Former President of the European Parliament Hans Gert Pottering has been in fine form this week, clearly demonstrating why people around the continent point and call him a fascist.
Ja, Ja. Seig Heil!
Hans-Gert Pöttering, the outgoing President of the Parliament, urged MEPs to unite to freeze "anti-Europeans" out of the decision-making process for the next five years..."I think it is very important that the pro-European MEPs co-operate well so the anti-Europeans cannot make their voices heard so strongly," Mr Pöttering said.
This is the man who decided to stop eurosceptics from participating fully in their role as MEPs and, most importantly, stop them from representing the people who elected them, by snatching arbitrary powers straight from a 1930s history text book.
Hans-Gert openly admitted that the behaviour of his Euro-sceptic opponents was within the rules. And he wasn’t asking to change those rules a procedure that would take time. No, he simply wanted permission to disregard them. Permission was duly granted, by 20 committee votes to 3.
Hans-Gert’s letter is worth quoting in full:
Dear Mr Leinen, [Jo Leinen, a German Socialist, is Chairman of the Constitutional Affairs Committee]
In the course of the current part session, Parliament was confronted on several occasions with procedural requests which were formally based on and fulfilled the requirements of a provision of the Rules of Procedure, but which according to the full conviction of myself and of other Members of the House were moved with the intention of obstructing the procedures of the House...
For those of you not aware of how the European Parliament decided to celebrate the 2009 - 2014 session, here's a quick reminder:
Leading the ceremony in Strasbourg, a detachment of combat troops marched to the overture of The Force of Destiny by Verdi, before raising an EU flag twice the size of the national flags around it to a military bugle call.
The troops - drawn from the Eurocorps member states of Germany, France, Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg - then stood to attention to a full orchestral and choral rendition of Ode to Joy.
So that's nice. But it's probably best for our MPs and press corps over here to concentrate on nice, important things like, er, duck houses. Let's let the euroweenies fight and bicker about their important issues well away from the glare of the media and the public eye and then have a tantrum every few months when some summit or new treaty gets put forward and we don't get a referendum on it.
Important, dignified parliamentary behaviour such as this beauty from Tory MEP Nirj Deva who spluttered
What has distressed me is that the EPP is doing deals with the Socialists and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, rather than doing deals with us. On policy areas we should work together.
Thanks, Nirj. Nice to know where we all stand on that transparency and being truly part of a eurosceptic group. Good to know Tory MEPs are not pining for the power, the fois gras, the plush offices and champagne receptions that being part of the biggest group allows.
Because although the European Election campaign was most notable for the complete lack of debate about the EU I'm sure David Cameron was whining on at some point about wanting to bring back powers.
Yes, so we know he can't really without renegotiating treaties, but it's good to at least vote against those directives you're supposed to want to 'bring back to Westminster'?