Thursday, March 24, 2011

"Putting a dog in charge of a sausage"

Is the rather choice phrase used to describe the activities of the three MEPs busted by the Sunday Times for corruption.

However the fall out from this affair could be worse than the problem itself.
In future, European deputies should be banned from all other paid activities, centre-right MEP Monica Macovei told EUobserver in a telephone interview on Wednesday (23 March).

"MEPs have five years in the European parliament to legislate for EU citizens. It's a full-time job and I don't see why they should have another one in parallel," Macovei said.

"We have salaries, we are paid to do this," added the former Romanian minister of justice (2004-2007) who won international plaudits for her efforts to root out high level corruption, including when cabinet colleagues were implicated.
I do not believe this is the lesson to be drawn, the lesson to be drawn is that the rules as they stand should be more rigerously applied, and when an MEP breaks them a big book should be thrown at them.

Yesterday's decision to fine Den Dover, rather than to through him in chokey is a case in point. In Britain corrupt politicians, as Mr Isley has discovered get sent to gaol.

But cutting them off from outside interests would be a harmful step. Crikey few enough of them have any experience of the outside world, to denude the place still further wouold be the height of folly.
It is interesting to note that the Sunday Times insight team's feet have hardly touched the ground since the story broke, with massive interest in the story across the continent. Even the humble Brussels correspondent for the Sunday, Bojan Panchevski has been dragged round the TV studios as an expert in MEP's corruption. Of course not a single British radio or TV station nor newspaper has shown any interest, barring a few desoultry mentions on inside pages on the Monday.

This shows a few things,
1: Britain expects MEPs to be corrupt
2: Britain doesn't give a damn about the European Parliament
and most interestingly
3: The European Par liament is taken seriously on the Continent. They, because their national politicians either don't, or cannot pretend otherwise realise that power has swung away from their national Parliaments and resides increasingly in Brussels.
I do wish our media would wake up, and stop having the wool pulled over their eyes by the Westminster elite.


Tufty said...

"I do wish our media would wake up, and stop having the wool pulled over their eyes by the Westminster elite."

I think the web-based media is well aware of what is going on and says so loudly and clearly. That's why I ignore traditional media, including the BBC. Blogs tend to be more informative and more likely to tell it as it is.

Gawain Towler said...

Tufty, what you say is true, but sadly we still have to deal with the reality that the BBC is the key place that most people get their information.

PEW studies suggest more and more are getting their news online, but it is still a minority

Edward Spalton said...

Gawain. Not at all connected with the above (or following). I have had this at the back of my mind for some time. There is rather a jolly light infantry march, called OLD TOWLER . Dredging the dregs of memory, I think it belongs (or belonged)to the Shropshire Light Infantry. I found the tune on
You might like to make it a theme tune.

Derek said...

Link's a bit iffy, try:

Yes, the main media are still very influential. Speak to most people about what can be read from the blogs, and you'll get some very strange looks. Most will turn polite and patronising, a few argumentative, but they know only what is fed from the bowl.