Sun, sea, sex and scandal on Europe’s party island – POLITICO

Welcome to Declassified, a weekly column on the lighter side of politics.

Do you have to wear a face mask at a foam party? Ask a politician.

European party island Ibiza (apologies to runner-up Isle of Man) is back in the news because another politician couldn’t resist its charms, sun and buy some one, get one free on flaming sambucas.

Jean-Michel Blanquer, the French Minister of Education, has unveiled his plan to fight the pandemic for schools at a college in Villefranche-sur-Mer. No, wait, that’s not right. From his office ? Still wrong. It was from – and you’re in front of me here – Ibiza.

Blanquer was working “remotely with his team”, government spokesman Gabriel Attal noted and was on the island “for four days in a private capacity”. A quick Google search reveals that there is no nightclub called Private Capacity in Ibiza, although there is one called Privilege.

Ibiza has a form when it comes to political irregularities, of course, having lent its name to the scandal that brought down the first, but not the last, government led by Sebastian Kurz in Austria.

Ibiza-gate, you may recall, involved Heinz-Christian Strache, the far-right leader of Kurz’s junior coalition partner, trying to swap government contracts for party donations from a woman who he thought he was the wealthy niece of a Russian oligarch. To be fair to Strache, let those of us who haven’t tried to swap government contracts for party donations from a woman we thought was the wealthy niece of a Russian oligarch cast the first stone.

The next political scandal involving Ibiza is difficult to predict. Who am I kidding, of course not. If we wait three, maybe four days, for images of Boris Johnson, his wife, his entire cabinet and a Tory-supporting pop star – Gary Barlow? – in Ibiza will surely surface and Johnson will claim he didn’t realize a foam party was a real party and not a business event.

Deputy Chiefs will no doubt be rolling in the UK soon as Johnson attempts to blame the whole party on others in what the Prime Minister has dubbed Operation Save Big Dog. It’s an apt nickname for Johnson as he’s not allowed on Downing Street furniture in case he soils himself.

But it’s not the best nickname for a British Prime Minister, because it’s either “Grass macaroni” – nickname of Augustus FitzRoy, PM from 1768 to 1770 – or “God’s only mistake” – nickname of William Gladstone, PM four times between 1868 and 1894.

Another former prime minister, David Cameron – whose best nickname is ‘Hameron’ due to claims that as a student he put his genitals in a dead pig’s mouth – has been criticized in 2013 to vacation in, you guessed it, Ibiza.


“The German government initiative ‘Bring your grandfather to work’ was only a partial success.”

Can you do better? E-mail [email protected] or on Twitter @pdallisonesque

Last week, we gave you this picture:

Thanks for all the entries. Here’s the best of our mailbag (there’s no price other than the gift of laughter, which I think we can all agree is much more valuable than money or booze).

“This is the last time I’ll be photographed with a koala”, by Rory Watson.

Paul Dalison is POLITICSit is slot machine news editor.

Joseph K. Bennett