Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Friday, 26 February 2010

Taking the 'Pis'.

Thanks to David Charter and Graham Keeley in the Times and Mary Ellen Synon in the Mail maybe we now know why the Belgians, with their world-famous Manneken Pis statue, don't think much of the British.

A Libre Belgique reader believes
"The English are cretins, whose arrogance is only equalled by their mediocrity of spirit."
How much of this current bad-mouthing is down to Mr Farage's outburst against Von Rompuy and how much is to do with the esteemed Baroness Ashton has to be open to debate.

The Baroness, you may recall, was chosen to be the first ever EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. She is also the First-Vice-President of the European Commission. She has, therefore, significantly greater powers and greater authority than any elected representative, so you'd think she would take her job very seriously, and make sure she always does the right thing for the EU, such as going to Haiti after the terrible earthquake, or even attending important meetings related to her role.

Err, no. Fail on both counts.

She hasn't turned up to important defence meetings, her most recent excuse being that she had a prior engagement, to attend
... the inauguration of the new Ukrainian president
Perhaps the EU choosers were having a little joke, taking the 'Pis' when they chose somebody previously strongly affiliated to CND and, possibly also with the Soviets, when she was selected for her job of Defence Minister?
Daniel Korski, a defence analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said: “She has not really shown herself to be particularly interested in the defence portfolio.”
So, why is she still in the job?

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