Tuesday, January 25, 2005
An e-mail from Polish MEPs
I just received this email from the Polish League of Families; I thought it fairly pertinent, and it's attacking the vile Martin Schulz, so I asked for (and was given) permission to reproduce it in full. There's a wider point to be made here about the way in which the EU plays free-and-easy in the message it sends out: be it perceived Holocaust-revisionism; to surpressing its opponents (see posts passim); or be it exaggerating the EU's role in history (the current propoganda is that it was the EU that ensured peace in Europe since 1945 - nothing to do with the USA or NATO, obviously).
The whole process is redolent of far darker times and I consider it important to flag such things to people's attention. God knows the EU spends millions of euros a year pumping out its own propaganda in order to con voters Europe-wide; it's yet another aspect of the EU juggernaut that terrifies me.
From: ROGALSKI Boguslaw
Sent: 25 January 2005 17:29
To: MEP; ASSISTANTS
Subject: An appeal to reject a revisionist account of German history
An appeal to reject a revisionist account of German history
The Sixtieth Anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp will be commemorated on January 27, 2005 at the Auschwitz II-Birkenau site. Most members of the European Parliament feel that it is important to remember the past in order to never allow the kind of horrendous acts against humanity that Hitler's Germany committed during World War II. It is a historical fact that Germany, in the name of National Socialism (NAZI), exterminated millions of innocent people of different backgrounds including Jews, Poles, Roma, Slavic peoples, Catholic clergy, and many other nations, peoples, and individuals that were deemed subhuman or useless to the German race in the view of National Socialists.
Martin Schulz, a German member and Chairman of the Socialists in the EP, in his Oral Questions (O-0089/2004,O-0090/2004), commemorates the 60th anniversary of the opening of the gates of Auschwitz extermination camp on 27 January 1945 and asks the Council and the Commission of how aware they are of the fact that the fight with Anti-Semitism and Racism is not over. His resolution (B6-0069/2005), however, gives a revisionist account of the very history which we are commemorating. Namely, his resolution contains such misleading statements such as "the sixtieth anniversary of the opening of the gates of the Auschwitz extermination camp in Poland." Perhaps, like other misguided revisionist historians, Mr. Schulz is trying to rewrite history and shift the blame from Germany for the annihilation of the Central European Jewish population to some unspecified NAZIs. There is no trace, in his resolution, that it was the German III Reich, German National Socialists (NAZIs), or Hitler's Germany that built the camps and exterminated innocent human beings.
We pose new questions to our colleagues in this Parliament in this debate:
Why is it that 60 years after the fact, some members of this Parliament want to give a false account of the Holocaust and ignore the fact that many nations and groups of people were murdered alongside their Jewish neighbours, that it was in fact, National Socialist Germany that committed these great crimes against humanity and not some "extermination camp in Poland"?
The joint resolution that will be voted on January 27, unfortunately, was construed to leave the same revisionism that was drafted by the Socialists. Namely, the fact, that it was a German death camp, was omitted.
We urge you to vote against the joint resolution and to vote for the resolution, by IND/DEM, which concisely depicts the true historical account of these tragic moments in European Twentieth Century history.
Polish Delegation - IND/DEM
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Please give freely, unless you're British
"I hate ingratitude more in a man
than lying, vainness, babbling, drunkenness,
or any taint of vice whose strong corruption
inhabits our frail blood."
We received two emails in our inbox today; one advertising the Belgian Red Cross blood donation stand in the Parliament today. The other reminded us that, as British nationals, we are barred from giving blood due to the BSE crisis.
I suspect they're using BSE as an excuse to cover up the fact that British blood is simply far too strong for your average European to handle.
Hmm. In amongst all the general anti-EU complaining, I thought I'd be nice to nominate my favourite MEP; i.e. the one with whom I most enjoy working. Also, I suppose it gives (some, meagre) profile to good politicians who, let's face it, wouldn't be recognised by your average pleb if the politico in question ran up to them and slapped them in the face with a still-damp haddock.
