Wednesday, May 28, 2008

European Parliament to Silence Eurosceptic MEPs

The Daily Telegraph reports this morning that Euro MPs are about to vote to strip Euro Sceptic MEPs of allowances and research funds, all in the name of 'streamlining' party groupings of course. At the moment you need 20 MEPs from one fifth of member countries to form a group and thereby gain the grants. Labour MEP Richard Corbett is proposing a change to increase the threshold to 30 MEPs from a quarter of Member States.

Needless to say the EPP think this is a thoroughly good idea and will no doubt be whipping Tory MEPs to vote for it when it comes before the Parliament on 9 July.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage believes this is the first move of a plan to eliminate all eurosceptic voices from positions of influence. He told the Telegraph: "Welcome to your future. This shows an EU mindset that is arrogant, anti-democratic and frankly scary."

To their credit, the LibDems and Greens are opposing the move. Wouldn't it be nice to think that British Conservative MEPs might also do the same?

UPDATE: More from Trixy and The Devil.

44 comments:

simon said...

So that's where Odessa members went 'for something to do after world war 2'- the European Parliament. Enough is enough- better off out- of the EU.

haddock said...

Is that the EPP that the conservatives were leaving..... or a different one ?

Anonymous said...

Please, please, PLEASE, get us OUT of the EU.

Newmania said...

Yes and I see they are threatening the Irish over their referendum as well.

Of the many things about the EU which are infuriating can I just mention the Cornish Independence movement which is funded and encouraged by the EU as they encourage all and any initiative against the integrity of nation states.
It is little remarked that Cornwall is a extremely poor and the wealthy second and retirement homes pushing up property prices create understandable antagonism again “outsiders “. The so called Cornish Language is actually a mish mash of forgotten scraps and spoken by no-one really , and yet it has been allowed as an official language. The Cornish Parliament never existed and was just a meeting g of mining interests such as occurred elsewhere. From these fake antiquities, the Cornish separatist movement has been tended like a man starting a fire with sticks and now the EU has really got it going . This they hope its resurgence will at some point feed into the debate about regionalisation by which the Labour Party hope to bury their Scottish problem and the EU to Balkanise England.

It sounds like a joke but if you go to Cornwall nowadays you will see the flags everywhere. So when did we agree that the EU could spend our money breaking up our country , they are succeeding in Cornwall.

They are achieving what Hitler could not.

Chas said...

How many more warnings do we need before we take action? One day it will be too late and we will have to fight our way out of the EU.

rob's uncle said...

R: 'an EU moindset' : mindset?

Jon Worth said...

Sorry Iain, but the Tories' plans to leave the EPP are going to be a mess anyway - whatever the size of a political group. They can't even manage under the current rules, and the same would apply in 2009.

Cameron's problem is that there are simply no other centre-right parties in the EU that are caring, hug-a-hoodie style and are also Eurosceptic. ODS from Czech Republic are closer, but some of them are climate change deniers...

So don't let Corbett be your excuse.

Letters From A Tory said...

I want Cameron to get in front of the cameras and denounce this move. Europhiles and Eurosceptics should be united in resisting this attack on freedom of speech.

Blue Eyes said...

Another small cut that shows that the EU doesn't care a jot about democracy and freedom of speech if they dare to interfere with the grand plan.

John said...

With luck Lisbon will be passed, and then ye can have a take it or leave it Referendum on Europe.

These groups have actually been a positive development for euro-sceptics - look at UKIP helping to finance the No campaign over here. It is arguable that by forcing them to join together in an even larger group for extra funding, it will do even more for them.

David Boothroyd said...

Um, how exactly would anyone be 'silenced' by this move? The MEPs would still be able to say anything they want to anyone they want. They would just do so as Non-Inscrits instead of a formal recognised group.

I thought eurosceptics were in favour of cutting spending (especially political subsidies), and removing bureaucracy.

Twig said...

If you have never supported UKIP there's little point in wringing your hands now.
Regret to say that the Tories are part of the problem.

Anonymous said...

Anybody who has watched the UK History TV channel carrying its 1973 vintage "World at War" series can see that the idea of a Greater Reich is not too different to what we see with the EU (Even all our road signs are the Third Reich's design!! - don't take my word for it, watch closely the film footage being shown).

Since this 'environmentalism' fallacy was being pedalled in the '80s by the German Green Party - under orders from the Stasi - as a way of undermining the Prosperous West Germany, we can see now just how much they have succeeded (Bin taxes, Car Tax changes, road pricing, Carbon ration cards etc).

