Westminster bad, Brussels good.

A tale of two parliaments

We have had months of lurid stories about our Westminster expenses' scandal. It would appear that about one million pounds should be reclaimed at a cost of about one million pounds, so 'nul points'. Meanwhile,we find that the EU Parliament has recovered almost £3 million from MEPs in wrongly-claimed allowances over the last three years but has refused to disclosed from whom the money has been obtained or how much more has been requested, see here.

Jerzy Buzek, the parliament's president, has written that-

the authorities would not "recklessly expose" MEPs who have been asked to return public funds. "Such delicate and sensitive matters must be treated with the utmost caution – avoiding undue haste that can unnecessarily and unjustly cause irreparable harm to members' reputations."

We also find that "British colleagues contributed a substantial part of the reimbursement." In addition MEPs allowances have been raised and disgraced MEP Den Dover who still owes over half a million pounds has been awarded a medal and has retired on a full pension.
The EU Parliament also signs off on its own accounts. While the council of ministers, representing member states, also has to approve parliament's expenditure, a gentleman's agreement means scrutiny is kept to a bare minimum, see here.

Barely a murmur from our press and media. Barely a murmur from Messrs Cameron,Clegg and Brown. Headline news is that Ms Harman wants to ban the sexist word 'chairman'.