Forty years on
The forthcoming EU referendum has rekindled memories of the in-out Common Market referendum of 1975. But it seems a strange looking-glass world now.
— Mrs Thatcher was a keen ‘yes’ campaigner, sporting a jumper with the flags of EC member states. Neil Kinnock campaigned for a British exit. The SNP and Plaid Cymru campaigned to leave the EC, the former calling it a ‘dangerous experiment in gross over-centralisation’.
— The worry then was that England would vote to stay while Scotland and Wales would vote to leave.
— But the most surprising supporters now seem the Daily Mail and the Daily Express, the latter declaring after the ‘yes’ vote had been confirmed that Britain was now ‘irrevocably’ European.
Making ends meet
Conservative MPs Andrew Bridgen and Mark Field defended their 10 per cent pay rise, the latter saying that being elected to parliament was a ‘bit like becoming a vicar’. What do both MPs earn extra to their supposedly full-time job in the House of Commons?
£7,773 per monthfor 12 hours work (£647 per hour) as non-executive chairman of AB Produce.
£500 an houradvising the London School of Commerce.
£4,000 for 20 hours work advising specialist recruitment firm Ellwood Atfield.
£10,000 for 50 hours work as adviser to Cairns Advocates Ltd.
£1,500 for six hours of lectures at the Judge Business School, Cambridge.
Source: Commons register of members’ interests
The cup for corruption
Who would win a World Cup for corruption? To judge by the Corruption Perceptions Index, compiled by Transparency International, Somalia would just about see off North Korea in a tightly contested final.
— Other semi-finalists would be Sudan and Afghanistan.
— In the quarter-finals would be Iraq, South Sudan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
— The only European team to make the 32 would be Ukraine, which would be the lowest-ranked team.
— Of countries which have been awarded a football World Cup, Russia is perceived as the most corrupt, coming three places higher than Ukraine.
— Qatar is perceived as the 26th least corrupt country, with an identical score to France.