Roger Helmer’s former party colleague, South West Tory MEP Julie Girling, caught him, errrr, “hard at work” earlier today.
If UKIP aren’t drunk they’re having a nap, it seems.
As a backdrop to US car company Ford closing their plants in Dagenham and Southampton — with the lost of 1,400 jobs — George Osborne okayed a EU loan to help them move production to Turkey, the New Statesman’s Rowenna Davis pointed out earlier today.
The decision to close the two UK plants caused outrage when it was announced last month, not least because MPs and BIS seemed to know nothing about the decision until it was announced. But now it seems that Ford have been granted an £80m loan to build a new transit van in Turkey, by the European Investment Bank — on the board of which George Osborne sits.
This, presumably, is the same George Osborne who in regards to the EU budget negotiations said last week:
“We’re not going to accept a deal that’s not good for Britain. There’ll be a simple choice, deal or no deal. We’ll only do a deal if it’s good for Britain.”
Scrapbook isn’t sure how paying Ford to export British jobs abroad constitutes “a good deal for Britain”.
A Conservative member of the European Parliament has claimed that child poverty is self-inflicted. Despite the majority of poor children living in households where at least one adult works, Giles Chichester MEP claimed mismanagement of benefit payments by parents was a “significant or major cause of the problem.”
The south west MEP dismissed a thoughtful message (read here) from a constituent as a “round robin email” before claiming that “the level of welfare benefits being dished out” meant that parents were to blame:
It is somewhat ironic that Chichester should venture his correspondent wants “to throw other people’s money at [the problem].” The MEP was forced to resign as leader of the Conservative group in the European Parliament after he was caught breaking expenses rules by claiming thousands of pounds through a vehicle of which he was a paid director.
His response to channelling £445,000 through his own company: “whoops-a-daisy”.
Neo-Nazis in Greece have celebrated their electoral success by partying like it’s 1939 — with jacketed heavies ordering journalists to stand and “show some respect” before a Hitler-style speech by leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos.
Guard: All rise! All rise! Show your respect!
Journalists: We just came in to record.
Guard: Whoever doesn’t want this, go out.
Journalists: What’s the problem? We were asked to rise up when you entered the room. We think this offends us.
Guard: Do it as a sign of respect!
Now leading a group of 21 in the Greek parliament, Michaloliakos jabbed his fist while ranting about immigrants turning Greece into a “jungle” and quoted Julius Caesar before thanking his black-shirted supporters.
Rumours that Nick Griffin has been sighted on a flight to Athens could not be confirmed.
While the rest of Europe recoils in horror, at least one person will be pleased by the record performance of the far right National Front in French presidential election – and they’re a columnist for the Daily Mail.
Seduced, supposedly, by Marine Le Pen’s Euroscepticism, Richard Waghorne penned a puff piece in January in which the strident racism and holocaust denial of her Le Pen’s father Jean-Marie, who preceded her as National Front leader, are euphemistically referred to as “drawbacks”.
“it is becoming steadily more obvious that Marine Le Pen’s role in French public life is not merely legitimate but increasingly necessary.”
But Waghorne went further than this on Friday – with an article including a categoric endorsement:
“In present circumstances, given present choices, the only responsible vote in France next Sunday is a vote for Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s National Front.”
This from a newspaper which, errr, supported Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler.
Partying like it’s 1988, Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko retains Soviet-era controls on the economy and media, not to mention opposition groups.
As Germany withdrew its ambassador from Minsk last week, calling the regime “the last dicatorship in Europe”, Lukashenko hit back with a homophobic barb at German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle, remarking:
“I’d rather be a dictator than gay.”
Luckily for Alexander, his comb-over and almost toothbrush moustache make him a good fit for the former.
A European Commissioner has faced accusations of sexism after a sauna-based briefing for nude journalists. The secret naked gathering was cut short when the Finnish vice-president of the European Commission objected to women being allowed in.
Olli Rehn treated the journalists to a communal shower and two sauna sessions, before storming out when news of the meeting spread through the European press room and women attempted to join, explaining later:
“I’m all for equality of the sexes but this was just pushing it too far…”
And in reports sure to have steam coming from Eurosceptic ears, it highlights the fact of the European Commission having a sauna within their Brussels HQ.
According to newspaper the Süddeutsche Zeitung (based in Bavaria and the home of the German sauna experience), a delegation from the UK were among those hosted by Rehn.
We hope they won’t be giving British parliamentarians ideas on Palace of Westminster upgrades.