Column Eight: Down and out in Brussels

O TO BE a hard-working Brussels official. 'Bad weather' caused the cancellation of yesterday's formal weekly meeting of the European Commission in Strasbourg - the airport was fog-bound so the commissioners hoping to fly in from Brussels couldn't.

Tant pis, another day of Christmas shopping.

Funnily enough, John Major managed to get to Strasbourg yesterday, using the humble road route. The press corps also got there, via Mulhouse airport and a bus. Which evidently represented too much effort for the commissioners.

WITH A rare burst of humour, Germany's opposition Social Democrats party has released a spoof policy document 'leaked' from the government. The cover sheet reads: 'The German government's financial and economic policy concept' and is followed by 100 blank pages.

'In its astounding simplicity and without a single word too many, the book is a courageous and logical continuation of government policy thus far,' said a generous SPD.

MORE WIT from the pranksters at the 'ministry of fun', aka HM Treasury, notorious for their bad-taste joke about seeing 'green shoots of recovery around the corner'. Yesterday we received a fax from a Treasury official; neatly printed at the top instead of the sender's ID number were the words: 'The Tax Fax'.

IN MELODRAMATIC mood IBCA, the debt-rating agency, yesterday referred to Costain Group's 'lamentable' disposal of its Australian mining and property business. Lamentable? Isn't that a bit, well, Mill on the Floss-like? Or, since Costain was deemed to have pulled off rather a good deal, just plain wrong?

'Er yes, quite right, ha-ha. Should have been 'imminent',' confirmed the man from IBCA.

GOLDMAN Sachs, the stuffy American investment bank, could be revamping its image if the Christmas hoolie laid on for its forex dealing floor is anything to go by.

Not only were there champagne and a comedian, but also, we hear, three salacious female strippers. 'There were some disgusting things going on. I can't possibly go into detail,' says our mole primly.

Can these be the same forex dealers, described as 'devout Christians, honestly' by a colleague, who will lead the bank's carol service in St Bride's church, London, this evening? Goldmans declined to comment.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£30000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a financial services c...

Guru Careers: Stockbroker

£Basic (OTE) + Uncapped Commission: Guru Careers: A Stockbroker (qualified / p...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Adviser

£20000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you recently QCA Level 4 qu...

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Day In a Page

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk
Nepal earthquake: One man's desperate escape from Everest base camp after the disaster

Escape from Everest base camp

Nick Talbot was sitting in his tent when the tsunami of snow and rock hit. He was lucky to live, unlike his climbing partner just feet away...
Adopting high fibre diet could dramatically cut risk of bowel cancer, says study

What happened when 20 Americans swapped diets with 20 Africans?

Innovative study in the US produces remarkable results
Blake Lively and 'The Age of Adaline': Gossip Girl comes
of age

Gossip girl comes of age

Blake Lively is best known for playing an affluent teenager. Her role as a woman who is trapped forever at 29 is a greater challenge
Goat cuisine: Kid meat is coming to Ocado

Goat cuisine

It's loved by chefs, ethical, low in fat and delicious. So, will kid meat give lamb a run for its money?
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls