Thieving sausages in European parliament

Article published on March 3, 2008
community published
Article published on March 3, 2008
Thieves and Polices
 Dukal (Pic: Dukal)

Brussels are going classic in their fashion collection this spring. Whilst eighties styles are currently screaming out of all high street windows, the European parliament seems to have opted for something a little more out of the middle ages. On 27 February a secret audit was leaked, revealing that MEPs dispense of their salaries rather suspiciously. But no need to spread panic – they themselves decided not to make this public, via a democratic vote. Seems the juror and his court have become the same person – in beautiful ‘vintage’ fashion.

It was a Danish MEP who apparently made this move; being the most modern person in the parliamentary commission, he asked his colleagues to vote in favour of publishing the confidential report. The latter details how some of this money has gone to saving lumber yards or citizen centres for the elderly. How generous our MEPs are, putting themselves out so that our aged don’t feel alone, stressing about our forests and European fauna … The report also confirms that our representatives are so splendid that at least one gave his or her assistant a special ‘Christmas bonus’ which was nineteen times the official salary allowance (to give you an idea, an assistant can earn up to 17, 000 euros per month). But how strange – the report also details that some of the salaries of said assistants are debited directly from the MEPs own bank accounts. Not very classy is it…we’re not feeling a general indignation that our politicians are robbing us, I mean, we’re beginning to get used to that. But at least do it with a bit more elegance! I’d ask them to leave all voting and transparency aside and rob us directly, slip off those masks. Or even better, I’d recommend they watch the film below and take notes. I’ll start by offering them just the opening credits, so that they can be taken away by the sound of the deceitful piano.

Cinema has provided us with many resourceful heroes of the crime caper genre. Some of my favourites include the shameless conmen played by and in Buenos Aires-set (‘Nueve Reinas’, 2000), Alfred Hitchcock’s beautiful but compulsive played by Tippi Hedren, or the strategic, swank (2001) team, with at their head, inspired by Frank Sinatra’s original crowd from 1960.

Ricardo DarínGastón Pauls9 QueensMarnie (1964) Ocean’s ElevenGeorge Clooney

But if I had to choose one iconic thief, it would without a doubt have to be the charismatic coupling of and in (1973). The suited and booted twosome - Redford with his flowers and Newman with his cigars and sombreros - have much more style than our own . But the latter are so damned good at their EU-sting that you start to love them for it, like we love our (in Spain we call thieves ‘chorizos’, after the spicy Spanish pork sausage which sounds like the Spanish gypsy word , meaning ‘to steal’). Of course, in fiction, we shouldn’t forget the undesirables from Brussels.

Robert RedfordPaul Newman The Stingeuro-diddlerschorizoschorar

Cati Kaoe ”I just wanted my souvenir”

Seems like the week has been full of pilfering, some cases funnier than others. Take British mayoral candidate, the shock-headed conservative MP . On 29 February, he confessed to having nicked a red leather cigar case from Saddam Hussein’s former deputy prime minister, Tariq Aziz, after the latter’s house was bombed in May 2003 in Iraq. Johnson later scribbled in a , after British police wrote to him asking him to return the cigar case to its owner, currently in US custody.

Boris Johnson ‘To take the cigar case of the deposed number two of a deposed tyrant was hardly the same as swiping a 2, 300BC bronze statue of a squatting Akkadian king,’national newspaper

Come on Boris. You probably didn’t make away with that statue yourself because it wouldn’t fit in your pocket, clever clogs. Allegedly Johnson had written about his ‘little souvenir’ in back when he committed the crime. Seems he couldn’t make do with a standard postcard from the Iraqi city – you know, the one depicting the misery in the streets, the destroyed houses and the bodies adorning the ground. Mr. Johnson is now piping on about the coincidence of this police enquiry-cum-political conspiracy coming about five years later and three months before he could be elected London’s next mayor. In any case, if you’re passing through the British capital, watch your bags!

The Daily Telegraph

Such golden moments pass us by. But too much entertainment on this level can’t be good. I leave you and your good mood with the worst thief in the history of cinema; after all, it’s a wise idea to enjoy fictional characters than follow real-life thieves.

Translation: Nabeelah Shabbir