The week giveth, and the week taketh away. On the give side, Alastair Campbell administered the sort of arse whoopin' that made you remember why Westminster was saturated in the tears of his enemies for most of the New Labour years, taking on the Mail's deputy editor for being worse than (or at least equal to) Hitler by being unspeakably awful about Ed Milliband's Da. On the take side, Breaking Bad has finished for good, convulsing half of us into deep mourning, and the other half of us into the vague feeling we should have got onto it ages ago. Also in the credit side is the Tory conference, although mercifully this is the end of the series of the conference season, which while roundly unloved has a big enough audience to keep being brought back. A bit like the way My Family used to.
The highlight (well not that high really, or much of a light, more of a flickering head torch down a mine) was Ian Duncan Smith's radical suggestion that being in work and being out of work should have a bit of a Venn Diagram thing going on: he reckons you should have to earn your dole to "simulate" a day's work. Simulate. It's always been a mark of conservatism that government doesn't create jobs, but this is something else. And in other employment news, Britney has done this.
While IDS' attitudes must add mentos to Nick Clegg's already shaky Coalition Coke Bottle conscience (his thoughts on Britney are unclear), in Italy a man with no shame is acting the bollocks again. Yes, the way things are going you get the impression Silvio will still be interfering with Italian politics from beyond the grave. If this doesn't count already.
Speaking of political near-death experiences, at the time of publication the life of Ireland's upper house hangs in the balance. Working on the assumption that action and activity are the same thing, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has decided to abolish the Senate and put the question to the nation, a barely arsed nation. And small wonder, since the Taosieach himself has refused to debate the topic in any room larger than his inner monologue. His opponents claim it's a power grab, that he's variously arrogant or lazy as sin for not seeing the potential in reform and generally a distraction from the real issues, he claims the Senate is useless and most countries our size don't have one anyway. And plus, fewer politicians, am I right?! I personally think it's an elaborate redundancy scheme for this Senator that has got wildly out hand.
And speaking of wildly out of hand, in the States doctrinaire Tea Party lunatics are taking their vision of small government to insane places, having shut it down completely. The reason? Hysterical opposition to the President and affordable health care is the main reason, but somebody in the Republican leadership must have watched a West Wing episode and went "CLASS, LET'S DO THAT!" But while US politics is convulsed by budgetary deadlock, a man in Austin, Texas has repulsed with his quest to find a nice girl. Truly, it is the gift that keeps on giving. It's the Friday of internet dating. Except Rebecca Black actually knows some famous people.
And finally, in this week of give and take, Helen Fielding has given readers of her books a bit of a shock this week, when it was revealed Mark Darcy, he of the reindeer shirts and uncanny resemblance to Colin Firth, is dead. I was shocked too. People still care about Bridget Jones?