So given this provenance any plan to silence the minorities in the European Parliament has an ominous ring to it.

It should be resisted by the Conservatives at all cost if they are to have any credibility on freedom of speech.

Newmania said...

Aha is that David " A-Conservative-victory-is-psephologically-impossible “ Boothroyd. Surprised he has managed to tear himself away from carrying his hod around . He works in the Building industry you know ....ha ha
That was , 'psephologically-impossible', wasn’t it David ? I wouldn’t want to mis-quote you.

Anonymous said...

According to the Telegraph, the proposals by Richard Corbett (Labour MEP) include giving the president of the parliament "sweeping powers to approve or reject parliamentary questions".

If the Tory MEPs vote for this they should be deselected.

David Boothroyd said...

Newmania, for the last time, I never wrote that. It was written by someone pretending to be me.

Auntie Flo' said...

One more nail in the stalinist coffin where the EU aims to imprison democracy, Eurosceptism and any voice calling for accountability.

The corrupt, undemocratic and excesses of the scandalous EU gravy train must be outlawed - not the eurosceptics and dissent.

Cameron must act against this.

Anonymous said...

If David Boothroyd works in the building industry I am sure he has plenty of time on his hands at the moment.

Johnny One Finger said...

"arrogant, anti-democratic and frankly scary"

Bit like the Nazis then. Nice to see Germany are still interested in taking over Europe and no one bats an eyelid.

Anonymous said...

It's enough to turn you into a EU sceptic!

What is Cameron's view on the EU by the way?

Self amending treaties and suppression of free speech, control of the internet dressed up as an anti-terrorist measure, it all sounds a bit ominous.

Bishop Hill said...

David Boothroyd

If an incoming Conservative government was to propose that all MPs' allowances were done away with, presumably you'd have no problem with that?

Anonymous said...

Disengenous Iain, it's merely an adjustment on the reuqirements for forming a political group in the European Parliament. Anyone who can't form a new group under these rules (potentially the Tories for example) can sit as non-attached members like Dan Hannan or Roger Helmer.

Anonymous said...

Newmania does highlight the nonsense going on in Cornwall. I lived in falmouth for a time and found more English people living in Cornwall than actual Cornish. The District Council voted against changing street names to 'cornish' and the 'cornish' answer to the SNP never gets anywhere in the polls.

Remember, though, that for some unbelievable reason the Liberal Democrats control Cornwall. They got Unitary status against ALL the opinion polls and will push for this Cornish Language nonsense to be taught within the Schools. Much as the schools here in wales.

I met a chap once in Bude who I was told was the only man who could speak true Cornish! Then I read in a paper last week, I believe, that there are two variants of the 'language' and they are getting together to CREATE a unified language. I ask you!

Here in Wales I do like to hear people talk, and sing!, in Welsh. It is taught in Schools but for what purpose. The Chief Constable of North Wales has made it mandatory for recruits to speak Welsh!! (I think that goes against legislation!!) Except for Poles who are needed to speak to the many Polish people!

But, as in Cornwall, I meet far more English here in Wales, than actual Welsh!

What is going on, joking aside, is a complete change of the character of our Island. By bringing in many thousands of immigrants -both EU and non EU- by pandering to these 'language' issues - by supporting separatism! such as Assemblies and Governments for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland- the EU have managed to change this Nation State - with the active support of the Labour Government- into a rag bag of nationalities. The English are even denied their name! BRITONS/BRITISH we are all now, according to our beloved leader The Great Blunderer Brown-.

One day, I hope very soon, a real political party for the ENGLISH will be established and the dog can then wag the tail. We can demand OUR country back and all those in favour of breaking us up into a nothingness can go and live elsewhere!

We do need a real party - not the joke outfit UKIP have become- to stand to take us OUT of the EU.

Once the Lisbon Constitreaty is signed I do believe the march to freedom will begin!

Tim Almond said...

Hiding behind the EPP simply won't do, Iain. David Cameron can threaten these guys that they won't be standing as Conservatives at the next election.

Either that, or he supports it.

Frankly, I've heard barely a word of Euroscepticism. The promise over the Lisbon Treaty is a pointless one as we all know that there won't be an election until it's been signed.

Over post offices, he didn't once mention that the reason Post Offices were closing was because of EU directives over subsidies. Yours and Dizzy's posts about data retention didn't mention that this was also about an EU directive.

A Tangled Web. said...

Disgraceful!!!

Man in a Shed said...

