TheParliament.com has revealed that 18 “ghost MEPs” have recently begun wafting down the corridors of power in Brussels and Strasbourg. Having emerged from the linguistic sludge of the Lisbon treaty, which increases the number of MEPs from 736 to 754. they will not officially be allowed to vote in the European parliament until June 2014, after the next elections, but in the meantime are endowed with “observer status”. The fact that these immaterial observers from beyond the democratic realm will not actually work as MEPs does not prevent them from collecting here below annual salaries and tax-free allowances. These happy wraiths from 12 member states can also claim back business class travel, staff and office allowances. By the golden dawn of 2014, when they can start hitting EP vote buttons, they will have cost €30m. Who are they and what do they want? No-one yet knows.