Opinion

Lifting the lid on Brussels sex and sleaze

When I entered the European Parliament in 2014 I was struck by the beautiful, intelligent, multi lingual young people, all highly paid, who worked for MEPs. High heels, short skirts, plunging necklines, with first class degrees and languages.

I had heard of the affairs, young women who were ambitious, some for for their careers, but others wondering who they could take to bed, to be a concubine for a politician with power.

From the left and right, they targeted the men.  Did it happen the other way around? Yes, but less so.  The EU is a hotbed of sex, a free for all. I saw what happened during and after hours.

Imagine 751 successful, well paid, influential politicians.  All away from home for at least four days a week. A good salary, chauffeurs with limos, hotels, apartments, expense accounts, foreign trips with business class air fares and hotels, mixing with foreign diplomats and foreign governments, all under  the guise of a ‘Mission’ – an official trip for the EU committees.

The young women who target the male MEPs flagrantly encouraging them to think with other parts of their anatomy than their brains. Inevitably some of them fall into the honey trap of thinking these  young, pretty, intelligent women find them attractive for their looks or erudition. Maybe one or two do but most are after a lifestyle of hotels, booze, limos and foreign trips.

Or they are simply using these men are a stepping stone – often simply a rung on the ladder of the political ladder in their own country. They can actually be predatory – roaming the corridors of power in Brussels and the bars,  flaunting their CV’s with glossily taken photographs. They can resemble sirens on the sea luring the EU hapless sailors, drunk onpower, influence and often alcohol too, to the rocks of their ambition.

Equally, there are male MEPs who – sometimes aggressively, sometimes in more oleaginous ways – set out to lure and target young women, craving the male status symbol of a pretty young thing in . They scour hundreds of CVs for the cuties, overlooking the gaps in their education and language skills when the looks compensate. At home these men are often seen as mediocre creatures, sent out to the EU as out of sight out of mind.  They are important in the EU and yet they abuse their status. They use the girls for sex, to organise their private lives and their party status.

The MEPs sleeping with each other. Power likes power.  I’ve seen bitter enemies in the debating chamber text each other in committee and delegation meetings, giving covert looks, leaving the debates to have sex in the nearest toilet. They fight bitterly with their political allies to get onto foreign trips so they can be away with their lovers. They can almost live together because no one is watching. I know a prominent German MEP who sleeps with a bitter rival. She sleeps within interns, senior staffers and MEPs. She goes back to her home country at the weekend to be with her husband and children. He reports back to Mutti Merkel.

Female MEPs are only slightly better than the men.  They’re predators too.  Employing good looking younger male ‘advisors’ who fawn over the women and who will do what it takes to get to that next step up on the career ladder.

MEPs sleep with other MEPs, their marriages break down. I wish I had a euro for every time a British MEP cries over his beer, “my marriage has broken down, she won’t let me see my daughter.” Try not sleeping with your colleagues.

Aside from the sexual exploitation, I have witnessed very senior political figures from Germany openly verbally abusing and humiliating their staff, mainly young women.  They have screamed at their supposed ineptitude in public corridors but their only rebuke is ‘did you hear old fatty x screaming at another young staff member?’ It’s almost normal behaviour in the warped behaviour patterns which infect this darker and unseen side of Brussels.

The activities of Brussels thriving and substantial gay community also merit scrutiny on this score. Just as with their heterosexual counterparts, many of them have no qualms about cross party cooperation of various descriptions when it comes to career advancement. Some target their MEPs to take on their bright young thing lovers. Some gay MPs, understandably, give priority to hiring fellow gays. This gives the opportunity for sexual favours to play their part in career advancement in Brussels.

By the same token, some lesbians on the alt Left give only employ other lesbians, homosexuals or trans. It might be a point for discussion were straight MEPs and Brussels aides to employ similarly narrow recruitment criteria but in this as in so many things, this is the Brussels world as it is not, not as it should be.

I was once told by a senior Labour MEP that I was a stupid fucking woman. Overheard, he subsequently denied it, in writing despite knowing that I had witnesses. Imagine, I asked him, if one of my male colleagues from the Right said that about one of your women? But because I am from the Right different rules apply. They can sometimes seem dangerously close to that antediluvian justification for sexual abuse and worse of “well, she was asking for it…..”

On another occasion I was dangerously chased by a British journalist working for a Brussels media outlet. We had agreed to an interview a few months before when he arrived late and drunk, swilling a glass of red wine. It was 10 in the morning. When I raised an eyebrow and asked whether this was acceptable at this hour he replied: “You’re UKIP, I would have thought it’s normal for you.” I took up the matter with his editor but my complaint was dismissed out of hand.

A few months later the same journalist drunkenly chased me along a slippery wooden gangway in Strasbourg, with a heavy TV camera on his shoulder and a plate glass wall on my other side.  In heels, I slid along the slippery floor trying to get away from him, aware that should this hefty drunken man slip then I would be in some measure of danger. I was happy to escape his reach.

Yet when I raised this in a debate about violence against women with high representative Mrs Moghereni from the Commission in attendance, there was silence across the chamber.  It’s OK for them to debate violence in the home, violence against vulnerable women and migrant women. But when it comes to defending the women on the Right, the silence was deafening. It said a lot about what level is tolerated from whom towards whom.

I was also a victim of sex on tap. My former assistant was let loose in the corridors of sex and power.  Unleashed from her former job and leaving her husband behind, this mid 50’s woman acted like an alley cat with an elected male colleague.  She stayed in his hotel rooms, openly sat in bars and restaurants a deux, creeping back to my hotel room she shared with me or to the office just before dawn.  Unfortunately for me (and subsequently for her) she didn’t keep a watch on emailed instructions about an event.  She has now got a criminal record and I sit as an independent MEP.

There are always consequences for people’s actions.

Again, the Neanderthal element of “well, dressed in views like that, she’s asking for it”. That such a revolting level of abuse can be tolerated simply because of views held is a damning indictment of our new moral code of victimhood. Imagine, just for a moment, that such behaviour were inflicted women of the Left. The screams about women’s rights, human rights and male oppression would be heard from Brussels to London and beyond!

Sexual harassment has long been rife in Brussels and it is time that the lid was lifted on it. But in doing so, we should remember that it is not simply male on female. And that there is an unspoken pact that some deserve abuse and aggression for the views they hold. It is a scandal on so many levels.

Comments Off on Lifting the lid on Brussels sex and sleaze