Chris Davies, a Liberal Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the North-West of the UK, is a member of the Budget Control Committee of the European Parliament. As he told BBC’s Today Programme (listen here), he discovered, quite by chance, that Parliament’s auditors had made a report detailing abuses on a vast scale, abuses that suggest some MEPs are simply plundering the system to enrich themselves.
Notwithstanding that he is a member of the Budget Control Committee, Mr. Davies was only allowed to see the report on condition that he signed all sorts of confidentiality agreements, read the report in a sealed “secret room”, protected by biometric locks and security guards and neither made a copy of nor took notes of the report.
Mr. Davies said the report contained accounts of abuse – let’s call a spade a spade here and call it theft and fraud – on a truly shocking scale. Though individuals were not named he made it clear that the extent of the embezzlement and fraud was on such a scale that it could only be met with condign prison sentences for some of those engaged in such practices.
OLAF, the EU Fraud Squad, had not yet heard of this report which makes one wonder if attempts are being made to bury it so as not to rock the boat and to conceal from the European people the extent to which MEPs are looting the public purse for their own enrichment.
Davies made a number of politically rather incorrect statements about where he reckons the worst offenders come from and it is not from the UK, Scandinavia, The Netherlands.
So widespread is the abuse that the AVERAGE amount being nicked is £125,000 ($245,000, €166,000) for each one of the Parliament’s 785 MEPs. So bad is the situation that Hans-Gert Pöttering, its president, and a group of senior MEPs are desperately trying to find ways to ensure that there was no “collateral damage” from the report (which presumably means trying to ensure that their heads do not roll as a result of their failure to act in the matter which would thus have the effect of removing them from the gravy train). The excuse being given for this exercise is laughable:
“We want reform but we cannot make this report available to the public if we want people to vote in the European elections next year.”
Some might think that publication would actually increase turnout at these elections when the people of Europe realise just why all these largely Europhile MEPs love the European Union and its Parliament so much. Perhaps then they might turn to some more Eurosceptic politicians of their own, less inclined to view the European Parliament as a milch cow upon whose hind teat they can fasten. That, one suspects, is what the source really meant: “We are frightened for our own place on the gravy train”.
Even more laughable is the explanation that the document is not being kept secret as such, merely confidential, a circumlocution that is both worthy of Sir Humphrey Appleby of Yes Minister and Orwellian:
“The document is not secret. It is confidential. It can be read by Euro-MPs on the budget control committee, in the secret room but not generally. That is not the same as a secret document nobody can read.”
So that is all right then.
What is clear, though, is that the public interest demands that this document be published forthwith so that the people who pay for all this, Europe’s Taxpayers, can see what is going on.
Reply-To: “Ashley Mote” <email@example.com>
The Mystery Deepens and the Silence is Deafening
It is now over three months since the police raid on my home, following publication of my memoirs based on five years in the European Parliament – A Mote in Brussels’ Eye
Despite several letters to the Chief Constable and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire I still do not know :
•Why the raid took place at all
•On what grounds the police were granted a search warrant
•By whom, and at what court the warrant was signed
•Why it referred to ‘the offences’ without explanation, clarification or the use of the qualifying word ‘alleged’
•Who or what organisation persuaded the police to act
•Why they did not talk to me first, assuming there was anything to talk about
•Why they have kept my mobile phone for so long
•Why they have retained a few papers since early March, none of which can be of any relevance to anyone else, having returned the rest almost immediately
•Why they have refused to answer any questions or explain themselves
•Why their silence has been deafening.
In addition to all that, my entirely reasonable questions seeking an explanation of Chief Constable Andy Marsh’s prima facie breaches of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 also remain unanswered. So do my questions to Hampshire’s newly-elected Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Hayes, who seems not to have exercised his own responsibilities to challenge the Chief Constable under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, Section 1(7).
Since he appointed Andy Marsh as the new Chief Constable only days after his election as Commissioner, Simon Hayes’ apparent conflict of interest raises an important question – why do we need a Police and Crime Commissioner and all the expense of an entirely new level of bureaucracy if the the police are not held to account?
A written question about the police raid on my home was asked in the European Parliament and answered by the Lithuanian Commissioner for ‘Taxation, Customs, Statistics, Audit and Anti-Fraud’, Algirdas Semeta. He denied any knowldege of my affairs since 2010. It is always possible, of course, that he was being economical with the truth, as the European Commission so often is.
A letter from my MP Damian Hinds to the Home Secretary was side-stepped by the junior minister Damian Green who took three pages to say I should complain to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Evasion at every turn.
What is this really all about?
Over the last decade or so I have devoted the bulk of my professional time and energies, to say nothing of the public money available to me via the EP, researching and exposing the EU’s institutionalised fraud and systemic corruption.
Not only have I recorded much of the detail in my memoirs, but I have also taken several boxes of carefully documented and thoroughly researched evidence to the Serious Fraud Office (all of which was ignored and dismissed with contempt), to Scotland Yard (ditto), to a committee of the House of Lords (whose europhile chairman chose to turn a blind eye) and numerous MPs on both sides of the House of Commons (who were never able to gather enough support for effective action).
I have also briefed, and provided much detail to several UK – and some foreign – journalists (not one of whom could persuade their respective editors to run a story).
Now I find myself apparently being investigated by the very same people and institutions against whom I blew the whistle, aided and abetted by the British police who chose to ignore the evidence presented to them years ago.
It was bad enough that the police failed to provide support, thanks and investigative vigour when I first approached them. But it is even more intolerable, many years later, for those same British police to have scandalously undertaken the dirty work of the iniquitous bureaucracy in Brussels who are now so obviously desperate to trace my informants within their own ranks.
That is the only credible explanation why, after a delay of some three years, barely a month passed after publication of A Mote in Brussels’ Eye before the arrival of the police, without warning and in force, at my home.
I still await answers… and so will the EU. I will never reveal my sources.
PS: Amazon has just reduced the price of my book to Â£3.70.