Posted by: whatkindofweekhasitbeen | April 2, 2011

2nd April, 2011

This week, for me at least, was a testament to the fact that the closer you are to the trees the less easy it is to describe what shape the forest looks like. Or something.

Despite having spent the week working at BBC Radio Foyle immersed in the week’s biggest stories, it felt harder than usual to actually think of what they were, a bit like when I was in stranded in Berlin due to petulant  Scandinavian volcanoes and I actually knew less than people idly flicking through rolling news on their sofa.

One thing though that could barely slip the mind, especially when you’re driving daily to Derry, is that the city was beset with two bomb scares in a matter of days, with another in Belfast. While there’s not much positivity to be gleamed from old people being evacuated from their houses, at least nowadays there’s nobody trying to politically justify such actions, with everyone from the taxi driver down the street to Peter Robinson calling it out for the poorly-constructed bastardry that it is.

For poorly constricted bastardry of another kind Ireland’s banks were stressed to breaking point on Thursday, or at least they would have been had they not been broken already. When the results of the stress tests were announced I was in Foyle’s production booth listening to people trying to win vouchers for a restaurant on the daily quiz, so I was spared that particular arseache. Not that the whole thing wasn’t maddeningly predictable: banks claim x amount of money will do the trick and that’s definitely it, banks proved inevitably and dismally wrong, economists blather on in an ultimately subjective manner but are treated like every word they shape are composed of syllables of solid truth, markets respond to panic and dismay like a horse approaching a fence made of snakes causing more panic and dismay, banks revise the real amount of money they’ll need, making them sound like really well dressed crack addicts. Stress tests indeed.

One of my more entertaining assignments of the week, apart from reporting on traffic chaos from a roundabout, was asking the good people of the Maiden City their thoughts on Ed Milliband getting married five years and two kids into his relationship. Presumably Ed’s own thoughts were “Oh Christ, do I have to?” as he appears to be doing the bare minimum to placate people who think that marriage can galvanize even the most tenuous relationship immediately. Unless of course you’re gay. Occupying more space in his mind perhaps is the campaign to introduce the AV system of voting for Westminster elections, something that Tory peer Baroness Warsi clearly hasn’t done. She claims, with an argument and accompanying straight face defying logic, that AV violates one man one vote because you choose candidates in order of preference. By that logic, the census booklet is 30 different forms.

If Sayeeda Warsi is going to say such laughable things she could at least have the decency to wait and announce them on April Fool’s Day like Jackie Healy-Rae and her colleague David Willets did. Sadly for, everyone really, both Jackie’s ambition to run for President and Willets’ assertion that feminism is taking men’s jobs were both apparently genuine. Thank God then for Rob Brydon’s tour de force turn as Ken Bruce on Radio 2 on Friday morning, which was one of the most amusing things I’ve heard in a long time. Intentionally amusing, that is.


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