“Terror is nought but prompt, severe, inflexible justice; it is therefore an emanation of virtue; it is less a particular principle than a consequence of the general principle of democracy applied to the most pressing needs of the fatherland.”Maximillien Marie Isidore de Robespierre Address, National Convention, 1794
The history of the matter was blogged on 25th. January 2008 by Hannan (Despotism in the European Parliament) in which he set out the proposal by Hans-Gert Pöttering, the President of the EU Parliament, who asked for, and was granted, arbitrary powers to suspend the rules of the institution in order to disadvantage the tiny number of MEPs who want a referendum on the European Constitution a.k.a. The Lisbon Treaty. In so doing he wrote:
The whole business is outrageous. I am almost tempted to compare it to the Nazi Ermächtigungsgesetz – the Enabling Act of 1933 which allowed Hitler to override parliament and the constitution. But I won’t because a) it would be disproportionate and b) it would be terrifically rude to Hans-Gert, who lost his father in the war and who, for all that he is behaving appallingly on this occasion, is a decent man and a democrat. Which is why I am so disappointed in him. He, of all people, should be alive to the dangers of assuming discretionary powers in order to bulldozer the law.
I rather thought his forbearance was, whilst commendable on the grounds of good manners, mistaken. Let us call a spade a spade when it is of sufficient importance as this matter is, involving as it does the complete debauching of the Rule of Law and the attempt to efface any opposition to the EU Constitution from the EU Parliament. Had it been me I should not have flinched to use the Nazi Enabling Act analogy since it seems to me that it is on all fours with the present overthrowing of the rules.
Now Daniel Hannan, having thought whether to call the spade a “shovel” or “a long-handled implement for picking up detritus” has opted to call it instead a spade. In a debate today he advanced the comparison between the Enabling Act and what was proposed, a modest thing in view of the fact that what was proposed lies at the top of a slippery slope upon which is engraved the word ‘tyranny’.
Whilst the slavishly Europhiliac majority in Parliament did their ‘I’ve just sucked five lemons’ act, the leader of the EPP acted with fury as Hannan recounts, expelling him summarily (no hearing or even a pretence of asking for a vote by the group) from its ranks. He says this:
I repeated the point I made in this blog last week: that the 1933 Enabling Act had had a technical majority in the Reichstag, but that it opened the door to unconstitutional rule. Whatever else MEPs are, they are not Nazis: many of them have proud records of fighting totalitarianism throughout the world. That is why it was so disappointing to see them resorting to this appalling measure in order to silence dissent.
It may well be that MEPs are not Nazis. In a technical sense that is so for they do not espouse the policy set of that particularly nasty set of thugs. But having voted for Herr Pöttering’s proposal that he be given leave to ignore, proprio motu, the established rules of the EU ‘Parliament’, it is right and proper to consider whether MEPs share any characteristics with them. For a short account of the Ermächtigungsgesetz see here, upon which you will be able to make up your own minds.
For my own part I see this as nothing more and nothing less than a despotic act designed to suppress dissent and just the sort of tactic that the Nazis might have used just as it was the sort of tactic that Communists bent on emasculating national Parliaments might have used in the late 1940s as they took over Eastern Europe.
In that sense the European Parliament has become a dictatorship and a clear demonstration that in its ruthless pursuit of power the EU Nabobery will brook no interference, no opposition and no expression of dissent.
The response to Mr. Hannan’s thoughtful, though provocative, observations has been entirely predictable. Unable and unwilling to get to grips with what has be done and the meaning of what has been done, the Liberal/Left/Europhile claque has gone into a ritual of overblown synthetic outrage and indignation:
Martin Schulz, the German Socialist leader in Strasbourg, said: “People like Hannan are not only not speaking on behalf of conservatives in Europe; they have no home in the European Parliament. They are entirely isolated. David Cameron should reflect on whether such people so close to right-wing extremists have a place in his party.” [Independent and elsewhere]
What Herr Schulz seems to be saying is that those who dissent and dare to challenge an act which, on any logical and rational view, is designed to suppress both the right of free speech and the right to utilise the rules of parliament as part of that exercise of free speech, must not only be condemned but should not be permitted a place in the Parliament. And that Mr. Hannan, who strikes me as a thoroughly mild and courteous in the manner of his comparison, is effectively a ‘right-wing extremist’, which is no more and no less than a smear.
Gary Titley, leader of the British Labour MEPs, said: “By comparing the ruling of the president of the European Parliament with the law that gave unlimited power to Hitler, in Holocaust week, Hannan is dishonouring memories of the victims of terror of the Nazi regime.” [Guardian]
Gary Titley-by-name-&-Titley-by-nature reveals himself as a pompous prat for suggesting that what Hannan did was to ‘dishonour’ the victims of the holocaust. There is simply no rational basis for this dunderhead remark, though again it is intended as a smear.
Jim Murphy, Britain’s minister for Europe, said: “To call someone a Nazi is tasteless. Nazism was a unique evil in human history. To use it as a term of parliamentary debate demeans the memory of those who suffered.” [Independent]
I saw this weasel described somewhere as ‘impressive’ the other day, which left me thinking that I had seen more impressive turnips than he, but that is by-the-by. He too cannot have bothered to read the precise words that Hannan used for at no point did Hannan call anyone a Nazi. All that was done was to compare an act of the President with an act passed by the Nazis.
But one must reserve one’s particular distaste for the Guardian which has a series of links at the bottom of its page which I reproduce below:
Europe’s far right
The far right in Britain
Race in the UK
Far-right parties and politicians
A guide to European far-right politics
07.05.2002: Pim Fortuyn
22.04.2002: Jean-Marie Le Pen
The best journalism from around the web
Weblog special: the European right
European far-right party websites
Stop the BNP
You may think that the message here is pretty clear: Mr. Hannan is himself a neo-Nazi and crypto-Fascist who must himself be suppressed in order to prevent him from going out and gassing a lot of Jews and so forth. We are entering a dangerous phase in Europe where today the rights of Parliamentarians are to be overridden roughshod. Tomorrow it will be the likes of you and I, any who dare stand up and denounce the European Union for what it is: a power-acquisitive, anti-democratic Socialist tyranny.
The EU Parliament has conducted a constitutional coup and now deserves nothing by way of loyalty from us. Meanwhile Mr. Cameron ought to pay attention to what has been done. Quite apart from honouring his promise to extract the Tory party from the clutches of these Europhiliac golpistas, he ought to be asking himself what it tells us about the EU and what its real aspirations are.