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29 May 2004

Lord Pearson's view of MEPs - “second-rate freeloaders”

The following is an excerpt from an article in which twelve British Peers urge voters to back UKIP, from today's The Scotsman:-

Lord Pearson said he hoped other Tory peers would back UKIP. He told PA News: “We have failed to persuade Michael Howard over Europe.

“The only party that can save our democracy is the Conservative Party. But we hope a significant vote for UKIP can make Michael Howard see sense.”

He said it did not matter which candidates became Euro MPs as Brussels was full of “second-rate freeloaders” anyway.

“The British people are not frightened of pulling out,” he added.

“The only people who don’t see that are that discredited hen-coop at Westminster who feel guilty about having taken us into Europe in the first place.”

The entire report may be read from here.

Accountancy Age Highlights EU Fraud

The magazine for accountants carries an article on EU Fraud linked from here. It trots out the well known facts that the EU accounts have not been accepted for the past nine years, and that fraud and corruption can therefore quite obviously be taken as rampant throughout the whole organisation (if it can be graced with such a title) and that nobody involved seems prepared to do anything about - least of all Neil Kinnock who is supposed to have spent the past five - highly paid years - sorting the mess out. I will quote merely the closing paragraph:-

The commission's troubles have shown no signs of letting up, with the scandal at Eurostat and a National Audit Office report suggesting fraud within the EU has doubled to £700m.

It should be recalled that the MEPs recently voted down a measure to censure the Commission over their handling of the Eurostat case; thus giving their apparent blessing to what has taken place. Kick them out of office in June!

28 May 2004

An Attack from Ireland on MEP Excess and Incompetence

We quote from an Irish commentary linked here.

Irish MEPs are picking up huge salaries and expenses cheques to 'represent' the people of this state, and yet the attendance figures for the EU Parliament are embarrassing. Those MEPs who have consistently voted against reform of MEP salaries and expenses should be ashamed of themselves. MEPs are taking home obscene amounts of money, far in excess of many of the constituents they claim to represent.

"For too long, many MEPs have exploited the generous perks on offer to them. However, this is a much larger problem and is symptomatic of the inadequacies of the whole EU project. The EU in its current form is a two-tier and two-speed institution, obsessed with the promotion of the larger wealthy states, and the interests of big business. Reform within the EU should not be restricted exclusively to the issues of salaries and expenses.

The entire EU is a disgrace from wherever one looks and at whatever aspect of its organisation one seeks to examine.

Scams and Scandal to be blamed for Euros Turn-off?

EUPolitix linked here tries to blame the voters for the excesses of their elected MEPs in this extraordinary reporting on the likely flop the June 10 - 13 elections look like becoming:-

Voter enthusiasm has been hit not just by a growing mistrust towards politicians in general but by a series of MEP expenses scams seized upon by the European press.
Allegations of sleaze and expenses fiddling have cast an ugly shadow over the campaign so far, with not only the press but MEPs pointing the finger at their own colleagues.

Looking at the bigger picture, since the last election in 1999, the introduction of the euro, enlargement and accelerating political integration make the 2004 poll a crucial political litmus test of whether voters have caught hold of the European vision thing.

But there are fears that protests at the European constitution, over-regulation and a perception of ‘faceless’ Brussels bureaucrats will boost the eurosceptic vote, particularly in the UK and Scandinavian countries.

Can anyone credit that last paragraph - Of course the eurosceptic vote will be boosted because the entire EU IS a corrupt, inefficient, non-productive and worse totally non-democratic disgrace

The Constitution is being sold on a fat lie, that it will extend accountability which it will not. The Euro is economically crippling its participating member countries as predicted many times on my blog Ironies (if I could see it coming, why not those suppoosedly in charge?) MEPs do nothing, they did not censure the Commission over the Eurostat fraud, they did not reform their disgusting expense system, they did not stop OLAF threatening Press freedom, THEY DID NOTHING BUT PASS MORE USELESS IMPOVERISHING REGULATIONS.

It will be a matter of shame for every European Constituency that returns an MEP for another term, for there can surely be none who deserve a second chance.

27 May 2004

EU MEP extra-nasties Finger Whistleblower

This report titled "Mr Clean" EU lawmaker accused of fraud really says it all about Europe's elected parliamentarians. Read it from this link to EU Business.

EU Turnout

Pat Cox President of the EU Parliament is dismayed that turnout in the EU elections looks likely to fall below the fifty per cent level. This report from EUPolitix (to read in full click here), indicates the EU finds this distressing so a straightforward NON-VOTE seems an effective protest against the whole institution. Denying a vote to any sitting MEP would also seem effective as a protest against the Parliamentary corruption.

The following table contains Gallup predictions country-by-country of expected voter turnout. Poor show for the UK only coming fifth from the bottom - hopefully we will be well below all others when the actual votes are in!

* Belgium - 76 per cent
* Luxembourg - 73 per cent
* Cyprus - 67 per cent
* Greece - 66 per cent
* Malta - 64 per cent
* Italy - 60 per cent
* Ireland - 57 per cent
* Hungary - 57 per cent
* Denmark - 51 per cent
* France - 49 per cent
* Latvia - 49 per cent
* Lithuania - 49 per cent
* Spain - 48 per cent
* Austria - 46 per cent
* Germany - 42 per cent
* Slovenia - 42 per cent
* Finland - 41 per cent
* Netherlands - 38 per cent
* Portugal - 35 per cent
* Poland - 35 per cent
* UK - 32 per cent
* Sweden - 31 per cent
* Slovakia - 27 per cent
* Estonia - 26 per cent
* Czech Republic - 20 per cent

26 May 2004

EU Election Round-up

This report from EUobserver gives a good brief look at the campaign across the EU. It may be read from here.

FT Predicts Pan-European Trouncing for Established Parties

The frighteningly federalist Financial Times reports on the likely thrashing all ruling political parties might be about to receive at the hands of the European electorates next month. This blog believes however great the electoral setback, it cannot possibly reach the levels the present European leaders so richly deserve. Their negligence and incompetence of recent years has been breathtaking - the arrogant disregard for the economic welfare of those living within the eurozone truly beggars belief and has dragged down others whose trade has come to rely on euroland. European Parliamentarians appear particularly loathsome for their own reluctance to clean their own house or properly censure the other EU instituitions. Is it really any surprise as the FT reports:-

In the EU's four largest countries - Germany, France, the UK and Italy - heads of government will be facing voters with their popularity at or close to its lowest point since they took office.

The sense of disillusionment is also seen extending to the parliament, an institution that has struggled to translate more legislative powers into higher visibility and popularity.

In as much as voters think about the parliament at all, they often associate its members with a "gravy train" system of perks and privileges and an unnecessary shuttling between Brussels and Strasbourg

The full article may be read from from here

25 May 2004

Italian Press reports being an MEP -Better than the Jackpot!

The report that says it all comes from EUPolitix linked from here.

