European elections this Thursday, and apart from the Europhile FT, and its decidedly narrow readership, I can find no serious comment in national newspapers discussing the main issues.
Do you know who you are going to vote for, what they believe in?
This is a parliament that makes 75% of the laws that affect your life. Can you name your MEP? Can you name any MEP apart from Dan Hannan?
Come to that, why is Dan Hannan so famous? Over 2 million Youtube views of a speech in which he lambasted Gordon Brown, he is the idol of the blogging world, the man who put the flea in Gordon’s ear. Is that good enough, is that worth €400,000 a year? Hannan has asked 51 Questions in the European Parliament, against Robert Kilroy-Silk’s 1921 Questions, who is really working hard for your money? Hannan says ‘When I meet people at weddings, I never volunteer what I do for a living’ – really? We pay the best part of half a million Euros out to each and every MEP every year, and they don’t want to discuss what they do for a living – some living! – at each and every opportunity?
An MEP has a five year term of office – which means that your MEP will have consumed an average of €2m Euros by the time you get the chance to vote him out of office. That is 2m of your Euros, for each member state pays for its own MEPs.
Your MEP is an expensive hobby of yours then, and yet the media, your media, that you pay for, ignore what they are really doing, or not doing, in favour of endless coverage of Big Brother, Susan Boyle’s mental health and a preoccupation with bent bananas and populist video rants from the kid at the back of the class who told the headmaster he was a twat.
We are daily being trivialised, marginalised, encouraged to look at the petty and irrelevant. Tasty little bits of gossip dangled over our cots to send us back to sleep.
You have four days left to get the answers that the media should have been giving you – go to http://www.votewatch.eu/- look up your MEP, and his e-mail address, and send him an e-mail right now, ask him about the issues that matter to you – your child’s education, assisted suicide, civil rights, whatever matters to you – and see what the reply is before you decide whether to vote for him again – don’t vote on the basis of a popularity contest or tribal loyalties.
This isn’t ‘Big Brother’, it isn’t ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, whether you think Britain should have joined the Common Market in the first place or not, the fact remains that we did, and these expensive playthings we call MEPs have more to do with your day to day life than any numbers of minor backbenchers and their plasma TVs.
Wake up! You are being sedated, the grown ups want to go out to dinner……