Self-serving politicians have an amazing capacity to endure, yet they occasionally cross the line and shoot themselves in the foot.
Such, I suspect, is the case with the current MEPs expenses scandal where the European Parliament's already shoddy reputation in national capitals has been further tarnished by its refusal to publish the report.
Following emergency discussions in the Conference of Presidents and the Parliamentary Bureau, the Budget Control committee voted yesterday not to make their findings public - a move supported by President Hans-Gert Pottering.
Everyone is hoping the story can be brushed under the carpet if they simply keep stum. Either because a) they are exploiting the system and fear the electoral consequences or because b) they fear a low turnout at next year's European elections, and thus, the electoral consequences.
Everyone, that is, except for a small band of feisty, media savvy MEPs who have openly aired their views to the press and are calling for those who defraud the public exchequer to be 'named and shamed'. Small wonder so many of their fellow parliamentarians are out to get them.
Sources tell me our esteemed representatives consider the threat to their livelihoods so great that they have requested large chunks of next week's Group Week to be put aside to discuss 'disciplining' these traitors.
This is the worst case of outright hypocrisy and shamelessness I have seen for some years from the peoples' representative. May they reap what they have sown when this becomes more widely known.