I really do not know what is going on here but I am trying to wrap my head around it.
This week there has been a great deal of fun and work. For different perspectives take a look here from Dan Hannan and here from Richard Corbett.
Oddly enough I had a bit of a row with Mr Corbett yesterday. This is the man who wrote the rule book of the European Parliament. He accused me and UKIP of only caring about the rules! Well when there are rules the Parliament should abide by them. As I pointed out rather forcefully and thing else would be arbitrary government. He denied that there was any wrong doing. But moments later (after being moved away from the TV area as we were disturbing recording) we met up with Diane Wallis the Lib Dem MEP and Vice President"
"Richard," she said, "I am in the chair this morning, have you any advice".
Corbett replied, "Well if there is a repeat of yesterday I suggest you should take a speech both in favour and against the motion before you put it to a vote".
Given that this is what had not happened the day before he was admitting that the President had broken the rules and therefore the vote for lunch had indeed been illegal.
Anyhow, the ongoing palaver was mostly about the fact that for the first time in the history of the parliament every vote was counted by the roll call vote system. To do this we must put in a request 24 hours earlier in the name of the group and or with 40 MEP signatures. This the Ind/Dem Group did.
Our Secretary General was summoned to see the Secretary General of the Parliament Harold Romer and the Head of the President's office Klaus Welle. He was told that they would accept the RCVs on Tuesday and on Wednesday (they were already in the system) but they would not accept any further Roll Call Votes because they believed that we were misusing the rule.
It is not their job to interpret the rules, just to apply them.
Today the RCVs happened exactly as planned and I happened across Mr Welle in the lift. I asked what had happened to their threat,
"I do not know what you are talking about", he told me "I have nothing to do with the workings of the plenary".
A barefaced lie, either that or maybe the threat was issued buy a secret Klaus, the naughty one.