The `freeloaders' of the European Union

UNDER not the most unbiased of headlines – "Madness prevails at the European Union" – East of England Euro MP Jeffrey Titford warns in the magazine Freedom Today of the creeping EU policy of regionalism.

UNDER not the most unbiased of headlines – "Madness prevails at the European Union" – East of England Euro MP Jeffrey Titford warns in the magazine Freedom Today of the creeping EU policy of regionalism.

Mr Titford, who represents the UK Independence Party, quotes Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso's assertion that "local and regional authorities are Europe's essential relays" and that the Committee of the Regions is the pillar linking EU institutions with those authorities.

Mr Titford opines: "You have it from the horse's mouth. Regional assemblies have always been a neat way for Brussels to circumvent and undermine Westminster." The Euro MP adds: "The list of very good reasons for leaving the EU grows ever longer."

Meanwhile, my distinguished and decidedly Eurosceptic colleague Chris Moncreiff of the Press Association is unamused at the whole EU. He writes: "You may have thought that the European Union gravy train was full to bursting – not so.


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"Just when you felt that the EU freeloaders – the MEP's, the commissioners, the bureaucrats, the lot – had milked the system dry, up pops another little perk.

"Under a new plan, unelected Eurocrats can retire at the age of 50 and still collect 65% of their salaries, that is up to £6,000 a month. Those who hang on until the great age of 55 can retire on full salaries. And who picks up the tab for all this? Needless to say it is the poor, downtrodden taxpayer again.

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"These fat-cat free-spenders will go obliviously on their way until one fine day when that gravy train will hit the buffers with an almighty bang."

I'll give space next week to any so-called "freeloading" Euro MP from the East of England – three Tory, two UKIP, one Labour and one Liberal Democrat – who wishes to rebut Chris's trenchant comments.

Preference will be go to those Eurohostiles and Eurosceptics who, nevertheless, collect annual salaries of 82,000 euros paid for by the taxpayer.

Readers can then make up their minds if their MEPs are "freeloading" from an organisation they either detest or tolerate.

AS Home Secretary Charles Clarke vowed to throw out of Britain Islamic preachers of hate, Tory leadership hopeful David Cameron was stirring the pot. "Jihadism, like Nazism and Communism before it, often bewitches the minds of gifted and educated young men. Just like the Nazis of 1930s Germany, they want to purge corrupt cosmopolitan influences."

Of Iraq, he said: "Premature withdrawal – and failure to support the Iraqi authority – would be seen as a surrender to militant jihadism. Nothing would embolden the terrorists more.'

His words brought this rebuke from the Muslim Association of Britain. "Senior politicians should be using far more temperate language than this. It seems to be open season on Islam and Muslims, with discussing us being the only narrative since the London atrocities, instead of focussing on the real issue of Iraq and foreign policy. Cameron, after voting for war and for burying many Iraqis in the sand, is now burying his own head in it."

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