Friday 1 August 2014

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Public believes that parents should be able to take their children on holiday in term time

Posted by on 30/07/14

A majority of Britons (55%) believe that parents should be able to take children on holiday for a week if it means a “significant financial saving” for the family, according to a new ComRes poll commissioned by political communications and education policy specialists the Whitehouse Consultancy.

Support for term time holidays is particularly high among parents in the United Kingdom with children under 18 (64%).The poll also showed significant levels of support for parents being able to take children out of school for the final two days of term if it enabled families to make a significant financial saving (73%).

The results of the poll follow a number of recent high profile cases of parents challenging fines imposed on them for term-time absences, after former Education Secretary Michael Gove tightened rules on allowing holidays in term time. Parents are issued with a £120 fixed penalty notice for an unauthorised absence.

Three quarters of Britons (74%) supported the idea of children being allowed time out of school if a trip had “demonstrable educational value”. Taking children out of school for a family bereavement had almost unanimous support (90%), whilst absence for a significant family celebration also had broad support (69%).

Chris Whitehouse, Chairman of the Whitehouse Consultancy, said:

“Despite his success in driving up educational standards in England, fining parents for taking their children out of school during term time was one of former UK Education Secretary Michael Gove’s more controversial policies, and this is reinforced by a poll that shows Britons believe they should have the right to take their children out of school if it saves them money on an annual holiday.

“While some parents working in the likes of the tourist sector will be unable to take their children away during the peak time of school holidays, the principal issue for many families is cost. Recent research shows that families can expect to pay in excess of £1,300 more if they travel during school holidays rather than during term time. Many parents will rightly question why they should face additional costs for following the rules, particularly if those costs make holidaying too expensive. The challenge for policy makers and schools must be to ensure that as many families as possible are able to take a holiday, without incurring astronomical costs or harming children’s education.”

Die europäische Integration durch den EU-Gerichtshof

Posted by on 13/07/14

Kurz und knapp kassiert der Europäische Gerichtshof den Sprachtest, den Deutschland für den Familiennachzug verlangt. Gerade so als wollten die Richter sagen: Das hättet ihr Euch auch selbst denken können. Und mindestens was die Türkei betrifft – und nur für Türken gilt das Urteil – stimmt das auch.

Das Assoziierungsabkommen mit dem Land verlangt seit den 70er-Jahren, Türken die Niederlassung nicht zu erschweren. Was das mit dem Sprachtest für Ehegatten zu tun hat, liegt auf der Hand, wenn man sich den konkreten Fall ansieht: Nach 16 Jahren des Getrenntlebens möchte die türkische Ehefrau, die die Kinder großgezogen hat, ihrem Mann nach Deutschland folgen. Der Ausgangspunkt des Europarechts ist nicht sie, sondern der Mann: Er müsste sich nun entscheiden zwischen ihr und dem Leben in Deutschland.

Vor so eine Wahl würde er ohne die Regel nicht gestellt, und so ist es kein Wunder, dass der Europäische Gerichtshof die Rechtsfrage flugs geklärt hat. Wenn auch mit einer zusätzlichen Volte: Erklärtes Ziel des deutschen Gesetzgebers war es, Zwangsehen zu verhindern und Integration zu fördern. Das erkennt auch der EuGH an. Nur sagt er: Auch mit einem solchen – an sich guten – Argument darf man nicht alle über einen Kamm scheren. Auch das ist wenig überraschend.

Hier übrigens bliebe dem Gesetzgeber auch Spielraum für die Zukunft. Das sind die rechtlichen Argumente in diesem Fall. Natürlich steht hinter denen eine Lebenswirklichkeit. Und die ist, dass es Frauen schwer haben in Deutschland, wenn sie die Sprache nicht sprechen, dass sie sie auch von selbst in vielen Familienkonstellationen kaum lernen.

Die Pflicht zum Sprachtest stammt aus einer Zeit, in der noch hoch umstritten war, wie weit Integration auch fordern darf. Inzwischen ist es weitgehend Konsens, dass man Frauen als Einwanderinnen nicht diskriminiert, wenn man ihnen Grundkenntnisse zu Land und Sprache abverlangt.

