Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The European Union Gravy Train

Greedy Euro Bitch
One of the most telling images in last night's Dispatches documentary was the statue facing the European Parliament. Failing to see the irony, faceless bureaucrats aren't known for their sense of humour, they place a hard faced, unsmiling, Germanic warrior maiden holding the symbol of a currency outside their pretend parliament in Brussels. What the downtrodden fellow at her feet is either doing or thinking I daren't imagine. But cash and power is what the EU is all about.

Similarly one of the most telling interviewees last night was North West Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies. Repeatedly he told us how he made pots of money from various allowances, which he thought was wrong and shouldn't happen. He told us that he had a flat in Brussels but still received the £260 a day attendance allowance to cover accomodation and subsistence, such as hotels and restaurants.

Now forgive me but also in the programme we were told that MEPs had to sign in to claim the attendance allowance, so surely if you think it is too much don't claim it for two or three days a week. Or is that too rational for an MEP? Or do what your colleague Liz Lynne claimed to do, pay the excess back.

Even if Davies took credit for telling us that he donated the excess to charity that would be better than him smugly admitting it was wrong while telling us he was on the make. That doesen't make it right Chris.

It was refreshing too for the documentary to not only concentrate on the greed of MEPs from all parties, but to go into a little detail about the only other people benefitting from the EU-big business. Twinings getting massive subsidies from the EU and immediately closing down their tea factory in North Shields and moving it to Poland. Nothing to do with paying cheaper wages in Poland I'm sure!

The programme also informed us, yet again, how wealthy landowners benefit, to the cost of tenant farmers, from EU subsidies. When I'm asked why we are in it at all if it's so bad I think you only need to look at this programme, dig a little bit deeper and give it some thought. The only conclusion you can come to is that the EU is run for the benefit of politicians, of all parties, bureaucrats and big business. The rest of us are just economic units, here to be bled dry for their benefit.

Also, look at the fact that 70% of our laws currently come from Brussels and tell me that having the right to go and work in Italy, Spain or France without having to apply for a work permit, assuming you speak those languages, is worth sacrificing all that for.

Dispatches is still available on 4oD via the Channel 4 website for 29 more days. Well done Channel 4.

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