Harmonising fraud?

Hurrah for
Mayor BorisHurrah for Mayor Boris

Congratulations to Mayor Boris. The era of GLA sleaze could well be over, however there is no dearth of sleaze in Brussels it's just that our mainstream media don't care about it and we don't recognise the people involved. This is deliberate, the intention is to bore into submission unlike London's new leader .

Thank goodness Nulabour is in the doldrums. Gordon Brown stood in the wings whilst spin was put onto false information to justify the Iraq war. He was in charge of the General Election whilst millions of pounds were loaned to Labour and he said he knew nothing about this. He pontificates on poverty whilst being part of an organisation that is helping destroy rainforests to produce biofuels and marine habitats for West Africa fishermen; he removed the 10p tax in order to reduce the main level of taxation and hoped no-one would notice. How wonderful that humour and sense may return to London with Mayor Boris. HOWEVER, in the meantime there are political undercurrents that are barely reported.

The disquiet surrounding that secret report into MEPs' expenses rumbles on. Chris Davies, a Liberal Democrat MEP, has stood by his claims that it showed criminal levels of fraud.

“I think if names were attached to some of the cases of malpractice highlighted, then prison should follow,” he said. “Maybe when some MEPs are named, exposed for defrauding the Parliament and the public and are sent to prison a more acceptable approach will be adopted."
Gosh. See The Times.

MEPs have been unable to account for 76 million euros in expenses from the years 2004 and 2005. Receipts for a further 40 million euros were received but not accepted as valid. Only 45 million euros have been properly accounted for. That means that each MEP has made about 200,000 euros per year, just on expenses. No wonder they don't want an investigation.

Strangely enough at the same time that this is going on, the Commission is trying to make freedom of information more difficult.

Statewatch reports that:
The rules on access are not working well and these changes will takes us several steps backwards. For example, the Commission does not agree with the definition of a "document" in the Regulation, so it wants to change it. The Commission's public register of documents is a joke so now it wants to change the rules. There would be a longer list of exceptions to refuse access, including mandatory exceptions where applications do not even have to be considered. And would leave in place the rule which allows the institutions to deny access to documents on measures about to be adopted in Brussels - a practice that would never be tolerated at national level.

Hence they will be able to carry on their fraud and deception with impunity and our national media don't really care. It is as if the EU barely exists because the public find it boring and, as a result it is not reported so it barely exists, classic Catch 22.

Interestingly a lot of money is spent on propaganda about the EU but it is so tedious that no-one takes any notice. It is not even kitsch like the Eurovision Song Contest which has a gruesome charm. An example of an attempt at spin is given by the Agriculture Commissar Mariann Fischer Boel. She is commenting on a Eurobarometer survey of public attitudes to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). With a self-congratulatory headline of “CAP performing well, says silent majority“, she proceeds to celebrate that ordinary people think highly of CAP reform.

An absolute majority of respondents believe recent CAP reforms to be a positive development (52%), with a very low proportion saying it is a negative one (11%).

HOWEVER, over half of those surveyed (53%) have never even heard of the CAP. So surely this should mean that 52% of the 47% namely 24 % believe recent CAP reforms to be a positive development. Margot Wallstrom the propaganda commissioner would no doubt approve of the spin, Alistair Campbell take note. See here.

What of those that try to expose malpractice? Well, they are arrested on dark nights, imprisoned and have their files removed. This happened to German investigative journalist Hans- Martin Tillack in March 2004 when his offices were raided by Belgian police acting on information supplied by Olaf the EU’s anti-fraud office.See
His 'crime' was in publishing leaks concerning fraud worth millions of pounds at the EU’s Eurostat statistics agency and now, after four years of denials, Olaf has finally admitted that the evidence their Director-General, Franz-Hermann Brünerce gave to the European Courts concerning the arrest '“was not factually correct”.

Hans- Martin Tillack said:“Olaf has lied to the public and misled the European Court of Justice. It is clear that Olaf can not investigate itself.

So, we have fraud, propaganda and corruption on a heroic scale and then the cover up. If this had happened at Westminster there would have been treeloads of newsprint used up despite the fact that we are more resigned to sleaze than we used to be.
Hans-Martin TillackHans-Martin Tillack
Let us hope that the Irish vote against the Lisbon Treaty/Constitution and that Stuart Wheeler manages to persuade the court that the Nulabour manifesto promise on a referendum should be upheld. But don't hold your breath. Brussels and Strasbourg hold the power and those unelected bureaucrats and faceless yet expensive MEPs spend our money and pass our laws and we are powerless to stop it because, however sleazy we think things are in the UK they don't even begin to match the waste, inefficiency, fraud and nepotism in the EU.

No doubt this lot of Conservatives being 'decent chaps' will continue to carry out all the EU laws and directives oblivious to the fact that other countries simply ignore most of them.