The next stage will be to refuse parties the right to stand in Euro elections unless they are in one of these groupings.

Manfarang said...

anony 10:52 AM
I watched the World at War IN 1973 and it said nothing of the sort.Hitler wanted to expand eastwards,which he tried to do,and he would have made peace with Britain leaving it with its Empire.
It was the Conservatives in Germany that helped put Hitler in power in the first place.

Penfold said...

Well well, so the first moves by Hans-Gert Poeterring to silence dissent have now morphed into this overt piece of legislation designed to stifle opposition.
It’s quite clear that the EU and its Parliament have no inclination towards democratic process and have no time for debate and anyone or anybody that wishes to slow, derail or simply question the direction.
We are quite clearly better off out of this dictatorial, corrupt cesspit.
Perhaps Gordo the Ineffectual Twat would like to explain this move, linking it with his preposterous claim that the Lisbon Treaty has no equivalent with the Constitution, that the process is democratic and in line with his ridiculous claim that he is listening and feels our pain.
If he is listening then I would really like to hear a cogent explanation for his support of this autarchic and fascistic move.

Anonymous said...

Don't just complain. Do what YOU can. Support Free Europe Constitution - and tell your friends en masse - and vote YES at www.FreeEurope.info !

Anonymous said...

None of this surprises me. The sort of people who inhabit and benefit from the the EU "parliament" and its beaurocracy are the same sort who inhabited the euqivalent parts of the Mussolini's state, Franco's state, and after a bit of prodding, Hitler's too. Ditto Vichy.

Its a common mentality throughout large stretches of Europe. The EU has captured it, just like the Kaiser's Germany did. The number of genuine deomocrats in Europe is few and far between. The pontificating bourgois have always been happy to settle for ditatorship in the end as long as they are on the inside.

neil craig said...

I remember some years ago reading the biography of Oto Skorzeny (Hitler's SS commando who got Mussolini out of allied hands among other pretty considerable feats). At the end of the war while he & his frinds were hiding out (actually they were negotiating with the US for a deal, through Operation Paperclip to get a cushy job in the new New World Order) they all apparently decided that a democratic European Union was the hope of the future. Simon is not that far out about ODESSA members.

Newmania said...

Manfarang said
and he would have made peace with Britain leaving it with its Empire.


Yes he made a special special promise that once we were at his mercy he would be weally weally nice to us...

Thank god Winston Churchill would have nothing to do with an accomodation with Germany which without him was a serious possibility.
This shows the value of strong nations ( and Conservative PMs) . It was love of country and loyalty to it that saved us all.



Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be.

We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, ....


No-one will ever love the EU and ultimately that is why it will fail .

andy kirkham said...

This move is actually quite a clever one by Richard Corbett since it really puts David Cameron in a tight corner if he is to fulfil his promise to leave the EPP. It is rumoured that Timothy Kirkhope die -- hard Europhile ,has done nothing to martial Conservative opposition to this move which will come back to the full Parliament in July. The Conservatives must vote against this disgraceful proposal

Yes you can operate as an independent MEP but all Committee posts and positions of power go to the Groups and dear old Hans - Gert will ensure that you are ignored.

Not a sheep said...

man in a shed (1:21): You are right that "The next stage will be to refuse parties the right to stand in Euro elections unless they are in one of these groupings." But that is not the final step; not long after that it will be made a crime to publish articles criticising the EU and then how long before a UK citizen who says on a blog that the EU is corrupt, has an arrest warrant issued in Belgium and is extradited to that country to stand trial.

Heaver said...

Iain, the Tories are scum who are
The vast majority of Tory MEP's will vote for these shocking measures because when it comes to it, the whip means more to them than retaining any sense of integrity. You lot really are no better than Labour or the LibDems.

David Lindsay said...

No, of course the Tories are not going to oppose this. No, of course they are never going to leave the EPP. No, of course Cameron never really wanted them to.

And yes, of course the Tories still have an enormous psepholgical mountain to climb: overturning a majority of seven thousand in Cheshire two years before a General Election is nothing.

In any case, Cameron (unlike Angela Watkinson) signed the Select Committee report calling for the downgrading of cannabis, Cameron (unlike much of his party) voted in favour of the Sexual Orientation Regulations, Cameron (unlike most of his party) voted in favour of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, Cameron whipped his party to support the Government Bill banning the creation of any more grammar schools, and much else besides.

Not least, his eventual succession by George Osborne, who voted to keep the current abortion limit, voted to abolish fatherhood, and has described any mention of immigration as "dog-whistle politics", so that any party which engages in it is "the nasty party".

