The Blog

What Kind Of Week Has It Been? 8 February

On some level, you have to feel sorry for Chris Huhne.

Falling asleep half way through the Superbowl of news.

On some level, you have to feel sorry for Chris Huhne. He was one of the first Liberal cabinet ministers since the BBC branched out in that new-fangled televisual malarchy, but he lost that. He held a constituency that the Tories have been hovering around like Dick Dastardly trying to catch the pigeon for years, and he's lost that too. And, very poignantly, his relationship with his son is all but lost too. And all because he applied too much pressure to a piece of metal a decade ago. Well, it wasn't so much the speeding as the crack spiral of lies he spun to cover himself that done him in, or the affair that prompted his ex-wife to blow the whistle. The upcoming by-election in Eastleigh should be a Tory slam dunk even a middle aged white square could make, although expect UKIP to try their best to upset that. Meanwhile, the Lib Dems and Chris Huhne should probably be wondering about the fact an election deposit is significantly costlier than a speeding fine.

Speaking of parties saving money, Nick Griffin said something a bit mental this week, although in his case that is an impressively high bar. Know what Nick Griffin reckons is a great way to make money? Scrap metal and eating roadkill. He's starting to sound like Carl Weathers in Arrested Development. But, you know, an arse.

Huhne and Griffin have done quite a job when a Shakespearean villain is getting better press than them, but Richard III has enjoyed a bit of a media honeymoon this week, after being found at a car park and having technology done to his face. While all this was going the current leader of the land David Cameron was trying to put a new face on his backward old party by passing a gay marriage bill. He did, and even though marriage albums up and down the land haven't spontaneously combusted as feared, a significant number of Conservatives voted against. Peter Bone, a backbench MP, said it was his "saddest day in parliament", which rather puts his parliamentary career in perspective. I'm not sure what Richard III would have thought of gay marriage (I'm going to guess broadly against it) but the reaction of some of the more troglodyte Tory MPs makes pertinent a quote from the play Shakespeare named after him: "Conscience is but a word that cowards use, devised at first to keep the strong in awe". Except, nobody's even that impressed.

Nor is anyone impressed with the handling of the report into Magdalene Laundries Ireland, described by an opposition spokesperson as "A very Irish kind of slavery". The report found that a quarter of the 10,000 women sent there were referred by the state, which you'd think would be cause for a full and frank apology. But it wasn't really forthcoming.

In happier news, Red Nose Day celebrated it's 25th anniversary this week, and perhaps as a tribute the Dublin courts furnished us with comic relief of their own, with the story that a man is suing a toy shop for falsely accusing him of stealing a toy duck. Apparently, the hapless man got a brusque security guard in his face, who "...asked him in a loud voice: "Where is the duck? I know you have it. I want to see it. Take it out. I'd like to see where the duck is and what have you done with it."

See, they never mention those cases on Law & Order.

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