Bashir Khanbai's Defence

Read the long and detailed defence statement of the disqualified Conservative MEP by clicking on its title : JUSTICE DENIED

Disgraced and Sacked Tory MEP Khanbai for EP Investigation?

At least one of the multiple expense maximising MEPs from the last session is apparently to be subjected to some form of inquiry it at last appears from this report in EDP24 linked from here. The article itself is unable to specifically confirm that the Conservative Party has actually sent the details of the case to the Parliament nor that the latter body is truly preparing to take action. Could be one more cover-up acomin'.

Bashir Khanbai the sitting MEP for the Eastern Region of England and up to the last moment number three candidate of the increasingly Eurofederalist Conservative Party list, whose group will be again led by German Christian Democrat Hans-Gert Poettering in the next session of the European Parliament, has spent the intervening period trying to suggest his dismissal was motivated for racist reasons.

A long defence has apparently been posted on the MEPs web-site which we will trace, summarise and link in the near future.

24 May 2004

Brussels Corruption

As the European Parliament and auditing authorities have proved incapable or unwilling to tackle the EU's corruption should our own Ministers or Parliament now step-in? Such is the interesting point made in this commentary by Ashley Mote, which may be reached by clicking on the title:EU Corruption is Out of Control.

The article is taken from the web-site of the UK Independence Party, often known as UKIP, which has today had a surge in support reported in the British National Press.

Perhaps these pan-European elections of 10th - 13th June can now truly become an opportunity for all Europe's voters to register their justifiable outrage at the manner in which the EU's institutions choose to run our affairs! One way would be, as suggested on this blog, to withold votes from candidates who have been enjoying the perks of the EU parliament while they in turn have been turning a blind eye to all the other, now institutionalised, failings.


The following is a quote from the New York Times article, referenced in the posting below, whose reporters have clearly seen the video of Austrian MEP Hans-Peter Martin:

Another member, Bill Miller of Scotland, said the system had to be brought under control. "I've been accused of being greedy," he said. "I've been accused of being a parasite. I've been accused of being a leech. And that's just by members of my own political party."

New York Times on the Brussels Gravy Train

The description of the sordid situation that prevails within the European Parliament as revealed to its readers by the New York Times may be read by clicking on this link.

It is titled 'In Europe's Parliament, a Fondness for the Perks
and was written by by MARTIN GOTTLIEB and DOREEN CARVAJAL. Published on May 24, 2004 carries a photograph of an MEP signing in for his USD 314 attendance allowance and the following is a quote:-

"It's really like gravy train gone mad," a member from England said privately.

Take travel expenses. A legislator from Finland can fly round trip to Brussels, where the Parliament meets, for about $240. But under Parliament rules, members are reimbursed at the highest economy price, meaning that a Finnish member could receive about 10 times the cost of the trip.

The pension plan is also generous, offering any member over 60 who has served at least five years about $1,500 a month.

There is no ban on relatives working as Parliament aides, and relatives of at least two dozen members do. There are taxi allowances, free language lessons and daily expense stipends, even on days when no official business is conducted. Most benefits are tax free.

Whether all this bothers Europeans may soon become clear. Beginning June 10, voters from Ireland in the west to Latvia and Lithuania in the east will cast ballots for the Parliament, in the first election since the European Union accepted 10 new countries earlier this month. Issues like trade and immigration have surfaced during the campaign, but so has the Parliament's smorgasbord of perks.

We thank dedicated anti-EU campaigner and Independent Candidate in St Albans, Janet Girsman for bringing this article to our attention.

Attendance Allowance Dispute Rattles Along

This report from EUobserver indicates Austrian MEP Martin's allegations are still generating plenty of steam:-

Austrian paper Der Standard hosts an ‘argument’ between Green MEP Johannes Voggenhuber and Independent MEP Hans-Peter Martin – the man who alleged MEPs were fiddling their expenses books by signing in when they were not working.

The two politicians – both running again - are at each other’s throats and the newspaper notes ruefully that their moderators are only just about successful in controlling the heated exchange.

23 May 2004

A Reminder the Scandals are Nothing New

Scotland's Alan Taylor's Diary in the Sunday Herald linked herehas this item reminding us that the association between Strasbourg's Parliament and the suggestion of scandal is nothing new:-

"I was also intrigued to learn on reading Mrs Ewing’s book that she had once successfully sued the Sunday Mail after it ran a story attacking her for non-attendance at the European parliament in Brussels and, by implication, of falsely claiming expenses. One of the authors of this calumny was none other David Martin, a Labour MEP. I dare this could not possibly be the same David Martin MEP who is currently under investigation by the EU over alleged irregularities with his expenses, following the submission of a report by the brother of his ex-wife. I am sure that you will all want to join with me in sending Mr Martin our best wishes at this difficult time."

In an earlier post a list of the reform votes tabled in the last session was provided. It was long and somewhat boring but some of the things the MEPs chose to vote upon are more than illustrative of the prevailing atmosphere of greed and self-obsession. I pick out these for particular attention:-

"Seeks to introduce free health insurance for former MEPs Why should existing MEPs have it let alone past ones who clearly could not expect it. IS THERE SOME AGREEMENT THAT IMPROVEMENTS IN CONDITIONS SHOULD WHERE POSSIBLE BE MADE RETROACTIVE???


States that pension contribution should not be deducted from expenses I do not know what this means AS THERE IS LITTLE TRANSPARENCY OVER THE SYSTEM OF MEPS PENSIONS, HOW THEY ARE CALCULATED, PAID, TAXED OR FUNDED, WHICH IN ITSELF IS QUITE DISGRACEFUL!

22 May 2004

European Elections

The BBC have a page devoted to comments on the coming European Elections. It is linked from here, this is one:-

I shall go to the polling station, but in the absence of a "none of the above" option I shall spoil my ballot paper (as I do at local and general elections). Why? Because I believe that all politicians everywhere are self-serving liars, crooks, and cheats who once elected, immediately forget everything they promised the voters as they clamber on board the gravy train.
Paul, Milton Keynes, England

20 May 2004

Italians the Best MEPS

Bearing in mind that MEPs only attend the Parliament only attend to drive up their expense accounts and pass restrictive legislation which is helping to drive the EU from Recession to Stagnation to Slump. those who do not atend may be considered the most useful and European-minded. A german univewrsity study published by EUobserver and linked from here, gives the following plenary attendance levels and rankings amongst the top five dilatory nations:-

First Italy at 56.2 per cent.

Second Ireland at 69 per cent

Third France 72.4 per cent

Lets hope we see some national delegations getting down to the 25 per cent level in the next session, which is all the turnout to vote for them in June is presently expected to be.


Yet another look at the report from the Campaign for Parliament Reform study of the MEP voting record on reforming the scandal-ridden institution of so-called 'European Democracy' from its last session which cost so many hundreds and hundreds of millions of Euros for ZERO benefit or return.




