The first to note the story was England Expects on Monday. It was then that a report by the Internal Audit unit of the EUnion was to be discussed. The report presented the results of an investigation into the misuse (fraud or theft, for the less senstive souls among us) of the 'parliamentary assistance allowance' granted to MEP's to pay their staff. The money is supposed to be transferred to the providers of services and staff of MEP's. However, in many cases the whole allowance was paid to a single individual or an MEP's member of staff.
Already on Monday it became clear that the EUnion would not let the findings of the report become public knowledge:
Well informed rumours are suggesting that the silence surrounding this report is well warranted. One comment from a senior official has been passed on to me, "the reason that we cannot make this report open to the public is that we want people to vote in the 2009 (european) elections".The story is picked up today by EU Referendum, who report that
only MEPs on the parliament's budget control committee are allowed to see the report and, to do so, they must apply to enter a "secret room", protected by biometric locks and security guards. They may not take notes and must sign a confidentiality agreement.In a somewhat curious example of EUnionspeak, the report is said to be 'not secret, just confidential'. A distinction that will fail to register with most ordinary citizens, one assumes.
Harald Rømer, the secretary-general of the European Assembly, was asked late on Monday night by Hans-Gert Pöttering, its president, and a group of senior Euro-MPs, to take measures to ensure that there was no "collateral damage" from the report and, true to form, they are denying a cover-up.
Taking a cue from EU Referendum the Huntsman provides us with the reason for all the secrecy. According to Chris Davies, Liberal Democrat MEP and a member of the Budget Control Committee of the European Parliament, the average (repeat: the average) amount of money that has been stolen (yes: stolen) was some EUR 185,000 a year. That's on average. Multiply that by 785 MEP's that occupy a seat in the Toy parliament.
Mr. Davies said the report contained accounts of abuse – let’s call a spade a spade here and call it theft and fraud – on a truly shocking scale. Though individuals were not named he made it clear that the extent of the embezzlement and fraud was on such a scale that it could only be met with condign prison sentences for some of those engaged in such practices.EU Referendum, noting the MSMs lacklustre reaction to this new development, doesn't expect that much will come from this revelation. Crooked MEP's "can continue with their wholesale ransacking to the taxpayers' purse because, frankly, not enough people care enough to make them stop."
OLAF, the EU Fraud Squad, had not yet heard of this report which makes one wonder if attempts are being made to bury it so as not to rock the boat and to conceal from the European people the extent to which MEPs are looting the public purse for their own enrichment.
Davies made a number of politically rather incorrect statements about where he reckons the worst offenders come from and it is not from the UK, Scandinavia, The Netherlands or Belgium.
But shouldn't we at least know that this is going on? The EUnion, which is still maintaining its dedication to democracy, transparency and accountabillity, should at the very least be seen to act on the report, if not making it publicly available. How will we chase out those who have their snouts into the trough too eagerly, if we do not know the names of the MEPs these snouts belong to?
Should not we, who in the end pay for the indulgences that these Euro-swine allow themselves, know the type of people that our national governments (I am looking at you Jan-Peter) are selling us out to? If these so-called 'parliamentarians' abuse the system for self-enrichment on such a scale now, what do you think will happen when the Turnip comes into full effect? Can we trust these people with our governance? Can we, in a system that is so fundamentally flawed as the EUnion under the Lisbon Treaty?
Oh and: Can we leave yet?
[INSTANT UPDATE] And here's another tidbit that should prove the utter disregard the EUnionists have for anyone else: The Toy parliament voted on an ammendment that states: '-2a. [The EP] Undertakes to respect the outcome of the referendum in Ireland.'. The result: 129 For, 499 Against and 33 abstentions.
Your EP in action: Almost 5 to 1 that, no, we will not respect the outcome of a democratic process in a EUnion member country. We will steamroller over everyone and everthing, untill we have what we want: Supreme power over all Europeans.