The collective sound of jaws dropping across the breakfast tables of Britain was almost audible this morning as people read the details of how the leader of the UK Indpendence Party, Nigel Farage, has claimed £2 MILLION in expenses as a member of the European Parliament.
Compared to the expenses claims of our national MPs, Mr Forage’s efforts make their’s look like fiddling small change, and only go to prove that if someone is doing something wrong, someone, somewhere is doing it bigger and better.
Like many, when I first read of this, I was tempted to launch into one of my usual rants about MPs, polticians, tax-payers money and especially the gold-plated gravy train that is the European Parliament.
But how could I? By boasting publically, Mr Farage has made a bigger statement about the inherant, and accepted, corruption at the heart of the the EU than any rant by a mere blogger.
Indeed there is something deliciously ironic about the expenses system of the European Parliament being exploited, perfectly legally it would appear, to help fund the UK Independence Party’s message that the UK should get out of the EU.
The expenses, of course, are on top of Mr Farage’s salary of over £64,000 a year, and his party is jumping on the domestic expenses row to call on voters to punish “greedy” MPs at the European elections on June 4.
Cue the predictable braying from MPs in the UK, who lifted their noses from the trough long enough to heap scorn on Mr Farage, claiming he is a hypocrite and no better than they.
Sadly this only further demonstrates their stupidity and the genius of Mr Farage’s revelation and his timing – what they forget is that they themselves pledged that they would be honest, and they will now reap the whirlwind at the ballot box.
However, when it comes to anything to do with Europe, the electorate is so used to stories about the endemic corruption at the heart of Brussels, that we would probably have been more shocked if Mr Farage hadn’t been cashing in!
The other thing to note is that by using the money to promote UKIP’s message, Mr Farage has, at least, remained true to his principles, which is a damn sight more than most of his political peers have done.