Something for the Weekend: Town Called Malice

The Crewe and Nantwich by-election has been and gone but there are still stories to tell. And here they are (thanks again to Tim Harkchild), with assorted other bumpf in your mostly-weekly Something for the Weekend.

The by-election’s been and gone
But thoughts of it still linger
A dog behind a letterbox
Has anyone seen my finger?

Saying different things in different places

The Chancellor borrowed ÂŁ2.7 billion on behalf of the UK as he attempted to convince the people of Crewe and Nantwich to vote Labour. While in London the Government was denying that this was a “by-election bribe”, the party’s own leaflets in Crewe proclaimed candidate Tamsin Dunwoody’s role in securing the tax tweak.

She was challenged on Radio Stoke by someone not impressed by claims that she’d rung up Alistair Darling and talked him into the fiscal fudging. Her response? “You’re only jealous.”

Double-u-double-u-double-u-dot

Here’s a tip, courtesy of Labour’s campaign. If you’re putting a web address on thousands of pieces of literature, on flyers, on posters and on stakeboards across the constituency, it’s only sensible to check that it’s actually correct.

Take a look:
Labour stakeboard in Crewe

Unfortunately, creweandnantwichlabour.org.uk – without the “www.” at the beginning – is not a live website. Bonus points to Labour for going through the entire campaign without noticing.

It’s nice to be recognised

An MP visiting Crewe and Nantwich to support the campaign was recognised in the street by a local voter. The voter told the MP – who shall remain nameless – that his photograph had been in the picture round of the pub quiz he had taken part in a few days earlier.

“I’m afraid I didn’t know who you were,” the MP was told. “Actually, I still don’t. Sorry.”

One person who would expect to be recognised – beyond Edward Timpson and Elizabeth Shenton, whose faces were on stakeboards across the borough – was Miss Great Britain, the “sexy not sleazy” candidate, flaunting her manifesto on the front cover of Zoo (so I’m told). But despite hoping to poll well (fnarr fnarr), she got roughly half as many votes as the Monster Raving Loony candidate.

Labour activists in the constituency may have preferred not to be recognised. The story goes that a group of comrades from Merseyside were actually chased out of a housing estate by angry residents.

The final word on the by-election comes from Flying Rodent:

“Today marks the beginning of the end for New Labour,” Mr Cameron said. “Britain is tired of Labour’s faceless, bureaucratic, authoritarian government, and the people are recognising the Conservatives’ brand of faceless, bureaucratic authoritarianism as the way forward.”

Farewell Nantwich sign

Meanwhile, in other news…

A tinplate image for Margaret Thatcher has sparked a row after it was installed in the Senedd building in Cardiff. (My south Wales Howellses used to work the tin mines, incidentally.)

Never quite prying enough into our lives to satisfy itself, the Government now wants to know about every phone call we make and email we send. At this rate, we’ll soon have to log each time we speak to a neighbour. If you like the idea of the Government spying on us, I recommend you get yourself a copy of The Lives of Others asap.

Send him a cheque, mate

Earlier today, Liberal Democrat AM Peter Black took on former world chess champion Boris Spassky to raise money for Childline. Spassky simultanously played against 19 other opponents, including comedian Dom Joly.

Peter reports that he lasted 23 moves. You can reward him by helping him reach his fundraising target.

This week’s telefantasy news

Russell Tiberius Davies is leaving Doctor Who to be succeeded for the 2010 series by the marvellous Steven Moffat, who said:

“I applied before but I got knocked back ‘cos the BBC wanted someone else. Also I was seven.”

If you missed last night’s smashing trailer for the remainder of Doctor Who series 4, here’s YouTube to the rescue:

Meanwhile, Star Trek‘s Mr Sulu – who appeared in Heroes opposite former Doctor Christopher Eccleston – is getting married now that California has lifted its ban on gay marriage.

Here endeth the geek slot.

Facebook groups of the week

A couple of pop culture groups this week.

The Divine Teachings of Jim Robinson aka Alan of the Dale honours actor Alan Dale, whose TV credits include Neighbours, The West Wing, Lost, 24, The O.C., and Ugly Betty.

You Can Xanadu It! is a tribute to one of the worst films ever made.

The Facebook House of Commons aims to take everything that’s young and modern about Facebook and supplant it with the musty old traditions of Parliament. At least that’s what the name implies – I haven’t actually checked. What do you want, blood?

Campaign for a state funeral for the “Last Tommy” (WW1 veteran) is one of those groups that does exactly what it says on the tin.

Especially for Laurence Boyce, there’s Friends of the National Secular Society.

But the group of the week must be Liberal Democrats against being enslaved by conformity – get all your friends to join now!

Coming up

No PMQs this week as Parliament is in recess. Our Shadow Health Secretary Norman Lamb will be on Any Questions? on Radio 4 on Friday.

And finally

To play us out, The Jam. Bye bye.

* Something for next weekend? Email us at [email protected]

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12 Comments

  • LiberalHammer 26th May '08 - 3:05pm

    Aren’t you encouraging conformity by telling everyone to join an anti-conformity group? Just a thought.

  • Great choice of music – reminds me of my ring tone!!!

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