Saturday, January 07, 2012

Do Ministers Ever Learn Anything From Their Departments?

Well, it seems not.

Dennis McShane, expenses cheat (but not {yet} proven crook), bully, suspended Labour MP and former "Fifth Columnist on behalf of the EU in the British Government" thinks that the Countess of Wessex should sell some jewellery she was given by the Bahraini Royal Family and use the money to "benefit victims of the civil unrest."

So, there are a few problems with this.

Firstly, it is unclear whether these are HRH Sophie's to sell or part of the Royal Collection.

Secondly, these are official gifts. You either refuse them when offered, or you keep them. An international diplomatic version of that hideous sweater your aunt knitted for you that you can only bring yourself to wear when she visits and you can't throw out because, ugly though it is, you care more about her feelings than very occassionally looking like a bit of a prat. Ed notes: Although, with official gifts, you might be able to return them if you've either broken the rules or there is a significant problem. Sort of like Mugabe and Ceaucescu having their honorary knighthoods annulled.

Lastly, we have a member of the socialist internationale insisting the British Royal Family should interfere in the politics of another state? That's a fantastic turn-around from the usual insistance that they keep their unelected opinions out of our politics.

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