The Corner

Chamber of Secrets (Ctd)

Euro MP Daniel Hannan on how the EU ‘parliament’ reacted to the revelation that Chirac’s new EU Commissioner Barrot was, until an amnesty, a convicted criminal:

“It fell to a man called Nigel Farage, capo of the UK Independence Party, to inform the chamber of Mr Barrot’s conviction. The pro-EU parties had not looked into his background because, deep down, they didn’t want to find anything… The way MEPs reacted to Farage’s revelation was horrible. One by one they rose to threaten him with legal action. The Liberal leader, Graham Watson, likened him to the football hooligans who had disgraced Britain in Europe. A fomer colleague of Barrot’s, Jacques Toubon, rushed up and down the aisle, apparently looking for someone to punch (Robert Kilroy-Silk, recognising him as the minister who had tried to ban the English language from French airwaves, told him mischievously that no one would understand him unless he spoke English, which sent him into a choking fit). All this because Farage was doing the job that the rest of us ought to have done.”

And as for the rest of the new Commission:

“Of the 25 commissioners, six are former Communists and four have recently lost elections – again demonstrating that the Commission is not so much undemocratic as anti-democratic, attracting politicians who have been expressly rejected by voters. We have an agriculture commissioner who makes money from the CAP, a competition commissioner who, after only two days, has already run into conflicts of interest, and an anti-fraud commissioner who was recently involved in a fraud case (although he was acquitted)…If you think I am exaggerating, consider the Commission’s other personnel change – one that has been largely overlooked as a result of the Buttiglione and Barrot affairs. The Latvian candidate, Ingrida Udre, was withdrawn as a candidate. Her crime? To tell MEPs that she favoured tax competition. Her inquisitors were scandalised, and Mrs Udre was duly replaced by a Hungarian apparatchik. There you have it. As far as MEPs are concerned, it is all right to have supported a totalitarian regime, to have been convicted in a corruption case or, indeed, to be an evident dullard with no knowledge of your portfolio. What is not all right is to support the supremacy of national parliaments. Dolts, shysters, reds and retreads are welcome. But someone who believes that nations should set their own taxes? That would be going too far.”

They are crooks in support of a delusion – and a pay-off. Nothing more.


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