WORST INDIVIDUAL RECORD:- KRATSA-TSAGAROPOULOU of Greece who only voted pro-reform for 3 per cent of votes again in the disgraced EPP-ED Group

MOST DISGRACEFUL RECORD FOR ANY MEP:- JAQUES SANTER LUXEMBOURG (Past Sacked Commission President - Remains to Resist Reform!)


AUSTRIA..........SICHROVSKY Peter Group NI 11pct

BELGIUM.........DEHOUSSE Jean-Maurice PSE 31pct

BRITAIN.........HUME John PSE 33pct

GERMANY.........NIEBLER Angelika EPP-ED 8pct

DENMARK.........ROVSING Christian Foldberg EPP-ED 19pct

FINLAND ........SUOMINEN Ilkka EPP-ED 26pct

FRANCE ........DECOURRIERE Francis EPP-ED 6pct


HOLLAND........MARTENS Maria EPP-ED 41pct

IRELAND.......McCARTIN John Joseph EPP-ED 13pct

ITALY ........MENNITTI Domenico EPP-ED 6pct



SPAIN ..........BAYONA de PEROGORDO Juan José EPP-ED 10pct

SWEDEN ........CEDERSCHIÖLD Charlotte EPP-ED 37pct

Twelve out of Fifteen Countries fielding the MEP most opposed to reform of the Parliament, from which the proverbial stench is becoming unbearable, came from a Party belonging to the EPP-ED Group!!!

The self-same Group being the very one selected by Tory Leader Michael Howard to be his partner in the next session of parliament

A disgraceful, ultra federalist Group that refused to join in even the signature of a motion to censure the Commission for their handling of corruption and that has no interest in anything other than ever deeper, greater and clearly ever more politically profitable EU integration.

Shameful that not one Tory, as far as I can discover, has yet to publicly protest at this continuation of such a sordid arrangement that Iain Duncan Smith had vowed to end!!!!

Whoever else you choose not to give your vote, and that of course is the truly difficult decision, at the election on 10th June, be sure that you DO NOT VOTE FOR ONE OF THIS ANTI-REFORM GROUP MEMBERS - NAMELY AVOID THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY LIST LIKE THE PLAGUE!

The Reform Votes in which Michael Howard's Tory Affilliated Group Bottomed!

Here are the votes from the study on which we reported below. The Home Page is linked here and the topics, the list of the forty votes considered, may be found here which out of interest are also listed as follows:-

Seat of Parliament

(Note Y or N indicates the Reform stance for each motion).

21-Apr-04 Seeks to delete paragraph that says EP should decide on its own seat A5-0218 Am 19 N
21-Apr-04 Seeks to delete paragraph that says Brussels should become EP seat A5-0218 Am 20 N
8-Apr-03 Seeks to delete paragraph that says Strasbourg discriminates against women A5-0082/2003 Am 4 (delete) N
8-Apr-03 Calls on EP Bureau to reconsider decision to build 2 new buildings Strasbourg A5-0082/2003 Am 2, 14, 16 Y
12-Jun-02 Confirms abolition of Friday meetings in Strasbourg Vote on 2003 Calendar Ams 2&6 Y
10-Apr-02 Paragraph expresses satisfaction at lower costs resulting from abolition Fridays A5-0098/2002 Para 25 Y
10-Apr-02 States that abolition of Fridays has increased costs of Strasbourg sessions A5-0098/2002 Am 5 N
16-May-01 Confirms abolition of Friday meetings in Strasbourg Vote on 2002 Calendar Ams 19-31 Y
14-Jun-00 Abolition of Friday meetings in Strasbourg to get rid of "sign in, sod off" Vote on 2001 Calendar Ams 7-18,20-31,bloc 3 Y
13-Apr-00 Paragraph states that EP should decide on location of its own seat A5-0086/2000 Para 7 Y

MEP pay and expenses

22-Apr-04 Seeks to introduce free health insurance for former MEPs A5-236 Am 1 N
22-Apr-04 Seeks to introduce free health insurance for former MEPs A5-236 Am 1 N
21-Apr-04 Calls for introduction of new expenses rules, including actual costs for travel A5-218 Am 40 Y
21-Apr-04 Calls for Members to be allowed to opt into new system if reform fails A5-218 Am 2 Y
21-Apr-04 Says Members should submit annual accountant's declaration for expenses A5-218 Am 4 Y
21-Apr-04 Calls for restrictions on central attendance register opening hours A5-218 Am 35 Y
21-Apr-04 Calls for end to signing in on Strasbourg Fridays A5-218 Am 39 Y
21-Apr-04 Calls for end to reimbursement of taxis scheme A5-218 Am 44 Y
17-Dec-03 Calls for introduction of reimbursement of expenses based on actual costs RC B5-0543/2003 Am 1 Y
17-Dec-03 All-party pro-reform of pay and expenses resolution RC B5-0543/2003 final vote Y
3-Jun-03 Says that all MEPs should have equal pay based on 50% of Court Judge A5-0193/2003 Article 16 Y
3-Jun-03 Says that national taxation may be imposed on MEPs A5-0193/2003 Am 30 Y
3-Jun-03 Says that MEPs should pay EU taxation only A5-0193/2003 Article 18 N
3-Jun-03 Reimbursement of expenses - actual costs A5-0193/2003 Am 32 Y
14-May-03 Seeks to oppose extension of health insurance to former MEPs A5-0140/2003 Am 1 Y
8-Apr-03 Expresses oncern at increased signing in during constituency weeks A5-0082/2003 Am 10 (delete) N
8-Apr-03 Concern at lack of supervision of attendance register A5-0082/2003 Am 11 (delete) N
8-Apr-03 States that pension contribution should not be deducted from expenses A5-0082/2003 Am 12 (delete) N
5-Dec-02 Call for a transparent system of expenses RC no. 1 B5/0620/2002 Para 3 Y
5-Dec-02 Calls for MEP pay and expenses reform to be adopted immediately RC no. 1 B5/0620/2002 Para 4
5-Dec-02 ELDR and others pro-reform of pay and expenses resolution RC no. 1 B5/0620/2002 final vote Y
5-Dec-02 Call for a transparent system of expenses RC no. 2 B5/0625/2002 Am 3 Y
5-Dec-02 Support for the EP's previous anti-reform position RC no. 2 B5/0625/2002 Para 2 N
5-Dec-02 Support for the EP's previous anti-reform position RC no. 2 B5/0625/2002 Para 2 N
5-Dec-02 Calls for MEP pay and expenses reform to be adopted immediately RC no. 2 B5/0625/2002 Am 4 Y
-Dec-02 PES/EPP anti-reform resolution RC no. 2 B5/0625/2002 final vote N
10-Apr-02 Seeks to oppose decision to create public register of MEPs' assistants A5-0098/2002 Am 4 N
10-Apr-02 Calls for tightening up on rules on use of secretarial allowance A5-0098/2002 Am 14
10-Apr-02 Calls for introduction of reimbursement of expenses based on actual costs A5-0098/2002 Am 10 Y
10-Apr-02 Calls for introduction of reimbursement of expenses based on actual costs A5-0098/2002 Am 11 Y
25-Oct-01 Calls for introduction of reimbursement of expenses based on actual costs A5-0329/2001 Am 1 Y

Votes for the Gravy Train

This Blog recommends that in an ideal world no sitting MEP should be re-elected. Practicalities rule however and many of us must choose between the lesser of evils in the coming Euro polls. EU Politix linked from here reports on a study of the comparative voting records for reform of vartious sitting MEPs and their Groups.

