Something for the Weekend: UK Visa Versa

Despite the excitement of a power cut in this bit of south London earlier on, this week’s Something for the Weekend is here. Right here. Just carry on reading from here.

We’re all going on a summer weekend of enforced Britishness

Labour Minister Liam Byrne put his foot in it with the Scots this week, being forced to backtrack before he’d even made the speech he was promoting.

He had floated the idea of turning the August Bank Holiday into the festival of Britishness Fife MP Gordon Brown’s been so keen on – and what could be more Labour than attempting to instil patriotism through centrally-dictated celebration.

But it was quickly pointed out that the August Bank Holiday in England and Wales is at the end of the month while Scotland’s is at the beginning of the month. (The BBC’s clumsy turn of phrase: “the August holiday is on a different date in Scotland to what it is in England and Wales.”)

According to the Beeb, the Minister said he had just been doing what Labour Ministers seem to spend much of their time on: trying to “get the debate started”. And according to theguardian, he believed that a weekend of Britishness would “help frame the progressive case for controlled immigration” – something to which the British population would no doubt love to dedicate a weekend.

MP cautioned for climbing over van

Liam Byrne’s West Midlands Labour colleague Rob Marris, the MP for Wolverhampton South West, has also been in the news this week.

Readers of Colin Ross’s site may recall that Mr Marris – Colin’s MP – had been arrested in April and charged with causing criminal damage after climbing over the bonnet of a parked van to get to a bus.

Mr Marris has now admitted the offence and accepted a conditional caution. My favourite quote is from the CPS’s district prosecutor: “The van was not parked to his liking.”

I’m opening… I’m closing…

Readers up-to-date with all the latest in exciting internet technology and stuff like that will probably already be avid users of Twitter. For those that aren’t, here’s something to make you change your mind: Twitter updates from Tower Bridge.

The sick…

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd easily wins headline of the week with Vomiting Australian PM blames pie.

His pale appearance at a conference in Sydney last month prompted reports that he might have cardiac trouble.

He said he had been hit by a vomiting bug after watching a rugby match, and blamed a pie he ate.
On Friday, he told Sydney’s Nova Radio: “We’ve all had to drive the porcelain bus at some stage.”

…and the dead

The inventor of the Pringles tube, Dr Fredric J. Baur, has died aged 89. I promise no contrivances about popping and stopping.

His ashes have been buried, at his request, in a Pringles tube – his “proudest accomplishment”.

Quote of the week

From an episode of The Big Bang Theory, a sitcom about geeks (which, coincidentally, I enjoy): “1234 is not a secure password!”

If only someone had told Grant Shapps.

Blogging the latest by-election

If you’ve not already seen it, I recommend taking a look at the Henley by-election blog which, in a by-election first, the Acting Returning Officer David Buckle and his team are using to explain their vital role in the election and their work in the run up to polling day on June 26th.

In the latest instalment, the writ has arrived.

Surely no-one involved in politics could be geeky?

Speaking of geeks and of blogs, as we were, Liberal Democrat Voice’s own Mark Pack, finding he had some time on his hands, has joined the team of bloggers at PoliGeeks. Mark’s first post is here.

CCTV is everywhere

Courtesy of Popbitch comes perhaps the least appropriate place in Barcelona for a CCTV camera:
CCTV camera sign in Pl. George Orwell

Facebook groups of the week

Fans of Jo Grimond may like to join The Jo Grimond Appeciation [sic] Society

BBC Parliament General Election Specials – Weekends Only Please! is campaigning for free wombats at rural Tesco Metros. No, hang on, it’s for General Election specials on BBC Parliament to be shown only at weekends.

And if you’re cynical about political Facebook groups, there’s always Ill-thought out, ill-informed Facebook protest that will achieve nothing.

Coming up

Prime Minister’s Questions is on Wednesday at noon. Our representative on Question Time on BBC One on Thursday is Shirley Williams.

And finally

To play us out, a celebration of British/Englishness (he blurs the distinction) from American nerdcore rap artist MC Lars. I warn you now the sound quality isn’t great. But it is the only song I know that mentions Guildford.

* Something for next weekend or a drawing for The Gallery? Email us at [email protected]

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