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19 December 2008

Banning Christmas

The blogosphere tries to cope with Christmas, the curious news that William Hague is still Tory lead

By Paul Evans

Deck the Halls

Christmas in Westminster and a gentle white dusting covers the shoulders of Members as they shuffle towards recess. Alas, it’s dandruff – as this year snow has once again refused to bestow its frosty majesty on Parliament.

At PMQs this week, Hattie Harman was standing in for Brown – and faced William Hague across the dispatch box. During their exchange she amused the online fraternity by quipping that Hague’s website still described him as party leader. His failure to maintain an updated web presence had been noticed by Tory Bear who noted its registration under the name of the “William Hague Campaign Team,” remarking “Well well well, what’s all this about?”.

It would be remiss of me not to point out that in a previous blog incarnation I reported this a shade under three years ago, as noted at the time by Shamik Das with nostalgia for the days when Hague was Tory supremo.

“The baseball cap may have been ditched, but the Yorkshire wise guy can still debate anyone over the dispatch box and drink anyone under it!” he wrote.

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Over at City Hall, the festive spirit was causing friction. An official moratorium on religious imagery sparked rebellion amongst Conservative assembly members, as reported on Iain Dale’s Diary, where Victoria Borwick and cadres are pictured holding a slightly naff looking nativity scene. Dale commented:

“…for those who don’t seem to get it, Christmas is called Christmas for a reason. The clue comes in the first six letters of the word.

Labour’s Kerron Cross was less awed by their gesture. “And if the real meaning of Christmas isn’t putting a big plasticky glow in the dark nativity scene, on the side of a Christmas tree, I don’t know what is,” he remarked sardonically.

As elsewhere, Christmas is going to be a muted affair at the Best of the Politics Blogs HQ. No nativities here, just some ropey tinsel stapled to wall of high-tech digital screens, which continue monitoring the web on a round-the-clock basis over the holidays. No champagne with Derek Draper either – instead, I’ll be staying in and reading the latest installment of Paul Linford‘s top ten Christmas Carols.

Around the World

In Washington DC this week, the annual presidential Christmas film is coming under scruinty from the blogs. The very curious video rests on the comic conceit that Barney, a presidential canine, is charged with decorating the White House.

Videogum verdict was that: “This thing is f**king nuts”; Unattributable.com said it was: “Surreal, nauseating, and torturously over-long. Just like the Bush administration!” – while Slog‘s verdict was that: “the entire f**king Bush family is from Mars”.

Video of the Week

Spin the clocks back quarter of a century: the Christmas number one in 1983 was Only You by the Flying Pickets. The band were radical socialists, so Thatcher spoiled their fun by declaring that she loved the song.

It’s hard to find anything political in the charts this Christmas, although Alesha Dixon’s The Boy Does Nothing may have been written with George Osborne in mind.

Quote of the Week

“On the first day of Christmas, A Minister gave to me, A future of forced redundancy…”

Read the whole cynical re-working at Daily Referendum.