THE BLOG

What Kind of Week Has It Been? 8 March 2013

07/03/2013 13:55 GMT | Updated 06/05/2013 10:12 BST

The moonwalking pony of news

You would nearly feel sorry for the Tories. Almost. In a parallel dimension maybe. But the point is, things are not going well for them. They came third in the Eastleigh by-election which, to use the technical term, is bloody awful. Worse yet, they finished behind their yoghurt eating liberal bedfellows, and the granny privatising xenophobes of UKIP, who are starting to take Tory votes like them Polish are supposedly taking our jobs.

So with Nigel Farage's comedy troupe on the rise and George Osborne unable to charge the economy with triple A batteries anymore, backbenchers are urging Cameron to take action and repeal the Human Rights Act, a move only hardline Tories could think is an election elixir.

Meanwhile in Dennis Rodman Diplomacy latest it seems that the NBA's enfant terrible possesses the western world's greatest insight into one of geopolitics' great mysteries, North Korea. According to The Rod, Kim Jong Un doesn't want to do war, and just wants Obama to call him. By this logic, Vinny Jones may succeed where the Oslo Accords didn't.

Over in that other secretive state, the Vatican, the brightest stars of the Catholic world are convening for a few long nights of smokey rooms, arguing and Chinese food (I assume) to replace Pope Benedict XVI. Unless, of course, he does some kind of James Brown-style shrug off his retirement cape. And even though he won't be going ex-Cardinal Keith O'Brien finally put his hands up this week, which makes a change from where he'd apparently been placing them numerous times in the past.

The new Pope will have to contend with how to drag the Church's attitudes to Them Gays, and the Boy Scouts of America have provided a cautionary tale to sorting themselves out early. Dismayed at their anti-gay policy, Carly Rae Jepsen and the lads who sing Hey Soul Sister pulled out of their Jamboree. It's also good to see Carly Rae hasn't let that unfortunate case of mistaken sexuality get in the way of her moral compass.

And finally this week, mere hours after reading a Wikipedia entry on Simon Bolivar (cos that's just how I get my kicks) their modern LibertadorHugo Chavez died at just 58. Bolivar once said governing Venezuela "will require an infinitely firm hand" and for all the left wing hero worship his methods in cleaving to power were hardly beyond reproach. Which is a desperate shame, because his mission to better provide public healthcare, education and treatment of the poor was a refreshing change among a world leadership hypnotised by free marketism and paralysed by equivocation. The reaction in the streets of Caracas has been mournful, but their reaction in the ballot box some weeks from now will be one of the key crossroads of the decade.