Thursday, January 17, 2008

Silencing of Free Speech in the EU

At some point it will be generally acknowledged that the enemies of free speech and liberalism in the world today are those who occupy the left side of the aisle, whether they denominate themselves as progressives, socialists, secular humanists, or quite disingunously, liberals. Today's example comes from that grand experiment in socialism, the EU.

At the EU Parliament, those MEP's who seek to argue that the new EU constitution imposed by the Lisbon Treaty should be subject to a referendum of the people are being silenced and disciplined for their temerity. As the authors of the blog EU Referendum cogently comment, the EU "may have gone for the trappings of democracy, with their votes and their "parliament" but they will not brook dissent."

For backround on this issue, see here. What is occurring today in Europe with the EU is nothing less than a socialist coup. And now today, the latest from Euroskeptic MEP Daniel Hannan in the Telegraph:

. . . Once again, I and a group of other MEPs asked to exercise our right to explain, in not more than one minute, why we voted as we did. Once again, the European Parliament chose to ignore its rulebook and deny us that right, cutting off the session after 20 minutes. You can watch the Deputy Speaker’s explanation of why he did so here.

Let us be clear about what is happening. We Eurosceptic MEPs have never before, in 30 years, sought to delay the business of the House. We are doing so now only to protest about the outrageous cancellation of the promised referendums on the European Constitution, and about the EU’s illegal implementation of large parts of that document in anticipation of formal ratification. Our action would not have halted parliament’s business: all it would have done is to slow things down very slightly. Had they been sensible, the federalist MEPs would have rolled with the punch and allowed us to make our point peaceably — as Diana Wallace, a likeable Lib Dem who happened to be in the chair yesterday, did.

But we Eurosceptics often have an unsettling effect on our colleagues. Whenever one of us stands up, a red mist seems to descend on the integrationist majority. They can’t bring themselves to do anything we ask — however reasonable our request, and however unreasonable they make themselves look by denying it. (See, for example, the pompous blog by Labour MEP Richard Corbett, despite his reported private acknowledgment that the parliamentary authorities were behaving illicitly.

Fourteen MEPs, including my Tory colleague Roger Helmer and various UKIP members, have now been summoned to be disciplined over their participation in the pro-referendum demonstration last month.

Sanctions might include a €1000 fine or suspension without pay for up to ten days. Now it is true that some Euro-MPs behaved yobbishly on that occasion: it would have been better had they held up their “REFERENDUM” placards in silence. But, as I recorded at the time, the tumult was sparked by the Speaker’s decision to send his officers to tear away the placards (which the poor ushers did apologetically and with great charm). In other words, the Speaker would not even tolerate the word “referendum” in the chamber.

Meanwhile, I am continuing to mimic Marcus Porcius Cato, who ended every speech with a call for Carthage to be destroyed (usually recorded as "delenda est Carthago”. This afternoon, I spoke on the European Human Rights Institute, on Europol (the federal police force), on Turkish accession and on the EU’s policy towards the South Caucasus, and each time I ended with a call for the Lisbon Treaty to be put to the vote. . . Pactio Olisipiensis Censenda Est. . .

In the mean time, the European Parliament has put itself so at odds with natural justice, with democratic principles and with its own rules of procedure that it is doubtful whether we can still call it a parliament. . .

Read the entire article here. The more one pays attention to the world, the more one has to be convinced that George Orwell was a prophet.

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