Keeping up with the twists and turns of the controversy on the EU budget is more than usually difficult at the moment, not least because I am working on an update for The Great Deception.
I have just reach the point last year when the "great debate" started and comparing the current "cuts" with the batch last year, it is very difficult to discern the difference. With my already very slender grasp of reality (and the first one who agrees on the comments section gets banned!), I really do have difficulty working out which year I am in.
Anyhow, the latest update is provided by the BBC website which, when it confines itself to fact instead of ill-informed opinion (it should leave that to the bloggers) is not too bad.
Barroso, it appears, has ventured out of his lair in Brussels and, in addition to meeting Blair this morning at Chequers – one wonders if they discussed their holiday arrangements – went to that temple of Europhilia, the LSE, to deliver a talk which encompassed the demerits of the British budget rebate.
Telling the students that the rebate was no longer justified, he suggested that British taxpayers would understand that it "has to go" if politicians "had the courage to explain why".
The response, it seems, was less than complimentary, his remarks apparently invoking laughs from the student audience, not out of merriment, but of the domestic soliped variety. Certainly, Barroso seems to be getting a "horse laugh" from Blair, whose spokesman has told the commission president that: "The rebate is fully justified, full stop."
Maybe, what Barroso said today – together with the comments from the Three Musketeers is just pre-referendum posturing, for the benefit of French and Dutch audiences. I would hate to think he is as stupid as he sounds.