Im Gegenteil: In manchen Familien ist die gesetzliche Pflicht zum Sprachkurs überhaupt das einzige Argument, das ihr gegenüber Mann oder Vater bleibt, um sich aktiv in Deutschland einzuleben. Nur: Tatsächlich sind die Sprachkenntnisse, die die Botschaften verlangen, so gering, dass sie in Deutschland kaum weiterhelfen. Bis die Einreise klappt, sind die wenigen Vokabeln ohnehin vergessen. Die Kosten für die Kurse dagegen – wenn es überhaupt auf dem Land Kurse gibt – sind für manche erdrückend. Der Effekt ist eine soziale Auswahl. Das kann nicht Sinn der Regel sein.

Das was zählt für die Integration, sind die Integrationskurse, die hier in Deutschland verpflichtend sind, die der Frau erlauben, das Haus zu verlassen, die Kontakt zur deutschen Wirklichkeit schaffen. Und die Zwangsehe? Die soll schon verhindert worden sein, allerdings dadurch, dass Frauen bewusst durchgefallen sind. Das dürfte kaum das Ziel des Gesetzgebers gewesen sein.

Die Pflicht zur Sprachprüfung galt im Übrigen noch nie für die Angehörigen der großen Industriestaaten. Nach dem Fortfall der Türkei gilt sie noch für die Bürger einzelner, weniger Staaten. Die werden damit noch mehr als zuvor diskriminiert. Deutschland hat langsame, aber inzwischen zum Teil auch ganz gute Fortschritte gemacht beim Ausbau der Integrationskurse nach der Ankunft in Deutschland. Das ist der richtige Weg.

A Reflection on European Unity : The EU and the Memory of Christendom

Posted by on 13/06/14

Alexander Rosenthal Pubul

As the UK tries to assess what it means to be British following the potential take-over of Islamic extremists in some inner-city schools and in the wake of rising support for protest parties across the European Union, Alexander Rosenthal Pubul, Senior Lecturer at Johns Hopkins University considers the one common heritage that unites all EU member states – the Christian tradition. Alastair Campbell the former Labour spin-doctor once famously said “We don’t do God”. Yet, as Rosenthal Pubul points out, just as it would be foolish to deny the influence of Hinduism on India or Islam on the Middle East the erasure of Europe’s Christian heritage would be a complete denial of what shaped – and continues to shape – modern-day European values.

If one were to judge the state of the European project by the snapshot of the recent EU parliamentary election one might quip that the only thing that seems to unite Europeans these days is scepticism of a united Europe! Across the continent highly nationalist, Euroskeptical parties posted record gains and outright victories. Supporters of the EU have a justifiable fear of resurgent nationalism and tribal xenophobia. However there is a reality which cannot be ignored. The project of European unity has focused too much on institutions and not enough on culture. Many understand deeply and intuitively the national bonds of common language, common homeland, common customs and common history. These are things that make England, France, Italy or Spain what they are. But what makes Europe what it is? Is there a generic “European”? Or is it all an empty abstraction?

History in fact provides us with a clear answer. As British historian Christopher Dawson wrote:

“For Europe is not a political creation. It is a society of peoples who shared the same faith and the same moral values. The European nations are parts of a wider spiritual society, and it is only by studying the nature of the whole, that we can understand the functions of the parts.”( Christopher Dawson. Understanding Europe)

Europe in short is a historic-cultural reality – one which emerges from the idea of Christendom. It is true of course that the term “Europe”(Gr. Ευρωπη) as a geographic designator goes back at least to the ancient Greek historian Herodotus and Hecataeus of Miletus. It is also true that the pre-Christian civilizations – above all the classical Greek and Roman – contributed enormously to Europe’s intellectual, artistic, and political inheritance. But it was Christianity which forged the disparate tribes of Europe – the Latin Spaniard, the Irish Celt, the Teutonic Scandinavian, the Hungarian Magyar – into one community united by a common faith in Jesus Christ. The medieval unity of European Christendom is the historical matrix from which the separate nation-states arose.

