The Blog

What Kind of Week Has It Been? 17 October 2014


It's been a good week for broken ground. UKIP, after nearly twenty years as an entity, finally won a parliamentary election, with a candidate who had been a popular local MP for about ten years. Earth shattering. Though to be fair to them, their close second in Heywood was as genuinely impressive as their subsequent plan to ban people with HIV or Nicole Kidman at the end of Moulin Rouge was typically berserk. They're balanced like that.

The news media, who latch on to Nigel Farage for much the same reason TV entertainment producers put Peter Andre and Helen Flanagan on any show that moves, inevitably went into overdrive at Carswell's victory. News editor's perpetuation of Farage's self-promotion reached its natural conclusion later, as he was then touted to be the fourth man in the proposed 2015 election debates, much to the chagrin of the Green Party, and anyone with a lick of sense. Of course, there's nothing intrinsically wrong with the leader of the fourth party taking part, but the debates should be one of two things: a fight to the death with the Prime Ministerial candidates, complete with tridents, hosted by Jeremy Paxman; or the big three parties, UKIP and the Greens, the Nationalists, the Mansfield Independent Forum, Residents Associations of Epsom and Ewell, the Monster Raving Looney Party, the New Millenium Bean Party and the Natural Law Party. This election could do with some yogic flying.

Newly minted though as a UKIP MP, Douglas Carswell's first vote came up this week...and he abstained. The vote was on Palestinian statehood, which passed by an enormous margin among the people who actually voted. While not binding, the vote does send a statement of intent and momentum. It's not been a bad week for Palestine all round, as John Kerry promised $400 million in aid to rebuild the decimated Gaza. Granted, the Americans give over seven times that much to Israel to buy their Gaza-dissolving weaponry, but hey, a gesture is a gesture.

Back at the White House and on US domestic affairs, item #4835 of ludicrous things to blame President Obama for is the Ebola virus. Specifically, he's using it to make America more like Africa and that Ebola victims should be humanely euthanised. In other Nobel Peace Prize winners getting undue flak, have a look at this.

You wonder how many of the people who make those kind of comments will put down their internet flamethrower to try and become one of Google's forgotten, when they realise verbally abusing well-known people they've never met is a terrible epitaph to leave for eternity. Mind you, only a third of the requests in the UK were granted, so the other 66% may have to do something more anodyne, like list all eight films you've ever seen and how you hated them all. Of course, using Bing would also probably guarantee eternal anonymity.

But one internet event this week, far from being wiped by a search engine's decree, will surely go down in the annals as one of the finest time-on-our-hands internet japes ever. When somebody masquerading as the provost of UCL sent every single student in the college a misspelled salutation, a terrible beauty was created. Cue endless puns, fake resignations and people looking for love, or least not feel so much bellonliness. The most popular trope of the night though was pisstake susbscriptions to a multitude of porn sites, the Sarah Palin Channel, Coldplay's fanclub. and, bringing us full circle, UKIP. Maybe they're breaking ground after all.

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