I came to this place already opposed to the European Union. But if I'd been a waverer, the utter hypocrisy of the last week would have persuaded me of one thing: it is beyond hope, beyond even the possibility of reform.
State funding is being cut, European universities are dropping down the international rankings and less research is being produced... Many European campuses are in very poor functional and physical condition... the time to act is now.
Jean-Claude Juncker will meet the European Parliament's political groups on 8 and 9 July, ahead of the vote on his candidacy on 15 July. Before the vote, Juncker will give a statement in the chamber, followed by a debate. The former prime minister of Luxembourg will need a simple majority of at least 376 MEPs in order to get the Commission's top job.
When I arrived in the European Parliament, I fully expected that there would be stitch-ups, slanderous accusations, voters' wishes ignored by the establishment and backstabbing from the political groups. At the time of writing, I have officially been an MEP for just over 24 hours - what has shocked me is that I have witnessed all of these happen already.
While Mr. Cameron may not travel by train much these days, he should take heed of Truman's example, and that of William Gladstone, whose Midlothian Campaign was wildly successful.
With a few public sector exceptions, Brussels is where meritocracy comes to die. And it takes its last breath in the naïve hopes of trainees. No one wastes any time letting us know that we are here to network. Such importance is placed on this I suspect there may be a strategic memo somewhere entitled 'Combatting Youth Unemployment in the EU: the Art of Networking'.
"I am more confident than ever that I will be the next European Commission President," tweeted former Prime Minister of Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker on 4 June. Quite how he knew with such certainty so far in advance of the EU's elected national leaders is something of a mystery. Until, that is, you consider the continuing dominance of the Franco-German axis in the European Union...
Over the coming months, the Parliament will play a key role in setting the EU's course for the next five years as it conducts hearings of prospective commissioners and must approve the new European Commission as a whole.
This April, MEP's passed legislation that will end roaming charges for using a mobile phone while abroad by December 2015. This means that the cost of making a call or downloading internet data in another EU country will be the same price as at home.
Italy's 'score' is announced on a big screen in front of us and a roar of applause and whooping erupts from the Italians in the crowd, followed by a cacophony of chinking glasses. The Italians are bizarrely celebrating their voting turnout at the election party...
UKIP and the Italian Five Star Movement have succeeded in forming a new Group in the European Parliament. All of these Groups must have a minimum of 7 countries represented and at least 25 MEPs...
The notion that the European Parliament is a gravy train riddled with waste and financial scandal is simple to pedal, especially when you need to score easy political points back home. However those that often pedal it, fail to acknowledge the reforms that are quietly taking place.
In all of this, it's interesting to note that MEPs actually have very little power. The European Parliament has repeatedly voted to end the travelling circus, which costs the taxpayer about 150 million euros per year and over 10,000 tonnes of unnecessary CO2 emissions.
Mr Cameron wants to show to his increasingly anti-European Conservative Party and to the Murdoch press as well as the other Europhobe media in London that he can be tough in Europe. Once again he wants to boast that a British prime minister can impose a veto against a candidate for the post of Commission president. London is back dictating to Europe what is permitted and what is forbidden.
A couple of weeks ago, Frank Field MP wrote an open letter to David Miliband about taking a harder (might I say UKIP) line on immigration. I wasn't impressed and wrote a reply - and Mr.Field subsequently replied to me. Below is my response to him.
What these Conservative alliances really show, then, is not the increasing likelihood of any UK parliamentary coalition with UKIP, but the unawareness - or even ignorance or apathy - of British voters towards European politics.