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Ashley Mote

Exciting news for Europhiles and Europhobes alike. A fervent right-wing UKIP “anti-corruption” MEP has been jailed for nine months for benefit fraud in the UK. (According to the Guardian his fraud amounted to over £65,000, while the Beeb has it pegged at £73,000.) However, because his sentence—for 21 charges in total, but all to run concurrently—is under 12 months, Ashley Mote will keep his seat in the European Parliament and continue to receive his approximately £60,000 salary.

When Britain decided that the EU’s decision to lift immunity for MEPs when they face specific charges meant immunity also no longer existed for any potential charges, Mote, not previously thought to be a fan of the EU, made an impassioned speech claiming that the integrity of the European Parliament was being threatened by the UK. In fact the only integrity under attack was his own, and with good reason.

Who can resist the exquisite poetry of a man who has repeatedly castigated the EU for failing to combat fraud getting banged up for that exact foible? Equally, who can possibly find fault with a parliament that appears resigned to its members committing imprisonable offences, and merely encourages them to mitigate their behaviour enough to warrant sentences of under a year?

All this will probably leave Inspector Brian Smith feeling even more sorry for himself. The crime for which he has lost his job wasn’t even a crime, and it was even technically happening in custody in the first place. For anyone who missed the story, human rights monitors were viewing CCTV tapes at random to check for abuse of prisoners at Paddington Green police station when they discovered footage of Inspector Smith masturbating in one of the cells. They complained to his superiors, who said they would fire him if he didn’t resign, so he quit.

Surely we’ve all been seized by a powerful urge for a romantic moment alone with ourselves at work in the one place we know there’s a CCTV camera. Should a man lose his job simply for not thinking to conceal his nocturnal proclivities somewhere unmonitored like, I don’t know, the toilet?

There’s nothing inappropriate in a serving police officer finding a location where criminal and terrorist suspects are interrogated arousing. At least, I’m presuming that’s what he’ll be arguing in his forthcoming appeal against the loss of his job. I can’t wait to hear what his story’s going to be. “My penis was resisting arrest”?

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
uniquefergus
Sep. 6th, 2007 11:15 am (UTC)
Inspector Smith was hauled before a disciplinary hearing — chaired by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick.

You couldn't make it up etc. etc.
ninebelow
Sep. 6th, 2007 11:38 am (UTC)
“My pen1s was resisting arrest”?

Well, that's certainly going to be my line from now on.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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