The centre right comes out worst with its voting record showing clear backing for the continuation of the Gravy Train. This once again smears the Conservative Party as the least in favour of cleaning-up the obscene mess that is European Parliamentary Party Politics.

We will try to post more details or a link to the full report when we are able. The home page for the European Parliament Reform is linked from here where a summary and links to the various links are available.

19 May 2004

Death and Taxes

(This is reproduced from the blog Ukip Uncovered as it is relevant).

A reader considering my posting on the strange apparently all consuming and burning desire of UKIP's MEPs to stand again and get re-elected, (especially the two senior ones both approaching seventy and reportedly in far from the best of health) has again caused my mind to turn to the underlying causes of the seemingly unreasoning urge of many to become and continue as MEPs.

These queries are compounded by the information that certain aspirant leading regional candidates within UKIP, not yet MEPs, are seemingly prepared to invest large amounts of their own money into the present campaigns.

I was therefore reminded of a posting on this topic on my sister blog 'Ironies' on 21st March last titled, "The Clever Conspiracy that Condemns us All to Corrupt EU Control", which had the following opening paragraphs, in turn providing the inspiration for the title of this post:-

There is an extremely serious, totally corrupting and very dirty little semi-secret that all involved in any position of seniority or authority within the Common Market, the European Economic Community and now the European Union all well know. I have tried to trace its basis in law and the treaty concerned, but without success, freedom of information within the EU is paid only lip service......

It is a secret that enslaves those who know of it by that most powerful of bonds imaginable, namely:the lure of undeclarable wealth. It seems to have become almost irresistible although to those in its grip, no doubt at first appeared, eminently respectable and perfectly justifiable. It is the tax free EU Pension. I was told when young that only two things in life are certain:
Death and Taxes - Well! Our EU masters seem to have found a way round the latter!

Read the entire posting which is long but truly startling. It may be reached from this link :- CLICK ANYWHERE HERE TO NEVER AGAIN WONDER WHY SOME SEEM PREPARED TO STOP AT NOTHING TO BECOME OR REMAIN AN MEP - THEN VOTE ACCORDINGLY!

18 May 2004

New MEP Strasbourg Scam Uncovered from Holland

This is the first we have heard of the 'Share an Assistant but Charge in Full Arrangement' details come from Expatica Netherlands linked here:-

The newspaper claimed Peijs shared the use of an administrative
assistant with another Dutch MEP, but received full compensation of EUR 11,000 for the assistant's wages.

Experience tells that where there is one type of fiddle among MEPs, there are others just around the corner, watch this space for details!

EU VAT Fraud Costs 100 Billion Euros a Year

No! Not the headline from some scandal relishing tabloid! This is a report from 'Accounting Net Ireland' which describes itself as Ireland's number one accounting portal. Check it out for yourself from here. Furthermore the report comes following a meeting of the European Federation of Accountants. A quote:-

The European Commission has found that the cost of fraud is about 10% of net VAT revenues per annum, which amounts to €80-€100 billion of lost VAT revenue per annum, or, effectively the VAT take for France. Typically, this shortfall is made up by honest businesses that end up paying the costs for the fraudulent ones.

Now in a democracy, we would demand that our elected representatives, our parliamentarians take urgent action over such a disgraceful state of affairs. Not in the EU however! Our so called representatives are too busy ripping us off with their own little schemes and scams. This June we have a chance to demonstrate our disgust with them before the junketing resumes-


Oh!! AND BY THE WAY!!! Where are all the media reports on this disgusting and shocking finding? NOTE ESPECIALLY from the quote : BY THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION

17 May 2004

Visit the Hans-Peter Martin MEP Web Site

See the detail of how individual MEPS rip off the people of Europe with their disgusting travel expenses, living expemses, distance expenses etc. The english version can be reached from this link:-

One Honest MEP

MEPs Ignored in EU/US Air Deal

This report from EUPolitix read here, illustrates the contempt the real lawmakers in the EU, ie the Commission's Eurocrats have for the MEP trougherse, whose only role is to get re-elected once every five years and then carry-on pigging out at our expense giving the peoples of Europe the demented delusion that they have retained some detail of democracy!

MEP Author of 'The Gravy Train' Explains his own Expense Fiddles

icBirmingham has this rather extraordinary report on Mr Bushill-Mathews MEP which may be read in full from this link

The Conservative West Midlands region MEP seeks to justify his claiming attendance allowances when not attending or doing nothing other than signing on for the allowance as follows:-

“It is not a question of running away from committee matters. Some days there are simply no committee meetings.

“Many years ago you didn’t even have to turn up to claim your expenses - so we have moved on from there.

Terrible how times have changed,isn't it? Now they have to sign a book to get the dosh! What a crazy cocooned world these so-called servants of the people do inhabit!

16 May 2004

All Aboard the Gravy Train

This side feature is taken from the Brussels Snouts report that appeared in The Sun last week, that we now realise we overlooked due to pressure of scams.

Read the entire article, with pictures of some of the guilty from this link.


# BRITISH Euro MPs earn a basic salary of £56,638 – but that soars if they cash in on a huge range of lucrative handouts and expense payments.

# THEY can also rake in £29,925 tax free a year for a “general expenditure allowance” to cover office costs.

# GENEROUS travel perks are also on offer – and a £2,400 tax-free handout is available towards the cost of official trips.

# IN addition to the daily £175 attendance allowance, fat-cat MEPs can also spend £8,477 on an “assistant” or “secretary”. Many politicians give the job to partners or close relatives.

# THE EU talking shop in Brussels closes down for one week every month.

Then, the parliament’s vast army of MEPs, hangers-on and translators pack their bags and commute more than 200 miles to another gleaming office complex in Strasbourg in eastern France.

The crazy merry-go-round is estimated to cost EU taxpayers a whopping £134million every year.

15 May 2004

Labour MEPs Latest to Squabble over Sleazy Strasbourg Scams

The Tories have been suffering from scandals in the past week, but yesterday it was the socialists turn, according to this report from the Daily Telegraph linked from here. The following are the opening paragraphs that provide the flavour:-

Labour's top MEPs in expenses wrangle at launch of Euro campaign
By Tom Peterkin

Labour's European election campaign was in disarray yesterday when civil war broke out between the party's two most senior Scottish MEPs over allegations that thousands of pounds of expenses have been misused in Brussels.

