Monday 24th December 2007

11:50 pm

Merry Christmas

Gravatar Twas the night before Christmas and all over the house, nothing was stirring, except Bridget’s mouse. And keyboard. The rest of the household is asleep, the presents are wrapped, and I’ve done as much food prep as I can for now. So I’m off to bed then up early to peel potatoes and stuff the turkey [...]
10:38 pm

Daemons, gobblers and education policy

Gravatar I went to see The Golden Compass last night. Perhaps I had low expectations, since I kindof think Northern Lights is a work of genius, but it was really rather brilliant. The target was, predictably, less obviously organised religion, but some of Philip Pullman’s other meanings were made clearer, and that heightened the whole experience for me. It also made me think about the politics of education. Because the film and the book include a very urgent message. There are, after all, such things as Gobblers. There is, in fact, an all-powerful branch of the established power that is experimenting ...
10:15 pm

Julian H in Narcissism Shock

Gravatar One has just realised that one has been, rather excitingly, 'tagged' by the wonderful Alix Mortimer in some kind of Show Us Yer Desktop game. I tried to immediately tag her back before she could run away again but sadly she was far too swift. Not being one to cheat, here is, honestly, my desktop at the time of noticing the tag: Yes, that is my blog banner as the wallpaper. I should declare that until recently my desktop was instead this: These pretty souls are Morton Valence. They play skittery electro-pop. Until November I was their manager. Now I ...
9:12 pm

Merry Christmas

Gravatar A very merry Christmas to all our readers.
9:10 pm

Good News!

Gravatar Good News! I have found that the 2 student brothers from Pakistan have had a last minute reprieve. It was a close run thing, 25 minutes before they were due to leave. I cannot imagine the emotions that they must have been going through, and they are not allowed to be with their family and are in a detention centre over Christmas. But at least they now have a chance and some...
8:55 pm

Have they nothing better to do on Christmas Day ?

Gravatar I'm am no critic of the Royal family, far from it. I think in our constitutional monarchy they play their full part and I think the recent documentary on the Royal family, and in particular the work of the much maligned Dukes of York and Wessex, has shown just how much they do. However, some people do take their adulation of the Royal family to far. I am sure if the Royals were visiting my village I'd pop down to have a look. But why every Christmas Day morning are we greeted on the news by the same old bunch ...
8:35 pm

'Twas the Night before Christmas

Gravatar There won't be many posts over the next few days as Christmas in this family is a time when work is put on one side and relaxation holds sway. Already one daughter and son-in-law have been to Midnight Mass and are greeting the Christmas dawn on the other side of the world while we have a couple of hours yet before leaving home for our celebration. The wonders of modern technology make the world
8:25 pm

XX Bloggers

Gravatar Über-blogger Alix Mortimer has tagged me with a meme honouring the launch of the Campaign for Gender Balance Blog Awards. I’m delighted that the awards have been set to up. Women are shockingly under-represented in the Lib Dem blogosphere: around a year ago, there were more gay Lib Dem bloggers than female ones, and even now the two groups are roughly neck-and-neck. This year has seen a marked rise in the number of women contributing to Lib Dem Blogs, and hopefully their examples will encourage more female members to starting blogging. I will shortly head off and submit my nominations ...
7:28 pm

My 8 wishes for 2008

Gravatar The Norfolk Blogger has been tagged me with this meme. Here are my 8 wishes for 2008: 1. For serious headway to be made in the fight against climate change 2. For serious headway to be made in the fight against worldwide hunger 3. For David Cameron to be called a "Nick Clegg clone" 4. To still have a reasonably intact body and mind at the end of 2008 5. For Barack Obama to be elected President
5:59 pm

Continuing the theme of my last post, but taking it to extremes...

Gravatar "Best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, winter solstice holiday, practised within the most joyous traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, but with respect for the religious persuasion of others who choose to practice their own religion as well as those who choose not to practice a religion at all; "Additionally, a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the generally accepted calendar year 2008, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions have helped make our society great, without regard to the ...
5:53 pm

Let's be traditional ...