Now, since they have been raised, to more serious matters.

Those of us who grew up surrounded by people from mining backgrounds have of course always been ambivalent about Churchill. His conduct during the First World War also deserves rather more scrutiny than it generally receives.

There are serious flaws in his ‘History of the English-Speaking Peoples’, and rather worse than mere errors in his war memoirs. And it is notable that he was removed as Prime Minister by the electorate while the war against Japan was still going on.

All in all, a bit of balance to the Myth of Winston Churchill is long overdue.

Churchill’s constituency association deselected him as its parliamentary candidate a generation after the War, so his mythic status doesn’t seem to have been established even by then, and really would appear to have begun only with his death very soon thereafter.

Churchill presumably didn’t mind too much what his constituency association thought, since he openly regarded himself as above party, and that party returned the compliment, eventually and within Churchill’s lifetime giving its Leadership to Alec Douglas-Home, Chamberlain’s old PPS, who had abstained rather than support Churchill’s wartime plans for the political geography of post-War Europe.

And the failure of Germany to invade Britain even on the eve of the American intervention, when conquest of this utterly exhausted country would have been easy, strongly suggests that, all rhetoric aside, there was never any such intention, in line with both the known geopolitical ambitions and the known cultural tastes of the Nazi leaders to the very end.

We had to defeat people who were dropping bombs on our towns and cities, who were sinking our ships, who were shooting at our soldiers in several parts of the world, and who were occupying the Channel Islands for strategic reasons within that conflict. But that does not in itself prove that they wanted to invade and subjugate us. Handed that opportunity on a plate, they strikingly failed to take it.

Perhaps we should have fought Nazi Germany because of anti-Semitism. But we did not. Nor could we have done. Until the alliance with Hitler, Mussolini’s Italy was actually less anti-Semitic that Britain, France, the US or the USSR. The British, French and American ways of expressing it might have been less direct than the German ones AT THAT TIME (well before the Holocaust), but does that really make them any better?

Even most Germans had little or no idea about the Holocaust, and everyone else only became aware of it when they saw the newsreel of camps being liberated towards the very end of the War.

Furthermore, Churchill himself was personally anti-Semitic, and a dedicated Zionist for that very reason: he wanted the Jews to go away. The Zionist underground agreed with him, very nearly coming to an understanding whereby Hitler would have expelled the Jews by sending them to Palestine, which he and the Zionists would have conquered together for the purpose.

In ‘Great Contemporaries’, published in 1937 (two years after he had called Hitler's achievements "among the most remarkable in the whole history of the world"), Churchill wrote that:

"Those who have met Herr Hitler face to face in public business or on social terms have found a highly competent, cool, well-informed, functionary with an agreeable manner, a disarming smile, and few have been unaffected by a subtle personal magnetism."

This passage was not removed from the book's reprint in 1941. No wonder that he was thrown out of Downing Street while the war against Japan was still going on, Labour won half of his newly divided seat, and an Independent did so well against him in the other half after Labour and the Liberals disgracefully refused to field candidates against him.

Like the myth of all classes suffering equally (which would at best have been laughed out during or immediately after the War), or the ‘Dad's Army’ myth of all pulling together in an essentially jolly lark of a war effort, the myth of Churchill had clearly yet to be established in the popular mind.

In 1940, Germany had no designs on the United Kingdom or on any part of the British Empire, and merely wished to expel, not to exterminate, her Jewish population. Having made peace, we could just have turned down Hitler's desired military alliance with Britain, undoubtedly hastening the end of Nazism in the process.

Our subsequent alliance with Stalin was morally no better than an alliance with Hitler would have been; indeed, at that stage, it was morally more distasteful, although of course it was strategically necessary and needs to be judged on that basis.

And its impact in the United States was not only to keep America out of the War (as was always going to happen until she was actually attacked, and not a moment longer), but also to turn, not just Midwestern Republicans, but also Southern Agrarians and some of those in the Catholic encyclical tradition, from people who mocked and despised Hitler (although they might have admired Franco, Salazar, and up to a point Mussolini), into people who saw him as the bulwark against Soviet expansion, which in turn they saw as allied to their atavistic enemy whether as heirs of the American Revolution or as Irish-Americans. Many became rabid Jew-haters, which they had not been before.

