Knock knock. Europe.

This blog is running its own ‘in/out’ referendum. If you want in then type your email address on the right hand side.

european parliament building

Most of the week has been spent in suspenseful waiting for David Cameron’s speech about Europe. Well, most people were waiting suspensefully. Personally I already know everything there is to know because I had a 50-minute lecture about Europe before Christmas. So there.

The result is that “when” the Conservatives win the 2015 general election, they will organise a referendum about whether or not Britain should remain part of the European Union. I think we clearly should: the only thing that can stop a bad Europe is a good Europe with a gun.

It turns out that some British people think the EU wastes a lot of money, for instance by having a parliament which spends some of the year meeting in Strasbourg and the rest 270 miles away in Brussels. However, the EU has cleverly made efficiency savings elsewhere by basing all of the European Parliament’s 4,000 admin staff in Luxembourg, several hours’ journey away from both locations.

Therefore, the insulting description of our democratic representatives on the continent as “a travelling circus” is completely unwarranted because the operation is not nearly as streamlined, impressive or entertaining as that.

Nevertheless, a delegation of them have asked to put across their point of view. And as a staunch believer in free speech except when it comes from Oxfam (bastards!) I’ve consented, so please listen attentively to The MEPs’ Song.

There is a house in Luxembourg,
And Brussels, Strasbourg too,
Where the men and women, but mainly men
Help to run the EU.

From Belgium to Estonia,
Romania, Cyprus, Malta,
To Hungary, Sweden, Denmark and Spain…
Not forgetting Gibraltar.

We earn a decent salary,
Though taxpayers flex their muscles
When we claim on our expense accounts
For first-class flights to Brussels.

Some MEPs sleep through debates:
Eurosceptics, by and large.
I said to them, you kip if you want to.
“Goodnight,” said Mr Farage.

And some are closet racists.
Some aren’t even closet.
When the BNP contests an election
We hope they lose their deposit.

But there’s a storm approaching us:
Our future is in doubt!
For a UK referendum could mean
That Britain would pull out.

So in our house in Luxembourg,
In Brussels, Strasbourg too…
We love our jobs; please let us carry on
Controlling the EU.

Let it Grow, let it Grow, let it Grow

The Board of Deputies ❤ Oxfam, it’s official. Well, not quite, but at our meeting on Sunday, almost two-thirds of Deputies voted to go ahead with the ‘Grow Tatzmiach’ scheme run jointly with Oxfam. The Jewish Chronicle described Grow as “a controversial anti-hunger project” – and you know when anti-hunger becomes controversial you’re in trouble.

Weather worse than the human BoDy could stand
Weather worse than the human BoDy could stand

But in fact the meeting was very civilised, with only two Nazi references and only one Deputy ejected for unruly behaviour (and he left his coat behind, which – given the blizzard outside – absolutely made my day).

A number of anti-Oxfam speakers chose to use the legendary anonymous microphone and thus spared those watching online the agony of listening to their voices. And I quite see why they chose to protect their privacy: after all, they wouldn’t want an astonished public to discover that they’re strongly pro-Israel, would they?

Though admittedly they probably would want as few people as possible to hear them utter the sentence, “Our young people will be brainwashed by Oxfam.”

I made my maiden speech from the public microphone and was well-received by the online audience, which I think consisted solely of my parents. (None of the other speakers’ parents will have been watching because they were mainly in their sixties.) One lady spoke from the public microphone but she may as well not have bothered since her fur hat – which seemed to be made out of an entire polecat – filled up almost the entire field of vision.

A couple of days before the vote a charming opponent of mine asked me this question. And I can now confirm: the answer is a resounding yes.

I’ve written a second, marginally less flippant post about Sunday’s debate for the ‘Changing the Board’ blog here.

So long suckers!


Yes, this is the news that some weirdo has been stealing vacuum cleaners from all over the City of Brighton and Hoover. And how, I hear you cry, are the authorities going to respond to this spate of thefts?

katy bourne
Katy Bourne is 48.

Well, our esteemed Police & Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne TDC* has recently published her Draft Police & Crime Plan and invited the public to provide feedback.

The draft Plan is twelve lines long of which two of the lines are, “Keep Sussex a low crime area” (I disagree thoroughly with this objective) and, “Reduce bureaucracy and waste” (likewise).

Sadly, Katy seems to have spent a couple of months working on a plan that does not contain any hint of detail or strategy or evidence of the alleged business acumen which supposedly made her a competent candidate for the job.

So as requested, here’s my feedback on the 2012-13 Draft Police & Crime Plan:

katy bourne draft police and crime plan

*Twinkletoes Dancing Certificate

Can’t handle the truth?

A study has shown that “most parents tells lies to their children as a tactic to change their behaviour,” and these lies apparently include suggestions that the child will go blind unless they eat a particular vegetable.

Reading this article did bring back a memory though: our family was once visiting some ancient church somewhere, and there was a rope with a sign that said ‘no entry’. I asked, “What happens if you go past there?” and mum replied, “The vicar comes out and hits you with a stick.”

I mean, as if a priest would hurt a child.

Europe who?
In tonight’s episode, the European Union spent taxpayers’ money in a responsible way. The anonymous Board of Deputies microphone was used by a man ho ant off Jon. No children were lied to during the making of this blog post. This was an Gabrielquotes production.

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