Under New Ownership

Signs of the deference and respect that we must now pay to Euro Nabobs come with the intelligence that Hans-Gert Pöttering, President of the European Parliament, who is currently engaged in a conspiracy to conceal from Europe’s voters the extent of endemic misuse of funds, worth at least £98.4 million a year, by MEPs, is coming to the UK on an ‘Official Visit’.

Time was when only Heads of State made such visits to the UK, a rather more relaxed and informal trip than a full-blown State Visit which involves the full panoply of British Ceremonial, but nonetheless a visit of importance to the State, with a smattering of pomp and circumstance to remind our visitor that we value them highly.

Now Herr Pöttering is to make such a visit, an indication of how the pecking order is changing. In between times he will meet not just with Gordon Brown (doubtless to receive the latter’s report on progress of the EU Constitution and to give him his latest instructions) but also with Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

It is this which I find puzzling. He has, for the moment, no legal standing in the UK to speak of and as such is merely one of 785 MEPs. Who asked for the meeting? Was it upon the advice of Gordon Brown that the Palace sought it? Was it Pöttering who asked to see the Queen? What possible business could he have with Her Majesty?

There is, of course, one thing he could be about: measuring the curtains for when he and Frau Pöttering move in upon his being made the first Governor-General of the province of Brittania.