Puns at the ready
EU policymakers overlooked by the writers of this weekend’s Brussels Press Revue ‘Burlesque-Oni’ are lining up to criticise the show.
The assortment of sketches included humorous references to commission pomme de terre Jose Manuel Barroso, as well as his parliamentary counterpart Martin Schulz. Council president Herman van Rompuy also featured heavily.
“Even the Irish prime minister and ambassador got a mention,” complained Maroš Šefčovič, EU commissioner for payrises.
“I mean, just look at my name, it’s got all funny squiggles in it. You could have done something funny based on that,” he said.
“Or how it sounds. I mean, listen: ‘Šefčovič,’ sounds a bit like a sneeze doesn’t it? That could be funny too. But no, nothing.”
The Brussels architect of the EU’s hotly contested seven-year budget was also put out.
Commissioner Lewandowski said his role in arguably the biggest beltway story of the moment was an “absurd oversight.”
“I even submitted an alternative version of the song “Feelings.” It went: ‘Ceilings, budgetary ceilings.'”
“But it didn’t even get a look-in.”
Malta’s new commissioner Tonio Borg, meanwhile, expressed consternation that his predecessor had a whole song dedicated to him (“Goodbye, Dalli”), with “not even a single mention of me, but.”
There were also dissenting voices from the European Parliament.
“If you’re going to have a whole sketch dedicated to Jonathan Faull, a Director General in the European Commission, then logically the heads of the major parliamentary groups merit a mention at least,” said Guy Verhofstadt.
“I mean, Faull. A Director General. Please…”
“And as for all your focus on that clown Farage, why does he get all the limelight? Look at the rest of us in the parliament. We’re ridiculous too, goddammit…”
The American Chamber of Commerce was also left consternated that a number of amendments it had wanted to have inserted in several of the sketches went ignored. “Don’t they realise that’s not how it works here?” it said.
A spokeswoman for Press Review chief scribe and MC Geoff Meade said:
“Mr Meade has no comment to make, which is unusual. Having said that, which he didn’t, he would like to point out that, while he regrets not mentioning everyone and everything, some people don’t make it easy. For instance, Tony O’Borg would have been guaranteed a mention in this Irish presidency phase of the EU’s waning moon, but unfortunately Dalli’s replacement was the less relevant Tonio Borg.”
“Secondly, Sefcovic does indeed sound a bit like to sneeze. More interestingly, Verhofstadt sounds like a full-blown dose of flu. But if we have to mention all Commissioners and all EP group leaders on grounds of political balance, we could go on for ever – a feeling which some people claim to have experienced on Saturday night……”