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Monday, 19 September 2011

News from Strasbourg

Strasbourg Commentary     Plenary Session     12 - 15 Sept 2011

Wednesday. Not much in the way of votes this week to get excited about.
Mind you, we are to vote on Libya tomorrow. But today we had a treat, a
debate on,-
                             "The Economic Crisis and the Euro",

This was led by Barroso, "we must implement the principles we adopted in
July. National Governments must explain the benefits of the Euro! He
employed the usual terms; Solidarity, Act Together, Climate Change....and
to solidify the Euro we must deepen integration. We need more Europe, not

On Euro Bonds the ECB will introduce options all within the treaties,
although there will be some need for Treaty Changes (but Lisbon is

Other speakers agreed with Barroso in the main; need single Vision, its
either each for himself or All together. It was a mistake to introduce the
Euro without pan Europe Fiscal Government, separate economies ruin it. We
need Economic Government, A Euro Bond market, Growth & Jobs Pact and a
Stability pact, with the Commission in charge!

The common theme was that this must all be done by the Commission, no room
for the elected MEPs of course. Apparently, the markets look for
weaknesses and exploit them,- well some one has woken up. And then a ray
of light from the ECR speaker who promoted Greek devaluation and asked, in
the context of the impending Greek default, "Whose funereal am I
attending, theirs or ours?"

And then came Nigel who said that European Economic Governance was,-

"A plane lands at Athens airport out of which get an official from the
Commission, an official from the ECB and an official from the appalling
IMF. Those three people, the Troika you call them, go in, meet the Greek
Government and tell the Greek Government what they may or may not do. You
have killed Democracy in Greece. You have three part-time overseas
dictators now telling the Greek people what they can and cannot do. It is
totally unacceptable.....

I have one last plea Mr Barroso, will you please help Greece. Help her to
get her currency back, help her to reschedule her debts, help her to get
out of the mess you have put her into. Your policies have failed, stand
up, be a man, admit it. "

(Full speech on Video, party web site, & UKIP MEP's web site.)

And so to voting followed by the most disgraceful episode imaginable.

It had been planned for Tuesday to hold a minute's silence for the victims
of the dreadful massacre in Norway. Quite right too. But it was held over
to the Wednesday voting session when the President of the Parliament,
Jerzy Buzak, made some opening remarks, all in order if too long, but
never did I imagine what a dreadful, crass error was to follow. Each
group, its leader or a nominee, was then invited to make remarks.

The Socialist leader, Robert Schulz, made it political, emphasising that
the murdered youngsters were all young socialists attending a Party event.
This was endorsed by the left leaning groups who added comments like,
Xenophobia, attack on our society etc etc. while Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Green
co-chairman, even used the occasion to attack Le Pen for what he is
alleged to have said about the massacre. Only the ECR speaker avoided
political comment and, of course, our EFD speaker, co-chairman Francesco
Speroni, who spoke briefly in measured tones, in just the right kind of

Worse followed after the one minute silence. A German Socialist MEP,
Robert Goebbels, rose to denounce Nigel as an Anti- European bigot who,
while being in the building, preferred to be absent for this, rather than
join all the democrats.  Nigel had indeed left the chamber during votes
precisely to avoid what he knew was coming.

I confess to being stunned, Francesco Speroni tried to rise in answer but
was denied by the President.

I found it too difficult to stay there and left before voting had ended.
As a result I missed the sequel, but picked it up on the Parliament
recordings. Le Pen rose to answer Cohn-Bendit and insults were then hurled
across the assembly with accusations of paedophilia. All this at what
should have been a solemn occasion.

Be in no doubt, if ever you were, that we are under constant attack by
those who profess to have embraced democracy but who, in fact, no nothing
of it. Worse, they have no sense of decency or decorum, or of putting
differences aside in the name of something bigger than all of us.

It will get worse. The President of Parliament only serves two and a half
years of the five year mandate and a new one is then elected. This
election is a farce. The EPP are the biggest group, the Socialists next so
they do a deal. They all vote for the EPP nominee for the fist half of the
mandate, and all for the Socialist for the second half. Its a racing
certainty that this will bring us Robert Schulz for the second half,
starting in January.

There is nothing left to say.

Derek Clark    MEP                                            Strasbourg,

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