Del Young suggested I write on this topic in the light of the Byers, Hewitt & Hoon scandal, all taxi cabs for hire at £5k per day. Of one thing I am certain, lobbying at Westminster is a cottage industry compared to what goes on at Brussels. Westminster is a beacon of transparency compared to the obfuscation of Brussels. Also, MEPs are not targeted by the sort of stings that C4 Dispatches and the Sunday Times mount regularly on MPs whose greed overcomes their limited intelligence. MPs have constituents, constituency parties with nasty chairmen who want answers whereas MEPs are simply numbers on a party list for a huge region and are answerable to no one. Its clearly a lot less hassle to be an MEP than an MP!
The money is also better and the expenses or allowances as Farage likes to call them are terrific and no need to produce receipts. That's only for little people! The EU controls these MEPs by massaging their huge egos and stuffing up their mouths with Euros. The EU reminds them which side their croissants are buttered on if they show any hint of forgetting. There is of course frequent junkets and jollies often called fact finding missions which the EU lays on for MEPs and their relatives. Some UKIP MEPs are particularly fond of EU funded fact finding provided it does not take them to the UK.
This was built into the EU from the days of the Common Market. Even when I was a student, in the mid 60s, aspiring young student politicos were offered expenses paid trips to see how Europe works. These are now European elder statesmen and kept sweet with Charlemagne prizes and their like. E Heath bought his yacht Morning Cleoud out of his prize money. Corruption, thy name is Brussels.
So there they sit in Brussels, well away from the prying eyes of nosey investigative journalists, protected and cosseted by the EU like the eunchs in the Sultan's harem, apart from the sexy French MEP ladies. Free to visit the pubs, restaurants, bordellos and gay clubs. A completely pointless and useless existence. As Tiny Rowland once said of his non-exec directors they serve the same function as the decorations on a Xmas tree. MEPs are purely decorative there to pretend to the poor citizens of the EU that it is democratic. Just as non-execs on the RBS board were useless in controlling the ego of Fred the Shred Goodwin so MEPs are useless at controlling Barosso and his executive eurocrats.
What the Taxigate scandal reminds us of yet again, although why anyone should need reminding, is that politicians put themselves first, then their party second and last and very least their country.
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