s Lynne Featherstone on Radio 4’s The Westminster Hour from 10pm tomorrow night.

» And finally…

Sometimes a news story breaks and you can’t help thinking “What would Marcus Brigstocke say?”

OK, that never happens. But imagine it does, and imagine you were thinking about Derek Conway…

* Something for the Weekend doesn’t cost a penny of taxpayers’ money, which almost makes it good value. Something for next weekend? Drop us a line at [email protected]

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