Tuesday, 25 October 2011

"Odd Couple" revive domestic double act

As far as I can see the committed Europhobe Ian Davidson (Glasgow South West) was the only Scottish MP, though not the only Labour one, to vote for a referendum on the EU last night.

Davidson spoke for a third way - a renegotiation of the European Union, a kind of EU-max perhaps. He doesn't want to be in a position of voting to leave when what he wants is reform.

That argument allowed his old roommate Michael Connarty MP - they shared a flat in a Walter Matthau-Jack Lemmon arrangement before the MPs' expenses reforms - to give him a bit of a ribbing later on.

While detailing how article 49 and article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty mean that renegotiation of EU membership is a nonsense - you're either in or out - Connarty noticed with disappointment that Davidson had left the chamber. "He is not so much a friend as an ongoing further education project for me," said Connarty.

You can imagine the chats the pair have had over a cocoa in the old days.

Meanwhile, the well known Europhile Denis MacShane had a rough write up in Hansard, the offical parliamentary report which sometimes inadvertedly captures the mood of the house in its formalised style:

Denis MacShane (Rotherham, Labour) rose —

Hon. Members: Groan!

Nigel Evans (Deputy Speaker; Ribble Valley, Conservative): Order. He has not said anything yet.

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