Weekly catchup to 23/05/09

And goodness, what a fortnight it’s been for politics and the party.  Since we at Weekly (hem hem) Catchup left  your screens a fortnight (hem hem) ago we’ve seen a lot of movement on the political front led by the Telegraph’s sensational coverage of the “Cash for Cushions” constitutional crisis that John Stewart’s chromakey team dubbed “Scamalot“.

We kicked off our coverage with a triple bill of Norman Baker’s contributions on the matter, but it was to be a gift that keeps on giving.  Stephen ranted, then questioned; you answered in spades. Clegg weighed in. Alix assumed the position. And queried the value of cushions. But ultimately in those heady days of early-to-mid-May-2009, we still thought we’d got off lightly. We defended Andrew George; we castigated the Telegraph for its descent into the gutter; we summarized.  We told the Telegraph to say sorry

But there were flies in the ointment.  There will always be Teignbridge.  And the Rennard situation began to deepen. Party president Ros Scott intervened.

Stuff got heavy for speaker Michael Martin. Clegg called for him to go. Dozens of PPCs put their name to an open letter. And then, he resigned.  We had the first reactions. An historical view. Hardly surprising he should go when 85% of our readers thought he should. Lets hope our subsequent poll on replacement speaker is similarly influential.

In all this expenses muck, lets not forget there were saints too, at least twice.

And there were tributes too for Chris Rennard, who announced his plans to retire later this year, in uncertain circumstances addressed head on by our Editor at Large in this cracking post.

Our snap members’ poll also considered expenses. You’ll find our questions and your responses all under this link. (Unless you’re reading this long after I wrote it by which time something else will be at the top of the page)

Enough of expenses. In case you’d forgotten, we have council and Euro elections in mere weeks.  We did cover those too, with Anders Hanson urging us not to forget the locals. Stephen considered Euro-polls. Helen had news of social networks on a European level. Merlene Emerson told us of VoteMatch. We discovered to our horror we’d actually be talking about Europe in our European campaign this year. And on a more general note, Tony Greaves urged us to abolish postal votes on demand.

We’ve also been taking on the BNP head-on in the last few weeks. Mark showed their election address is a tissue of lies; they have difficulty with numbers; and they used a photo of one of our servicemen without permission. It would be a tragedy if the expenses scandal put them into the European Parliament. After all, there’s Nothing British about them, no matter how hard they gatecrash the Queen

On other topics from our guest-contributors this week: Nonsense on stilts from our Chancellor, says Ed Randall. Daniel Russell is pushing for electoral reform and so is Layla Moran. Luke Burford is almost on board whilst Mark Thompson has been with us for a while. Benjamin Mathis gunned for the man in tights; Ed Fordham gave us a sneak preview of his Newsnight appearance. Kalvis Jansons explained his thinking behind the “PM Resign” petition. And Hywel Morgan wondered just how much money MPs should spend on food.

On a completely different note, Caron Lindsay told us of a struggle within the Scottish church over the fate of a gay minister in Aberdeen. (Earlier this evening, the result of the vote was announced.)

A post about a non-partisan repository of leaflets became a reliving of the Bermondsey byelection in the comments. I highlighted some opportunities to work for the party. We brought you the two  new party election broadcasts, #1 and #2.  

We launched a new strand of content called Daily View which we brought to you on the 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 17th, 18th, 21st, 22nd and 24th.  After all that, we’ve nearly got the rota straight and almost decided what to call it.

In CommentIsLinked@LDV:
Clegg – restore trust in democracy
Cable Arthur, Delia, rotten bubble
Norman Baker on expenses

In numbers this week:
Golden Dozen #117
Y barcud Oren #8