Lib Dem not-so-good-news round-up

by Stephen Tall on July 3, 2009

West Wing devotees will be familiar with the concept of ‘take out the trash day’ – it even has its own Wiki entry:

The title refers to the Friday press briefing wherein the White House releases information about several sensitive stories, thereby preventing discussion and reducing any probable impact in the media.

Donna: What’s take out the trash day?
Josh: Friday.
Donna: I mean, what is it?
Josh: Any stories we have to give the press that we’re not wild about, we give all in a lump on Friday.
Donna: Why do you do it in a lump?
Josh: Instead of one at a time?
Donna: I’d think you’d want to spread them out.
Josh: They’ve got X column inches to fill, right? They’re going to fill them no matter what.
Donna: Yes.
Josh: So if we give them one story, that story’s X column inches.
Donna: And if we give them five stories …
Josh: They’re a fifth the size.
Donna: Why do you do it on Friday?
Josh: Because no one reads the paper on Saturday.
Donna: You guys are real populists, aren’t you?

So here goes with our Friday round-up…

Race slur councillor is suspended

A Bristol councillor who insulted her rival with the racial slur “coconut” has been suspended for a month.

Black Liberal Democrat Shirley Brown called colleague Jay Jethwa, who is Asian, a coconut during budget debate in February.

The term suggests someone from an ethnic minority has “sold out” their culture, implying they are “brown on the outside, white on the inside”.

Cllr Brown, who has apologised for the remark, was suspended on Tuesday.

She used the term during a heated debate over a Tory attempt to cut funding to the Legacy Commission, an organisation set up to support Bristol’s ethnic minorities.

Lib-Dem stunner

EAST Lothian Liberal Democrats have been plunged into turmoil just months from the next General Election, after sole nominee Stuart Currie’s shock decision to refuse the Westminster candidacy.

Councillor Currie, the depute leader of East Lothian Council, has also resigned as local Lib-Dem convenor and may quit the party altogether. He claims he feels compelled to take a moral stance in the wake of the MPs’ expenses scandal. … other factors appear to have influenced his decision. The Courier understands that 14 party members voted against him at a final selection meeting. According to a source, Mr Currie is said to have told the party he would be reluctant to accept the nomination unless he had 100 per cent support.

Lib Dem boss faces tribunal over vote

Lib Dem leader Peter Chegwyn faces being struck off for up to five years after claims he used a council vote to protect his music festival. The controversial politician will go before a tribunal on Monday to determine whether he brought Gosport Borough Council into disrepute. …

Cllr Chegwyn has always previously insisted he did not know what restrictions the Tories were seeking to impose and that his vote was purely against the lifting of standing orders, and not connected to the festival.