Something for the Weekend: Islands in the stream

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Something for the Weekend comes this week from my secret bunker, where I’m hiding from Lord Rennard.

A group of Lib Dem colleagues and friends went on a birthday trip clay pigeon shooting yesterday where I broke the cardinal rule of office politics: don’t beat the boss. And saying Chris Rennard is a little bit competitive is like saying David Cameron is a little bit posh or Peter Hain is a little bit orange. Last I heard, the chief exec was enquiring whether duelling is allowed in the House of Lords.

Freshly shot for Something for the Weekend today: David Heath gets photographed; Hasbro gets 11 points, or 33 on a triple word score; Jack Straw gets Sarkasm; and more!

» Good Week

Brian Paddick speaking at his campaign launchFormer top cop Brian Paddick had a good week. The Liberal Democrats’ candidate for Mayor of London formally launched his campaign on Monday in Brixton, returning to a borough he used to command for the Metropolitan Police. He promised to use his experience to cut crime as Mayor – and to stand down from the job he if doesn’t succeed.

Evening Standard columnist Nirpal Dhaliwal praised Paddick’s stance and declared his support: “Dashing, successful and openly gay, Paddick would best represent the diversity, dynamism and funkiness of our capital city. But he also has the CV most suited to running it.”

» Bad Week

It’s been a bad week for Scrabulous, the online Scrabble game heavily used via Facebook.

It’s had lots of free publicity, but only because Hasbro and Mattel, the companies who own the rights to the board game, have asked Facebook to pull the application. Created by two Calcutta-based brothers, it’s one of the most popular applications on the social networking site.

There is a large “Save Scrabulous” group on Facebook – as well as various smaller groups in support. Those with an opposing view can join four other members in the group Hasbro and Mattel are right and we know it.

» Also in the news

The BBC’s BA pilot ‘feared all would die’ continues the story of the plane crash at Heathrow, and has a helpful diagram at the bottom of the page.

Lord Digby Jones, the Biggest Dog in the World, has reported late to the House of Lords declarations showing possibly problematic shareholdings.

The Royal Navy has lost a laptop containing passport and bank details of 600,000 people interested in joining the armed forces. Defence Secretary Des Browne will make a statement just as soon as he works out where he left it.

Jack Straw has declared himself unhappy with transitional arrangements as Sark moves towards democracy. Apparently a “mixed house” with some seats not elected is not acceptable. Now, what does that remind me of…?

» The English Democrats replace Mayoral candidate

Our friends in the English Democrats have announced that Fathers 4 Justice founder Matt O’Connor is to replace the widely-respected, softly-spoken TV critic Garry Bushell as the party’s candidate for Mayor of Middlesex London.

Judging from the photo on the English Democrats website, his top policy will be free stylists for all Londoners.

In a break with tradition, he appears to have swapped the cross of St George for a strange cross (no pun intended) between the Swiss flag and the St John’s Ambulance logo. If anything, it resembles the flag of Wallis & Futuna. Which is French.

Hopefully the commute to London won’t be too much for Romsey resident Mr O’Connor.

Meanwhile, Garry Bushell’s former mayoral campaign website is redirecting you, it claims, “to the new board” – but don’t click on the link because it’s in fact redirecting web browsers to itself. For ever. And ever. And ever.

» David goes to Dollywood

David Heath and Dolly PartonYes, that is Somerton and Frome MP David Heath with country music legend Dolly Parton.

David met Dolly in December at the British launch of her Imagination Library, a scheme she developed in East Tennessee and now operates across the US to offer pre-school children access to books at an early age. Children who register for the programme receive a book every month until their fifth birthday. It’s paid for by a partnership between her foundation and local authorities and sponsors.

It sounds like an excellent project. David’s working on taking it to Someset and we wish him success.

» Facebook groups of the week

PPC Duncan Hames is doing a sponsored sleep-out next weekend to raise funds for the Doorway Project in Chippenham.

Today is International Talk Like Tom Baker Day. Everybody say “Aaaaaah!”

And get out your diaries, because On May 15th 2008, everybody needs to go out and panic buy CARROTS.

» Coming up

“But where can I see Lib Dems in the medias this week, Will?” I hear you cry. Fear not – Flock Together has the ones we know about.

Nick Clegg was on The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One this morning. You should be able to watch it soon (if not already) on the AM website.

David Laws will be on Question Time this Thursday on BBC One.

» And finally…

Especially for David Heath (that’s not him in the video, it’s Kenny Rogers), here are Kenny and Dolly with Islands in the Stream.

* You’re a beautiful woman, probably. Something for next weekend? Drop us a line at [email protected]

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