Over at EU Referendum under the heading “Caught red-handed” there is an instructive YouTube video. It shows a bunch of MEPs showing up at their place of work at quarter to seven in the morning. Exemplary devotion to duty? Well, no. What they are actually doing, suitcases in hand, is signing the attendance register on a Friday morning before heading home for the weekend. Then they will be paid, most lavishly, for working that day.
The cat really lands among the pigeons around 2 minutes 30 seconds in. Watch the MEPs dodge back behind doors as they register the camera’s unwelcome presence. Listen to the cries and squeals. “It is not your business!” “Such impertinence!” I did not catch the name of the genial chap who claimed to be about to start work in his constituency before running for the door, but Irish MEP Kathy Sinnott (of, I am sorry to say, the EU-sceptic Independence and Democracy Group) said she had already been at work for seven hours, and Hiltrud Breyer of the German Green Party really ought to look at people when she talks to them.
We bloggers often criticise the mainstream media but I take my hat off to Thomas Meier, the intrepid journalist here. He represents a tradition of – literally – foot-in-the-door reporting that the “colleagues” would like to put an end to if they could. In this case, as soon as they could, they did. The fun ends with Herr Meier being escorted out by seven heavies.
If EU Referendum’s video is down, this link might work, or search YouTube for “Expense allowance abuses by MEPs”.