An extraordinary row between David Martin, the European Parliament Vice-President, and Bill Miller, the second most senior Scottish Labour MEP, overshadowed the launch of Scottish Labour's European election campaign. Mr Miller claimed he had received a letter from the Vice-President's lawyer implying he was responsible for allegations that Mr Martin has improperly used his allowances.

Mr Miller failed to turn up at the campaign launch in Glasgow, but later attacked his colleague when he revealed he had received the letter. "His (Mr Martin's) lawyers have written to me asking if I have access to his accounts," Mr Miller said.

It is not surprising that people such as the recent batch of MEPs should fall out during the campaign as the sorry story of their five years at the trough slowly emerges, and they endeavour to spread the blame as liberally as they have been used to preying upon the public purse.

In Scotland it is a great pity that the UK Independence Party which should have been able to reap the benefits of the disgrace in which all sitting Srasbourg MEPs now stand, have instead chosen a disgraced lead candidate in Peter Troy, who himself was found guilty by an internal party inquiry of electoral dodginess and was forced to resign as candidate in the North East because his topping the poll in that party ballot was so clearly dubious. UKIP's lack of honour over that matter will presumably be the SNP's or Wind Party's gain.

Strange decision to run one suspected of sleaze in a campign likely to be dominated by scams and scandals. Those interested in all the sordid facts should visit UKIP Uncovered and type Peter Troy in the Google Search Bar at the Head of the blog.

14 May 2004

The 'Brussels Snouts' Report from The Sun

Read the full report from this link with pictures of many of the Troughers and yet more names....Soon the definitive list will be published - but can it ever be complete?

More MEPs on the 'Clock-In and Out' Cash Trail

North East MEP Conservative Lead Candidate Martin Callanan and Richard Corbett, Labour Mep for Yorkshire and the Humber are the latest names to be added to the list of those taking every advantage of the voters stupidity in sending politicians from any of the three main parties to Strasbourg. This report from today's 'Northern Echo' linked here tells the sorry tale:-

Euro MPs respond to 'snouts' accusation

EURO MPs last night hit back at a report in which they were branded "Brussels Snouts" and said to be cashing in with expenses claims.

Thirty-three British MEPs were singled out in the report as "clocking on" at the European Parliament for cash handouts and then quickly leaving.

Others were said to be pocketing a daily allowance of £165 on days when the parliament held no sessions.

Those named included North-East Tory MEP Martin Callanan and Richard Corbett, Labour member for Yorkshire and the Humber.

Last night Mr Callanan told The Northern Echo: "I have always been scrupulous in abiding by the rules of the parliament and there is no accusation here that I have done anything wrong.

"I do agree, however, that there is a lack of clarity and I have constantly voted for reforms regarding the procedures surrounding expenses."

In a statement, Mr Corbett said that the expenses claimed by MEPs were comparable to that of Westminster MPs. He said: "It is a perception fuelled by the Press that MEPs' allowances are outrageously high."

Under EU rules MEPs can sign a register indicating their presence in parliament in order to claim expenses.

Bribing the Media with Taxpayer's Funds

It is refreshing to see that at least one of the bribed journalists is still sufficiently innocent after his free trip to Strasbourg to be honest about the nature of the jolly.

David Holmes writing for icCheshire online opens his piece as follows:-

The Brits love drinking coffee like the French; we're glued to European football like the Italians; and we take our holidays in Spain. So it's a source of embarrassment to the Government that only 24% of the British electorate bothered to vote in the 1999 European elections.

That's why packs of journalists are currently being flown out to the European Parliament, courtesy of the tax payer, in an attempt to generate publicity about the forthcoming elections taking place on June 10.

DAVID HOLMES was among those invited to the beautiful French city of Strasbourg, the parliament's second home after Brussels, where he soaked up the Euro atmosphere and met up with a few amiable, but let's face it, anonymous MEPs, representing the North West in Europe.

MENTION Europe and people conjure up images of bureaucrats spending hours coming up with ridiculous rules like imposing straight bananas on our nation.

Such tabloid tales infuriate MEPs who claim the stories are usually completely untrue (like that one) or some directive has been wildly misinterpreted.

Other thoughts cross our mind about high salaries, a gravy train of endless perks, costly subsidies to farmers and even corruption.

That is the end of any suggestion of balance as the writer then launches into paragraph after paragraph of propaganda, much of it consisting of direct quotes from somebody called 'Chris' the Lib/Dem federalist enthusiast for all things EU. The full article is linked from here.

I wonder how many other local journalists have been treated to similar jaunts. Reports are requested!

Littlejohn on Europe Day!

From The Sun in today's Richard Littlejohn Column:-
Why do we need a special Europe Day? In Brussels, it’s Europe Day every day — lobster suppers, trebles all round and a quick trip in the limo to pick up your exes for not doing any work.

Do they really expect us to celebrate the “achievements” of the EU — compose a song in praise of the economic stability pact or throw a party in honour of the Common Fishing Policy (cancelled due to lack of fishermen, fishing boats and fish)?

No, Europe Day has about as much to do with us as the EU itself. It’s just something else dreamed up by politicians, for politicians.

The column is linked from here.

'Getting There' by Hook or by Crook

Postal Voting - Yet another assault on our Democracy!

The following communication, sent by a Mr George West of Leicester to his Returning Officer spells out the dangers quite clearly. Pitfalls of which the politicians who forced this through were more than well aware. Do those responsible deserve your vote - posted or otherwise? The following is the whole worrying communication:-

From: George West
To: elections.registration@hinckley-bosworth.gov.uk
Sent: Thursday, May 13, 2004 2:33 PM

For the attention of
Richard Tobin
Local Returning Officer

Dear Mr. Tobin,
I thank you for the EU election information card.

On it, you have made a categorical statement.

You state "Postal voting is safe, secure and secret.

Would you please explain :-

1. With over 14 million letters now reported missing via Royal Mail, how will you guarantee that my vote is received as well as from everyone else qualified to vote?

2. Since proof of my identity must accompany my vote in the same envelope, how will my vote remain a secret, compared with the truly secret procedure traditionally followed at the ballot box?

3. What steps are you taking to ensure that all "proofs of identity" are genuine?

4. What steps are you taking to ensure that ballot papers are actually received by addressees especially in multi occupancy buildings?

5. How is it that a former councillor was jailed on 5 April for four months for forging ballot papers in last May's trial all-postal election to Guildford Borough Council. The culprit admitted in court taking two papers and was told by the judge that he had committed a "considerable breach of trust". What steps have been taken to positively guarantee this cannot happen again?

6. How can you say that postal voting is secure, when I quote from BBC News 16 June 2001 "Police Enquiry into Postal Votes".when irregularities in the use of postal votes in Bradford were investigated by the police? Even the winning candidate stated that he believed abuses of the system meant it was impossible to say the poll was free and fair. The same candidate said "We had people who had been visited at home, especially elderly women living on their own, being threatened and intimidated to sign these forms".
The city's Lord Mayor, Ghazanfer Khaliq stated according to the BBC report, "Some people said they received the ballot papers themselves for a postal vote without applying for them and some were told that their postal vote had been used, so they wouldn't be able to vote" The rules for postal voting were relaxed to make it easier for voters absent from home to take part in the poll. But critics said the changes also removed safeguards against fraud.