Runners-up medals to Michal Kaminski, Chris Heaton-Harris and Roger Helmer, but the winner has to be Czech MEP Ivo Strejcek. He's a stupendously pleasant chap, always happy to chat, and not to mention politically very sound as far as the EU and the new Constitution goes. The Czech MEPs played a blinder in the recent Constitution vote, with 17 out of 24 voting 'No'.
The lanyard I have for my Parliament pass reads "No to the Constitution", produced by the Czech ODS Party - I made a joke about Mr Strejcek's (he's the ODS chief whip), and the next day he brought me down a handful to distribute. Thoroughly nice man.
I can't imagine Phil Bradbourn (Tory chief whip) doing the same for a random Czech researcher...
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Highly suspect reverse-metaphor
The party structure within the European Parliament is specifically designed to ensure maximum pro-EU co-operativeness in all concerned. There are three main groups: the EPP-ED (Christian Democrat / Centre-"right"), ALDE (Liberals), and the Party of European Socialists. On top of that, you've got your fringe nutters like the Greens, the Green Left (tautology, I know, I know), and Independence & Democracy (UKIP). To be fair, describing the EPP-ED as "centre-right" is giving them too much credit: they're centrist and federalist and I see no difference between them and the socialists - they want the same thing, a federal Europe, they just disagree on the precise method of how to achieve that end.
As I say, the system is designed to shaft those parties who won't play Europhile ball; make trouble by going your own way, and your funding and plenary speaking time get vastly reduced - the bigger the Party, the more cash and speaking time they receive. UKIP get few of either, sitting as they do with Independence & Democracy - and as such they like to attack the Conservatives for their membership of the federalist EPP-ED(albeit under very strained terms and special circumstances).
All of which leads me to my tenuous metaphor in reverse; as I dragged my hungover arse into work this morning through the Brussels drizzle, hunched under my EPP-ED golfing umbrella, the thought struck me - my umbrella usage was almost the Conservatives' situation in reverse. In the same way that my EPP-ED umbrella kept me dry (remove it and I get wet), the Conservatives' position under the EPP-ED makes them Wet; however, remove that EPP-ED umbrella and the funding would slow to a trickle, leaving them high and dry.
I did say it was a highly suspect reverse-metaphor.
Saturday, January 15, 2005
Guns Don't Kill People, MEPs do
Bonus points if anyone can guess which Conservative MEP has asked to borrow my copy of the Goldie Lookin Chain debut album, 'Greatest Hits', after I walked into his office on Tuesday to find him listening to their recent top pop smash, Guns Don't Kill People, Rappers Do?
Friday, January 14, 2005
So this is the pro-Europeans' secret plan!
"All the member states must ratify the constitution for it to come into effect, and several, including eurosceptic Britain, will hold referendums on it over the next two years. Veteran pro-Europe MEP and co-president of the Green party in parliament Daniel Cohn-Bendit said:
'Blair will do his referendum last. Twenty-four countries will have ratified it. Blair, when it comes to England's turn, will tell them: listen, it's very simple; either we say yes or we get out. And he wins with 70%.'"
January Strasbourg, Part Two
The European Parliament voted in favour of the constitution. This is about as newsworthy a story as "Dog Bites Man". What did make front-page news in the press, Europe-wide (Das Bild, El Pais), was our little protest. As you might be able to see below, they worked brilliantly. All those "Not In My Name" posters? I made them! Well, more accurately, with a rather pithy irony I ripped the logo straight off the Stop The War campaign website and made them into anti-EU posters, and then colleagues and I spent all of Tuesday co-ordinating the various protests. One hundred posters in all, it made rather an impact.
