Caroline's Occasional Blog


Shadows of Empire: Delhi, Assam and Simla April 2013


Into China Through the Back Door


Remembering Norman St John Stevas – Lord St John of Fawsley (1929-2012)


January 2012: Looking for the Cornish in Namaqualand


Slowly Up The Ganges: November 2010


17 September 2009: The Expulsion of Edward McMillan Scott MEP from the Conservative party


16 September 2009 The European Parliament held its debate on the renewal of President Barroso’s term as President of the Commission yesterday and voted to confirm him today. Barroso gave some undertakings which seem to have passed the British media by but which spell future trouble: he intends appointing three new Commissioners with portfolios covering Internal Affairs and Migration, Climate Action, and Justice Fundamental Rights and Civil Liberties. How will a separate Commissioner for Climate Action work in with the Commissioner for Environment – a post that will have to continue because of the Commission’s responsibility for so many environmental issues other than straight climate change? What will the Member States make of Commissioners for matters (Migration, Civil Liberties) which they still see as their own responsibility? Is this a bid by the Commission not only to appear ‘relevant’ but to counter in advance what is going to be, post Lisbon, a much more powerful and co-ordinated Council of Ministers? To his credit Tim Kirkhope spoke of the need for a senior Commissioner to be given specific responsibility for de-regulation. I would love to be able to comment on what the leader of the Conservative and Reformist group, Michael Kaminski, said in the debate – but as he spoke in Polish and the European Parliament does not offer a written translation I fear I cannot do so. (How does Conservative Central Office monitor what he says?)


Carrying on down the Hooghly August 2009


June-July 2009


The Deccan Further Adventures off the Beaten Track in India January February 2010