The Sunday Times this week lifted the lid on the hypocrisy of certain UKIP members whilst on their monthly jaunt down to Strasbourg. Whilst UKIP are always the first to criticise the European Parliament's costly haul down to Strasbourg from Brussels each month, it seems they are quite content to make the most of their time down there by living it up, attending glitzy free dinner dances at the cost of the European taxpayer.
The so called annual "asparagus party," thrown to celebrate the start of the asparagus season, an alsatian delicacy, was a hit with euro sceptics from across the EU. Whilst most MEPs stayed away to concentrate on parliamentary business, UKIP preferred to make the most of the free booze and share the dance floor with the likes of Jean Marie Le Pen.
As Nicola Smith, writing for the Sunday Times observed: "UKIP members Mike Nattrass and Tom Wise, having sampled the wine, soon joined in the singing and demonstrated impressive air guitar techniques to the dancing Eurocrats. They supposedly came to Europe promising to clean up the institution and fight against the gravy train. But to me it looked as if they were enjoying it."
It seems that UKIP members are quite fond of their monthly retreat to France. In April they abstained on a vote to do away with the European Parliament's costly trek down to Strasbourg each month, whilst Members of all other parties supported the proposal to do away with it.
Source: Sunday Times, 22nd May 2005