The day as a whole could not have gone better. It started with the MEPs protesting in the chamber, as one may see below. The whole affair then moved to outside the chamber, where ten or so of our researchers were waiting with "Not In My Name" t-shirts and The Constitution Monster (one of our chaps in a werewolf suit, wearing the slogan "Devouring Democracy" and brandishing copies of the constitution). It's fair to say the media went for it hook, line and sinker - cameras everywhere, MEPs were interviewed into the ground. We then unfurled a huge banner, wrestled with security guards who were attempting to take it off us, and headed outside for part two of the protest.
The office part of the Strasbourg building is like a big donut. There is a large courtyard in the middle, where the Yes campaign had planned media interviews to a backdrop of balloons and a triumphant small band. Instead, they conducted their interviews to a succession of 'No' campaigners, banners, t-shirts and a shower of confetti - the latter of which drew admiring gasps from onlookers, believing it to be part of the festivities - only to be crushed upon seeing the confetti all bore the phrase, "No!".
None of the footage taken will be used in the 'Yes' campaign propaganda, that's for sure. Mission accomplished.
The one black part of the day (vote result aside, but no-one's surprised at that) was the conduct of security. They were clearly utterly unprepared for such protests, and resorted to violence to try and restore order - not only did they try to stop protesters carrying 'No' placards back into the building whilst letting 'Yes' campaigners straight through, but far worse, two female UKIP researchers were physically assaulted by security guards. The behaviour of security was an absolute disgrace.
UKIP's protests, I might add, were a disaster - stopped by security at the first hurdle, and they had their banners confiscated. It needs to be pointed out that Wednesday's protests were all Tory-led - at last the Party has done something right on Europe (although I have used the picture of UKIP members holding up Tory-produced and -organised posters, below - I thought it appropriate!).
Finally, to sum up the bungling incompetence of these pro-EU idiots; the finale of the day was supposed to be the release of huge, helium-filled 'Yes' balloons. The reason they weren't released? The 'Yes' organisers had neglected to obtain permission from Strasbourg airport, as the building is under the flightpath. Muppets.
Still, 'No' campaign One, 'Yes' campaign Nil.
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
January Strasbourg, Part One
To borrow a line from Blackadder, I'm happier than a Frenchman who has just invented a pair of self-removing trousers. Tomorrow is the vote on the Méndez de Vigo-Corbett report on the Constitution. Last night and all of today have been a whirlwind of organising publicity stunts and minority reports; co-ordinating and liaising with MEP's; and generally fizzing around the Strasbourg building like a blue-arsed fly. It has been firstly enormous fun, but secondly, and more importantly, I'm actively involved in opposing "this fucking Constitution" (a Polish MEP, to me, earlier) - something about which I care passionately.
Were the referenda Europe-wide to support the Constitution - were unparalleled, unprecented, emphatic "Yes" votes to wing their way from the four corners of the continent, ringing democratic endorsements of the document from all twenty-five nations; then, I would accept the Constitution with a heavy heart, as the will of the people. Instead, what we are facing is an undemocratic farce; the Constitution is being voted through by MEP's and implemented by Commissioners and the European Court of Justice without so much as a single referendum ballot being cast in any country, let alone the Treaty itself being ratified by the governments of nation states. It's unfair; it's undemocratic; it is wrong, plain and simple.
That's why I'm so fired up and full of energy, with a spring in my step and a gleam in my eye - in spite of lack of sleep and a mild hangover (last night's evening meal was technically-speaking a working dinner, but soon degenerated into cigars and port). I'm getting an opportunity to make my voice heard in protest against something that I believe will be a mortal blow to my country's independence, democracy and sovereignty. This opportunity is something that most UK citizens are being denied by the EU - and I intend to take full advantage. The protest will be small, and almost certainly will be meaningless in the long run - the vote will still pass. But at least we can use our voices before it's too late - and if we irritate the bastards that are doing this to our country, and ruin their self-congratulatory little party in the meantime? All the better.
Friday, January 07, 2005
Being a sad politicogeek, I'm a regular contributor to the Liberal Democrat Youth forum. The reason for this being (as you may realise) that I'm fairly combative in nature, and arguing with those who have totally different viewpoints to one's own is far more enjoyable than arguing minutiae with those who, in essence, agree with you.