This long memory of Christendom was dear to the principal founding fathers of the European Union – Konrad Adenauer, chancellor of post-war Germany, Robert Schumman prime minister of France, Alcide di Gasperi prime minister of Italy. Behind the unimaginable destruction wrought by two fratricidal world wars they intuited a forgetfulness of Europe’s Christian roots. This manifested in a tribal nationalism which trumped any sense of obligation to the Europe as a whole. Furthermore, totalitarian ideologies with their denial of Christian charity and human dignity led to the inhumanity of war and genocide. The EU’s founders did not believe returning to medieval Christendom was possible or desirable. But they did believe a renewal of Christian values in a way fully compatible with modern democracy and personal freedoms could be a great force for healing the self-inflicted wounds of a battered continent. As Robert Schumann stated:

“We are called to bethink ourselves of the Christian basics of Europe by forming a democratic model of governance which through reconciliation develops into a ‘community of peoples’ in freedom, equality, solidarity and peace which is deeply rooted in Christian basic values.”

Yet in recent years the EU seems to suffer from self-induced amnesia in this regard. In 2003 the first draft constitution of the EU included no mention of Christianity in its preamble – much to the chagrin of many EU member states and the Vatican. After years of vigorous debate the final draft of the Treaty of Lisbon contained only the generic statement about Europe’s “cultural, religious and humanist inheritance…”. When Italy’s candidate Rocco Buttiglione was rejected as an EU commissioner due apparently to his orthodox Catholic beliefs, many began to wonder if the message was “practicing Christians need not apply.” Efforts to force member states like Italy to remove the Catholic crucifix from public school buildings failed before the European Court of Human Rights – but the effort itself seemed like an aggressive campaign to erase evidence of Europe’s Christian heritage from public view.

The real issue perhaps is the metastasis of a one sided and ideological narrative that emerged first during the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. This historical narrative sees Christianity as a retrograde force of intolerance, superstition and ignorance that long held back the march of progress. But there are also positive elements to the Christian inheritance of Europe which even the fair minded non-Christian can acknowledge.

  • First Christianity has placed a unique emphasis on human dignity. Consider for example the words of the fourth century Saint Gregory of Nyssa

“Oh man, scorn not what is admirable in you…consider your royal dignity! The heavens have not been made in God’s image as you have, nor the moon, nor the sun, nor anything in creation…behold of all that exists there is nothing that can contain your greatness.”(St. Gregory of Nyssa In Cantica 2, quoted by Henri de Lubac in The Drama of Atheistic Humanism)

Intelligibly, it was in Christian Europe where the doctrine of universal human rights was first formulated by figures like the Dominican theologian Francisco de Vitoria at Salamanca in the 16th century. The idea of human dignity and the human rights which flow from it remain central to European aspirations and values today.

  • Secondly there is the ethics of universal charity extending to solidarity with the poor, oppressed and suffering whom Christ blesses. As even critics of Christianity like Friedrich Nietzsche noted most civilizations glorified the master morality of the strong conqueror and viewed the weak with contempt. It was the Jews and Christians who made concern for the weak central – a value system which bore fruit in the countless hospitals, orphanages, poor houses, and other centers of charity which European Christians established.
  • Third is the Christian distinction between the spiritual and temporal. The distinction of church and state has been a central dynamic of Western history limiting in principle the competence of the state over matters of conscience and that of religion over secular politics.
  • Fourth is the sanction Christianity gave to intellectual life. In the 13th century St. Thomas Aquinas taught that God gave man two lights to know truth – the natural light of reason and the supernatural light of faith. Since both are gifts of God there cannot be any ultimate contradiction between them – veritate fidei non contrariatur veritas rationisthe truth of reason is not contrary to the truth of faith.” Human reason therefore must be cultivated through the arts and sciences. Unsurprisingly, the University was a product of the medieval church and many of Europe’s great universities – Paris, Oxford, Cambridge, Heidelberg, Louvain, Salamanca, Padua –were founded under Christian auspices
  • Finally there is the Christian patronage of the arts and concern for beauty. Christianity sees in the sensible beauty of nature and art a reflection of divine beauty, and in the artist a reflection of the divine creativity. As one of Europe’s greatest Christian artists Michelangelo noted:

“…every good painting is noble and devout of itself, for it is nothing more than a copy of the perfections of God and reminiscence of His own painting.”(Michelangelo. Quoted by A. McNicholl “Art” (New Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol 1)

The aesthetic fecundity of Christian inspiration can be seen in the majesty of the Gothic Cathedrals of Chartres and Notre Dame, the Pieta or Sistine Chapel of Michelangelo, Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli, Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Passion of St. Matthew, and countless other masterpieces which fill Europe’s churches, museums and concert halls.

