Something for the Weekend: Long-haired lover from Liverpool

Welcome to Something for the Weekend, which this week comes to you live from Production Office 1 in the Artists’ Village, deep in the heart of Liverpool’s new Arena and Conference Centre.

On the Something for the Weekend speakers’ podium today: bikinis; a liberal singalong; the steam pipe trunk distribution venue; and more!

» Good Week

It’s been a good week for the great northern city of Liverpool, which has been lucky enough to have thousands of Liberal Democrats descend on it. Taxi drivers have seen their fares flourish, restaurants have been inundated with hungry delegates, and the Crowne Plaza bar has had no trouble shifting stock throughout each night.

So when you hear that Liberal Democrats have regenerated Liverpool and rejuvenated its economy, that doesn’t just apply to the last ten years of a Liberal Democrat council.

» Bad Week

It’s been a bad week for Croydon Conservatives, who have booted out one of their members in a public spat over the replacement of Croydon Central MP Andrew Pelling.

According to the Croydon Advertiser, Peter Brown, former treasurer of the Conservatives’ “Croydon Federation”, wrote to the local paper saying that he couldn’t support any of the candidates for the Conservative selection after Andrew Pelling announced he was standing down.

He wrote:

“If anyone should be suspended and asked to give up his seat it is not Andrew Pelling but David Cameron.

“Anyone who has studied leadership will know there is one quality all effective leaders need – it is courage. Something which Mr Cameron lacks.”

This unsurprisingly sparked some ructions, which you can read about on the paper’s website.

» Also in the news

Headline of the week, from the BBC: Actor’s manhood is airbrushed out.

Nerd news: Gary Gygax, the co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons, has died.

» Things to do in a bikini

Cardiff West Liberal Democrat Alison Goldsworthy has been skiing in her bikini – as you do – to raise money for Cancer Research UK. If you’d like to support her fundraising, you can do so on the justgiving website, and, depending on the video’s privacy settings and who you’re friends with, you may be able to watch the video of Ali carrying on her absurd ski on Facebook.

» Best joke of conference

In his speech today, Nick had a very good quip:

Our party is growing. We’re going from strength to strength. More supporters, more members, more MPs.

It’s not that long ago, if 13 MPs wanted to rebel, we’d have had to borrow some from the other parties.

However, the best joke of the weekend was probably by Sarah Teather, making the first reference to the issue at the rally on Friday night. I paraphrase:

I hope you all enjoyed the free wine as you came in. That’s a new innovation which I hope you like.

Sadly, I couldn’t have any of the wine: I’m on a three-line whip to abstain.

» Newsflash: Cameron’s energy policy

Energy prices were being debated in an emergency motion at conference this morning. Overheard in the conference centre:

Have you heard David Cameron’s policy for energy efficiency?

Turn off the heating to the servants’ quarters.

» Behind-the-scenes

“So what’s it like working at conference?” you’re undoubtedly thinking. Very busy, mainly. But for a brief insight into our office, here’s a short video:

» Boris update

I won’t rehearse the issue with Boris Johnson’s website – we’ve been there every week so you should be familiar with it by now. We must have an update though – so what’s the current status of the boroughs section of Boris’s website?

To be launched later this month

That message was there in January – but it turned out not to be true. That message was there in February – but it turned out not to be true. Now it’s March – will Boris break his promise again this month?

» Pop quiz

Q: What connects Andrew Stunell, Vince Cable, Phil Willis and Menzies Campbell?

A: None of them use their first name: Robert, John, George and Walter, respectively.

» Facebook groups of the week

Jodrell Bank, home of the north west’s iconic Lovell Telescope, is under threat – so Save Jodrell Bank! The group also contains a link to an EDM you can encourage your MP to sign.

Continuing the astronomical theme, you can follow Lembit to The UK Space Conference group “for all those interested in the first annual UK Space Conference to be held at Charterhouse in Surrey on March 27-29, 2008.”

Thursday night political TV fans can show their enjoyment by joining We love “This Week”.

And fans of the TV series Spaced can, if they wish, protest against a proposed American version by joining the aptly named Say NO to an American remake of Spaced.

» Coming up

Danny Alexander MP will be on this week’s Any Questions? from 8pm on BBC Radio 4 on Friday.

On the same evening, Lembit Öpik will be facing Alan Sugar in Sport Relief does the Apprentice, alongside such celebrity faces as Phil Tufnell, Hardeep Singh Kohli (recently beaten in an election by Charles Kennedy), Louise Redknapp and Clare Balding. Sport Relief starts at 7pm.

» And finally…

If like me you didn’t make it to Glee Club in Liverpool last night – perhaps you weren’t in Liverpool, or had other, more normal pursuits to attend to – you missed out on some no doubt gorgeously in tune communal singing. To make up for that, here’s a very singalongable video.

Are you a liberal? It’s possible that this chap is:

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

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