Still, I've been nominated as "Most Amusing Troll" on there, receiving such high praise as:
"Most amusing troll has to go to Foxy. He may be a shameless bastard, but he's still bloody funny when people just don't get the point."
I'm not sure whether I'm more proud of the "amusing" bit or the "shameless bastard" bit! Either way, the point of this post is to publicise the site, as it's a very decent level of argument with some entirely pleasant folks. Recommended.
They couldn't be more wrong on Europe, mind you.
Thursday, January 06, 2005
We in our office are trying to get a poster we've produced blown up to A2 size. Not hard, you'd think...
You take the original A4-size poster to the copy shop, you say, "Fifty prints on A2 size, please, Johnny Belgian". Poirot takes the original, and the next day he hands you back fifty prints in the size you requested, in exchange for a fistful of grubby euros.
Or so one would think... Instead, the following conversation ensues:
"Hello, I'd like this A4 poster blown up to A2 size, please."
"We don't have A2 in Belgium."
"Are you sure? It's a very common size."
"We don't do it."
"Can you recommend anywhere that might be able to do this for us?"
Belgian customer service in microcosm.
Happy New Year
Am back in Brussels. Yay.
It's only a five minute walk from my flat to the Parliament; I must say, however, that the local Belgian dog-walkers have surpassed themselves this morning. Quite how they managed to achieve such a thick, even and widespread layer of dog shit on the pavement all the way from my front door to the small park outside Parliament, I don't know. Impressive work (not to mention providing a handy simile when talking about the EU - i.e. "the EU is about as effective and efficient as a Brussels pavement cleaner").
Tough as I am on Belgium - not to mention the causes of Belgium - I have to say that they do whup our backsides on health care. I had some weird, alcohol-related allergic reaction before Christmas (much facial redness, lack of breathing. All rather irritating), which necessitated a visit to hospital. Thirty seconds after arrival at A&E, I was whisked into a cubicle, given a couple of shots, and was right as rain within an hour. The nurses were unrushed and attentive, the doctor was polite and spoke better English than the last doctor I saw in the UK, and the hospital was clean and tidy. I was happy to pay. When, O when, are we going to realise the folly of having an NHS and give our country the private healthcare system it deserves?
I have been roped into next week's Strasbourg debacle. Am not too fussed, as it should be rather a laugh - the Parliament is voting on the Méndez de Vigo-Corbett Report. This is a report by two MEPs on the new Constitution, which turned out wholly in favour of it and was - shock, horror - adopted by the Constitutional Affairs Committee by 20 votes to three, with three abstentions. Incidentally, Richard Corbett is a member of the Party of European Socialists (i.e. a Labour MEP) and is one of the most vile, treasonous federasts in the whole Parliament.
The text concludes that "the Constitution is, globally, a good compromise and a vast improvement on the existing treaties which will, once implemented, bring about visible benefits for citizens". The committee's report will now be forwarded for discussion by all MEPs in the January plenary session. It is certain to be adopted by the overwhelmingly pro-integration Parliament; a huge fete is being planned in celebration of the inevitable "Yes" vote. Various protests and objections are being planned by Eurosceptics of different parties, and I am very much looking forward to getting involved in these.
It should be enormous fun winding up the people who are signing away our sovereignty and nationhood without so much as a by-your-leave, but one should not lose sight of the enormous implications of this move, when coupled with the recent statements by many new Commissioners that they will act "in the spirit of the Constitution". without so much as a single referendum result in, the EU establishment is implementing the new Constitution by stealth. The political elite of Europe are bypassing democracy, regardless of the wishes of their citizens, in order to further their own political aims. It sums up the arrogance of the EU Empire Builders, and is a complete travesty of democracy. And yet, not a whisper in the British press.
One can't help but fear the battle for nationhood and sovereignty is lost, with such an overwhelmingly pro-EU consensus amongst the political elite, and such widespread public apathy on the subject.