5:33 pm

My desktop

Gravatar I’ve been tagged with several memes while struck with the flu. The easiest one to fulfil - I’m not scared of the Priest, but I don’t want the Don coming after me - is to show my desktop. Although I read the posts that tagged me on my phone, my laptop desktop is easier to grab, so here you go. {Desktop} You may notice that it is not as, er, barren as some. And that’s an imaginary South Korean bobsleigh team in the background. Update: I have belatedly noticed that Rob Knight tagged me too. Alas, my desktop isn’t as ...
5:14 pm

Not funny anymore

Gravatar Over the past two weeks the fountain in Vivary Park, Taunton has been the target of a series of attacks. Just over a week ago dye was added to the water to turn it purple. Last Saturday washing up liquid caused the water to foam up. On the face of it, both incidents seem harmless enough but that’s besides the point. The local paper may choose to refer to the culprits as ‘pranksters’ but not everyone agrees with that stance. Personally, I believe such behaviour is anti-social, and is indicative of the lack of respect people now have towards others. ...
5:05 pm

The population problem that means Israel must take the initiative for peace in the Holy Land

Gravatar The Jewish state of Israel, as most people know, is not as Jewish as some Israelis would like or would have us believe. Israeli Arabs and Christians make up about one million of the Israeli population and with a much larger birth rate amongst the Arab population, Israel Jews might not remain the largest population group on 20 years time. Given these difficulties, Israel has always welcomed Jews from around the world, including some rather more unusual Jewish sects (particularly from Ethiopia) which have little to do with Judaism as Israels would recognise it, in order to bolster the Jewish ...
4:57 pm

"There are three stages of man: he believes in Santa Claus; he does not believe in Santa Claus; he is Santa Claus." Bob Phillips

Gravatar [It's a bit easier now] Bored of listening to the choirboys from King's college? Fed up of mince pies? A bit tipsy already? Fill in the blanks in the quotations below and see if you can think who said them: 1. "Marriage is a great i.........n, but I'm not ready for an i.........n yet." M.. W..t 2. "The only place men want d.p.h in a woman is in her decolletage." Z.r ... .G...r 3. "Neil Kinnock looks like a having an orgasm." P...... M..... 4. "William Whitelaw is one of the last representatives of a dying Tory tradition - ...
4:49 pm

Beyond Good and Evil?

Gravatar Chris K's blog has a very interesting post on whether we can say that the Tory Party is evil. It seems that some guy called Alex Hilton has written a column saying that Tories who oppose him must be evil. The column is bizarre for a number of reasons. Firstly he claims that 'modern socialism' is not statist (despite the fact that Labour is inevitably statist in almost everything that it does), that absolute poverty is its only concern (contrast Private equity bosses, Peter Hain, and 'toff-bashing' in terms of foxhunting, Oxbridge admissions and the rest), and that equality of ...
4:32 pm

Merry Christmas and happy new year.

Gravatar Thank you to everybody for their support and help over the last 12 months. There have been many changes during 2007. It has been an eventful year, with getting married in September and with losing my District Council seat last may. Latterly, when you would have thought that things would have calmed down some what, I [...]
4:29 pm

A new year pledge for Barry (Leyton)

Gravatar I’ve decided to pledge myself to avenge the horrible homophobia against Barry Smith by working in Leyton either in person for one weekend or by other means (Bette Midler Stylee!) ie `from a distance`!
3:40 pm

Remember you can track Santa's progress on the internet thanks to NORAD

Gravatar If you've got kids at home who are getting frustrated at waiting for the big day tomorrow and Santa's arrival, or if you are British Father Christmas, then you can occupy your kids by getting them to watch his progress on the NORAD early warning radar system on the internet HERE. It's actually quite a lot of fun for children and helps keep the magic of Christmas alive.
3:32 pm

Who’s your liberal voice of 2007?

Gravatar Lib Dem Voice want to find out, and we’ll be running a New Year poll to find the liberal voice in British politics which has most inspired you in the last year. But as a little twist, we want to look outside the Liberal Democrat party – and find the greatest liberal who’s not a [...]
3:27 pm

My first Christmas Eve without delivering leaflets for many years

Gravatar Thinking back to previous Christmas Eves, it suddenly occurred to me that this must be the first time in probably 10 years that I have not been out delivering Focus leaflets on Christmas Eve. I have always found Christmas Even to be a very productive time to deliver the Christmas and New Year Focus because lots of people are in, many are impressed that we are bothering on a Christmas Eve, and most people are in good spirits and will give you a smile. it also further emphasised the strapline on the bootom of every Focus "The Local Lib Dems ...
3:20 pm

