The UK and Ireland has been festooned with talent shows this last decade, and have completely permeated (or is that punctured?) popular culture in that time. But it's got to the point where it seems the Irish government is using Britain's Got Talent as the template for abortion law. The legislation, a mere twenty years in the making, is finally filling the mould the X Case created. But, on the contentious issue of whether suicide should be grounds for an abortion (I say contentious, the Irish public have twice voted that it should be), a bloody panel of three bloody doctors will rule on whether there are sufficient grounds or not and another three for an appeal process, which couldn't be more macabre or pathetically ridiculous if Louis Walsh and yer wan from Shakespeare's Sister were on the panel. Well, I say it couldn't be any more macabre, on Thursday morning Health Minister James Reilly has admitted that, while it wasn't the intention of the legislation, a woman could end up seeing out her pregnancy in a psychiatric ward..But hey, as long as it wasn't the intention, eh?
One man who'd probably love to be the casting vote in ant abortion judging panel is Peter Matthews, backbench Fine Gael TD and, after his performance this week, destined to stay that way. In the latest battle on Irish TV between logic and unicorns, he was asked if it was an acceptable risk for a woman to have to carry on with a pregnancy that could seriously damage her health, he replied "sure we're all going to end up dead anyway". And this is the pro-life guy.
Over across the pond UKIP's leader Nigel Farage is still talking up an electoral breakthrough that's been promised for nearly as long as abortion legislation has in Ireland. It looks like this time he may have a point, with UKIP showing 22% in some polls. This is despite the fact that Comedy Nige's party appears to choose its candidates through promotional token collections in racist crisps packets. One candidate, Alex Wood, was suspended after pictures surfaced on his Facebook of him Nazi saluting and clenching a knife between his teeth like he's Gob Bluth. In a stupefying series of excuses, it was variously claimed he was "reaching for a camera" to stop his girlfriend taking pictures of him posing as a plant, although he reverted to more mainstream excused when he told the BBC that his Facebook was hijacked and taken out of context. Don't you hate it when someone de-contextualises your Facebook?
Elsewhere that other notorious racist, comedian Reginald D Hunter, caused an hilariously overblown reaction to a gig he did at the PFA on Monday. His terrible crime was doing his routine because he was asked, and the people who asked him appearing to have never seen his uncompromising and thought provoking shtick. Amidst a blur of hand-washing, hand-wringing and hand-back-the-money-ing, Hunter, responded unusually, creating a Facebook photo album of searing genius. Referring to the gig as "irony's annual night off" he posted photos of "the horrible aftermath", replete with Hunter's manic grins with obviously well-disposed audiences and captions like "This man approaches Reginald D Hunter to ask him to explain the plot of Django Unchained". Even if he does have to give back the money he was apparently paid as part of a verbal contract (?!) with the PFA, I'm sure given the The Passion of St Tibulus Factor his upcoming concerts will recoup the money handily.
Meanwhile in contrast Barack Obama's normally hostile audience was a lot more sanguine for the White House Correspondents Dinner, where he cracked jokes about his days as a strapping young socialist Muslim and Daniel Day Lewis playing him in the movie of his life. If he could get Gitmo closed as easily as he could get laughs, he'd be landed.Suggest a correction