If you want to understand almost everything that is wrong with the world right now a good place to start is the underground car park beneath the European Parliament building in Brussels.
There you will find rank on rank of shiny black limousines — Mercedes and Volvos, mostly hybrids because “climate change” — waiting with their polite, smartly dressed and no doubt well remunerated staff drivers to ferry the 751 Members of the European Parliament [MEPs] wheresoever they please at a moment’s notice, free of charge.
“Nice job if you can get it!”, you’ll think to yourself. Add up the basic pay and the daily allowance you get for just turning up, and your salary approaches £140,000. On top of that you’ve got your lavish expenses and the even more generous budget you get for your office staff. Oh, and the huge, ring-fenced pension on top of that.
You can totally see why people might go native in this environment. Even if you came as an ardent Eurosceptic, rightly cognisant of the appalling wastefulness, corruption, and meddling pointlessness which are the very essence of the EU, I reckon it would be hugely tempting after a few months of all this free stuff to persuade yourself that actually what MEPs do is really important and that the taxpayers of Europe are much better off forking out billions of Euros for the privilege of being members of this vital institution.
Reality check: No, they aren’t.
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