Yesterday the EU Commission put out a statement to announce the resignation of Commissioner John Dalli with immediate effect.
The Commissioner, whose responsibilities were for EU health and consumer policy, has resigned following an investigation by OLAF, the EU’s antifraud office, into a complaint made in May by tobacco producer Swedish Match.
The press release tells the details but, in short, Swedish Match have complained that a Maltese entrepreneur offered to help them influence policy by using his contacts with Dalli, for a price of course. It is claimed that Dalli was well aware of this offer.
Dalli has denied any involvement but it is perhaps worthy of note that this is the first time that a European Commissioner has stood down over corruption allegations since the Commission’s entire membership resigned in 1999. Speculation, but there must be something rather murky due to be uncovered for a Commissioner to give up a salary worth just under twenty thousand Euros per month (before perks, allowances etc).
Dalli’s resignation is big news in EU terms and one might be forgiven for thinking that this news would generate a bit of media interest in the UK. However, as I have written about before, the British MSM has a habit of ignoring what goes on in the realm of our overlords.
Today’s Telegraph online leads with pleb gate, one of the most drawn out and irrelevant pieces of political manouvering since Leveson. Following stories include the American election, the search for April Jones and a charming tale of a sighting of number 10′s Larry the cat.
The BBC online fails to mention Dalli on the main page, you have to skip to the “Europe” bit, despite having space to mention that some of Marie Antoinette’s slippers are on sale and that the Aussie PM has moved to redefine “misogyny”.
Unsurprisingly, there is no sign on the Guardian website and I assume there was not a single mention on TV news (I wouldn’t know, no TV).
But why has this been ignored – resignation over serious fraud allegations – while a Tory Minister is lambasted for weeks because he may have sworn at a police officer?
Because despite the fact that the EU controls our lives from business taxation to immigration, few people care and those who do are either Europhiles like the BBC, content to hide fraud allegations and the farce of the EU failing its audits for over a decade, or UKIP. People need to wake up; this is not the first allegation of fraud and it will not be the last.
Better. Off. Out.