Readers' letters - February 12

Counting cost of EU high-flyers

Monday, 15th February 2016, 4:11 pm
Updated Monday, 15th February 2016, 5:15 pm
A rugby fan criticises players who flout the rules of the game. See letter below

Well, as if more proof were needed as to why we should leave the EU, we now have some courtesy of flights of fancy by European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and his merry men.

It has been revealed that the Commission has access to a fleet of six jets – in a €12.6m deal – to ferry Mr Juncker and other high-ranking officials around the world.

This includes a £4.3m seven-seater jet to make the 220-mile journey from Brussels to Strasbourg for the parliament’s monthly four-day sittings.

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What is wrong with them using one of the daily commercial flights that operate between the two cities?

Their idea of justification is to say the president only used it for Strasbourg sittings on five out of 14 occasions since January last year.

Sounds like a reason for ditching the deal not vindication.

No wonder they don’t want us to leave the EU, taking our £55m a day a with us, when they have such high flying ideas to fund.

The whole concept of sitting in Strasbourg is a nonsense 
in the first place but the French have no intention of bowing to pressure to end this folly.

On top of the flights, the parliament spends about £200,000 to charter two express trains to take officials, MEPs and others to and from Brussels to Strasbourg while their 
papers are taken in eight lorries.

There are no plans to end their profligacy on any level and, in fact, a tender was recently advertised for an air deal providing 870 hours’ flying time over five years to destinations including Cape Town, New York, Tokyo and Tel Aviv. It also calls for the occasional use of a large jet, such as a Boeing 737, to take around 100 people to destinations such 
as Antalya on the Turkish coast.

You can’t beat a jolly junket, pity we’re all paying for them.

Paul Nuttall

UKIP North West MEP 
and deputy party leader

Flouting of the rules

Rugby was compulsory at school and so I played – with some enthusiasm but sadly no ability at all.

I was small, puny and very skinny, and it was not unknown for an opponent to pick me up and run off with me, ball and all.

I have, however, retained an interest in the game, and watch matches from time to time.

I am appalled at the bare-faced flouting of the rules which is to be seen even at the highest level.

The scrum and the lineout were devised to give each side a fair chance of obtaining possession after a stoppage (with perhaps just a whisker of tiny advantage to the side against which some offence had been committed).

Now, however, we see the scrum half quite blatantly and in full view of the referee feeding the ball to his own side’s hooker, and men lifted on high in the lineout generally to guarantee possession.

(All very much to the detriment of the game as one side can retain possession for lengthy periods).

Perhaps the rules were changed when I was not looking?

Or perhaps we have joined those lesser breeds without the law of whom it was said “They argue with umpires, they cheer when they’ve won, and they practice beforehand – which ruins the fun!”

Arthur Quarmby

Address supplied