24/05/2013 07:53 BST | Updated 22/07/2013 06:12 BST

What Kind Of Week Has It Been? 24 May 2013


Elizabeth Mitchell is filling in for Paddy Duffy this week

Cultivating the gnome-filled garden of news

This week has seen the repeated throwing of the metaphorical rattle out of the eclectic pram that is the vortex of UK politics.

The typical whisperings of the Conservative grassroots became veritable shouts as the fierce debate on EU membership raged on. Like a bunch of teething toddlers, it became clear that they were not planning to stop biting this particular toy. Last week's poster boy, Goldfish Gove, became a backseat driver for the cause, after complaints from an intelligent 10 year old that his grammar isn't up to scratch. These were swiftly followed up with a motion of no confidence by the nation's head teachers, who believe he is acting more like a personal trainer than a decent Secretary of State. With his attention back on ruining Britain's educational infrastructure, the mantel was taken up by many others. Labour's most interesting analysis of the European situation came from the Prince of Darkness, who opposes an immediate referendum as he won't be able predict the outcome. Unbeknown to us all, one of Mandelson's many murky pasts involved reading tea leaves on Brighton Pier...

The rumbling underbelly of the EU debacle has been drowning out the only success of the government this week, namely the passing of the Marriage Bill by the House of Commons. Ever eager to widen the gulf between us and our French counterparts, this Bill's progress has been delayed by (you guessed it) the forever-grumbling Tory backbenchers. Labour was forced to join hands with the Coalition and do a double U-turn to allow the Bill to pass, leading to Yvette Cooper gaining precious moments in the limelight. Maybe we'll find Mandelson's crystal ball forecasting her as the next party leader? However, the Bill still has to get through the House of Lords and, given the stance of one Norman Tebbit, it does seem as though there will be some difficulty. One can't help but wonder how he reacted to the Finnish lesbian kiss on Eurovision - was he envisioning the Queen's face on Krista Siegfrids' body at the song's finale?

All this arguing has, yet again, led to the challenging of the Prime Minister's leadership ability and the Coalition's strength. Even the pro-Europe Lord Howe leapt out of his slumbers to dish the dirt, claiming that Cameron has opened Pandora's Box. The situation got so bad that PM has even had to rely on the court jester of government, Nick Clegg, for media backing. At least all has gone quiet on the UKIP front, with formerly smug Nigel Farage looking ever so slightly abashed after his trip up to Scotland. Then again, given the location of his imprisonment, that might just be down to a headache the next morning...

Elizabeth Mitchell is a Politics, Philosophy and Economics student at the University of Manchester. She writes for their student newspaper, The Mancunion