This week UKIP’s Nigel Farage took on the Lib Dem’s Nick Clegg in a debate about Europe. They clashed over immigration, jobs and called each other liars. Farage predictably parroted "the best people to govern Britain are the British people." A poll suggests Farage clobbered Clegg 57% to 36%. Clegg has promised more emotion and less statistics in next week’s debate.
Translation: The octopus of the civic platform in Opole
Poland is a former-Soviet success story, embracing free market reform instead of the state capitalist route that has seen Russia and Ukraine stagnate. But a Soviet residue remains. Nepotist tentacles creep through the economy, offering lucrative legs up to friends. In 2013, the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau revealed that millions were paid to politicians to secure lucrative government contracts. Keep your tentacles to yourself.
As Europe pussyfoots around Russia, imposing sanctions that are sufficiently insignificant to keep the gas taps turned on, thoughts turn to energy diversification. Scotland is leading the way with windfarms sprouting like mushrooms. SNP leader, Alex Salmond is aiming for 100% renewables by 2020. Inevitably this feeds into the independence debate, and Scotland's energy minister has claimed that England's lights would go out without Scotland. And as for the "British" oil reserves located in Scotland...?
Barack Obama spent 24 hours in Brussels last week at a cost of €10m to the Belgian tax payer. His behemothic entourage included 900 humans, 45 vehicles and 3 planes. On the other hand Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, goes to work on a bicycle. In 2012 he horrified an Iranian delegation who were ‘ashamed’ to see a European leader arrive on a bike. Forget presidents and personality cults, the Dutch prime minister is known as primus inter pares (first among equals).