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.
Earlier this month we saw a huge increase in votes for UKIP and people discussing the subject of immigration. Whether or not you agree with those votes, the simple fact is that millions voiced their concerns and to just ignore them and their opinions is nothing short of disrespectful. It is simply saying we hear you but we are not listening...
Many Brits are worried about EU immigrants taking our benefits and our jobs. The facts, though, don't bear this out. European immigrants are half as likely as natives to receive state benefits or tax credits, according to a study by academics at University College London.
Earthquakes are rarely predicted. But when they happen, we cannot help but take note of the devastation and try our utmost to repair it...
The onus should now be on Europhiles to explain why they support this bureaucratic behemoth. As for Tony Blair, he has denied seeking the position of Commission President. But I say give him it. The prospect of having this old charlatan in power again would turn anyone into a Eurosceptic.
With the European elections over, many of the newly elected MEPs are now coming together to form or join transnational political groups in the Europ...
Most people are voiceless because no one is letting them talk or listening to them when they do. There is a lot to be said for quitting being the voice of the voiceless and letting people speak for themselves. But not by those seeking to abolish the sex trade. Words are put into people's mouths when they can be, and when they can't, those people are silenced and dismissed.
While the PM was busy pressing for his vision of European reform at a tasteful and elegant dinner in Brussels, someone had to pound the streets of Middle England to sell the idea that staying in Europe is the only sane and patriotic course of action to a fed up, disgruntled, and frankly wet electorate. Last week that someone was me.
Voters from the 28 member nations of the European Union delivered an election earthquake on May 25. Results show major gains in the European Parliament for anti-integration, Euroskeptic parties which span the ideological spectrum from the extreme-right National Front which won the ballot in France, to the far-left Syriza Party which came first in Greece.
As turnout falls, the voices of highly motivated and organised fringe parties becomes amplified, allowing them to build organisations and increase their profile in countries which are usually resistant to their divisive and damaging rhetoric and in some cases policies. Inaction may be the easiest option, but it may also, in the long-term, be the most dangerous.
The recent European elections were certainly a wake-up call for the major political parties and the Westminster political class in the UK, but it takes a bit of interpretation to be clear exactly what the message the electorate delivered was.
When the EU election results were coming in on Sunday evening, one thing was very clear early on; extreme right wing parties gained huge ground across the union and in France, Denmark and the UK anti EU parties won the election outright.