7. A survey undertaken by The Times published on 21 April 2001 shewed that following changes in the law, local authorities do not check the identity of people seeking to get onto the electoral register. What foolproof checks does our council carry out?

8. What cross checking between constituencies do you carry out to check whether someone is registered more than once?

9 At that same time The Times found it possible to obtain multiple ballot forms, by making two telephone calls and obtaining 18 ballot forms. by what means has this now been prevented?

10. Please let me have your comments on
10a The human rights group Liberty argued that the numbering of ballot papers is a violation of human rights
10b The Telegrapgh 2 June 2001 reported that a senior election official had been suspended by the Belfast High Court after accusations of serious irregularities in dealing with postal vote applications in West Tyrone and South Fermanagh/South Tyrone
10c The Electoral Commission warned on 5 June 2001 that there may be a series of legal challenges to results in marginal constituencies. A BBC investigator obtained votes in the names of 5 dead people in Torbay.

11. Please let me have your comments and reassurances following Birmingham City Council being so concerned in October 2003 about fraud that it asked the Government to allow the 2004 elections to go ahead on traditional lines with ballot boxes and polling stations. Birmingham had been at the centre of allegations about electoral irregularities. West Midlands Fraud Squad detectives were called in during 2002 following allegations of widespread misuse of postal votes at the city council elections in May 2002
Claims that blank postal votes were sold and completed forms were incorrectly witnesses were investigated. A police inquiry concluded that security arrangements for issuing postal votes were INADEQUATE but no charges were brought.

12. What is your reaction to the President of the Committee for the (EU) Regions, Sir Albert Bore wanting Mr Prescott to exclude postal voting saying that there were too many security loopholes to guarantee a trouble free election? Is he wrong? If so why so that I can correspond with him?

13. In the autumn of 2003 Cllr Hemming (Acocks Green) said there had been reports in Birmingham of postal vote forms being taken from university halls of residence because students voting from their home addresses did not require them. "They are passed on the unscrupulous politicians who fill them in" Cllr Hemming added. Again, with so many Universities in the East Midlands, what security arrangements are in place to guarantee that this will never happen here?

14 I refer to the debate in the House of Commons (Hansard Debates 16 Dec 2003) for much discussion about fraud but I particularly draw your attention to statements for Mr Hawkins quoting the Electoral Reform Society "In the past, postal votes were open to council offices in the two days prior to polling day and party observers were able to watch this process provided they had signed a declaration of secrecy. However with the vast numbers involved in all postal ballotsm, councils took the decision to open the ballots as they came in and invited party observers to watch. At this much earlier stage, it was therefore possible for parties to see how they were doing in each ward and effect changes to their campaigning strategy as a result" What system is now is place to guarantee that this simply cannot happen?

15 May I draw your attention to a Liberal Democrat statement published on Saturday 3 May concerning Harlow District Council? Whilst I am unfamiliar with exactly what went wrong I can quote the statement "We are shocked and angry at the administration of the local election on 1 May 2003 in which several thousand Harlow voters were denied their democratic right to have their vote counted through irregularities with the production of their postal ballot papers.

16 I refer you to the debate in the House of Commons on 5 May this year. Much of this has to do with foreign nationals not being permitted to vote and where they have little grasp of the English language and may not understand the rules and do not intend to vote but by adding their names to the register know that it is useful for obtaining credit cards, parking permits, loans and so on.. The debate continued "there may be a criminal element in registering a false name the aim may be to legitimise false identities and to provide cover for illegal activities such as benefit fraud" Mrs Roe continued the debate saying "no comprehensive checks were made on those who put their names on the register. What was worse was that I was told that the act of investigating people whose names seemed foreign could be deemed to be racist". When she made enquiries of the Electoral Registration Officers, she was informed "If legislation required checks to be made by Electoral Registration Officers, it would be difficult to decide on what criteria these should be instigated and made....if such checks were done on the basis of the appearance or sounds of names, such action could well be deemed to be racist and in breach of the law"

17 In the same debate reference was made in the Daily Mail on 7 Feb 2004 which stated the astonishing ease with which fraudsters are corrupting the electoral system highlighting a culture of inefficieny and political correctness within (certain) local councils. It allowed the Daily Mail to register a fictitous student called Gus Toobev an anagram of "bogus voter" on 31 Electoral Register within just a few hours and to obtain nine further bogus votes in the most marginal seat in Britain. The quote continued "Almost all the Councils we contacted were happy to allow our man to register for elections without asking for proof of identity. Most of the officials we later asked if Gus Troobev had made it onto the register said that they woyuld not dare to investigate an applicant just because he or she had a foreign sounding name or had lived overseas"
Gus Troobev was therefore reistered on the Electoral Roll of 31 key constituencies from Scotland to the South West of England.

I could make reference to much more in questioning the adoption of all postal voting beset with suspicion.
To quote the Electoral Commission "The right to register to vote and the ability to exercise that right in elections that are safeguarded against abuse and malpractice is the foundation of any democratic society".

I remain far from convinced that the new system provides a system that has integrity which is not only inherent but constantly maintained. Nor am I convinced that every loophole that allows our electoral process to be corrupted has been removed and any unfairness is eliminated.

Hence I look askance at your premise that "Postal voting is safe, secure and secret" and look forward to your comprehensive reply

Yours sincerely
George West

13 May 2004

The Martens' Accusations

This summary is taken from EUROPEAN INTELLIGECE DIGEST No 192:-


The 99 deputies in the European Parliament are trying to wriggle out of the corruption scandal which has engulfed them following revelations by
Hans-Peter Martin, an Austrian MEP. In a joint statement, MEPs from the
CDU/CSU, the SPD and the PDS (Communists) promised to claim only the travel expenses they actually incurred, and not the full fare as is customary. They also promised to claim only half the per diem - 131 euros instead of 262 - for days when the European Parliament does not sit. Martin had
accused MEPs of systematically claiming per diems for Fridays, when there is no session in Strasbourg. The statement was immediately attacked by the Green Party, which said that without a proper reform of the statute of MEPs,the whole thing was just a distraction. The head of the FDP liberal group in the European Parliament also said that the statement did not answer all questions. In particular, said Silvana Koch-Mehrin, the question remained unanswered who was supposed to monitor this new elf-discipline.

