Rumpy Pumpy: “And answer came there none”

This week in our ECR Group meeting in Brux we were privileged to have the new semi-permanent President of the EU Council to address us.  Mr. Herman Van Rompuy is a Belgian national and former (temporary) Belgian Prime Minister (he seems to specialise in temporary rôles — perhaps a Belgian trait).  His name, however, is very difficult for Anglo-Saxon tongues to cope with, so I’m happy to think of him as Rumpy Pumpy.  He is, of course the man famously described by Nigel Farage as “having all the charisma of a damp rag”.
The ECR was celebrating the appointment of Petr Necas, the leader of the Civic Democrat/ODS Party in the Czech Republic, as Prime Minister.  Despite the Guardian dismissing our new political group as a bunch of marginal and ineffectual oddballs, ECR parties now hold the premiership of no fewer than two EU member-states — the UK and the Czech Republic.
I had the opportunity to put a question to Rumpy Pumpy, and I managed to slip in the old hoary chestnut about the advice we should give to the US President if he wished to talk to the EU President, of whom there seem to be four at the last count.  José Manuel Barroso is President of the Commission.  Jerzy Buzek is President of the European Parliament.  Then there is Rumpy Pumpy, as President of the Council.  But of course we still retain, for the moment, the EU’s farcical six-month rotating Presidency, which is due to fall to Belgium tomorrow, July 1st.  But as Belgium is currently lacking a government (as seems so often the case) it is quite difficult to put a name to its rotating President.  And if we don’t know, how is the State Department supposed to work it out?
Rumpy Pumpy assured us that the lines of responsibility were crystal clear, and that the 600 pages of the Lisbon Treaty had made them even clearer.  Forgive the tired cliché, but the phrase “clear as mud” springs to mind.  But my substantive question went more or less as follows:
“Mr. President, there is a series of opinion polls which seems to show that the EU is rapidly losing the support of citizens.  The Greeks are out on the streets protesting against what they see as EU austerity policies, while the Germans are furious at having to bail out the Greeks, and the prospect of bank-rolling other Club Med states too.  Meantime a poll published only today shows that a majority of Germans would like their Deutschmark back, and only 30% approve of the euro.  We know that in the UK, if we had had the promised referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, it would have been overwhelmingly rejected.
“I know that the Commission has given some thought to ways in which it might bring public opinion more closely into line with EU policies and objectives.  I wonder if you, Mr. President, would consider re-framing the question, and think about ways to bring EU policies more closely into line with the objectives and aspirations of the citizens?”
And answer came there none.

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3 Responses to Rumpy Pumpy: “And answer came there none”

  1. Margaret says:

    Thank you Mr. Helemer I find your opinion so acurate, unfortunally for the Spanierds and European citizens residing in Spain the Lisbon Treaty means hope for things to get better in here.

  2. Richard J says:

    You’ve just made it to the semi-finals. So it did a lot more for you than it did for us.

  3. john kelly says:


    Better, but still well short of where you need to be. There is only one way for Britain to solve/satisfy all of the problems we have with the EU, and that is through the door marked EXIT.

    There is no reform from within possible – you might make a few tweaks here and there but there are no substantive changes possible.

    Come on, make your mind up and do what most members of the TFA want.

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