THE BLOG

What Kind of Week Has It Been? 14 March 2014

13/03/2014 10:59 GMT | Updated 12/05/2014 10:59 BST

The happy scrum of news

The world is often a troubled place, and sometimes world leaders need to not just be strong, but also look strong to inspire confidence. At least that must be the rationale David Cameron was using, otherwise he's simply a vain lunatic with the presence of mind of a sloshed uncle at a wedding. Whatever the case, the internet had its fun, and that's all that matters. Truly, he is the John Travolta of politics. Never forget. A much better way to generate a bit of online buzz would be to put pictures of Hank Scorpio around a capital city, like so. And while we're at it, let's celebrate the man who made all these lulz possible, Tim Berners-Lee. Happy birthday, Internet. You sexy, cat-obsessed beast.

Cameron can at least always be comforted by the fact that anything he can make cringe, the Lib Dems can make cringe better. Case in point: whatever the hell this is. But even that is nothing compared to not-at-all-funny embarrassment that Comedy Nige and the Hot Fuzz village dwellers he calls a party. These great insurgent underdogs' target this week? Stephen Lawrence's mum.

UKIP weren't the only predictable mouthpieces to say something appalling this week. Rupert Murdoch has some interesting notions on the story behind the mysterious disappearance of a Malaysian plane, while a horse-faced irritant whose name I won't mention lest it augments their terrible powers made a typical play for attention minutes after the shocking death of union leader Bob Crow. In Ireland, the tireless campaigner Christine Buckley, a woman who by going public about her experience of abuse in a religious order-run orphanage, was the beginning of the long cathartic process Ireland has gone through in the last twenty years, also sadly passed away.

When you consider the contentious and torturous issues that Crow and Buckley fought throughout their lives, it rather puts the fact that BBC Three is being shunted off telly into perspective. But a compelling issue it is all the same, as a slew of high profile supporters have tried to save what is, in all fairness, a BBC service that does something unique. And even if that service did spawn the career of Jack Whitehall, it does feel like a service worth keeping. If the cuts were going to come anywhere, you'd think BBC Four would be a more logical target, as spectacularly good though it is, BBC Two could probably absorb the subtitled Austrian documentaries about Roxy Music pretty well.

I imagine BBC4 will have a documentary about this out quite soon, but this week marks the 60th anniversary of Edward R Murrow taking down Senator Joe McCarthy at the height of the Red Scare witch hunts in a bravura performance of dignity, eloquence, gravitas and massive, massive balls. Thankfully, senior US politicians these days aren't as humourless as McCarthy was.

Not so for Northern Irish ones though, as an unholy fuss kicked off in Belfast City Council over a football scarf during a motion honouring eminently successful local football manager, David Jeffrey. Belfast City Council: getting shit done. The backbiting between proposer, the locally notorious Ruth Patterson and the slightly po-faced Sinn Fein Councillor Jim McVeigh appalled the Lord Deputy Mayor, mostly for the fact that McVeigh didn't quite get his title right. A quick look at his web page shows he's particular about that to a point that rivals even Bishop Len Brennan.

Speaking of which, the religious hellfire brigade have been getting politically active, in this case a band of brothers for the always hot-button sabbatical elections (and the small matter of a same sex marriage referendum) at the National University of Ireland, Galway. The somewhat aptly named Burkes, Enoch (running for Equality Officer / Strongest Street Pose) and his brother Isaac, (running to become Postgrad Officer and mad for a bit of baroque music) are members of a Phelps-esque family who conflate gay marriage and paedophilia and use Leviticus as an instruction manual. You know, the usual.

But if they thought they were going to get a free run of it, they just don't know Galway. Apart from a spontaneous counter protest, the college's LGBT Society also staged a gay wedding in front of everybody. If they'd played the Brandeberg Concerto as part of the ceremony, the Burkes would have really been pissed off.