Counter-accusations have now been made against Hans-Peter Martin, who is
said to have manipulated a voting record to show that he was present at a plenary session when in fact he was out of the room. Clearly, Martin?s
enemies are trying to discredit him. To stick the knife in, his accusers
are now saying that he must pay back half the per diem for that day, because it is payable only for people who take part in votes ? the very substance of his original allegations against his colleagues. Martin is expected to stand for election on 13th June as an independent candidate. He is said to be supported by the mass-circulation and euro-critical daily newspaper, Kronenzeitung. [Katja Riddersbusch, Andreas Middel, Die Welt, 6th May 2004]

Another Leading MEP and Candidate in Expenses Scandal

This time it is the Conservative Party's List Leading Geoffrey Van Orden, but mention of a Labour MEP, Eryl McNally, in the same region involved in exactly the same antics illustrates how widespread is the corruption and how irrelevant are supposed party lines in the squalid scams from Strasbourg:-

The Conservatives also announced that, in the light of further information supplied by Mr Khanbhai about his travel expenses, the chairman of their board of candidates, John Taylor, "will be referring a number of issues to the European Parliament authorities for further investig-ation".

But Tory hopes that they had now put allegations of this kind behind them were dashed last night when it emerged that their top candidate in the region, Geoffrey Van Orden, was caught up in accusations about MEPs going to the European Parliament to claim a daily attendance allowance and then leaving the building soon afterwards.

When the accusations first surfaced three weeks ago, the EDP reported that one of the Labour MEPs for the region, Eryl McNally, had been filmed in Brussels allegedly signing in for a parliamentary allowance just before 8am and waiting for a car to the airport at 8.17am.

The full article from the Norfolk Eastern Daily Press may be read from this link.

No sitting MEP deserves re-election, avoid all lists of parties who have had MEPs in Strasbourg and Brussels during the past five years seems the best means of showing your personal disgust at what the European Parliament really represents! Perhaps placing a cross on the ballot paper for all lists and/or candidates opposing the EU, spoiling your ballot paper indeed, but certainly making a point!

Other ideas are welcomed and will be posted here for all to consider!

The Mechanics of the Scam

It appears from this article in today's Daily Telegraph, by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in Brussels, that the Conservative Ethics Committee Investigation into the expenses scam of their MEP Bashir Khanbai hardly scratched the surface of his deceit. Happily assuming it was merely a matter of a few extra euros mileage expenses they did not even investigate the expense payment system, relying merely on the MEP's own statements. The article linked here, describes the further ramifications:-

The Parliament believes that he may have over-claimed around 30,000 euros in travel expenses.

While repaying some money for extra mileage from Norfolk to Heathrow, Mr Khanbhai also received a "distance" bonus for having a residence beyond a 500-kilometre radius from Brussels. Sevenoaks does not qualify.

This bonus is worth an extra 104 euros for each weekly trip to Brussels, amounting to several thousands of euros annually.

It is rare for the European Parliament to investigate members over expense claims, preferring to rely on the institution's honour code.

It does so only when there are grounds to suspect impropriety.

The article then concludes with this paragraph, which sums it all up:-

'Under European Union rules, MEPs are reimbursed for the full scheduled air fare - whether or not they travel on a discount airline, or by train - allowing them to pocket hundreds of pounds legally. However, using an improper address is a more dangerous legal ground.'

Did nobody in the EU realise that some MEPs being all too human, and many totally believing in the whole concept of the EU - and therefore clearly somewhat weak-minded in the first place, are bound to think that if one bit of clear dishonest nonsense is fully allowed, 'Why should not others, also be fair game too?'

We are still planning to publish shortly the full list of the MEP Daily Allowance Scammers who are led for Britain by the wife of chief EU anti-corruption buster HAHAHAHAHAHA! Neil Kinnock. (See our earlier report below).

12 May 2004

More Evidence of Astounding Tory Double Standards

A report is circulating (see Ukip Uncovered or Teetering Tories) that Tory MEP candidates who did not sign a commitment to remaining withing the ultra-EU Federalist European Peoples Party Group led by the German Christian Democrat Herr Poettering who tried to scupper the recent Censure Motion against the EU Commission for their handling of Fraud and Corruption - WOULD BE DESELECTED.

Meantime proven Expense Fiddler Bashir Khanei Conservative MEP for the Eastern Region (see postings beneath this) remains on the Tory list despite local howls of protest at his disreptuable and devious behaviour.

Vote Conservative and Vote for Continuing Corruption it seems!

11 May 2004

Michael Howard Proves he lacks Moral Compass!

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in this morning's Daily Telegraph takes up the Bashir Khanbai scandal, presumably much to the dismay of the Tories. The article is linked from here.

As one more story of an MEP fiddling his European travelling expenses the tale had as much interest as yet one more incomprehensible EU regulation.
Suddenly however the stink from Strasbourg permeates the air of Conservative Central Office and Chairman Fox and Leader Howard have been caught standing in front of the fan as the brown stuff hits.

This story has been slowly developing for some considerable time, this blog and its sister Teetering Tories saw the political dangers, why and how did not the supposedly astute politicians running the Tory Party? Should people such as these be entrusted to decide the future of the country?

Today's Telegraph article, which highlights the new aspect that the matter is not yet resolved within the EU, concludes with this quote from a Labour MEP opponent, as follows:-

"Michael Howard has sought to defend the indefensible," he said. "It's breathtaking that he should call the error 'inadvertent'. How could Mr Khanbhai not know his own home address?"

10 May 2004


EDP Norfolk's latest report linked here from the growing farce surrounding Bashir Khanbai Number Three on the Eastern Region Conservative Eastern Region list has local Norfolk constituency leaders as saying “But we have decided as a management team that we do not want him to come to Yarmouth to canvass for the European election. We feel that perhaps it would be inappropriate for him to come here at this time.”
While others are reported to have said that - Mr Khanbhai would not be welcome.

The Constituency Leaders must also now be questioning the position of Michael Howard as he has offered Mr Khanbai his full support, even after the full details of the monetary scam (par for the course amongst many MEPs we believe) had come to light AND more seriously the lies on his web page, directed towards his constituents had become generally known.

Where was the cash repaid? To the EU and its taxpayers - or to the Conservative Party itself?

09 May 2004

This blog started with the title 'WE WON'T GO'

The idea was to promote candidates to stand in this June's European Parliamentary Elections who would refuse to become part of the Euro Gravy Train and Keep Their Snouts Away from the Trough.

This was an idea a little ahead of its time, and the blog evolved to keep a watching brief on the activities of our elected MEPs as they gorge themselves at our expense.

As the campaign for the European Parliamentary elections is about to reach a climax and enter the final month for campaigning, we felt it apt to retitle the blog to more closely represent its changed role: Please therefore Welcome - The Strasbourg Cesspit.

Links and bookmarks should work as before!.

The Message Goes Out!

The Scotsman has an article headlined:-

Euro-MPs keep their snouts deep in the trough by columnist Gerald Warner which opens with these known truths:-

KLEPTOCRACY rules, OK. Now the thieves’ kitchen that calls itself the European Union has broken its own record for corruption. The National Audit Office (NAO) report on the EU’s 2002 budget has exposed more than 10,000 cases of suspected fraud, with losses to the taxpayer of over £700m. This compares with a more modest peculation, in the previous year, of 5,482 cases that provided swag of £365m. Clearly, those of us who have been accustomed to describe the EU economy as "sclerotic" must, in one area of enterprise at least, resile from that opinion.

