Thursday, 24 October 2013

Let them eat cake!

Today in Strasbourg, French taxi drivers are demonstrating outside the European Parliament. They are concerned about new legislation on chauffeur-driven car services. The protest has been peaceful, and of course in a democratic society it is every citizen's right to express themselves in this way. In Strasbourg, such manifestations are always booked in advance, and carefully managed by stewards and the police.

The Parliament's security service this morning sent out an e-mail to all, explaining the reason for the demonstration, and giving details of the timings and route, etc.

Of course, during difficult economic times, the last thing that taxi drivers, or indeed any of us, need is more restrictive legislation, and so their frustration is understandable.

But one MEP clearly does not have any sympathy with the aggrieved drivers.

Baroness Ludford, Lib Dem MEP for London, sent out to the entire parliament the following response:

"Thanks for warning us of this great end to a Strasbourg week!

Will EP cars be able to get to the station?

Sarah Ludford MEP"

By 'EP cars', she means chauffeur driven limousines. She appears to have ignored the situation of the drivers, worrying only about whether she herself will be whisked away in a Mercedes in time to catch her train. Strasbourg, incidentally, is the city where Marie-Antoinette first arrived in France prior to her marriage with Louis XVI. The Royal Couple turned a blind eye to the plight of the workers, and we all know how that ended!

Ludford: eyes shut to the plight of the workers