Wednesday Just to add to the shambles the President, not for the first time, altered the printed agenda, shuffling items round into different sequence. Got a warning about this the previous day but she altered it again as the meeting started. Very annoying when I had decided to speak to an early item and had to wait until the afternoon! However, the video will be on my web site but whether you will like me in a supportive role I don't know. Actually this can be for the good, might encourage them to listen when, as usual, I criticise. I did say, might!
One of the items which took longer than you might think was on "European Statistics on Demography". They could not agree whose stats were the most reliable! I said nothing and let them get on with it, wondering how on earth they had several lots of statistics on the same issue. Don't worry, its only your money!
Another item was on "Ground handling Services at Union Airports". Note the "Union" reference. It goes into all sorts of airport activity which is catered for by International agreements anyway. I wonder if this debate caused the strike here by the transport unions? Whether or not, will I be able to get home tomorrow?
Thursday Massive voting session for hour and a half, most of it on the stuff debated yesterday. Plus, "Humanitarian Aid Corps" (never heard of the Red Cross apparently). "Social Housing" in the UK that's where people continuing to live on their family home after their flock have departed are now going to be hit with a 24% reduction in the housing benefit, unless they move to smaller house. Just like the Soviets moving several families into bigger houses and never mind the owners, all introduced by our own Government with no help from the EU.
They also want to control Take Over Bids and to have a Competition Policy.
All that plus votes on 8 "Discharges", that's approving the spending of millions of Euros, but only after they've spent your money.
Then the vote on "Ground Handling Services" debated yesterday. Only one vote, because there's a dispute. Parliament sent it back to Committee to look at again. Just a matter of did we want to reject the Parliament decision and force the issue. The actual vote was one of those wretched double negative affairs. A "Yes" meant, send it to Parliament again so there were deliberately no amendments. I voted "No", of course, but it was 36 in favour and 7 against, thus rejecting Parliament's decision.
Finally, 3 pieces to cheer you up. Late on Tuesday a Commission representative commented on the Euro crisis. It appears that Spain is becoming Euro-sceptic and that Germany is afraid of a Euro implosion!
That's together with the news that a former Lib-Dem Mayor of Eastleigh has come out in support of UKIP and Diane James for the by-election. He's right. I have been down and met her, will be going again next week, wondering if the Lib-Dems will be as invisible as they were last Monday.
And this website,- theyletyoudown.com will reveal how some of our UK MEPs vote on important issues as compared to their public statements.
Derek Clark MEP Brussels 21st Feb 2013