What Kind of Week Has It Been? 16 November, 2012

You'd think after the election last week there would be a bit of a lull in proceedings this week, especially in the States. Oh, hell no.

You'd think after the election last week there would be a bit of a lull in proceedings this week, especially in the States. Oh, hell no.

Since the election was so decisively settled in whompy fashion, the Republicans have been tending to their wounds and backing away slowly from the eye of Sauron they've been entranced by for the best part of my lifetime. All over the shop GOP'ers are getting on the road to Damascus (somewhere a bit near the middle, thankfully) there are a few Romneyites around the country that aren't so happy with that. In fact, so patriotic are some of these people that when they don't like the president, they'll try to secede.

Amazingly all the 50 states have submitted petitions to the White House's We The People initiative, with the heaviest signatories coming from Louisiana and, where else, Texas. If they do, the massive wall they'll no doubt build round themselves might be the kind of public works scheme to dramatically cut unemployment.

As Texas conspires to leave the federal government so too does General David Patreaus, Iraq war stalwart and CIA director. The reason for this illustrious general's resignation? Well, it turns out he was having an affair with the woman who was writing his biography, but who was also sending hassling emails to another woman, who in turn was sending rude stuff to a general in Afghanistan. More troubling for the government, it turns out the Attorney General knew about this right up until last week. At this rate, next week there'll be a mystery shooting and someone we haven't seen in years making a comeback, but they have amnesia!

Meanwhile across the pond what has been known and not known is the epicentre of the BBC's current, deadly serious woes. Newsnight has somehow found itself being simulataneously negligent in exposing paedophilia and erroneously zealous in accusing a senior political figure. And after an embarrassing interview on Saturday morning that was the aural equivalent of having your trousers fall down in public, director general George Entwistle resigned while the director of news stepped aside, whatever the hell that means. It now means that all the top brass at the BBC, including the director general, head of news and editor of Newsnight, are all acting. All, ironically enough, apart from their controller of drama.

Alas, the cataclysm of broken trust, horrendous neglect and shamefully feckless leadership only starts there. This week, a 31 year old woman was denied a termination of her miscarried pregnancy, and died of septicaemia. Before she died, she was told the reason she couldn't have an abortion was because there was a faint heartbeat to her 17 week old foetus and, I can't believe a health professional actually even said this to a suffering human being, "this is a Catholic country".

Savita Praveen Halappanavar's death has prompted vigils all over the country and has made worldwide news, but above all else it has provoked outrage at the cowardice of Ireland's myriad combinations of governments since 1992 to legislate for the X-Case and subsequent referenda, that is expressly enshrined in law the circumstances under which a woman can have an abortion in the country.

And yet, every year Irish women in dire situations are forced to either take European legal action or take the ferry or plane to England for an abortion. Simply put, one woman is dead and many others are put through hell because no Irish politician of the past two decades has had a pair of balls between them. Ireland is doused in shame.


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