When UKIP’s Godfrey Bloom was kicked out of the parliament chamber for saying to Euro-socialist leader, Martin Schultz, “Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer!” all the EU MP’s present (or the majority of them) thundered their approval in faux righteous indignation. How dare he address the good German with such phraseology. Well, Daniel Hannan fleshes out a similar situation in which the very same ‘victim’, (as well as others) addressed another MP colleague(s) in the very same fashion. For according to Schultz and ilk, Eurosceptics are the Nazis. Read up. KGS
It’s fine to call Eurosceptics Nazis, but woe betide them if they return the insult
Godfrey Bloom was thrown out of the chamber of the European Parliament today after being gratuitously rude to the Euro-Socialist leader, Martin Schulz. Irked by Shulz’s complaint that the UK was standing in the way of European integration, the UKIP MEP burst out “Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer!” There are times when British Eurosceptics cringe at the behaviour of one of their countrymen, and this was one of them.
Bloom was out of order: whatever else he is, Schulz is no Nazi. But the parliamentary authorities then reacted extraordinarily. The acting Speaker, Edward McMillan-Scott, told his fellow Yorkshire MEP that if he didn’t apologise, he’d be escorted from the room. Bloom replied that the only people who had the right to remove him were his constituents.
McMillan-Scott then called for a vote on whether to eject the red-faced former territorial. The motion was overwhelmingly carried, and Bloom was marched out, wearing with a thunderous expression.
Several aspects of this episode should alarm us. First, there is the democratic objection. Surely it is up to the electorate to decide who sits in a legislature. If Bloom can be denied his place by his fellow MEPs, what is to stop the federalist majority voting to expel every Eurosceptic?
Then there is the liberal objection. In a free society, the right to say what you will trumps the right not to be offended. We should allow people to be ignorant, ill-mannered, obnoxious; to condemn themselves by their boorishness.
Above all, though, there is the sheer one-sidedness. I’ve blogged before about the way in which Euro-integrationists routinelydismiss their opponents as Nazis. The leader of the European Liberals, Graham Watson, has said that Eurosceptics put him in mind of “the National Socialists in the German Reichstag”. In the run-up to the French referendum on the European Constitution, Margot Wallström, then Sweden’s Commissioner, travelled to the Theresiendstadt concentration camp to and told “No” voters that this was where their ideology would lead. Only last week, Herman Van Rompuy, the Euro-President, said “we have together to fight the danger of a new Euro-scepticism. Fear leads to egoism, egoism leads to nationalism, and nationalism leads to war”.
Indeed, it wasn’t so long ago that one MEP, furious because Eurosceptics were calling for a referendum, said this:
“During the Weimar Republic, some pursued a strategy of trying to shout down their political opponents. That was how Adolf Hitler behaved, and it was how I felt today”.
The author of those words? Martin Schulz. (You can watch him speak them here).