Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Freedom isn't free ....

... it looks like it costs about €3000.
UKIP MEP Leader Nigel Farage was informed this afternoon by Jerzy Buzek, president of the European Parliament, that he had decided to fine him €3000 for his comments relating to Mr van Rompuy and Belgium. The fine represents 10 days pay, and is the maximum allowable under the rules of the European Parliament. Mr Buzek imposed it after Mr Farage declined earlier today to apologise for his comments.
A nice update to Monday's post.

Here is another example why you need to bring your A-game when picking a fight with someone trained in the British Parlimentary system.
“I tried to talk to the president of the Parliament about freedom of speech, especially in Parliament from elected members, but he has asked me to apologise. He wants me to apologise to Herman Van Rompuy, He wants me to apologise to the European Parliament and he wants me to apologise to the people of Belgium. […]

“I will apologise to bank clerks the world over. If I caused them offence I am very sorry. But if I am not allowed to stand up and say that I think it is wrong that this man has got a job which pays him a salary bigger than Obama’s and that is because the Lisbon Treaty went through without us having a referendum... then what sort of democracy is there in this EU?”

Hat tip Brussels Journal.


Eric Palmer said...

Good post CDR.    

Chris said...

Lauding this oaf and the dysfunctional parliamentary system that spawned him, try living here and you might change your tune!

ewok40k said...

I just love to hear how EU is at the same time "capitalist liberal evil" (as say lefitsts) and  "red communist evil" (as say rightists) and how in country X all loonies insist that "evil Y neighbors will have your money" and vice versa... BTW, arguments ad hominem are bad style. And Lisbon treaty actually increased powers of Europarliament versus European Comission!

Outlaw Mike said...

Ewok, what party does Buzek belong to? PiS? Civic Platform?

Casey Tompkins said...

That's odd, Ewok, since most of the "rightists" I've heard from or read tend to call the EU socialist with tendencies of creeping totalitarianism. Like, you know, fining Parliament members for speaking their minds. :) Or are you referring to European "rightists?"

It's a pity Farage didn't take a shot at the complaint that he "undermined the dignity of the Parliament." I would have asked: what dignity?

ewok40k said...

He was independent, but supported by Civic Platform - here is a complete bio:
quite a technocrat, but popular for not getting into personal feuds, and done some serious reforming in his term as PM

Old NFO said...

Well Chris, it's better than allowing your country, culture and liberties to be taken away by an anonymous bureaucracy and unaccountable "leadership."  Real democracy tends to be rough and tumble, I'd bet no one in the Supreme Soviet ever spoke to their leadership like that either.  If the Eurocrats want to rule Europe perhaps they should grow a thicker skin.   More power to Nigel. 

Chris said...

@Old NFO

What is this "real democracy" of which you speak?

A party winning complete power with about 30% of the vote isn't real democracy

An executive which rules on it's whims trying to leave out parliament isn't real democracy

Parties funded by shadowy foreign money isn't real democracy

Welcome to Britain in the 21st century :p

ewok40k said...

There are different flavors of democracy, from the  "referendum everything" Swiss style, to majority electoral system to representative electoral system. I dont mind any of them as long it delivers effective government. Majority system produces easier to manage single-party cabinets, but is vulnerable to creating people who don't really fit into any party line and cant find someone who reperesents them well enough. Represantive system is prone to creating fragmented political spectrum and forces coalitions which require compromises, but you can find a niche for almost every type of voter. Referendum system proves very effective in educated and highly politically active societies, but in others it tends to  fall prey to populism. Last but not least, no amount of voting can change law of gravity or that 2+2=4, just as no totalitarian regime could change it - and this includes laws of economy too.