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Enjoying the fruits of their labours

When it comes to anti-capitalist activism, the papier-mache puppet brigade are merely a bunch of blowhards and wannabes.

The true professionals are the ones who are not just chanting about it, they are actually doing it for real:

Euro-MPs awarded themselves a 30 per cent pay rise yesterday with no loss of their office perks.

Pay for British MEPs is to jump from £55,000 to £72,000 overnight, severing the link with their Westminster colleagues for the first time.

Must be a reward for all their increased hard work and productivity.

Spain’s MEPs will double their salaries. Hungarian or Latvian MEPs will rise into the top tier of Europe’s elite when they join the EU next year while their national colleagues must limp along on £6,500 and £7,600 a year respectively.

For all those people who are at a loss to understand why the satellites of the former Soviet Union are so eager to sign up to the Belgian Empire, now you know the answer. The loyalty of their political classes is bought and paid for.

Each MEP receives a tax-free £108,000 a year for staff expenses – used by almost half the British delegation to pay spouses, children and immediate kin, often doubling the family income.

The moonbats may be a reliable source of comedy, but they are not the real threat.

21 comments to Enjoying the fruits of their labours

  • Rich

    Can anyone tell me exactly what MEP’s do?
    Where is their sphere of influence/power.

  • According to estimates I have seen the new tranche of up to 5,000 civil servants who will accompany the new MEPs when they arrive from Eastern Europe will, on average see an increase in salary of 20 times their current rate.
    What will be interesting is that the quality of the new staff and MEPs will no doubt be higher as the financial incentive will be higher. Thus the national parliaments and civil services will be denuded in quality, what is more the current lot wioll have to look to their laurels as the Easterners will run rings round them.
    Seeing as how many of the new comers will be atlantacist in attitude it could provide some fun in the normal dull committees of the EP

  • Jacob

    “Where is their sphere of influence/power” ?

    Watch your empty pockets and you’ll know.

  • Jacob

    Well, the EUniks watched the UN with envy, and thought it’s a good idea to have a UN of their own. More jobs, fatter salaries and less competition.

  • Rich,

    MEPs are elected representatives from each member state of the EU and sit in the European Parliament.

    In theory, they are the EU lawmakers, charged with deliberating and drafting and approving all European laws.

    In practice, this is a sham designed to provide the appearance of representative democracy. The MEPs are meat puppets kept docile with money and perks while they merely rubber-stamp the decisions of the EU Commission (executive).

  • That is why the Green Party MEPs are so keen to call for a huge hike in air fares
    – they don’t actually have to pay for them.

  • For Rich’s benefit…

    The European Commission forms the executive and the Council of Ministers forms the main legislative body. The European Parliament plays a usually junior legislative role to the Council of Ministers, but precisely what impact they have on a new Eurolaw depends on what the law is, whether it is a directive, a regulation, the budget, etc. It’s a mindbogglingly complex system, creating EC law, each institutions relative power depends on what sort of law they are passing.

    It is however, mostly, a rubber stamp. It’s powers are limited, the Parliament can, for example, fire the entire Commission (much touted by Europhiles) but they can’t mete out a lesser punishment. The sheer draconian nature of their one real tooth against executive power means they never use it.

    IMHO it would in any case be a lie to call even this rubber stamp democratic. Turnout for the EU elections is miserable, less than 30% typically. MEPs are as remote to me as the Queen is, debates are not properly divulged to the public, etc.

  • Rich

    Thanks guys, worst suspicions confirmed.
    Sometimes I need to be reminded I’m not just being overly critical of the EU project. It is a shambles.

  • Jacob

    Rich asked: “Can anyone tell me exactly what MEP’s do?”

    You must distinguish between what they are supposed to do by the rules and regulations and what they actually do – usually different things.

    The answers given adress the first point.
    I don’t know what they actually do, beside spending other people’s money. Probably not much.

  • Rich,

    Yes thankfully it is a shambles. Imagine how much worse things would be if it were not.

  • Theodopoulos Pherecydes

    It’s pretty amazing, really, these people putting their hands ever deeper into our pockets and nothing to be done about it. Amazing.

  • Chris Josephson

    Do they have open debates when they are about to give themselves a pay raise, or is it all done behind closed doors?

    Could you contact your various EU representatives and let them know you don’t approve of the pay raises? Would they care if you did?

  • Verity

    Theodopoulos – Yes, that must be how Soviet citizens felt too, except in the USSR the threat was explicit. In the shadowy corridors of the EU, the threat is a whisper … an insinuation … that you may be a racist – the crime du jour which can be used to control you … and make you afraid of speaking up and demanding your rights …

    In the sinister EU, there are no rights except those enshrined by Valery d’Estaing in his insane “constitution” – the rights of the transgendered to respect, the rights of flowers to grow (for all I know) …

  • Alan Peakall

    Turnout for EU elections is lower in the UK than elsewhere in the EU. The 30% figure probably refers to the UK in 1999. However, even in continental Europe the trend over the last three elections (1989, 1994, 1999 – the Parliament has a fixed, 5 year term) has been downwards across the EU.

