Thursday, 3 July 2008

Various interesting stuff

A quick round-up of some links found in recent days:

Matt Wardman has a wonderful video clip in which a German TV reporter ambushes various MEPs in the act of clocking in at the European Parliament at 7 in the morning, purely in order to claim their attendance allowances, before flying straight back home. Typically, the response of the Parliament authorities was not to tackle the abuse, but to eject the reporter from the building. This sort of thing gets the European institutions a bad name. (When I worked at the EP in the 1980s, everyone knew this went on, but I thought the authorities were supposed to have fixed it long since; clearly not.)

Richard Corbett MEP welcomes the High Court's rejection of an attempt by betting tycoon and Tory party donor Stuart Wheeler to get a ruling that there must be a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. (Declaration of interest: 30 years ago, Richard interviewed me for a job, which I did not get.)

Harry Barnes wonders how on earth Tony Benn can possibly support David Davis in the "contrived" Haltemprice by-election.

Dave Cole, like me, would vote Green if he lived in Haltemprice. He thinks Tony Benn's position is "cuckoo".

Neil Harding draws our attention to another candidate in the by-election, rape victim Jill Saward, who is standing on a very authoritarian law'n'order platform.

Alan Watkins says "I told you so" over the incompetence of Gordon Brown.

Polly Toynbee dissects the pros and cons of ditching Gordon Brown now rather than later. Either way, she doesn't really think it is going to happen, and there is no point in it unless there is going to be a much clearer definition of Labour's purpose: "No one need bother urging any new leader to step up to the plate unless they have a better answer to this: what's Labour for and what is it definitely against?"

Mary Dejevsky considers the upside of the rise in motoring costs. People are going to have to change their lifestyles and become less car-dependent. This might include travelling less altogether, with less sprawl and more compact urban living: "Fuel costs present city authorities everywhere with what may be a unique chance to demonstrate the financial and lifestyle benefits that can accrue from economies of scale."

Michael Savage asks why Andrew Gilligan and the Evening Standard are still obsessing over Ken Livingstone, despite having succeeded in getting him removed from office.

1 comment:

Dave Cole said...

Having seen Tony Benn on Hardtalk last night on the BBC, I am convinced that his position is cuckoo. He, of all people, should know that the Greens are a far better alternative to Mr Davis.

With regard to Mr Gilligan and the charming people at the Standard, I submit that it's still more fun to chase him than make any attempt at criticising someone on their own side.