Thank you "liberal england"

Gravatar Liberal England have kindly awarded me the accolade of "campaign of the year" for my campaigning for justice for families. My test of a campaign is to what extent things change as a result. I am aware of some changes we have achieved, but we have a long way to go.
3:16 pm

Thank you to PC Pro

Gravatar PC Pro have kindly stated that my quotation about the Government and IT was one of the top ten IT quotes of 2007: (see link) 9. John Hemming MP The loss of 25 million child benefit records on a couple of CDs was an open-goal for opposition politicians. But hand the match ball to Liberal MP, John Hemming, who said the government couldn't even be trusted with CD burners and warned of worse to
3:08 pm

2007: the year in review (part 2) - from predictable disaster to unbounded joy

Gravatar May saw me en route to the most dangerous post office in the world, on the perhaps obvious grounds that it almost certainly needed saving (I exist, therefore I save post offices - Jean-Paul Rennard). Frankly, if Vanuatu Post think that such an enterprise is worth having, it shouldn't be beyond the wit of this Government to find a way to support the post office network in Britain... But change
2:56 pm

Buffer zone

Gravatar I was fascinated by the letter from Plaid Cymru AM, Bethan Jenkins, in today's South Wales Evening Post in which she confirms her party's commitment to a 500m buffer zone around any new open cast development so as to protect nearby residents This is something I have campaigned on in the past as well, and as part of that campaign I signed a statement of opinion on the matter in the Assembly some years ago. Of course now that Plaid Cymru is in government we will all look forward to the introduction of this buffer zone in due course. In ...
2:55 pm

Eagles win against Saints

Gravatar This season has been quite frustrating for Eagles fans. The ups and downs have largely been self inflicted. With a clutch of close games where the Eagles lost by 3 points, a handful of plays could have swung those games the other way. The stats tell the story. Not enough plays getting over 20 yards and a reduction of turnovers [...]
2:35 pm

My desktop

Gravatar James Graham has tagged me in the Desktop Meme, so here's mine. Subtlety was the key thought I had in mind when designing it. And here are the five whose desktops I'd like to see: The bureaucrat's bureaucrat (have you done the minutes of the bone purchasing review subcommmitte's away day yet Mark?)Ed 'the plumber' MaxfieldMillennium 'who ate my doughnuts?' ElephantRunning man ReevesThe blogger who is now so famous he is simply, Mr Tall
2:23 pm

Merry Christmas Everyone

Gravatar As is always the case life is more mundane than TV. I have pottered around the Civic Hall today and am just about to head off. The lights are on and the building has a skeleton staffing but the Council shut down several days ago and a few people seem bewildered to see a Councillor in the building. I'm off to do a bit of last minute shopping ( Sainsbury's Local is open till 11pm believe it or not) and then perhaps a crib service. The closest I came to West Wing style heroism was reporting a broken street light ...
2:00 pm

Bleak Christmas

Gravatar I have come to the conclusion that the demographic imbalances in Leeds 6 will never be taken seriously by the powers that be. Why need not detain us now but the walk to the Nine and Lessons and Carols service at St Michael's was as ever sobering. Street after Street in complete darkness with not a Christmas decoration in sight. I've never really bought the "Ghost Town" view of Leeds 6 during University vacations but its true for about 7 days a year as the mid Winter pull of family ties seems to strong even for the most transient of ...
1:59 pm

Stay away from the shops on Boxing Day

Gravatar This post on Sunday Trading caught my eye. It is often debated in conjunction with the debate  on whether we are still a Christian nation. Very topical when one ex-Prime Minister has just publicly converted to Catholicism and our own leader has come out of the closet as an atheist! But I actually think the two questions are quite separate. I’m an Anglican, but I believe in a secular state which protects religious freedom. I am also comfortable with Liberal Democrat proposals to disestablish my church. Experience shows that religion and politics do not mix well. Applying religious beliefs to ...
1:34 pm

