We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Secure that goldfish!

Please, prepare yourselves for a shock. Sit down on a comfortable chair and secure that goldfish. For I’m about to rock your world. Yes, friends, some EU corruption has been discovered within the gilded halls of Strasbourg.

I know, it beggers belief, but there it is. Millions of €uros have apparently been diverted into slush funds to pay for holidays, freebies, and extravagant dinners. So, who are the thieves? This money was allegedly stolen by the EU’s own number crunchers. Whisper it quietly to your friends, but apparently they left no audit trail, too! Quelle horreur! And some of the money stolen was used to form a volleyball team! Crikey.

I was sitting on the train, this morning, minding my own business, and this story hove into view. It was such a non-event, such a non-story, that at first it completely passed me by. For I was under the mistaken impression that the entire EU budget already was a giant slush fund, for useless bureaucrats such as Neil Kinnock to dip their greedy snouts into. But I was wrong. Apparently, it is just the EU number crunchers who are corrupt! Thank goodness for that. I’ve been labouring under a misapprehension, all this time.

Fortunately, EU officials have said a full judicial inquiry will establish whether senior number crunching staff have indeed stolen EU funds. No doubt the results from this inquiry will be swift, and the punishments severe. Let’s hope they make some of these naughty number crunchers fly business class, for a change, rather than first class. For at least a whole week. They deserve nothing less.

7 comments to Secure that goldfish!

  • LOL – the tree diagram is classic.

  • Jonathan L

    As an avid traveller, I must say that I would prefer my money to be spent on bureacrats taking holidays than on farm support. I suggest replacing the CAP with unlimited all expense filled holidays for Eurocrats, to anywhere in the world that they wish to go. Europeans would then get cheaper food, the poor could trade more with Europe and the European Commission would be too busy drinking Martini by some tropical swimming pool, to bother thinking up new ways to make our lives miserable.

    Its a win win situation. The citizens of Europe are happy, the elite have endless foriegn holidays and only the farmers will suffer. Of course after their eating at our trough so greedily for so many years, that will be a bonus for the rest of us.

  • Andy Duncan

    The tree diagram originally comes from an earlier Gabriel Syme post. But I thought it too good, and too close a match to this story, to resist the opportunity of re-using it! 😉

  • Charles Copeland

    Sorry Andy,

    But I have to defend the indefensible and put in a good word for Eurostat. As Commission directorates go, it is one of the few that at least sometimes produces some kind of useful output – namely harmonised EU statistics which can be used by Europhiles, Euroskeptics and Europhobes alike. No doubt preparing these statistics costs a fortune by comparison with what private sector stats experts would charge, but nobody denies that they are of some use – even Christopher Booker occasionally uses Eurostat figures to make his point.

    My wife was recently discussing the Eurostat scandal with an old friend of mine, one of Eurostat’s heads of unit. He claims that the real scandal is not so much the couple of thousand euros ‘donated’ to volleyball teams and riding clubs, etc., but rather the millions wasted on failing to sack incompetent officials who simply don’t turn up for work but continue to receive their salary ad infinitum. He gave a number of examples – one case being that of an A-grade Eurostat official who has not appeared in his office for over ten years and is still netting something like 100000 euros annually. Others turn up for work, but don’t actually do very much other than read the papers. Besides, approximately 200 Commission officials are ‘invalided out’ each year on something like 70% of their salary. Most of these are simply ‘social cases’. But the Commission prefers to pay them to leave rather than to impose disciplinary measures.

    My point is not that Eurostat is innocent, but that focusing on trivia such as junket trips and freebies is little more than pandering to sensationalism. Far more taxpayers’ money is squandered on paying the Oblomovs who do nothing at all rather than on ‘corruption’ in the formal sense of the term.

    Of course, in the sense that many Commission officials are de facto arsonists, perhaps the less work they do, the better ….

  • Howard Roark

    I’m sorry, Charles. There’s an easy solution to this. We get all the schlepps out of the building, and then we blow it up.

    Eazy Peazy, Lemon Squeezy.

    Oh, and we let the buggers walk home.

  • Sandy P.

    Geez, and I thought Chicago was the king of “ghost payrollers.”

    I bow to your superior efforts.

  • Theodopoulos Pherecydes

    Don’t worry. C. Patten will explain.