Something for the Weekend: I hear talk

As the Police seem to have forgotten the Wilson doctrine recently, I’ve decided to overlook the Monkhouse doctrine which bans bugging of comedians. As a result, all of the humour in this week’s Something for the Weekend was stolen from Joe Pasquale’s latest script meeting. As a result, this week’s Something for the Weekend is not funny.

In the Something for the Weekend serious selection box today: Nick Clegg gets international; Bigfoot gets interplanetary; Boris Johnson gets fingered; and more!

» Good Week

It’s been a good week for fans of Afflecks Palace in the centre of Manchester, whose future seems to have been secured. The lease on the shopping emporium was due to expire later this year, but new landlords Bruntwood have struck a deal to keep it trading, according to the Beeb:

In a joint statement, Bruntwood and Afflecks’ management team said: “After 26 years of trading, Afflecks management has sold their company to Bruntwood in an agreement that protects the future of Afflecks.

“Bruntwood will manage Afflecks while they look for a new owner.”

A Bruntwood spokesman added: “Never in our 30-year history have we bought one of our customer’s businesses but Afflecks is a Manchester icon that we wanted to protect.

“We aren’t however expert in managing markets, so will look for a suitable long-term owner.”

» Bad Week

Mitt Romney posterIt’s been a bad week for “Oven” Mitt Romney, who has abandoned his bid for the White House. In a relatively poor showing on Super Tuesday, he lost out in particular to frontrunner Senator John “Oven Chip” McCain. Arkansas Governor Mike “Fire and Brimstone” Huckabee remains in the race.

Pop fact: Mitt Romney’s father George launched his own presidential campaign in 1967. He didn’t win.

» Also in the news

The Independent reports that eight suspected illegal immigrants have been rescued from a chemical tanker in Bexley. This is serious so make up your own Derek Conway jokes.

The BBC is axing Grange Hill, one of the worst advertisements for comprehensive education, after thirty years on TV.

According to BBC News, Perth Sheriff Court has let a cannabis grower off with a £300 fine, under the marvellous headline Mercy for ‘genital itch’ drug man. (Hat-tip.)

From the Huffington Post: Facebook to Co-sponsor War on Terror

“For Facebook, being named co-sponsor of the war on terror adds to the prestige and luster of their brand,” said Tracy Klujian, editor-at-large for Antiterrorism Monthly. “For the Defense Department, teaming up with Facebook makes the war on terror seem hip and fun.”

A poster from the Christian Congress for Traditional Values that claimed that gay people want to “abolish the family” has been criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority. See, Prime Minister, CCTV can be a bad thing.

And The Telegraph reveals that Bigfoot has turned up on Mars. Erm…

» Nick Clegg is our chef

Nick Clegg’s intervention at Prime Minister’s Questions this week, when he accused Gordon Brown of presiding over a surveillance state, has been picked up far and wide – including overseas. Brush up your French and you can read about the «doctrine Wilson» (a tricky one to translate, that) on Luxembourg’s L’essential website:

Nick Clegg, chef du parti libéral, deuxième parti d’opposition, a accusé mercredi Gordon Brown d’avoir fait des Britanniques «la population la plus espionnée de la planète». La Grande-Bretagne est surveillée en permanence par 4,2 millions de CCTV, soit une caméra pour 14 habitants, le rapport le plus élevé de la planète.

Nick had specifically mentioned the bugging of a conversation between Labour MP Sadiq Khan and a constituent, so thank you to Beau Bo D’Or for permission to reproduce this appropriate image of his:

Graphic by Beau Bo D'Or

» Boris boroughs update

Last week I mentioned that the London boroughs section of Boris Johnson’s mayoral campaign website was “to be launched later this month” through most of January, having missed its previously announced launch date of January 14th. It’s only right that I should update you this week.

It’s still to be launched “later this month”.

Meanwhile, “Finger Boris” has emailed to ask LDV to plug his Finger Boris video. On the basis that the description describes it as “more well rounded than teh real thing”, done.

» Newlands beats Mendeleev

And now for something nothing to do with politics.

This week 145 years ago, so Wired tells us, the British chemist John Newlands came up with the basics of the periodic table of chemical elements.

It’s Dmitri Mendeleev, though, who gained the credit when six years later he introduced the periodic table that, give or take, we still use today, and without which Tom Lehrer wouldn’t have one of his best-known songs.

» Facebook groups of the week

Women and the Vote 2008 is marking “the 90th anniversary of women’s suffrage and 80 years since the equalisation of the franchise” by

putting pressure on the government to put equality back at the top of the agenda, as part of a year long initiative to highlight both the progress and the barriers that still face women in politics.

While Afflecks Palace may have been saved, The Drill Hall is still in trouble after losing its Arts Council Funding.

Are you interested in the upholstery on the London Underground? Of course you are! And you’ll therefore be wanting to join The London Underground Upholstery Appreciation Society.

Do you want to see Tony Blair become the President of the EU? Of course you don’t! And you’ll therefore be wanting to join I do not want to see Tony Blair APPOINTED as the President of the EU (although its focus is more on criticising the principle of appointment).

Last but not least: no one loves me

» Coming up

Nick Clegg will be on The Politics Show tomorrow – the programme starts at noon. They’ll be no PMQs this week as the Commons is on recess for half term.

» And finally…

Your normal Something for the Weekend will return in a fortnight, once Parliament is back from its break, so next week will be a special prize edition no post next week.

Until then, here’s one of precious few YouTube clips featuring TV’s Jake Thackray and a song about a primate.

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

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