Merry Christmas 2: Bethlehem Down

Gravatar “When He is King we will give him the King's gifts, Myrrh for its sweetness, and gold for a crown, Beautiful robes,” said the young girl to Joseph, Fair with her first-born on Bethlehem Down. Bethlehem Down is full of the starlight Winds for the spices, and stars for the gold, Mary for sleep, and for lullaby music Songs of a shepherd by Bethlehem fold. When He is King they will clothe him in grave-sheets, Myrrh for embalming, and wood for a crown, He that lies now in the white arms of Mary, Sleeping so lightly on Bethlehem Down. Here ...
1:31 pm

Merry Christmas 1: Santa Claus - Polar Czar

Gravatar From the great Alexei Sayle.
1:27 pm

LIberal Democrats in the Sunday papers

Gravatar Thanks to Pete Roberts for pointing us to Nick Clegg's brief question-and-answer session in The People. Here is Nick's answer to a question about whether he favours a referendum on the EU reform treaty: I Want the referendum that matters - on whether we stay part of the European Union. Our involvement aids our businesses, boosts jobs and helps keep us safe against new threats like climate change and international crime. Some people disagree, so let's have the real debate, in or out.I have moaned about this policy before, but the more you think about it, the sillier it gets. ...
1:16 pm

Christmas Number One

Gravatar "Uncertainty and mystery are energies of life. Don't let them scare you unduly, for they keep boredom at bay and spark creativity." R I Fitzhenry. So, where’s the uncertainty and mystery surrounding the ‘Christmas Number One’? With the advent and popularity of ‘talent’ shows like ITV’s X-Factor it seems the coveted number one spot almost certainly goes to the winner of X-Factor. Isn't it a ridiculous state of affairs when bookmakers William Hill can make the winner of X Factor 2008 odds on favourite to produce the next christmas number when they haven't even chosen the 'stars' of the next ...
12:57 pm

Division of labour*

Gravatar I finished [paid] work at lunchtime and it’s now the countdown to the arrival of parents for Christmas lunch. This explains why I am blogging (flagrant displacement activity) instead of cleaning. I’m very blessed in that Richard shares both the domestic chores and my untidiness threshold. My mother’s threshold is however different, so parental visits [...]
12:52 pm

Recycling and rubbish collections over Xmas and New Year

Gravatar If you're wondering when your bin will be collected over the Christmas period, you can find the details on the South Glos website. Click here for changes to your rubbish and recycling collection days. Click here for changes to SORT IT!* Centre (civic amenity site) opening times.
12:33 pm

Merry Christmas

Gravatar Let’s be honest - My Fair Lady is on later, so I’m probably not going to have time to blog. So let me take this opportunity to wish everyone a very merry Christmas. I hope tomorrow is a happy day for you all. I am spending the day partly with my family, and partly with some friends. I hope everyone has an enjoyable time. Rick
12:28 pm

Favourite Christmas card

12:26 pm

Christmas Trivia Time - What were the boys of the NYPD choir really singing ?

Gravatar With all the discussion on various blogs (Cassilis gives the best example) of the BBC supposedly banning the use of the word "faggot" in the Christmas classic "The Fairytale of new York", it gives me an opportunity to recount something I learnt only last year when watching a documentary about The Pogues and how they came to collaborate with Kirstly MacColl. The funniest part for me was the group recounting their video shoot in New York. Not only were most of the group drunk, not only was Shane McGowan almost arrested when they filmed inside a real police station, but ...
12:25 pm

Britblog Roundup

Gravatar Thanks to Mr Eugenides for linking to my post on our glorious new leader (subtitle: sticking the knife in early) in this week's Britblog Roundup. The Realpolitik podcast also got a mention. This is probably my last post before tomorrow, so Merry Christmas one and all!
12:20 pm

Sunday Trading laws, simply idiotic

Gravatar It was fun shopping in Truro City Centre yesterday - most of the small shops were shut all day, and the larger shops opened their doors at 10am but nobody could purchase anything until 10:30am - utterly bizarre, not only that but because of the sh... Read and post comments | Send to a friend
12:07 pm

ID Cards and Labour

Gravatar In the last couple of weeks Leeds City Council passed a motion against the introduction of a national ID card scheme. The Lib Dems on the council proposed the motion and the result was hardly surprising given that both the Lib Dems and Tories are now opposed to ID cards. What was surprising was that not one Labour councillor was willing to vote against the motion. That's right. Out of the 44
11:53 am

