Money-grabbing MEPs didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory yesterday, to put it lightly. One group are particularly pleased with their decision to vote down Dave’s budget deal. The European Parliament civil service have sent a fawning email to their secretive socialist President Martin Schulz, thanking him for protecting their wages and allowances:
MERCI M. le PRESIDENT SCHULZ
Yesterday the European Parliament rejected by an overwhelming majority the proposed long-term EU budget agreed by the 27 EU leaders last month.
You had already spoken out very clearly against this highly austere budget on 7 February.
So the Parliament has unequivocally stated that austerity budgets are not the way to get Europe out of the crisis. Austerity extinguishes any hopes of boosting investment and growth in the EU.
The EU civil service, paid out of heading V of the EU budget, was also a potential victim of the budget deal Parliament has just thrown out.
The staff committee renews its call to defend a high-quality, independent and permanent EU civil service which – don’t forget – is still paying the heavy price of the disastrous 2004 staff regulations reform.
Dave says no deal to Nick and Ed; they will now have to vote him down on Monday. Channelling Churchill the PM says “a free press is the unsleeping guardian of every other right that free men prize; it is the most dangerous foe of tyranny”. Labour will now have to wreck the Crime and Courts bill if they want to pursue statutory regulation. The trap is set…
A LibDem spokesperson tells Guido:
“We are a party of government. We have ministers and everything.”
The LibDems are claiming they have forced the Tories into a climbdown over the spare room subsidy, in spite of IDS’ denials when doorstepped earlier. LibDem HQ says the protection of armed forces, foster families and the disabled came “following pressure from the Liberal Democrats”. The Tories are not exactly entirely in agreement with this version of events. A somewhat surprised – putting it politely – Tory spokesperson tells Guido:
“This is complete fiction from the LibDems, who consistently face both ways on many issues. Ultimately this just goes to show the LibDems are not a party of government.”
UPDATE: A LibDem spokesperson hits back, insisting to Guido:
“We are a party of government. We have ministers and everything.”
During his keynote speech at Lib Dem conference this weekend Clegg seemed to do some K-pop moves:
This genius observation was made by the Daily Mail’s Francesca Infante.
The Guy Newsroom salutes you Francesca…
The original Sunday Times report on Huhne and speeding referred to Westminster rumour and speculation about him taking points. Well guess who it was talking about the case…
Emails shown to the Pryce jury point the finger at the very top of the LibDem establishment, who once again seem very good about ignoring things they do not want to hear:
Pryce to Sunday Times: “Other possibility would be to tell NC or his close associates (having coffee with Miriam this PM) that the papers are on to him … (that also might have the added benefit of NC not wanting any more scandals and ease him out anyway …).”
Pryce to Sunday Times: “Actually I had told Vince and Rachel about points before when the three of us were having supper about a month ago – they were horrified at the time but VC has probably forgotten it by now. He was v tired that night.”
Pryce to Sunday Times: “Having lunch with Miriam c tmr. Should I hint at anything? I told Vince there is something hanging over him [Huhne] and he wanted to tell Clegg.”
Sunday Times to Pryce: “To what extent is Clegg aware that something is hanging over Huhne (you mentioned it to Miriam, didn’t you?)”
Pryce: “Yes, I have told VC, Miriam C, MOak (Matthew Oakeshott) … and a few other Lib Dem Lords and others working close to NC.”
A spokesman for Vince Cable says:
“Vince and Rachel have no recollection of the issue of points being raised with them over the course of dinner with Vicky Price on 28 January 2011. They have consulted their personal records which confirm that the issue first came to their attention in May 2011 when the story broke in the press.”
What sort of personal records did they keep? A diary?
A Lib Dem spokesman says: “Vince, Matthew and Miriam are all clear that the allegation about driving points was not raised with them.“ A spokesman for Miriam Clegg says: “I have never ever been told by Vicky or anybody else about the traffic points story. I got to know about this when everybody else did.” Lord Oakeshott says: “Vicky must have been under a lot of pressure, but I am sure she never raised the points with me.” Remind you of any other recent outbreaks of yellow amnesia?
UPDATE: Vicky Pryce claims Huhne made his millions from “dodgy investments” relating to his father’s speed camera company.
If Clegg could put his fingers in his ears and bury his head in the sand at the same time, he would. A much easier ride on LBC this week, but he still managed to admit he doesn’t want to know the details of allegations against his pervy peers. On the number of complaints to the new LibDem sex scandal hotline:
“I have decided not to find out. It’s not right for the Leader of the Party to pry into this. What I want to do is ensure the failures in the past never happen again. We’ve got to turn a page on the culture. One of the key aspects of that is to give people complete assurance that if they come forward with a complain they will be dealt with in complete confidence and if they need to be taken forward, they are taken forward.”
He says complete confidence, others might say wilful blindness…
What is it with LibDems? When they’re not getting a bit too “hands-on”, fondling teenagers or calling 13-year-olds “sexy”, it seems running a sex club out of your own home is the latest embarrassing yellow peccadillo to be exposed. The Daily Echo reports that, at the home of Portsmouth LibDem councillor and friend of Mike Hancock, David Fuller “scantily clad women of all ages wearing revealing tops, short skirts and lingerie are joined by men who largely come dressed for the occasion in black leather attire”.
Apparently, “the doors open at 9pm for the 12- hour event – but it takes merely 90 minutes for the friendly chit chat among party goers to make way for whipping, beating and sexual games, featuring ropes, chains and even electrical equipment”.
“In one bedroom, a girl was made into what she called a “human piñata” by having bubble-wrap taped to her back and being whipped by four men, while a crowd of around 20 people looked on.”
He is now under investigation…
Sarah Teather isn’t the only LibDem woman to have gone missing during the Rennard scandal. Guido noted last month and Cathy Newman asks this morning why women’s minister Jo Swinson, who investigated the initial claims, has stayed silent. How many women did she speak to? What did she do with the complaints? As if by perfect timing Swinson popped up on the Today programme this morning. Here’s a new one: when asked about randy Rennard she refused to answer “out of respect” for the accusers. The same ones that claim she told them they had to put up with it if they wanted to get on…
In Search of Swivel-Eyed Loons | Speccie
EU Tries to Ban Conker Trading | Telegraph
Coked-Up Celebs and Vengeful Politicians | Press Gazette
What We Don’t Know About the Woolwich Attack | Dan Hodges
Woolwich Terrorists Were Al-Qaeda’s Children | Jeremy Havardi
Is Interpol Helping the Villains? | Peter Oborne
Transcript of Terrorist’s Speech | Times
Dave Should Promote Sarah Wollaston to Inner Circle | Staggers
MPs Hate Chuka | Total Politics
This Was Out of Al-Qaeda’s Terror Manual | Con Coughlin
Mum Talked Down Woolwich Terrorists | Telegraph
Nigel Farage hits the nail on the head:
“This olive oil ban was virgin on the ridiculous.”
Ned Flanders – Clegg
Lisa Simpson – Natalie Bennett
Milhouse – Hilary Benn
Martin Prince – Andy Burnham
Edna Krabappel – Luciana Berger
Crazy Cat Lady – Glenda jackson
Comic book guy – John Prescott
Carl – Chucka
Lenny – Philip Hammond
Willie – Eric joyce
Poochie – Gordon Brown
Reverend Lovejoy – Tony Blair