THE BLOG

What Kind Of Week Has It Been? 2 May 2014

01/05/2014 16:09 BST | Updated 01/07/2014 10:59 BST

Still trying to make fetch happen

After a long Easter break that bordered on decadent, I'm back and newsing like never before, more eager to bust some chops than ever. Lord knows somebody has to, as the Daddy of political gladiatorial combat is giving it up in June.

At least The Great Paxman has been able to choose the time of his leaving, unlike, say, David Moyes, unceremoniously dumped because he's the wrong kind of surly Glaswegian before the end of the season. And Ryan Giggs won his first match in charge, it's a sign! The fact they were up against another team who ditched their manager prematurely in even more trouble than them is but a footnote, as is the fact they've made a sentimental choice of interim manager to mask the dishonourable manner Moyes was ousted.

And at least David Moyes can comfort himself with a massive payoff, unlike regularly unemployed people who, under new Tory plans, will have to basically take up residence in the bloody Job Centre to be entitled to dole anymore. Such draconian plans may be with a view to wiping UKIP's eye in the European elections (it's more comforting than the notion they're just straight up bastards), who have been up to their eyes in media coverage and attention, not all of it positive. I say not all of it, hardly any of it. Actually, none of it. Seriously.

And yet, despite the mendaciousness, despite the blistering racism, despite despite bottling a golden chance to win a Westminster seat, and despite the heinous donors, UKIP are still riding high in the polls. Shy of Farage hijacking a radio station and demanding the DJ play Sugar Sugar over and over again, it's unlikely to change either. In Ireland, the Labour party could only wish they could procure a UKIP-esque forcefield round their incompetence, but if they were able to buy one they'd likely come back with magic beans. Staring down the barrel of a complete wipeout in Strasbourg, one of their future former MEPs Phil Prendergast told leader Eamon Gilmore to sling his hook. But at least she went public with her distaste, rather than using a more subtle way of running away from your party. But hey, it could be worse: at least their posters didn't nearly cause traffic chaos. Sinn Fein on the other hand are riding the crest of a wave, although their party leader being arrested over the longest running sore of The Troubles - the abduction, murder and secret burial of a mother of ten - may have something of an effect on the landscape.

Meanwhile on the continent the candidates for next EU Commissioner had a Europe-wide debate, which went largely unnoticed over here. Maybe it has something to do with eye-catching headlines like this diverting our attention. Or this. Or indeed, a man who's no stranger to catchy headlines acting plain weird during his conviction.

It's been a week of heavy criminal reporting, what with the gruesome details of Max Clifford and Cyril Smith. But it's only a matter of time before Northern Ireland's courts are given a good shake on a whole different matter, as the Assembly throws out a same sex marriage law for the third time. Interestingly, no Nationalist voted against it but all but a four Unionists voted no, meaning that most NI Unionists are so British they're wilfully out of step with the rest of the UK on the matter. The UUP's Danny Kennedy warned of 'far-reaching consequences' if it passed, and he has a point. A lot of politicians like him are going to look very silly in a few years time.

Down in Dublin vision and enlightenment was in no short supply, as a man with a massive telescope in his garden found a Back Yard Supernova. He called it 'Supernova2014as', which proves that astronomy and the ability to name things don't always come together.

Well, that's your lot of now, I hope you enjoy your Ed Balls Ed Balls Ed Balls. By which of course I mean your May Bank Holiday.