Monday, October 25, 2004

On the gravy train

One of the problems with the EU is that it is not only the politicians that benefit from the gravy train. All sorts of hangers-on enjoy a status from being associated with the "project" that would not otherwise come their way, creating a broad salariat with their noses in the trough.

A good example of this is a recent, stomach-churning "briefing" from the Westminster Press and Parliamentary Office of the Federation of Small Businesses, which describes in gushing detail the recent visit of a delegation, headed by National Chairman Carol Undy, to the EU parliament in Brussels.

There, the assembled members hosted a keynote briefing session for MEPs. The briefing then advises members that:
Some 40 percent of new regulations affecting business coming from Brussels and Britain’s leading business organisation used the event to call on MEPs to renew their efforts to ensure the EU is the world’s most dynamic economy by 2010.
The well-attended meeting (you bet) in the busy Salon de Membres coincided with the beginning of the new parliamentary term, and MEPs were urged to combine their five year tenure with the five years that remain of the agenda set at the 2000 Lisbon Council of Europe to make the EU the most competitive knowledge-based economy in the world. MEPs were briefed on the FSB’s latest reports, including the EU Manifesto, and encouraged to view them as a route map for the whole of the new parliament.

“The event”, gushes the briefing, “gave MEPs the opportunity to rub shoulders with the FSB’s recently elected National Chairman and her colleague Tina Sommer, FSB International Affairs Chairman. Credit must go to Emma Windsor-Cundell for putting on a well marshalled and successful event.”


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