Sunday, June 21, 2009

Denis Macshane and the 'European Policy Institute'- 'scooping' British taxpayers' money


I’ve written before on how keen Parliamentary supporters of the neocon Henry ’Scoop’ Jackson Society seem to be on ‘scooping’ British taxpayers’ cash.

Today’s Mail on Sunday has more. It’s not often a story in a leading British Sunday newspaper originates as a comment posted on this blog.

Bravo to regular reader and commenter ‘Coventrian’ for his brilliant detective work regarding the Brothers Matyjaszek and the ‘European Policy Institute’. And remember, if you are a British taxpayer- its YOUR money that is being 'scooped' here. No wonder Macshane has such a broad grin in the photograph above.


Labour MP Denis MacShane charged taxpayers more than £8,000 for ‘translation services’ carried out by a mysterious think-tank run by his poet brother.
The former Europe Minister submitted more than a dozen invoices to the Commons bearing the heading of the European Policy Institute (EPI), with each bill justified by just one line – ‘research and translation’ – followed by a demand for fees ranging between £550 and £950.

The names and signatures on the bills, sent between August 2005 and January 2008 and totalling £8,050, have been blacked out by the Commons censors, but The Mail on Sunday has established the EPI is controlled by his brother Edmund Matyjaszek.
Mr Matyjaszek, a 59-year-old poet and playwright, kept the surname of their father, Jan Matyjaszek, while his brother adopted the maiden name of their Irish mother, Isobel MacShane, when he joined the BBC in 1969.

The link between the siblings is not apparent from the documents submitted by Mr MacShane.

The EPI appears to have a ghost presence on the internet, with the only identifying information appearing to be the London phone number of a direct-mailing company called European Marketing Services.

The company, which has its website registered in the name of an ‘Edmund Matthew’, is listed by the Poetry Society as the contact point for its Isle of Wight branch – which is run by Edmund Matyjaszek.

Last night, when he was initially contacted, Mr MacShane said: ‘It is no secret that I do more work for Europe than any other MP, and people connected with the institute help me with that. That is all I can really help you with.’ The line then went dead.
A couple of hours later, Mr MacShane, who served as Europe Minister between 2002 and 2005, sent a text message saying: ‘The EPI was set up 20 years ago by a network of people on the Left working in Europe and the US. It has organised conferences and published books and reports.

‘Ed is my brother, but simply administrates it. The claims refer to work in connection with my well-known Parliamentary activity on European and global politics. When I stopped being Europe Minister, I used the EPI to claim for research and translation relating to my work as an MP on European politics.’

Mr MacShane was first dragged into the expenses controversy when The Mail on Sunday disclosed last month that he claimed nearly £20,000 a year in expenses for an office based in the garage of his South Yorkshire home.

The claim, totalling £125,000 over the past seven years, covered the costs of running his official constituency base from the shabby-looking garage at his semi-detached home in Rotherham.

According to literature distributed by ‘Tongues & Grooves’, a poetry club, Mr Matyjaszek ‘has had more than 80 poems published, many of them prizewinners in various competitions.

His prize-winning play The Consultation on the Israel/Palestine issue was performed at Sevenoaks Arts Festival.

‘Poetry-reading is a particular interest, and he has written and performed scripts on subjects as various as the War Poets, John Donne and Ted Hughes.’
The telephone number given to book him for readings is that shared between the EPI and European Marketing Services.

Mr Matyjaszek’s wife answered the door last night at his £500,000, stone-built home in an exclusive area of Ryde, on the Isle of Wight, and said he was not available for comment.

3 comments:

Coventrian said...

Hi Neil

thanks for the compliments.

I sent the information to the Guardian, Mail and Telegraph.

The Guardian were very nice and thanked me but were pipped at the post by the Mail, who weren't and didn't. The Telegraph did neither.

Do you think MacShane is being protected by his journalism contacts? (He is former NUJ President after all) I can't think of many worse examples of MP expense fiddling, but not one other news outlet has mentioned it.

I think his Wikipedia
page needs updating to include the EPI Invoicegate revelations.

Meanwhile all round good sort Daniel Davies writes here:

http://d-squareddigest.blogspot.com/2009/06/if-this-is-analysis-of-anti-semitic.html

'Back in March, Denis MacShane (who is a privy councillor) took office as Chairman of the European Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism. In the press release announcing his appointment, the EISCA proudly announced that the report on antisemitic discourse that was commissioned from it last March would finally be published "this spring".

Tomorrow is Midsummer's Day, a point at which I think we can declare spring to be officially over on anybody's definition, and no report.'

So here's another MacShane run 'thinktank' being give £20,000 of our money - for nothing.

And Daniel finds scarce evidence for the existence of the mystrerious 'European Policy Institute' either.

This reminds me of the episode of Seinfeld where George Costanza creates a fake charity called, "The Human Fund" to rip people off.

http://www.seinfeldscripts.com/TheStrike.htm

JERRY: (Reading it) "A donation has been made in your name to the Human Fund." - What is that?

GEORGE: (With pride) Made it up.

JERRY: (Continuing reading) "The Human Fund. Money for people."

GEORGE: What do you think?

JERRY: It has a certain understated stupidity.


Can you imagine the reaction if George Galloway had been caught doing half of this?

Mothy Jim said...

Well Done Coventrian!!!
Now MacShane's reputation is approaching his true worth even now he was quoted as being unrepentant. Is it that constant absolution at the confessional has rendered him completely incapable of realising he might be really punished this time or is his complacency because he has made powerful friends?
A man capable of such brazen and fraudulent behaviour would certainly have been a ripe target for anyone wishing to buy influence in the corrupt regime of New Labour.
MacShane was most assiduously anti-Serb at every opportunity and the list of their enemies is a long one. But Catholic Croatia is always going to be at or near the top. KLA narco money would probably be considered well spent demonising their enemies.
If MacShameLess feels untouchable maybe he knows enough to turn the heat on some others who have been dipping their snouts in the same trough.

This could be interesting!

Mothy Jim

Neil Clark said...


Hi Jim,
Yes, well done Coventrian indeed!

As he says in his post, can you imagine the reaction from the MSM 'elite' if George Galloway had been caught doing half of what MacShame had done?