Old Servant * Old Leader * New Leader * New Morality? * Old Morality * The people getting hitched
meet a hitch * Getting closer * Getting too close
London Labour Party members will be pleased to have received a letter inviting them to reserve a ticket for Alastair Campbell's one-man show. And they will have been shivering with excitement to know that by booking in advance they could win a chance to meet Ali C after the show.
Poor old Iain Duncan Smith didn't do so well with his one-man show when it opened in Liverpool last month. Just 67 people turned up to hear the quiet one make crap jokes about Spurs. In another desperate attempt to become a J or K-list celebrity IDS will be co-presenting with Johnny Vaughan a BBC3 political chat show televised live from a potting shed!
Basking in the limelight, the smooth talking Michael Howard can't help but be nice. Forgetting about Section 28 (that was the old Tories), he has come out for gay couples being allowed to adopt children. "I'm a libertarian," he says Which is not quite how we remember his days as Home Secretary.
The New Sweetness and Light Howard should approve of children learning about atheism at school - it's a matter of personal "choice". The plan is to teach the basic tenets of atheism alongside the 57 varieties of mystical nonsense. This is hardly an alternative to a secular education system, and it won't stop head teachers everywhere from banging on about how today is "the first day of the rest of your life" in between "Onward Christian Soldiers" and "Morning has Broken".
Serbia's lesbians and gays got a brutal reminder of the true conservative view on sexual morality three years ago when right wing groups, watched by the police, beat up people on that country's first LGBT Pride Parade. They plan to march again this year - this time with the aid of security guards.
The people getting hitched meet a hitch
It was one great big love-in over Valentine's Weekend when San Francisco officials issued 1,600 marriage licences to gay couples. Now right-wing groups are challenging the marriages in court. That other sweetness and light conservative, George W Bush, has hinted at his support for gay marriage. Votes, votes, votes, votes .
Fed up with New Labour? Lost the will to live? Why not forget it all? Throw a big party for all your relatives and friends. Get dressed up, whack a load of money on the credit card for a holiday you hope to be too drunk to remember. Force your horrible cousin to wear a salmon pink Victorian-style number. That's what nearly 300,000 Britons elected to do in 2002. Get hitched, that is. The number of weddings was up by 2% on the previous year.
Getting too close
Transport Secretary Alistair Darling has said that there is very little he or anyone could do to reduce over-crowding on trains and tubes in the years to come. Providing new rolling stock will be prohibitively expensive. Yes, especially while you continue to allow private companies - the so-called ROSCOS - to carry on existing. These companies have such a monopoly on providing trains they can rake in the cash while:
- not investing in new rolling stock
- not repairing old trains quickly or very well or at all.
I'd rather the government renationalised the railways. So, Alistair... there is another way!