We oppressed Britons can hope for no moral direction from our Members of the European Parliament. The story below shows many of them don't care about anything much except their perks. And their leaders will protect them - as long as they keep it that way.
It is no credit to any of us in Europe that so many MEPs are third-rate losers "on the make". To Britons, it is sadly reminiscent of the many craven MPs in Westminster who will do anything the Whips tell them, as long as they can retain their pay and perks.
In any functioning democracy, stories like this would end careers; those of the MEPs concerned and of the officials who have tried to cover up for them. But in the twisted world of modern politics, we shrug our shoulders. After all, Europe's political doyen is widely known in the Blogosphere as Kickback Chirac - and that's considered funny.
These people need to fear us - as they plainly do not at present. All credit to Hans Peter Martin, the Austrian MEP who led the German reporters from Stern TV to the scandal, and to those reporters for trying to introduce these shameless rogues to the idea of democratic accountability.
Media facing bans at EU complex