According to a report earlier this year in the Daily Mail, which most BNP supporters no doubt regard as a neo-Communist rag, the average member of the European Parliament can make an income of £182,826, including allowances for attendance and travel.
Somehow this was not enough for Nick Griffin, who is bankrupt. Somewhere along the line, the leader of the BNP and MEP for North West England must have fallen off the Brussels gravy train.
Griffin appeared at Welshpool County Court earlier this week to declare his bankruptcy. The reaction to his plight on social media has been one of unabashed amusement. Gags have been cracked about the far right demagogue’s moral bankruptcy and the dry cleaning bills for his white robes.
The news prompted hopeful speculation that he might be denied his place in the European Parliament but that’s not the case. After his trip to court, Griffin took to Twitter to make another declaration: “A note for all: Being bankrupt does NOT prevent me being or standing as an MEP. It does free me from financial worries. A good day!”
He promised that he would mount a “professional” campaign at the next European elections in May. Griffin wants another five year season ticket for the gravy train.
As an MEP he doesn’t need to travel by train at all – he gets a petrol allowance of 52 gallons a month. According to his website he doesn’t bother much with Eurostar. “In the main, Nick travels by car (for which he can claim Euro 0.49 per kilometre) as this means his staff can travel with him. A Personal Travel Allowance of up to Euro 4,148 annually is provided for other travel, but Nick claimed less than a quarter of this.”
Perhaps Mr Griffin, anti-Europe as he is, eschews more of his Brussels perks. Certainly he seems not to have availed himself of the free haircut provision.
But he did manage to finance a recent “fact finding mission” to Syria, from which he returned with the revelation that life in Damascus was “normal”.
Where has all his money gone? BNP subscriptions appear to be drying up with UKIP carrying the momentum on the far right of British politics.
Surely a man on a near £1m income over five years, with a law degree from Cambridge and ambitions to manage the economy, should not have lost control of his purse strings?
His next project will be to write a booklet on managing debt, which he must be hoping will be a best seller.
If his ambitions as an author fail and he loses his seat in Brussels, it’s difficult to see what he will do for money. He has never gone in for proper work.
The thing he always boasts about is his university boxing career. At 54, he is a bit old to be getting back into the ring although – unlike his book on debt – there would be plenty who would pay to see it.