“Years ago, I spent a week reporting from the European parliament in Strasbourg. One evening, a group of MEPs asked if I would join them for dinner….. The meal exquisite – one superlative dish followed another – though I could scarcely enjoy it, since I knew that my paper…would be deeply unhappy about refunding the monstrous bill I could expect. Finally it arrived and I started to search for a credit card. This was greeted by looks of incredulous astonishment, as if I had stumbled into a Bateman cartoon – ‘the man who thought he had to buy his own dinner in Strasbourg’. ‘My dear fellow,’ said one of the MEPs, ‘you are a guest of the European Socialist group!’”. From Life’s Too Short to Drink Bad Wine by Simon Hoggart.