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Saturday, July 25, 2009 

Weekend links.

If anything, after the by-election yesterday, this weekend is even slower than the last one. Predictably then the emphasis is on Norwich North and still also on Afghanistan: Conor Foley writes about Afghan realities, Ten Percent has a report from a recent Stop the War gathering, and lastly the Heresiarch questions whether we're getting ready to lose. On the by-election and associated Labour discontent, Lenin sees it as a crushing defeat, Laurie Penny laments think-tankers who haven't the slightest inkling of the every day reality for many people and Dave Osler wonders if the Greens are twenty-first century Stalinists. In general miscellany, Flying Rodent reflects on three years of blogging and the horror that blogs might become a primary news source, Eric the Fish contrasts the person who found the body of Gemma Adams with the reaction of Richard Littlejohn, the Daily Quail notes that Mail Online is infested with foreignersTabloid Watch notices that a positive immigration story makes only the pages of the FT and the Independent.

In the papers, both John McDonnell and Cath Elliot reflect on Norwich North for CiF, Matthew Parris thinks that the result shows that the public are ready for the hard truths the Tories will need to talk about, John Curtice calls it a calamitous result for Brown, Steve Richards covers much the same but feels Brown stays safe while Charles Clarke says his party has been hit hardest by the expenses row. James Chapman predicts Labour could be wiped out in England, while Peter Oborne is still reflecting on the expenses debacle. Janice Turner and Ian Jack comment on Alan Milburn's social mobility report, and finally Marina Hyde is astounded that the police (and the public) care more about their dogs than they do people who've died in their custody.

As for the worst tabloid article prize, I really may as well rename it the weekly Amanda Platell prize. This time she's outraged that the Church of England is giving its blessing to families who've had children outside marriage (the fiends!), that Chloe Smith, winner of Norwich North, is nothing more than a Dave Dolly with no experience whatsoever, that Tony Blair has dared to show his face when our brave boys are dying in Afghanistan, and that Kate Middleton can't hold down a proper job. Oh, and that Ulrika Jonsson is looking stunning, hence she must have had a face lift along with surgery on her breasts. If you've spotted a pattern here, you're not the only one. Surely it can't be that dear old Amanda is jealous of the looks of the elegant Smith, leggy brunette Middleton and blonde Jonsson while her own are falling apart? And of course, writing a weekly column that puts Glenda Slagg to shame is obviously a "proper job".

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