Diana Wallis throws her toys out of her pram

Diana Wallis, who failed just this week in her bid to become the new President of the European parliament, has thrown her toys out of her pram — or at least (I understand on good authority) has resigned.  Unlike me, she just did it, without further discussion.

Both she and our own Nirj Deva sought to break the “Buggins’ Turn” system in the parliament where the big groups stitch up the Presidency for the full five years.  Sadly, both failed, and it went to the “official” socialist candidate, the aggressive and unpleasant German Martin Schultz (whom Silvio Berlusconi suggested would make a great Nazi Camp Commandant).

Amusingly, the Independent newspaper, writing about the contest beforehand, reckoned that Diana should do reasonably well, but argued that Nirj Deva, as a British Conservative Eurosceptic, stood no chance at all.

In the event, Nirj pipped Diane to second place, albeit by the narrowest margin, with 142 votes to her 141.  This, perhaps, was the final straw that broke the Wallis back, but for whatever reason, the word today is that she has quit.  It is rumoured that she had rather burnt her boats with her Liberal group, and after her recent term as a Vice-President of the parliament, could not face the humiliation of returning to the back-benches amongst a group where she is by no means flavour of the month.

So this raises the question of succession (one which I find interesting and topical).  It seems that the second candidate on the Yorkshire Lib-Dem list in 2009, behind Diana, was a chap called Stewart Arnold.  Three things you might like to know about Mr. Arnold.  The first is that he is currently on Diana’s staff.  The second, that he is (despite the surname), the husband of Lib-Dem MEP …. Diana Wallis.  And third, based on hearsay in the corridor, he’s not that highly rated by other Liberal MEPs.

Ho hum.  I wonder if the Lib-Dem High Command will “do a Warsi”, and have second thoughts about the succession?

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7 Responses to Diana Wallis throws her toys out of her pram

  1. What you say confirms my very worst fears about the european Parliament – a gravy train run by insiders for insiders with absolutely no contact with the ordinary voters.

    • Andrew Shakespeare says:

      Meanwhile, Greeks are abondoning their children because they can’t afford to feed them, and drugs are in such short supply that you can’t buy aspirin for love nor money. It’s remarkable just how courageously our noble and great ones stand fast for their principles in the face of intense suffering.

      “Pass the gravy, would you, Hermann?”

  2. Jimbo Jones says:

    Roger – wouldn’t the best and most democratic means of settling your succession issue be to have an open primary for the next East Midlands MEP?

    Let the people decide the matter?

    • Can’t agree with that Jimbo — the whole point is that 3000+ Conservative Party members selected a list in 2008, and around a million East Midlands voted for it. So the people have already settled the position for 2009/14. The scandal is that Baroness Warsi thinks she can set aside the decision of the people.

      • Jimbo Jones says:

        Thank you for taking the time to reply Roger. Its appreciated.

      • Jimbo Jones says:

        Although it does sound a little bit like you’re a stout and robust defender of the wonderful democratic integrity of the list system!!

  3. Hugh Eveleigh says:

    Thank you for this. I have just left a comment on The Independent website and interestingly enough I see it made it.

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