31 December 2010
Britain's MEPs cost £26 million a year
This means that each one of the 72 British MEPs costs approximately £330,000 a year. While this is by no means a negligible figure it raises a more important question: does it really matter that their activities are 'woefully under-scrutinised'? In a system of Direct Democracy any Parliament or Legislative Body in general is more like a consultative body. It is a forum where those citizens most interested in helping to formulate laws can congregate and exchange their views. But it is only a preparatory stage in the legislative process as the citizens themselves have the ultimate say on any decision. It does not really matter if Parliamentarians are lazy (how often does one see near-empty chambers on photos in the media!) or not paid enough or how they are elected in the first place (first-past-the-post or on proportional basis). They could even be elected by drawing lots among those interested in the position of a member of parliament.