The Blog

What Kind of Week Has It Been? 12 July 2013

Andy Murray's status as the first British winner means the last one is likely to get overshadowed a bit. No, not Fred Perry, but Virginia Wade. Not that many seemed to remember she existed in the preamble to the final anyway. Not even the Prime Bloody Minister.

A few congratulations are in order: fair play to Andy Murray for winning Wimbledon in some straight sets style. Irvine Welsh was particularly, profanely impressed. His victory now makes him an enduring hero for young people of a certain age and background who might have thought top line sport was beyond them. And also an eternal gold-plated idol of worship for overzealous sportscasters who now feel justified in their perpetual hubris relating to any British sportsperson's chances.

Andy Murray's status as the first British winner means the last one is likely to get overshadowed a bit. No, not Fred Perry, but Virginia Wade. Not that many seemed to remember she existed in the preamble to the final anyway. Not even the Prime Bloody Minister.

All in all, it's not been a great week for women. Or indeed, men embarrassed by their gender. While Andy was being mobbed, women's champion Marion Bartoli was being dragged through a public trial, the main prosecutors being internet assholes and a BBC broadcaster that has "lapdancing club loyalty card" written all over him, as to whether she was good looking enough to be a proper tennis player. A player like, say, Anna Kournikova, who never won a single tournament, let alone a grand slam.

Off the sporting field, even the more cultured life of academia and parliamentary procedure has got the splashback of sexist comments. Boris Johnson responded to a Malaysian boast on female enrolment figures by saying they were probably more concerned getting becoming an Mrs than a BA, and his party colleague William Hague got caught shouting "stupid woman" during PMQs. But even that is fairly tame compared to Charles Saatchi who, after publicly throttling his wife, then divorces her via the papers. Those girls going to college must be fair disappointed at their options.

All these ostensible men were comprehensively schooled by this Egyptian 12 year old in how to do things right, and who also gives arguably the best assessment of his country's tumult. Despite Morsi's lack of popularity his disposal set the dangerous precedent of giving the army a No Likey No Lighty privilege. So dangerous, they're even shooting at Smooth Jeremy Bowen.

Back in Ireland the perennially depressing abortion debate came to a head his week with the Dail finally voting on providing legislation for abortion but not before a week of late-night debatin', marchin', counter-marchin', unwarranted arrestin', website hackings, camp outin', vigilin', holy-water throwin', arse-grabbin' (allegedly caused by overheatin') and wrong button pressin'. Oh, and officially sanctioned Fr Ted sloganisin'. One of the more bitter spinoffs of the whole debacle was the ferocity of the whip crack. Reliably right wing Michelle Mulherin voted for the bill to avoid getting the boot, while Minister of State Lucinda Creighton, fatally confusing bravery with self-immolation, has had one long Smell My Cheese moment.

Elsewhere in Ireland people did their best to evade the literally road-melting heat. It was so hot, people jumped into any water they could find and a camel rocked up to a beach in Donegal. Oh, and some backbench TDs were proposing that Ireland change timezones. Change timezones. On an island with two countries on it. I'll let Toby Ziegler and Josh Lyman have the final word on this one.

While Lucinda Creighton looks like she's on the way out of politics, over in the States two well-known names are trying to make a comeback. In New York former white collar crime buster-turned-Governor-turned-fierce man for the escorts Eliot Spitzer is back and running for the oblique position of NY State Comptroller. But maybe if he shows he can be in...comptrol? of something, it might be a springboard back to the big time. That is if he beats his opponent, the woman who furnished him with decorative ladies that forced him to resign in the first place. Seriously. Across the country Sarah Palin is flirting about with running for office again, considering challenging for a Senate seat as she has "a heart for service". If her previous is anything to go by, her service heart wouldn't pass a medical.

Palin has her eyes on 2014 but Ed Milliband is hoping just to keep things on the road right now. He's resolved to change the way the party is funded, as the leadership are of the opinion that the public will only go for parties that are beholden to private enterprise. Len McLuskey and Tony Blair are in favour, GMB not so much. To his credit though, Milliband did propose a plan to cap the high limit of donations. Cameron refused this out of hand as he claimed taxpayers would have to pick up the tab for the shortfall. The notion parties would just have to spend less didn't seem to occur to him. Speaking of private money, that last bastion of government service the Royal Mail is being sold off. Is nothing sacred? It's unlikely a private company would allow their rural posties to have cats as their passengers.

I'd be inclined to look for polling as a means of seeing that surely the British public are dead against the Royal Mail being sold off, but a study released this week showed that the British public have got pretty much everything wrong. Of course, that'll happen when you have so many paper and politicians telling you the wrong thing. Virginia Wade knows all about that.