Thursday, May 7

Some Of Our Millions are Missing

In a detailed piece we are invited to get worked up about EU missing millions. Not only are they missing, the EU and UN have abandoned investigations into what happened to £60 million worth of funding for Kosovo, with allegation of serious fraud and corruption.
The funds for "economic reconstruction" to help rebuild a war-shattered Kosovo ten years ago were hit by at least 11 scandals involving 12 cases of alleged criminal activity and 27 examples of alleged breaches of rules on the awarding of contracts and nepotism.The trouble is, no one is really going to get interested. There is nothing anyone can do about it. No one will be held responsible. No one is accountable the fact of life is that people have better things to do with their lives than rail over things over which they have no influence, the course of which they cannot change.
So those of us who follow these matters mutter into our real ale shrug and move on to mutter about something else. The sad bit is that an MP whose partner has claimed £10 for a porn movie on parliamentary expenses, Ah! That's something people relate to feel some how they have some influence over and relate to it as if a plot in a soap opera.There in lies the difference between UK and EU politics.

Not reported this week was an interesting exchange in the House of Lords about the EU budget. Lord Campbell of Alloway, asked:

Her Majesty's Government what is the justification for the projected increase in the United Kingdom's net contribution to the European Community Budget to £6.5 billion in 2010-11.

Not an unreasonable question at a time of financial difficulties.

The response by Lord Davies of Oldham was the usual one - we really do not like the system and we really would like to rectify matters but as we can't we shall just have to keep handing the money over. I wonder if all those people who promise such reforms ever bother to read these replies and ever ask themselves why the situation is as it is. (Yes, Open Europe, Libertas and Taxpayers' Alliance, I am referring to you.)When he was pressed by Lord Campbell, Lord Davies became so snappy and rude that their lordships expressed their displeasure. He then proceeded to snarl:

My Lords, the House will appreciate that, if such a solution were available, all—or the majority of—European states would follow the strategy. However, the issues are more complex because the problems with accounting in the European budget are largely the fault of expenditure that is partly controlled by the member states; so it will not do to say that the issue relates directly to the European Commission or any other institution. Member states, too, must improve their standards of accountancy and effectiveness, which is exactly what the United Kingdom has been doing.

That last sentence is questionable in view of the fact that statistics have become meaningless under this government, what with all the shifting of goalposts and chaning of parameters.The question of enlargement was ignored and the subject of the surrendered part of the rebate, raised by Lord Waddington, pooh-poohed. Then Lord Lea of Crondall got to what his side see as the crux of the matter:

My Lords, is it not the case that the thesis, "We want our money back", is demeaning for a country in our position in the world after the G20 and all the commitments that we have entered into? The Conservative Party policy, "We want our money back", would mean that there would be no EU, which is what the Conservatives are driving at.

Well, actually, there is nothing demeaning in a country's representatives taking good care of its money, however rich that country might be.Which politician was respected more, Margaret Thatcher who got the rebate or Tony Blair who gave it away?

Anyway the soap opera continues while more and more billions of UK taxpayers money is given to the EU and millions upon millions is lost, in return for what exactly?

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