The Sunday Times’ Nicci Smith over the years has struck fear into the hearts of MEPs and fonctionnaires alike with her talent for exposing their naughty fiscal wheezes. An overview of her output puts to shame the ‘Monster’s own rather limp and cowardly excuse for critical satire, with notable exclusives on MEPs creaming off expenses and allowances and a delicious undercover sting operation on a senior EU trade official.
Investigative stories on exploitation of workers in Dubai, homeless children in Bucharest, and buying a baby in Bulgaria, meanwhile, caused trouble – of entirely the right kind – beyond the Brussels beltway. These were recognised by Amnesty International when Smith was shortlisted for a human rights award last year.
Lest the ‘Monster be accused of becoming too earnest, however, here are some further highlights from her coverage in recent years, as chosen by friend and colleague David Charter (off of The Times), in kind words delivered at Smith’s leaving do this week:
“A road safety campaign that features topless Danish blondes flashing their breasts at passing motorists has been described as degrading, exploitative – and an enormous success.”
“Children who write to Father Christmas in Greenland may find that their letters go unanswered in future now that state subsidies to the elves have been withdrawn.”
“In the remote mountain villages of Albania, the women no longer want to be men.”
“In Estonia a gay black man is bound to attract attention, much of it hostile.”
And from her coverage of the ‘Film Lovers Will Love This’ YouTube clip put together by the commission depicting sex scenes in EU-funded films, she managed to elicit this quote from a commission spokesman:
Henceforth, Smith can be found in India, doubtless continuing to hound officialdom, expose social injustice, and keep us entertained with tongue-in-cheek, journalistic miscellany.