Let us hope that this story, told by Daniel Hannan in the latest Spectator, gets around:
Contemplate, then, the case of Hans-Martin Tillack. Mr Tillack is a respected German reporter who has written extensively about the Eurostat scandal. This convoluted affair really deserves a column to itself but, briefly, it involves allegations that millions of euros have been diverted from the budget by Commission officials. More recently, Mr Tillack had started to investigate the broader failure of EU authorities to act on tip-offs. It was this that triggered the reaction. Last month police swooped on his flat. He was questioned for ten hours without a lawyer, while his laptop, files and address book were confiscated. Even his private bank statements were ransacked.
The raid was ordered by Olaf, the EU’s anti-corruption unit. Needless to say, no such treatment has been meted out to the alleged fraudsters. In the looking-glass world of Brussels, it is those exposing sleaze, rather than those engaging in it, who find themselves in police custody. Mr Tillack was implausibly accused of having procured some of his papers by bribery. No formal charges have been brought, and he is now planning to sue. In the meantime, though, the notes he had built up over five years of meticulous work have been seized and his sources put at risk.
The lack of interest in this incident is bewildering. Journalists, after all, are usually exercised by the mistreatment of other journalists. When similar things happen in Zimbabwe, they are the subject of stern editorials. Yet here is the EU intimidating its critics with all the crudeness of a tinpot dictatorship. A message is being semaphored to the Brussels press corps: stick to copying out the Commission’s press releases and you’ll be looked after; make a nuisance of yourself and you’ll regret it. As the EU correspondent of a British newspaper told me mopily last week, ‘If they can do this to a German Europhile and get away with it, people like me might as well pack up and go home.’
God help Britain and God help EUrope (and we atheists only say things like that when matters are very serious) if Britain is bullied by its current crop of idiot rulers into voting Yes to the continuing depredations of this pompous, pious, self-glorifying, self-deluding gang of parasites. We must hope that Mr Tillack has big enough balls and eloquent and powerful enough friends for him to end up ahead in the highly dangerous game that he is now playing on our behalf.