I want you to think of this:
...But it is the absence of power, it seems to me, that is an important part of public outrage. Westminster has given up so much power - to Europe, to quangos, to judges - that people wonder what they are paying for. Half the time, a big issue comes up and politicians say it's not their responsibility...
The readiness of politicians to relinquish power amazes me. Take the European constitution, now rebranded as the Lisbon treaty. I read all the drafts of that document, spoke to lawyers and became convinced that its calculated opacity was a charter for the creeping takeover of national policy by bureaucrats and judges. There were brilliant MPs who could debate every inch of the detail - David Miliband, Gisela Stuart, David Heathcoat-Amory, Chris Huhne. But I met others who hadn't even read the document and looked incredulous that I had...
Many decent MPs are dismayed at being lumped together with the crooks. But one of the reasons public anger goes a lot deeper than Sir Peter Viggers's duck pond is because we feel we can no longer change our laws by voting out politicians. The EU machine marches on, constraining everything from the future of the Post Office to what vitamins we can take. The promised referendum on the Lisbon treaty has been ditched. The quango nanny state has acquired a momentum of its own. Politicians have given away powers that they held in trust for the people. They cannot be altogether surprised if people now lump them all together in impotent fury.
Eighteen "phantom" MEPs [Members of the European Parliament] will be elected on full pay and perks next month despite not being able to start work for up to two years due to Ireland's rejection of the Lisbon Treaty. The extra candidates will be chosen in the European Union elections on June 4 despite the agreement, which increases the number of MEPs from 736 to 754, remaining unsigned. Amid confusion over when and how they will take up their seats, the European Parliament has decided to give the MEPs only "observer" status from next year. The deal will mean they can draw full salaries and allowances at an annual cost of over £6 million without any legislative duties to carry out. The 18 MEPs, from 12 EU countries, including Britain's West Midlands region, will be paid more than £76,000 a year, with staff and office allowances worth £210,000. They will also be entitled to tax-free allowances of £255 for every day of their limbo existence in Brussels and can claim back business class travel. Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, said: "Welcome to virtual politics, this has to be the political expenses scandal to end all expenses scandals. "The perfect politician for today's elite, one that takes wages and does no work at all."
This is the kind of crap that Obama and the 'progressives' would LOVE to tie us up in.