Nor should Eurosceptics speaking on platforms during the putative referendum on the European constitution indulge in the rhetorical question: "What is the European Union for?" This is what it is for - the personal enrichment of its bureaucrats and lumpen parliamentariat. Everyone knows that.

Read the entire column from this link.

English Democrats

This fairly new party will be fielding candidates in five regions of England on 10th June. We have added a link to their web site from our side bar on the right, under 'Campaigns'. A quote:-

The English Democrats party formed in September 2002 will be contesting the Euro Elections for the first time. The party will stand in five Regions. North West, Yorkshire & Humberside, South East, Eastern, and London.

08 May 2004

Are MEPs who back Corrupt MEP too used to Corruption?

The latest report on the expense fiddling Tory MEP and the fiasco of the Conservative Party Eastern Region Campaign Launch by 'Blind Eye' Howard will be found on Teetering Tories.

Meantime this link from EDP reports how his Tory fellow MEPs, Robert Sturdy and Geoffrey Van Orden, seem to be rallying round, while local party activists who still retain some sense of the difference between right and wrong (presumably by not having spent the past five years commuting to the EU-cesspool of Brussels and EU-cesspit of Strasbourg) are clearly doing all possible to distance themselves from their disgraced (so far - still) elected representative.

Those not visiting Teetering Tories should nevertheless read this report of the Conservative Campaign launch in the East which is one of the funniest reads I have had for a long while Tory Fiasco!!!!

Double Standards of Expense Scam Revelations

In the posts below the matter of a Conservative MEP who returned seven thousand pounds of unjustified expenses is covered in some detail. Michael Howard has decreed that no further action be taken as if the money was the major if not sole matter of concern raised by the whole affair.

That is very far from being the case. In Thursday's press report from 'The Scotsman' we learnt :-

"Mr Khanbhai lives in Sevenoaks, Kent, but his website also lists an address in Wroxham, Norfolk.

It emerged earlier this year that the Wroxham address did not exist and that post sent to there was delivered to a nearby boat yard to await collection."

While this further detail was provided by the Eastern Daily Press:-

The EDP revealed in February that the Wroxham address - 57 Peninsula Cottage, Staitheway Road - at which Mr Khanbhai invited constituents to contact him, could not be a home or an office because there was no building on the land.

It exists for mailing purposes, and letters sent there go to the office of an adjoining boatyard.

Mr Khanbhai's error is believed to lie in his claiming travel allowance on journeys between Heathrow airport and the Wroxham address. His family home is in Sevenoaks, Kent.

So there was a clear attempt to deceive his constituents, not just claiming a false address, but using one that did not even exist. Then again there is the matter of the expenses being claimed between Heathrow to Wroxham- when in fact we have evidence from the Press Conference at Stansted following the announcement of Martin Bell's Eastern Region candidature that he actually travelled to that far closer airport.

Michael Howard's Conservative Party considers that now the money has been repaid there is no further cause for concern - that speaks volumes on Howard's Conservative Party!

07 May 2004

Breaking News - Standards Expected of MEPs!

The Scotsman continuing its coverage of the expenses repaying Conservative MEP, Bashir Khanbhai, on which we linked yesterday, today reports that the MEP still has Mr Howard's backing, although the amount repaid has now been revealed as seven thousand pounds.

Seven thousand pounds, for what we were informed were merely travel expenses between a UK airport and a fake houseboat or address in Norfolk. We recall that Mr Khanbai was at the Stansted Hilton press conference held by returning Eastern Region MEPs after the announcement of Martin Bell's MEP candidature. Are we then to believe that the MEP's seven thousand pound EXCESS claims were really for regular journeys between Stansted and Norfolk, how many hundreds of such trips could there possibly have been?.

Most amusing section of the report, linked here, is this wonderful paragraph:-

A Conservative Party committee had earlier concluded that Mr Khanbhai’s “disregard for (the) rules and the correct procedure for claiming allowances fell below the standard expected of a member of the European Parliament”.

A Conservative party committee may delude themselves, but the electorate across Europe are well aware that MEPs of whatever party know neither restraint of any sort while emptying the public purse, nor all but 83 of them, standards in guaging the corruption of their fellow EU institutions, as witnessed in the disgraceful abstentions of so many Conservative MEPs in the censure motion this week.

Nominations are now open for the 10th June elections. We hope that all regions will offer the chance for a vote for a list or independent not previously represented at the Strasbourg Cesspit - we strongly recommend that no sitting MEP is worthy of re-election FIVE YEARS AT THE TROUGH IS ENOUGH!

06 May 2004

Howard Urged to de-select Tory MEP

Expense scam Conservative MEP should be de-selected by Howard, claims a Labour party opponent. As it seems to involve a travel expense scam, such a precedent could leave several party lists decimated if all the press reports on such abuses are even only half true. The Scotsman carries details linked here while the case of Mr Khanbai Eastern Region MEP, where Martin Bell is mounting an independent challange, also gets coverage in Financial Times, Eastern Daily Press and East Anglian Daily Times.

05 May 2004

Conservative Condoners of EU Commission's Corruption Incompetence
We have listed the names and electoral details of all those Conservative MEPs who abstained in yesterday's motion of censure against the EU Commission. It will be extraordinary if any of these MEPs will be able to now campaign on their party's platform of 'Fighting Fraud and Waste in the EU' making two out of five reasons give by the Conservatives for voting for thme completely invalid (Point Number 2 was Campaigning for a Referendum on the EU Constitution.

The list may be found by clicking here.

04 May 2004

Only 88 MEPs Vote to Censure EU Commission over mishandled Eurostat Scandal

Eighty eight MEPs were all that could summon the courage to protest the corruption endemic within the EU in general and the EU Commission in particular. The press release on the outcome is linked from here.

03 May 2004

MEPs Battle on over More Excessive Perks

THis report from EU Business has a bemused Lech Walesa observing the sickening antics of the supposed custodians of the remaining democratic hopes of what has now become 25 ex-nation states and ex-democracies. The full article is linked from here, and the following is its conclusion:-

Polish MEP Michal Tomasz Kaminski paid tribute to the role of US President Ronald Reagan and Britain's Margaret Thatcher in ending the Cold War.

And recalling Walesa's role, he pledged: "We will do everything to imbue the word 'Solidarity' with new meaning."

But less lofty concerns also clouded the enlarged assembly's opening debate: a simmering row over expense fiddling again surfaced, with MEPs notably rounding on Austrian deputy Hans-Peter Martin over his claims about abuses.

As accusations of "liar" and "hypocrit" flew, Walesa could be seen in the public gallery smirking at the parliamentary exchanges, EU-style.

The only time there is fire in EU Parliamentary debate, that we have discerned, is when the MEPs pay and/or perks are under review.

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