  • R C Dean

    Shouldn’t this be titled “Enjoying the fruits of our labors”?

  • Samizdata Illuminatus

    The moonbats may be a reliable source of comedy, but they are not the real threat.

    Nor is the propensity of MEPs to help themselves to a hefty dollop of our money, however venal. At the end of the day, when you add up all the salaries, travel allowances, staff allowances and other perks, and compare that with the cost of CAP, or even with the cost of subsidising an African dictator or two then the MEPs perks just don’t rate.

    The real threat is the Council, and the national government’s willingness to transfer power to the Council where there is no scrutiny, from their national systems where there used to be.

  • MEPs allegedly employ their wives and screw the taxpayer.
    Belgian Empire? I know the meek are to inherit the earth ,but Belgium?

  • The reason the Green MEPs are keen on lesser mortals traveling by plane is that they are sick of them getting in the way during MEP junkets all over the EU.

  • ed

    Aside from my normally critical comments I’ve got to say that it must be really depressing to be concious of this usurpation and unable to counter it. Similar I suppose to being paralyzed while army ants eat you alive.

    How do you European types feel about this? It would frankly drive me absolutely frothing mouth mad to see something like this happen in my country. How on earth are you dealing with this? A severely declining birthrate, a loss of cultural identity and a overwhelming usurpation of governing power. While the everthing might appear to be wonderful there must be some pretty dark undercurrents existing there.

    The declining birthrate, coupled with the mass immigration from North Africa and the Middle East, almost predestines Europe as an Islamic entity. I can see why the EU would be attractive as a means of delaying the inevitable, but I’m uncertain the cure isn’t worse than the disease. I suppose that, once the real democratic mechanisms are largely defunct, it would be possible for the declining population of native Europeans to continue their control but that’s at best a stop-gap measure.

    Culturally the immigrants have assimilated almost not at all. In essence then the various European nations will eventually fade away and be replaced by Arabic speaking people. This assumes that a nationalistic movement bent on mass oppression and forced evictions don’t take place. It would be possible to reverse this trend if the existing population of muslim immigrants were forcibly deported, regardless of citizenship, and a program of intensive population growth embarked. But that could only take place under the aegis of a ritually nationalistic and facist government. Which of course Europe has had it’s share of. Not to violate Godwin’s Law but I must point out that an essential element of the SS, in the Third Reich, was a massive selective breeding program. While flawed in every way such a program would be effective. Any European nation that embarked on such a course would be assured that, once all other native populations died out, of utter dominance of the continent.

    Strange times and even stranger stuff. Still I think it would drive me nuts to live under a cloud such as that. For those who can, I don’t know if I respect you for it, or pity you. *shrug* Who can tell? We’ll all have to just wait and see what happens I guess.

    Hmm. Perhaps a new twist on the “Make love, not War” meme? 🙂

  • Verity

    ed – “How do you European types feel about this?”

    We wouldn’t know. We’re not Europeans. The British don’t like it and, in the main, except for lefties and one-worlders, do not want it. However, Blair is going to shoehorn Britain into a new development – a “constitution” by which will be abrogated all the former treaties that were negotiated to the, more or less, satisfaction of the electorates, and which will unite “Europe” into a federal country. Meaning, all European countries will surrender their sovereignty to Brussels.

    Even the French are getting a referendum on this. But Tony Blair, your bestest friend in the whole world, is going to sell Britain down the river without a referendum. What can be done? We don’t know yet, but there are some clever people working on it.

    Britain has never been part of the great European landmass and we’ve fought countless wars to keep them out of our islands. I think most Brits feel pretty benign about most European countries, but we have never considered that we have much in common with them and we will certainly resist. But Blair’s a very ambitious individual who wants to scrawl his signature on a larger canvas.

    What I know you will find very hard to believe is, Tony Blair doesn’t like Britain and wants it diluted and destroyed. I hope other Samizdata posters write in because I realise, to an American, this is an extraordinary statement.

  • ed

    Frankly I think the best thing for Britain would be for Blair to get pushed out of office. He’s been good friend for America, rather for all the wrong reasons, but his enormous desire for a united Europe is worrying at best and a potential threat at worst. I think that the EU Constitution might have passed the point of no return whereby it can no longer be assured of passage. This is possibly the best news of all. But even if this attempt fails there will be future attempts and, at some point, it will be successful.

    Nobody can know all the permutations of all the consequences from a Europe united under a undemocratic federalist system. It cannot be good however.