The claim is often made that for the EU to recognize the special historical role of Christianity in forming European culture would send a message of exclusion toward non-Christians. This argument however is problematic. All of the world’s known civilizations have roots in some sacred tradition. Would it not be foolish to deny the central influence of Hinduism on India or Islam on the Middle East? As Pope Benedict pointed out devout adherents of other religions generally are threatened more by the materialistic values of radical secularism which contradict all spiritual traditions, than by Christianity which shares many spiritual and moral values with the other great faiths.

Furthermore one need not be a Christian to affirm the influence of Christianity on Europe, any more than one needs to be Greek to affirm the Hellenic influence. If the goal is to promote a sense of common European unity and identity which can withstand the centrifugal forces of nationalism, does it make any sense to reject a main pillar of European unity and identity?

 

 

Poems for Europe

Posted by on 04/06/14
This article reminds me the poetry project for a better Europe in 2009 “European Constitution in Verse”.. http://www.shahrazadeu.org/en/content/european-constitution-verse-0 You can download the book European Constitution in Verse Passaporta Poems for Europe: 10 national portraits in verse What happened when 10 European poets were asked to portray their home country in verse ahead of the European elections? Well, [...]

Austria’s Queen; Europe’s Rising Phoenix

Posted by on 10/05/14

“This night is dedicated to everyone who believes in a future of peace and freedom. You know who you are – we are unity and we are unstoppable.”

Conchita Wurst, representing Austria in the 59th Eurovision Song Contest held in Denmark, said as she claimed her prize. She was voted the winner with 290 points with her song “Rise Like a Phoenix”, behind the Netherlands and Sweden. This was the first win for Austria in 48 years.

Belgium, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom awarded Austria the maximum of 12 points in the final (the fact that Israel gave Austria 12 points was awesome and politically unexpected).

Because of Conchita’s win, the next Eurovision Song Contest will be held in the alpine state.

Furthermore, her victory sends a huge message to Russia and its close Eurasian allies for their stances on homosexuality and LGBT rights. As for the Russians, their butthurt feelings regarding last night was amusing. I link you this Reddit thread permalink.

Tolerance, acceptance and respect reigned supreme last night, and the European people made historic progress by proving that aspect.

https://i.imgur.com/eM8mh8x.jpg

Courtesy of Salzburger Nachrichten

 

Furthering Hollywood’s latest identification of evil: Humans

Posted by on 21/04/14
The Risk-Monger took his children to see Noah during the Easter break. Rather than celebrating a Biblical story, he found himself trying to explain why environmentalists were portrayed as good and those embracing technology and human endeavour suffered the wrath of God.

EVS volunteering. Pardon? An overview in a nutshell

Posted by on 25/03/14

Article by: Ladislav Borka (Slovakia)
Edited by: Stefan Alievikj

When I told my mom I am going to be an EVS volunteer in Vukovar, Croatia, she got an image of Mother Teresa combined with Francis of Assisi in a white, long cloak made for monks taking care of orphans and people with lethal diseases. After one year of volunteering I can confirm that this sort of outfit does not belong to an ordinary volunteer´s wardrobe.

My father was more skeptic: instead of being such hippie, I should rather find a normal job and earn some normal money for living – argued he.

Well, who would like to make good money immediately, should not choose EVS. For others, who are not sure how to continue after high school, bachelor or master degree, EVS can be a fair opportunity.

3. EVS Volunteering in a Nutshell

So what is EVS about then?

I am a person who likes to travel, to learn about cultures, History, Geography and languages. For such people EVS can be ideal. What could be also useful during your service is some creativity spirit to initiate activities, will to help other people without having prejudices and good sense for team-work. What you must be guaranteed during your stay is free accommodation, food money and some pocket money. What should you pay then? Only 10% of your travel costs. It is pretty cheap way to discover a country, isn´t it?

How to start?