Magic Eight Ball

Gravatar Caroline Hunt has kindly tagged me in the exciting official Iain Dale "8 for 2008" meme. Here I list eight things that I hope might happen in 2008. 1. The UNAMID force to actually deploy in Darfur, and confound predictions of its ineffectiveness. 2. Brown to scrap ID cards. 3. George Galloway to end up in prison. Don’t care what for. 4. Nick Clegg to "shake up Westminster". 5. Me finally getting around to that post-graduate study. Perhaps. 6. Persepolis to get a UK release (its New York and LA release is tomorrow). 7. I’d like to become competent at ...
11:33 am

Call the police! This is NOT what Christmas should be about

Gravatar Outrageous. Are we not in a civilised country any more? Is this not the twenty-first century? If only one of the 3,000 new offences introduced by Labour had covered THIS sort of exploitative photography.
11:28 am

Merry Christmas

Gravatar Hope everyone has a great Christmas and New Year!
11:16 am

A word conundrum for Christmas

Gravatar {Christmas tree} Well - so far so good. I just love this moment, when I've got through all the preparation. I have done my shopping, bought my presents and the Christmas fare. (Digression: can never understand why food is called 'fare' at Christmas. A bit like on the radio some host was saying why do we say 'merry'? We don't say Merry Birthday or Merry New Year.) I've been watching all my Christmas movies (if anyone has a real feel-good, tear jerker of a Christmas movie that I might not know about - let me know). I have: both Miracle ...
10:58 am

Nick Clegg still gets wide coverage for a one word answer: "No"

Gravatar A Guardian leader today does a tour d'horizon of politics and religion, mentioning US presidential candidate Mike HUckabee, Tony Blair, Ruth Kelly and Nick Clegg: What is true of belief is equally true of its absence. On Wednesday Mr Clegg faced a series of quick-fire questions on the radio. One was "do you believe in God?", and he responded with an admirably straightforward "no". His frankness
10:58 am

Telegraph talks of "move to the Right by the Liberal Democrats"

Gravatar It's funny but for some reason the Telegraph has gone all soft on us, via Nick Clegg. Today's Telegraph feature is entitled: "How Nick Clegg plans to shake up Westminster". Nick derides Cameron's £20 tax bribe for married couples and advocates major change in the democratic system as a priority before talk of coalitions: I don't see how in a political system biased in favour of giving totally
10:56 am

Clegg secures pledge from Brown to secure information

Gravatar The Independent reports that Nick Clegg has extracted a pledge from Gordon Brown to bring in new safeguards to secure massive databases of citizens' information: The Prime Minister promised to tighten up procedures next spring, after a review by Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner, and Mark Walport, the head of the Wellcome Trust, into data security in the public and private sectors.
10:55 am

PPP to form government

Gravatar The BBC has just announced that the PPP has claimed that it has the backing of enough smaller parties to form a ruling coalition. The PPP has stated that it will allow Thaksin Shinawatra to return to Thailand and it is rumoured that he will return on 14th February.  They are also known to be [...]
10:55 am

A list of past politicians and their belief, or lack of belief, in God

Gravatar Matthew Parris gives a lengthy list of past politicians and their belief or lack of belief in God. He concludes that Nick Clegg is in good company (with the proviso that none many past leaders actually owned up to disbelief in God, like Nick): My inquiries led me, almost ten years ago, to Lord Jenkins of Hillhead � the late Roy Jenkins, historian, Home Secretary, Chancellor, party leader and
10:51 am

My 8 wishes for 2008 - Iain Dale's Meme

Gravatar I received an e-mail this morning from Iain Dale telling me "You've been fingered", fortunately, the sentence went on to add "to take part in my meme about your 8 wishes for 2008". So my wishes are 1) For Everton to win the a cup (UEFA, Carling or FA Cup). 2) Norwich City to survive in the Championship and be in the top three by next Christmas. 3) The Lib Dems to be consistently polling 20%+. 4) For my blog to have doubled its daily number of visitors. 5) For Justin Hinchcliffe to write something nice about the Lib Dems. ...
10:46 am

Forgiveness and healing at this season

Gravatar So this is Kukios, Christmas Eve for all you non-Lithuanians out there, the day when the traditions are to remember the dead and to heal the living. One of the advantages of being the heirs of the last European culture to be converted to Christianity is that the older midwinter roots of this sort of tradition are rather more clear. The key event really is the Christmas Eve meal. The tablecloth is laid out on fresh hay so that the family animals are symbolically part of the festivities, and a place is laid for anyone absent, family or friend, especially ...
10:24 am

"I. Am. Clegg."

