I’m not going to make much comment about the events of yesterday – there’s plenty of coverage elsewhere – except to post this image:
As we know the democratic legitimacy of the current President of the European Council has often been called into question, however Lib Dem MEP Andrew Duff has put forward proposals that mark the ‘first step towards a directly elected EU President’. In the spirit of that, and for some fun for the bank holiday weekend, I thought I would conduct a poll from the following possible Presidential candidates on who’s most suitable to take the EU forward (when Rompuy’s time is up) into an age of openness and democracy:
- Ryan Giggs: Known as the ‘Welsh Wizard’, Giggs is blessed with a rare footballing talent. A football veteran, one of the greatest Premiership players ever and a legend not only with Manchester United fans but with football fans in general. A player who has devoted his life to the game rather than the lifestyle he could get from it – a happily married man. Giggs has all the abilities of hard work and devotion to make the changes needed to give the EU a more respectable image.
- Hugh Bonneville: A fine English actor, who is currently starring in the exceptional and popular ITV drama Downtown Abbey. Hugh plays the wealthy Robert, Earl of Grantham who not only is devoted to preserving the status quo in early 20th Century Britain but is a devoted family man. A proper English gent who would fit right in with the EU elite but will do what’s best for Britain.
- David Threlfall: An English actor who plays drunk ‘Shakespeare quoting’ intellectual Frank Gallagher in Channel Four’s Shameless. Great for winding up those unelected EU officials.
- Jeremy Clarkson: The thinking man’s loudmouth. Opinionated, right wing and anti-EU. Clarkson will do to the Berlaymont what he does to caravans – my perfect candidate.
Please vote in the right hand column.
A wonderful display of Cameron’s disdain towards Parliamentary procedure today during PMQs. In response to a question from Tory MP Brian Binley, Cameron replies (my emphasis):
The honourable gentleman is right… (3:20 mins in)
Gentleman? It’s a question from an MP from his own party, surely Cameron should say ‘my honourable friend’? Thankfully Hansard tidies up the mistake for him:
The Prime Minister: My hon. Friend is right about the figures today and that what is happening in the construction industry is disappointing
Given that Cameron is not a real Tory, one has to wonder if it was a Freudian slip.
From the Daily Mail:
Andrew Marr’s decision to end the farce of his own super-injunction was welcomed by MPs and critics yesterday who said he had been ‘hypocritical’ to hide behind a cloak of secrecy while quizzing public figures.
“Most citizen journalism strikes me as nothing to do with journalism at all. A lot of bloggers seem to be socially inadequate, pimpled, single, slightly seedy, bald, cauliflower-nosed, young men sitting in their mother’s basements and ranting. They are very angry people. OK – the country is full of very angry people. Many of us are angry people at times. Some of us are angry and drunk. But the so-called citizen journalism is the spewings and rantings of very drunk people late at night.”
Marr’s apology is the equivalent of “I’m only sorry because I’ve been caught out”.
The Guardian reports that:
Greece and Portugal are deeper in debt than previously estimated, according to official figures that show attempts to contain their financial woes have so far failed.
I’m not sure who’s doing the estimating but I think they need to get another job. It’s pretty obvious Greece is essentially bankrupt and is, along with Spain, being less than honest about the depth of its financial situation. A default is on the cards for Greece in particular:
Most economists consider a Greek default a foregone conclusion, with either some debt forgiveness or a radically longer timetable of repayments. They argue only about the timing.
The Euro maybe a train crash in slow motion, but it’s still a train crash.
This chap writing for PCMag doesn’t seem particularly happy with the EU, I can’t think why:
Microsoft should just disable the versions of Windows in the EU to teach it to stay out of American business>>>To teach it to stay out of American business, Microsoft should just disable the versions of Windows in the EU.
…the unhappiness continues (my emphasis):
For one thing, the Europeans don’t see why they can’t do better than these American firms. After all, how hard could it actually be to develop a search engine? It’s child’s play. Thus, the Google dominance must have to do with onerous business practices. Whatever the case, the EU seems to think “let’s find fault and stick them with a big fine if we can.”
Yeah, well, welcome to the world endured by the British public. Anyway the article concludes:
Why should the EU be telling Americans how to run their businesses? As it now stands, every merger coming up has to be discussed with the EU in mind. Will the EU let two American companies merge? Will it? Won’t it? Fret, fret, fret.
Hey! What does the EU have to do with it?
And yes, this whole situation is a pet peeve of mine. Microsoft should tell the EU to shove it.
I think he has a point, however, strangely in a war between Microsoft and the EU I’m reminded of Henry Kissinger’s dictum on the Iran-Iraq war: “What a shame they can’t both lose.”
Apologies, but posting will be a little slow round these parts for a day or two, in all honesty I don’t feel up to it.