It is very important to keep up old traditions, Guy Fawkes, for example. Even though our Parliament has less and less power every year, and is filled with party hacks whose minds are mainly on fiddling their own expenses, we still set off fireworks and light a bonfire in memory of the trouncing of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605. It's fun and I will be going to a local firework display next weekend myself.
Same with the EU accounts. They have not been signed off by the auditors for eighteen years now in succession. The last time they passed inspection was back in 1993. Failing its audit has become a well-established tradition. To change it now would be something of a shock. If the EU, which has just called for a sizeable increase in its funding, was able for just one year to balance its books, able to explain where all its billions are going, I would be taken aback. Happily, it has run according to its track-record and once again made a large amount of our tax-money simply vanish into thin air. Hey presto! A swirl of the cloak, a tap of the cane, and it's gone!
Where are the missing billions? They have slipped into the bank accounts of informal advisors, friends of friends, somebody's wife or husband, somebody's private or fake company, somebody's alter ego under a false name in a distant country. All very traditional.
Traditions can be contagious sometimes. Funnily enough, the Labour MP for Rotherham, Denis MacShane, just suspended by the House of Commons disciplinary committee for fiddling his expenses, was Labour's Europe Minister.
He avoided investigation the first time round by pleading "parliamentary privilege" :-
Meaning that the law is just for plebs!
When Marta Andreassen, former chief accountant of the EU, tried to raise awkward questions about the missing billions, she was dismissed, bullied, intimidated and subjected to reprisals. That is why she is now a UKIP MEP.