It is the easiest way to google a little bit, contact the National Agency for mobility in your country. They may help you find a sending organization or you can directly search for it in the European database on EVS accredited organisations . There are bunch of organizations dealing with sending and accepting volunteers all around Europe. If you have already found sending organization they can also help you to find hosting organization – which is the other important link for you. You are going to spent your service there – they will provide the accommodation, place for your activities, ensure your language lessons. Yes, every volunteer has to have the opportunity to study the language of the host country. But I must say, intermediate level of English is welcome wherever you go.
Read the full article

Groningen tourist guide: Hanseatic League precursor of EU

Posted by on 24/03/14

“The Hanseatic League was a precursor of the European Union.”
– Comment by a tourist guide in the town of Groningen in the north-east of the Netherlands, 1 March 2014.  

From the Wikipedia page on the Hanseatic League ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanseatic_League ) :
The Hanseatic league (a.k.a. Hansa, among others) was a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and their market towns that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe. It stretched from the Baltic to the North Sea, and inland during the Late Middle Ages and early modern period (c. 13th to 17th centuries).
    The League was created to protect economic interests and diplomatic privileges in the cities and countries and along the trade routes the merchants visited. The Hanseatic cities had their own legal system and furnished their own armies for mutual protection and aid. Despite this, the organization was not a city-state, nor can it be called a confederation of city-states; (…)
    The legacy of the Hansa is remembered today in several names, for example the German airline Lufthansa, F.C. Hansa Rostock, the Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen, …
    [End of citation, dated 24 March 2014]

Berlin Speech : Top German EP candidates answer my ’6 key issues’, except on Ukraine!

Posted by on 20/03/14
On Monday March 17, I addressed a Berlin debate between top candidates, heading party lists into the European elections: Alexander Graf Lambsdorff MdEP (FDP / ALDE), David McAllister MdL (CDU / EPP), Birgit Sippel MdEP (SPD / Socialists) and Gabi Zimmer MdEP (Die Linke / Left alternative). And last but not least, because she is [...]

Berlin Rede : Deutsche EP Spitzenkandidaten beantworten mein ’6 Kernfragen’, schweigen aber über die Ukraine

Posted by on 20/03/14
Am Montag, dem 17. März, hielt ich eine Ansprache anlässlich einer Debatte in Berlin zwischen den Spitzenkandidaten der Parteilisten für die Europawahlen: Alexander Graf Lambsdorff MdEP (FP / ALDE), David McAllister MdL (CDU / EVP), Birgit Sippel MdEP (SPD / SPE) und Gabi Zimmer MdEP (Die Linke / Europäische Linke). Und nicht zuletzt, denn Sie [...]

Du multilinguisme dans l’Union européenne

Posted by on 17/03/14
Entretien de Dominique Hoppe avec Monsieur Michel Soubies, nouveau représentant de l’Assemblée des Fonctionnaires Francophone des Organisations Internationales (AFFOI monde) à Bruxelles. Précision apportée par Monsieur Soubies : Les considérations qui suivent ne doivent pas être prises comme une attaque contre l’anglais mais bien comme un appel à valoriser une des  grandes richesses de l’Union européenne, [...]

Ngram Viewer from Google

Posted by on 24/02/14

 

While reading the new book of  Viktor Mayer-SchönbergerKenneth Cukier called “Big Data: A Revolution that Will Transform how We Live, Work, and Think” I have learned about Google’s  Ngram Viewer (http://books.google.com/ngrams).  According to the above authors, Ngram Viewer “will generate a graph of the use of words or phrases over time, using the entire Google Books index as a data source” based on a process called datafication. In a few words, dataficiation consists in transforming digital information in to data suitable for multiple use. Since this blog tries to discuss topics related to governance and territorial cooperation I’ve took the time to look for both terms and the results are somehow the expected ones. Governance appeared as a concept after 1980 and was boosted by the a gargantuan amount of publications issued by the World Bank and other international organizations. Territorial cooperation however made its breakthrough around 1900 and, for the past 120 years, its usage was highly influenced by the Europe’s convulsive political past.  One this is clear though, the evolution of the EU was the engine behind the conceptual promotion and practical operationalization of territorial cooperation while governance remains the avatar of international organizations.

 

How to trust Europe again?

Posted by on 20/02/14
Guest blogpost by Dorine van Woerden, adviser on European affairs. The European Union is in itself a remarkable achievement. It is the result of a process of voluntary economic and political integration between the nation states of Europe. Nevertheless, the EU currently faces a number of challenges that threaten the progress that has been made over [...]

