Friday, November 20, 2009

Herman's Hermits

Despite being unable to recall ever being asked if I wanted one, I now have a President. Name of Herman, apparently.
It really does make one wonder what all those great fusses of not so long ago, like D-Day, were really all about. But hey ho, we are where we are.
Let us hope that HE van Rompuy and the sublime Baroness Ashton will either stay or be kept as far away from anything important as is humanly possible; you never know, if they do then something might tell them they're on to something good.


Blogger Grant said...

Hate to be a pedant, Martin, but unless you're moonlighting as a member of the European council, then van Rompuy is no more your president than am I. He takes over a post that has existed for decades - the only difference being that he will presumably stay it in a little longer than all its previous holders, whose terms have been limited to six months.

I know parts of the media are styling him the President of the EU, but in this the media have, as so woefully often when it comes to Europe, a relationship with the truth which does not even rise to the level of nodding acquaintance.

20 November, 2009 09:55  
Blogger Martin said...

Yeah, that's pedantic.

If look like a president, walks like a president and quacks like a president, then the balance of probabilities suggests that it is not a duck, but something else.

As for the post having existed for decades...well it's now over two decades since I studied European Community Law (that was what the body was called then), and I really don't have any recollection of this post existing at that point. And you really had to listen quite hard in that class, if only because it was taught by a Hungarian with an almost impenetrable accnt.

21 November, 2009 08:06  
Blogger Grant said...


Well, it may be pedantic, but it is rather annoyingly true. The post has indeed existed for decades. Its incumbents have included such people as Tony Blair and Angela Merkel and, going back further, Helmut Kohl and Margaret Thatcher. It goes back to the mid-1970s. These are just plain facts.

You say that the post 'looks, walks and talks like a president'. Can it dismiss governments, call elections, appoint ministers, dissolve parliament, pardon criminals, veto laws, or any of the other typical president things? Er, no, no, no, no, no and no. What 'president-like' things can it do? It can chair meetings. Whoopee.

I'm no particular fan of the EU, but I do like my debates to be based on actual facts. This, I know, is an old-fashioned view in our post-modern world, but I'm happy to stick to it.

21 November, 2009 08:27  
Blogger Martin said...

This position is not the same as the old position. The post to which you refer was held on a 6-month rotating 'Buggin's Turn' basis by each member state. This is an unmandated appointment of an entirely different character.

Get your own facts straight. Further comment of this kind shall be moderated with extreme prejudice.

22 November, 2009 08:18  
Blogger James Higham said...

The only way out of this is for people to write to MPs, asking them to commit to an EU referendum vote. If enough people took the plunge, they'd have to notice it.

22 November, 2009 10:26  

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