Gravatar I've had a hatful of lazy media speak this week. First it was Nick Robinson's analysis on Radio 4 of Nick Clegg's interview, sticking to the sad old two dimensional model. They're left, they're right, you must be in the middle. At least we're no longer being painted as being to the left of labour - basically because everybody is nowadays. Then we have Rosie Millard's cheap sneers in the Sunday Times, and of course Simon Jenkins' habitual inability to connect to liberal democracy. Politics is more complicated than that nowadays, but it will take an earthquake for the media ...
10:13 am

The Political Brain

Gravatar One of my presents for my birthday yesterday was The Political Brain by Drew Westen. I imagine it's on a lot of peoples' Christmas lists this year; books which combine politics and psychology are pretty much perfect for me. I'm only a few hundred pages into it, but already feel moved to blog about it. Westen's basic premise - that people react to politics in a visceral, emotional manner rather than a logical one - shouldn't be startling who practices the trade of politics. The Liberal Democrats' better campaigners know through experience and instinct that you need to involve peoples' ...
9:41 am

Caring Conservatives

Gravatar Grant Shapps, the conservative shadow housing minister, has said that he hopes to draw attention to the plight of homeless people by sleeping 'rough' on Christmas Eve. Mr Shapps says he intends to keep warm by using a sleeping bag, blankets and cardboard boxes. Let's hope he isn't planning on any free food or drink from a soup kitchen. Conservative Angela Harvey, Westminster Council's cabinet member for housing, objects to the large numbers of volunteers who converge on central London to hand out free food and drinks to the homeless and wants to see all soup kitchens in the City ...
9:12 am

Opinion: What should the new leader do in his first 100 days? #6

Gravatar Five Lib Dems have so far taken up the challenge to tell Nick Clegg what he should do in his first hundred days: Paul Walter, Linda Jack, David Morton, Mary Reid and Mark Valladares. Now we turn to Simon Titley… The previous contributors to this series have bombarded the new leader with laundry lists of demands [...]
9:05 am

The History Boys

Gravatar Anyone who caught the film or play 'The History Boys' in a cinema or theatre will have felt the lasting impact of Alan Bennett's story. Anyone who didn't should watch it on BBC2 this Friday at 9pm. An avid viewer and reader of any 'campus' plays or novels and a huge Bennett fan myself I sat transfixed in my local cinema at this daring, highly amusing, at times uncomfortable yet smoothly and intelligently written film. My only disappointment was not making it to the theatre to see it on stage. Some of the scenes set in the Sheffield grammar school ...
8:44 am

Country of our birth

Gravatar Speaking to the Western Mail this morning Shirley Bassey tells of her natural distress at having her purse stolen by a pickpocket whilst Christmas shopping in London’s Knightsbridge area. Understandably, she has been left confused and resentful as a result of this incident: “This isn’t England any more – at least it is not the country I remember growing up in. You don’t hear English spoken here. You read about terrible things – not just drugs but all the killings. “When you live in a safe place like Monte Carlo, you can walk home at any time of the night ...
8:42 am

Apologies to Jonathan Calder

Gravatar Sincere apologies to Jonathan Calder. I am sorry to have misquoted Jonathan, pure slapdashness on my part. I suggested that he had questioned why we needed a female bloggers award "are we the weaker sex?" which was how I had read his comment. What he actually said was "If I am honest, the idea that women need special awards to encourage them to blog makes me a little uneasy. Doesn't this just position them as the weaker sex?" Thanks for pointing this out Jonathan, I hope I am forgiven! Anyway I am now off to do my Christmas Shopping.............
8:22 am

Thai election results

Gravatar According to the Bangkok Post the turnout was 70.2 percent.  It look as if the PPP have won the largest number of seats with 228 out of 480 just shy of an overall majority.  If they are to form a government then deals will need to be done and it appears that Puea Pandin have been [...]

Previous days:

Sunday 23rd December 2007, Saturday 22nd December 2007, Friday 21st December 2007, Thursday 20th December 2007, Wednesday 19th December 2007, Tuesday 18th December 2007