The Southern Agrarians and the Catholics were Democrats, and indeed significant beneficiaries of the New Deal. But the seeds were being sown for the destruction of the majority Democratic coalition a generation later, against the backdrop of progressive domestic but appalling foreign policies, when the Democratic Party that had in this period first loosened its Southern Evangelical and its Catholic moorings finally let them slip altogether. Ahead lay Ronald Reagan and George Waterboarding Bush.

The Soviet Union actually began the War as a de facto member of the Axis, with the Soviet Army fighting alongside that of Nazi Germany, and notably staging a joint victory parade through the streets of Brest-Litovsk. (If there had also been a Soviet satellite in Spain at that time, then we really would have lost the War, and that very early on. Hitler would then have turned east anyway, but our war would have been over by then.)

Yet we managed to forgive Stalin. And more than once, we indicated our willingness to forgive Mussolini, too; in 1940 Churchill had been all ready to give Mussolini Gibraltar, Malta, Suez, and if he had wanted them also Kenya (with its large community of white settlers), Uganda, and what was then Somaliland. Instead, he later had to content himself with carving up the Eastern Mediterranean into a Soviet and what he intended to be a British sphere of influence.

Behind all of this lay, and lies, the supreme tragedy of the twentieth century, namely the decision of the United States to join the Allies in 1917, rather than, by refusing to do so, to force them to make an equitable peace with the Central Powers, since neither could by then have defeated the other.

No Treaty of Versailles, and thus no Nazism. No Soviet Union. No carve-up of the Balkans.

And no carve-up of the Middle East.

Little Black Sambo said...

David Lindsay - David Irving? or even David Boothroyd? ("Tories still have an enormous psepholgical mountain.")

Newmania said...

David that was fun . So Gordon Brown is sitting pretty(sorry Opinion Polls , Coucil elections and Mayoral elections you did not happen) and the Conservatives are dangerously Liberal ,secretly wishing to flood the country with immigrants and encourage all sorts of Liberal what not . Moving on Churchill was a most awful person and all in all it would have been better if we had lost the First World war.

What larks you have , well I `m really not qualified to comment on your prescription for the 20th century but judging from the outright cobblers you kick off with my myths will remain untarnished .
I am guessing you have read that revisionist book I saw in the papers recently . Thanks for saving me the trouble .

( Oh and you are wrong about Europe and the Conservatuive Party , but we shall see.....)

Anonymous said...

No surprise that it is a Nulab MEP leading this attempt to stifle criticism. This party just reeks of authoritarianism.

Scipio said...

Farage is right.

This proposition is years old and reappears in various forms from time to time.

The last time (or so I recall) was an attempt to deny funds to any grouping which wasn't signed up to a 'commitment to democracy', which included a form of words which deliberately contained a commitment to federalism - which obviously sceptics would refuse to sign - thus denying them funds which pro-federalists would get.

They of course justified it by saying it was intended to outflank the Nazi's - who are not committed to democratic purposes. But since Hitler doesn't currently have any MEPs, the real reasons are easy to see.

Clever aren't they. Standing up for democracy by clamping down on....er....democracy and freedom of speech!

ukipwebmaster said...

Thank you for posting on this Ian. I know it's like a Christmas day truce and hostilities will resume tomorrow, but the gesture is noted.
Warm glow across cyberpsace :)

Anonymous said...

Having read the blog comments (and historical interpretation), somehow I am glad my father fought against the Nazis in the Second World War.

I don't think Hitler would have delayed long in invading this country if it had not been for our better use of technology (ie radar) coupled with the brave actions of Fighter Command - many of them loosing their life in the struggle.

As for the EU? It seems to show that the analysis that "The Germans lost the war, and we lost the peace" was correct.

How many Dutch readers of this blog are pleased that they were invaded (Westwards, please note David) - or Danes or Norwegians?

No, I don't want to re-run the second world war, but then again I think we should not agree to this appeasement, launched by Heath, any-longer.

Ian Thorpe said...

Good link.

This stuff does not get enough exposure. I was reading a blog the other day, forget who it was now, the writer was complaining about the weakness of UK blogging compared to the U.S.
American bloggers are organised and network of course. It strikes me that we Brits could do the same and an issue like this could be an ideal starter.

It can work, I helped a group of National Blood Service staff organise a Google bombing of NHS sites to raise awareness of the plan to centralise and introduce an internal market into the Blood Transfusion system. They seem to have blocked that one for now.

Anonymous MP said...

Napoleon, Hitler; if at first you don't succeeed..."

Sorry I can't identify myself otherwise I'd forfeit my luxury EU pension having briefly been on their General Advisory Commission For Tapeworms ( Enhancement ).