WHILST almost the entire eurozone groans beneath the weight of austerity measures demanded by Brussels, with millions out of work, countless others on the breadline, and some even losing their homes, what has been the EU’s response?
To demand – not request – that the ‘citizens’ of the European Union should dig even deeper into their threadbare pockets to provide the army of bureaucrats with yet more money to spend on salaries, over-blown expense accounts, and travel allowances.
It has been more than 15 years since the European Commission’s accounts last received a clean bill of health from the EU’s own auditors, but that lack has made little difference to the running, and over-spending, of the budgets.
Year after year the Auditors refuse to pass them, citing imaginative accounting, spending ‘black holes’, and in some instances, blatant fraud.
Can’t get the accounts signed off? Don’t worry, old chap.
Those lads in the European Parliament will pass them on request – and they do, year after year, without debate.
There did come a time however – just the once – when the corruption within the Commission became such that it could no longer be ignored, and the European Parliament actually rebelled, dismissing as many of that unelected body as was permitted under the rules (allowing them to keep their pensions, of course) and agreeing the appointment of a fresh crop of ex-politicians, mostly socialist, rewarded thus by their various national governments.
Neil Kinnock, having escaped the axe, was given the post of anti-corruption supremo, one of his first acts being the side-lining, and subsequent forcing out of the EU’s Chief Accountant for the ‘crime’ of bringing fresh instances of corruption into the light of day – a very strange occurrence that would not have been permitted in any reputable commercial enterprise.
You might also remember me writing about the strange rise of Baroness Ashton, the ex-secretary of CND, (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) who was, totally without experience in that field, appointed as the EU’s Foreign Affairs supremo. At the time she said her department would be ‘budget neutral’, but now it appears that she meant ‘free of budgetary restraint’, since the latest figures – carefully hidden away in the EU’s budget for 2013 – demand a 5.7% inflation-busting rise that will lift her department’s spending to £422 million, of which the British taxpayer’s contribution will be £52 million. And this at a time when our own Foreign Office is expected to face cuts of £40 millions!
But not all the figures are quite so one-sided.
The EU has a Civil Service numbering more than 40,000, which, you’ll be pleased to note, has not altogether escaped the wielding of the axe, having suffered a reduction of just six – yes, six – during the past year, with no redundancies at all.
It makes one wonder why Britain, or in deed any other previously independent nation, doesn’t just resign from this profligately-spending monolith. We could you know, but we won’t, not while the politicians – of all parties – see the EU as their private fiefdom, with us merely as serfs.
So, are they ‘Shameless’? Probably not. ‘Thoughtless’, then? Well, historically, serfs have never been given much thought, so maybe there’s your answer.