Letter from Brussels

By Tom Wise MEPWHAT a year!Can it be that it is now a whole 12 months that I first set foot in the European Parliament building in Strasbourg?I had, of course, been following the activities, debates and shenanigans for some while but when you get `up close and personal' it takes on a whole new meaning.

By Tom Wise MEP

WHAT a year!

Can it be that it is now a whole 12 months that I first set foot in the European Parliament building in Strasbourg?

I had, of course, been following the activities, debates and shenanigans for some while but when you get `up close and personal' it takes on a whole new meaning.

As UKIP is the only party which thinks that the whole concept is built on a succession of lies, we are often portrayed as `the enemy within.' We are never ignored in the parliament, even if, with notable exceptions, that is our fate in the British press.

If the inevitability of the EU project had never been questioned, it came down to earth with a bump when the Constitution was approved by the Parliament. The furore of the `Not In My Name' campaign which effectively stole the limelight has never really gone away.

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Recently, Tony Blair came to Brussels, to address the Parliament. As the incoming Council President, he was desperate to be seen as a good European, especially as he had ruffled feathers the week before. Then he had alarmed his socialist mates, who had doubted his commitment to the `project', just because he wanted to stand up for something essential to Britain.

The French, of course, had been doing just that for years. Silly, I know, but do we have to give in all the time?

But what else has happened? Well, if you discount convicted criminals being appointed as commissioners; Presidents refusing to acknowledge that they are required to act with probity; MEPs making laws for other folk to obey and ignoring them themselves; the auditors failing to sign off the accounts for the 10th year running – the hideous waste of your money is mere bagatelle!

Oh yes, and we have to rewrite history. If I am now to believe what I read, the World War I was only a civil war and the Germans did not take part in the second, only the Nazis.

The recent votes in France and Holland are being ignored. The Constitution continues, inexorably, with Luxembourg voting last Sunday. Only getting 56% backing must inevitably damage its position. Before France voted, the polls in Luxembourg showed over 80% in favour.

Socialists across the EU have decided to adopt the phrases `Europe, forward not back' and `the Constitution is not dead.' If you think that the Conservatives are any less out of touch, one of their number, this is what Georgios Papastamkos from Greece, said in a press release: "Seeking the "telos" (the supposition that there is design, purpose, directive principle, or finality in the works and processes) of the European integration is by no means conceivable within a specific time and place frame".

The proponents of the 'project' will not tell you where it is going, if indeed they know. Still, they proceed without your approval. They will not tell you what it will cost as they have no idea. Yet you and I have to pay for it.

In Parliament, I conclude all my speeches with the tag line "If the EU is the answer, it must have been a silly question."

I could be tempted to say that you couldn't make it up, but then I don't tell lies.

Tom Wise is one of two UKIP Euro MPs elected to represent the East of England. He can be contacted by e-mail: thwise@europarl.eu.int

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