Dan Luca on Europe, the 2014 elections & Romania

Posted by on 18/02/14
This below is the summary of an unusual interview, hence done by me and published notably on BlogActiv, not a normal editorial video by a EurActiv journalist. Dan Luca worked 10 years for EurActiv, lately as European Network Director, in charge of EurActiv’s presence in 12 capitals, 12 languages.  He already stood as MEP candidate (PES, Rumania) [...]

Brussels’ Court Jester: Mr Fargey-Wargey

Posted by on 17/02/14

Que: What do Hyacinth Bucket from Keeping up Appearances and Nigel Farage have in common? Answer: Surnames that can be pronounced according to personal preference.

Hyacinth, snob extraordinaire and little England social climber, insists her surname is not Bucket (as in there’s a hole in my …) but Bouquet – as in pretty floral arrangement sitting atop grand pianos in National Trust properties.

Nigel, grandiloquent hater of the EU and vocal opponent of Brussels, insists his name is not Farage (as in cabbage) but Faraahhhge. Nigel, like Hyacinth, seems to prefer the elegant consonants and vowel sounds of the French language to the more guttural sounds of Anglo-Saxon English.

To be fair on Nige though his surname is actually a bastardisation of French. That is because Nige, like Mr Rumpy Pumpy (aka Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, to you and me) share a common ancestry. Farage, like Van Rompuy, is a Belgian surname albeit the former is Flemish, the later French.

So, on the basis that “fair’s-fair” and the Belgian state insists upon linguistic equality EU Perspective proposes that Herman can be called Mr Rompy-Pumpy on condition Nige hence forth be known as Mr Fargy-Wargy.

Nige’s Belgian background is all the more astounding given his otherwise impeccable middle England credentials, dismissal of Belgium as a “non-country” and his avowed hatred of Brussels. When EU Perspectives learned this little nugget of information it thought “Blimey – the guys  Belgian really and not from Little Foxgrove, somewhere in the Shires.”

Not that it matters in the least.

The EU is all about non-discrimination, equality, freedom of speech and giving a Chap the right to spread his message from one EU country to the next. Having a Belgian, not English surname, should be no hindrance to an otherwise ambitious politician who wants to spread his message beyond the confines of middle England. Today Winchester, tomorrow Warsaw, hey. That, after all, is precisely what the EU is all about, is it not?

Anyone foolish enough to try and stop Faraahhge from getting his message out there would be given a swift put-down thanks to EU anti-discrimination laws strictly enforced by the ECJ. The EU is also gracious enough to give Mr Fargy-Wargy a platform from which to preach his anti-EU message – within limits. He did get a fine for suggesting the Council President was a “damp cloth”.

It is only right and proper in a pluralistic society that upholds the rule of law and freedom of speech for Nige to have his say. And thank goodness for it says EU Perspectives.

Without Mr Fargy-Wargy Brussels would just not be the same. Every organisation, like a Shakespeare play, needs its buffoon or resident court jester, to prop the place up and prevent the play or place from drowning in its own earnestness.

Lady Ashton, the EU’s High Representative was once compared, by Nige, to a ”political pigmy”. As a result of this insolence, Nige recounts to Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail,

‘I was told to wait outside the headmaster’s study at 5pm. A flunkey said “would you like a drink?”, meaning coffee. I said: “Yes, please, I’ll have a large gin and tonic.” They didn’t like that.’

We do Nige. We love it. A nice G&T, with ice and a splice, is just what’s needed when being given a dressing-down by a Lady.

The 11 UKIP MEPs, with Nige at the forefront, are our very own Barmy-Army in Brussels – and heaven knows Brussels needs them. They bring a touch of Westminster to Strasbourg, turning otherwise dull Parliamentary committee meetings into a right old, argy-bargy.

That is why EU Perspectives say to the voters of little England – “Please don’t vote for Nige.” He’s turning into a terribly serious looking politician these days as the possibility of responsibility and high office beckons. It might also encourage him to leave Brussels and run for Westminster at the next general election. The EU is not ready to loose its resident court jester. No one we can think of shares his penchant for cracking such fine wise-arse observations.

And – fair’s fair. British politics gets to keep Boris as their resident buffoon. We get to keep our very own Mr Fargy-Wargy to keep up the right-old Brussels argy-bargy.

 

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