Monday, October 28, 2013
Eurosceptic MEPs-What's the Point?
As UKIP rightly point out MEPs have no power and little influence, here or in Europe. As UKIP rightly point out MEPs are costly, overpaid, given far too much in allowances and expenses and have virtually no value. Why then, is a party dedicated to leaving the whole corrupt sham, so desperate to get more of its candidates elected to the corrupt sham than any other party? It makes no sense.
UKIP's track record doesn't stand any kind of scrutiny. They have some of the worst attendance records in the EuroParl but still get paid a huge salary, expenses and allowances. Enjoying the gravy train? Surely not!
On matters of policy, other than the EU, they fight like ferrets in a sack. Since the last elections in 2009 they have lost 4 MEPs, David Campbell Bannerman, Marta Andreason, Mike Nattrass and Nikki Sinclaire. Bizarrely loose cannon (political euphemism for nutjob) Godfrey Bloom MEP lost the whip, remains a UKIP member but sits as an independent MEP. Previously two former UKIP MEPs went to clink for fraud.
In May they trumpeted about their best local election results ever. Since then numerous councillors have defected to other parties and others have been disciplined for dodgy comments on social media sites. In one authority a group of UKIP councillors have broken away to form a separate group to the official UKIP group. They can't get on with each other so the rest of us have no chance.
Today I have been on my old friend Nikki Sinclaire's blog. Nikki was treated shabbily by UKIP and is now an independent MEP in the West Midlands and has launched her We Demand A Referendum Party . But yet again the party intends to fight next year's Euro elections and, if they win any, will take up their seats. Why?
Nikki is currently banging on in her blog about councillors getting free meals before council meetings, not a common practice in my experience but is that really what costly MEPs should be spending their time campaigning about? What about the hugely generous expenses and allowances that MEPs receive, far more generous than rubber chicken and chips before the odd meeting? And is an MEP really paid all that cash to arrange collections outside supermarkets for foodbanks? I don't think so.
The problem is that Eurosceptics have been suckered into the very corrupt organisation that they claim to loathe. Getting elected to the EuroParl, with its dodgy PR system, is far easier than winning First Past the Post elections. Hence UKIP have MEPs but no MPs. Once suckered in they are seduced by their new found status and all the baubles that go with it. Once an MEP gets used to that thumping salary, generously supplemented by a huge array of expenses and allowances, they look at the real world and fear what a drop in cash and status they would face if they lost their seats. They go native.
It is my intention to abstain/spoil my ballot paper in the European elections next year. I have yet to hear a Eurosceptic MEP expose anything in the EU that hadn't or wouldn't have been exposed in the media anyway and, as much as anything, even having worked for an MEP, I just cannot see the point of Eurosceptic MEPs other than to make a few people quite wealthy.