About That Prize

by Andrew Stuttaford

Over at EU Referendum, Richard North has some, well, interesting background on the manner in which the Nobel Peace Prize Committee took its curious decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the EU:

[It] is also customary, according to Wikipedia to seek a unanimous decision if possible. And here we learn from the Norwegian paper Aftenposten that there was one member of the committee who most emphatically would not have voted for the EU.

This was Ågot Valle, former deputy leader of the “No to EU” campaign. Mysteriously, though, it just happened that when that Thorbjørn Jagland decided to call for the final vote on this year’s winner, Valle was off sick, replaced by former Oslo Bishop Gunnar Stålsett, as her deputy.

Valle says she would have welcomed being called to make her vote, and says she would not have supported the EU if she had sat on the committee – but she wasn’t asked to attend. Socialist Left Party leader Audun Lysbakken thus declares that “it is obvious that we now have a politicised peace prize”.

MP Geir Langeland, however, used slightly stronger words. “I think it’s foul and unethical”, he said. It leaves “a bad taste in the mouth” he added, claiming that there had been a “Jagland coup” in the absence of Valle.

Thus in a country where 80 percent of ordinary people are against the EU, we find a committee where everybody is in favour of the EU. And unsurprisingly, many commentators now think that the prize, already damaged, has now been further weakened.

Anti-democratic union awarded prize as a result, it appears, of a “coup”.  Move along. There’s nothing to see here.