What a joke…
So the European Parliament is a check on the executive, is it? Well, correct me if I'm wrong but I can't see how the Commission and the group leaders in the EP, excluding IND/DEM can possibly believe in democracy if they think that MEPs have no right to question the guardians of the Treaties on their actions.
I'm sure you are all aware of the story now, but just in case…
Way back at the beginning of February Nigel Farage wrote to all the Commissioners requesting information about gifts and hospitality they had received since being in office. Well, perfectly acceptable question which would be answered in any proper democratic parliament throughout the world. But the European Union isn't democratic and so they decided to simply ignore the question for a month, and then a few weeks ago sent a letter saying that it wasn't anyone's business. Well excuse me for my impertinence, but I think it is!
So all channels trying to get answers from the Commission were ignored, and the only channel left to get Barrosso to explain himself was by a motion of censure. It's important to remember that the motion wasn't accusing anyone of wrongdoing: the purpose of it was to use what little power the Parliament has to hold the Commission to account. That is their role - the EP can't propose legislation, has a tricky time stopping any legislation which the Commission want passed but it can instruct that representatives of the European Union are honest and transparent in their dealings.
That is why this whole thing frustrates me so much. They had a genuine opportunity to try and make this place more open and transparent - which of course they all say they want to do - and all the group leaders could do was threaten MEPs with action if they signed the motion, fiddle speaking time so only the group leaders got to speak, and then spend half an hour slagging off the one man who is doing what he was elected to do. Their reason? They are afraid of anyone criticising their beloved fantasy with cruel accusations that the European Union is corrupt, undemocratic and is not the answer to all the questions. Anyone with the slightest criticism is jeered and booed from MEPs sitting at their desks in the hemicycle, delusions of grandeur clouding their judgement of the real world. And so close to the French referendum, which is looking increasingly like a NON - well it must be a mean piece of electioneering by monsieur Farage in his relentless campaign to burst the bubble of the EU wet dream.
One man who needs to be mentioned is Roger Helmer. A Tory MEP who is incredibly popular among party members and who has now been thrown out of the pro-EU EPP for doing what he was elected to do. By signing the motion requesting more transparency and he wasn't jumping sides to UKIP, he was making it clear that he wanted this institution to be more accountable and to try to winkle out the inbred corruption. His speech in the plenary session made it clear that he didn't want to be told how to represent his constituency members by someone from Germany who has different political views to him. I thought the Conservatives were elected on a eurosceptic manifesto, but forgive me if that was just a way of getting more votes….
Well Done Roger, and well done the others who disobeyed the whip and voted with their conscience.
Thursday, May 26, 2005
What a joke…