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Hello from Mumsnet Towers...
Where it's Mumsnet Election Day and, after all the polls and politrolls, we finally get to tell the politicians what we think of their leaders' wives outfits manifestos.
Don't even begin to worry about MN webchat cold turkey: you can get your first post-election fix on Friday (12-1pm) with former Children's Laureate and anti-SATs campaigner Michael Rosen. And then on Monday (1-2pm), we've Mary 'Queen of Shops' Portas coming to shoot the Style & Beauty breeze.
Please keep those suggestions for Gifts for Dads coming welcome: choosing who to vote for's a doddle next to finding an unboakworthy Father's Day pressie...
Now for this week's parenting news...
Banning smacking 'would improve parenting skills': If parents were banned from smacking their children, parenting skills would improve, Council of Europe deputy head Maud de Boer-Buquicchio said this week. "I firmly believe that the existence of a legal defence for parents who 'reasonably chastise' their children effectively halts the evolution towards a society more respectful of children's rights and parents' potential to improve their parental skills," she said in a letter to the Daily Telegraph. Smacking is not permitted in schools in Britain, but parents can smack youngsters for the purposes of 'reasonable' punishment. (BBC News 04.05.10)
Fees hike for universities: University fees could rise by up to £1,000 a year under plans being drawn up by an official review that could eventually allow universities to charge the full cost of a degree. Lord Browne, former BP chief executive, wants to remove the current £3,225 limit on fees. Leading research universities could charge students an estimated £7,000 a year, while fees for science undergraduates could rise to £14,000. Browne's committee recognises this cannot be done immediately, but universities would be allowed to increase fees well above the inflation rate each year – possibly by as much as £1,000 – as they moved towards a free market. (Sunday Times 02.05.10)
Other stories in brief
Quote of the week: Wordsonascreen has some advice for anyone taking children along to the polling station: "All will be fine as long as you don't do loud parenting. A whispered, 'Oh look, Jocasta! This is why we need proportional representation', and a few remarks on boundary changes should suffice."
This month's prizes are:
THE HARES ARE COMING! As mentioned on the Jonathan Ross Show, the stage version of Guess How Much I Love You opens at The Rose Theatre, Kingston on 19 May before hopping off on a UK tour! Click here for full dates and to book tickets. "I love you right up to the moon – and back."
Looking for a day out with the kids? Mumsnetters recommend:
Aitch's TV round-up: Derren Brown Investigates, Channel 4, Mon 10 May, 10pm
Anyone remember The Amazing James Randi, arch-sceptic and scourge of psychic fakery and all things woo? Derren Brown does, that's for sure... Oh well, one man's rip-off is another man's homage and who are we to complain when the result is this tensely fascinating encounter between the profoundly non-psychic Brown and the sparkly-eyed Scouser Joe Power, aka (according to his rather Ronseal-esque billing) The Man Who Contacts The Dead. Will Brown be convinced of Power's powers? Would anyone be thick enough to subject themselves to television scrutiny unless they are 100% bona fide? And why, oh why, does Joe Power never remember to go to the loo before he leaves his house?
Discuss this show (and others) in our Telly Addicts Talk forum.
Recipe of the week: Majeika's pasta primavera
Easy-peasy pasta classic that's full of the crisp veggie joys of spring. Extra-delish with an oh-so-seasonal touch of asparagus...
You can review this week's recipe here - or why not post one yourself?
That's all. We're off for a sleepless night - on the ITN election-night sofa (Justine) or just up with the kids again (the rest of us).
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