You might think it bad that Jack Straw, Secretary of State for Justice and his junior, Shahid Malik, are in hot water for being economical with their expenses. They have been headline news whereas the European election campaigns have barely registered.
These elections are due in under 3 weeks and the EU's Orwellian sounding Justice division - Eurojust, is involved in a a scandal involving its head, José da Mota, who allegedly put pressure on prosecutors in order to stop a corruption probe involving Portuguese Prime Minister José Socrates. See EUobserver.
The grey revolution. When appalled by the behaviour of their government people in other countries have chosen a colour, worn the t-shirt, surrounded parliament and called for its downfall. This is what we must do. It's hard to choose a colour without baggage but perhaps grey would do - to denote weariness rather than age.
When the expenses scandal has died down perhaps we should consider what our politicians do, or don't do, on our behalf. They ignored the Stop the War march but this time we must just stay there and prevent MPs and Peers leaving the Houses of Parliament until a general election is declared and clear manifestos provided.
We are told about the Members' Allowances Committee that: The role of the committee on Members' Allowances is to advise the Members Estimate Committee on the exercise of its functions ) which relate to charges on the Members Estimate. (Are you clear on this?)
Our government would like to retain innocent people on the DNA database and would really like everyone to be on it. They also want to create a National Identity Register and ID card system containing 50 pieces of information on every person in the UK. They say it would be totally secure. Manchester airport workers are to be the first scapegoats to trial this but are vehemently opposed this role.
Wouldn't it be more sensible for our Labour MPs , MEPs and Peers to be the first to give their information and DNA and hold the very first biometric ID cards.
The database with their expenses claims has just been unfortunate surely? They assure us that the DNA and NIR databases will be different and totally secure.
The Telegraph has done a great job as has Heather Brooke who fought for years to get the details of MPs use of the public's money into the public domain. She fought the parliamentary authorities long and hard in the courts.
Chris Davies, the Lib-Dem MEP has been campaigning for years to open the books on the European Parliament expenses system see here. Last year he disclosed the existence of an unpublished report about abuses of the MEP expenses and allowances system - still unpublished - and was naive enough to be really shocked.
Will Nick Clegg and David Cameron call for MEPs' expenses to be made public? I doubt it. Even if they did they would not have any influence over the 26 other EU member states.
The real scandal is that our own parliament only makes about 20% of our laws and can't be bothered to scrutinise EU legislation too closely. No wonder MPs have so much time to deal in their real estate portfolios and hone their interior design skills.
Jacqui Smith has said that she has abandoned plans for a database to store centrally all communications data. Without a hint of shame she explains that:
"The government recognised the privacy implications of the move [and] therefore does not propose to pursue this move.”
However, the Times announces that GCHQ is developing classified technology to intercept and monitor all e-mails, website visits and social networking sessions in Britain. The agency will also be able to track telephone calls made over the internet, as well as all phone calls to land lines and mobiles.
The £1 billion snooping project — called Mastering the Internet (MTI) — will rely on thousands of black box” probes being covertly inserted across online infrastructure.The top-secret programme began to be implemented last year, but its existence has been inadvertently disclosed through a GCHQ job advertisement carried in the computer trade press.