>Stripping the Week 4-8 October 2010

>Welcome to a new feature on Virtually Naked, where we look back at the biggest stories of the working week.

It has been all about shadows this week. From David Cameron hiding in the shadow of Lord Kitchener is his conference speech, to Ed Miliband’s Shadow Cabinet, and the shadows under the eyes of the awful Apprentice candidates as they were made to work through the night on their first task.

Conservative conference was the big political event this week. They descended on the conference venue in Birmingham as a a party of Government for the first time in 14 years. They were all under strict instructions not to be snapped drinking champagne, so as not to draw adverse publicity in  time of austerity. After the hour long Dispatches on Director of Communications Andy Coulson’s behaviour while editor of News of the World, they probably needed something a little bit stronger. The key note leaders speech from Cameron was fairly good, urging people to, well, come out the shadows, and help because ‘your country needs you’.

Alan Sugar and the Apprentice returned to our screens. Frankly, there had not been a fouler collection of people since well…at least the last series of Big Brother. Losing project manager Dan went, but Stewart’s ‘in-your-face’ attempts at selling sausages cast a shadow over the whole episode. The only redeeming feature of the increasingly contrived programmes is the inclusion of Karen Brady, who along with Sugar associate Nick Hewer, brings genuine business sense and calm to the ego-driven contestants. In other ‘reality tv’ news, the story around the controversial removal from the show of X-Factor contestant rumbled on, with it being alleged her visa had expired and she would have to return to Zimbawe.

The week finished with the announcement of the Shadow Cabinet. Expenses fiddling, Red Ed loyalist, Sadiq Khan stepped out of the back bench shadows to become Shadow Justice Secretary. The pillow talk will be interesting in the Balls household this evening, as neither him nor his wife were given their desired job of Shadow Chancellor, instead giving it to stalwart Alan Johnson. This despite Yvette Cooper being a massively popular party figure, and topping the poll for the Shadow Cabinet. Some big name like Peter Hain, and Sean Woodward missed out in the vote, but found themselves snuck back in by co-option. All of this Shadow Cabinet served as minister under Gordon Brown, so much for a new generation.


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