Monday, October 18, 2010

EU clampdown on immigration-debate

In another case of the erosion of democracy in Europe, the PASDE (Party of Socialists and Democrats in Europe) - the second largest party in the European Parliament - has demanded so-called 'Far Right' parties be excluded from cooperation, coalition or 'implicit support' by all other political parties. This flies in the face of democracy and the right of Europeans to self-determination. It also reflects the Left's frustration at their rejection by European citizens as millions of Europeans reject their open-door attitudes to immigration and the failed ideology of multiculturalism.

"Throwing down the gauntlet to Europe's conservative and liberal parties, some of which have in recent years become less reticent to join coalitions or alliances with nationalist and populist parties, the continent's Socialists have called for a 'cordon sanitaire' around the far-right by the mainstream. The leadership of the Party of European Socialists, the pan-European political party that brings together all European social democratic outfits, on Friday (15 October) adopted new five-point code of conduct on how to act around extreme right parties, which have seen a sharp rise in support in many countries in the wake of the economic crisis. "Regarding this threat ... all European parties should sign up to our plan to refuse to work with the extreme-right," the party's president and former Danish prime minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen. Specifically, the party is calling on mainstream left, right and centre parties to reject any ruling coalitions, electoral alliances or any "implicit support" with far-right parties and to isolate members who break the cordon sanitaire. In the Netherlands, the new minority government of the conservative-liberal People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and the centre-right Christian Democrats enjoys backing from the anti-Islam and anti-immigrant Freedom Party that in the Netherlands in a similar formulation to the parliamentary support the nationalist Danish People's Party provides to the governing minority of the Conservative People's Party and centrist Venstre. Europe's centre-right, the European People's Party, is currently considering how to react to the call.

"Unfortunately we have seen some mixed signals in recent months," Mr Rasmussen said of the new Dutch coalition's dependence on the far right. Earlier this month, the PES condemned the centre-right's silence over the development, with the group's general secretary, Philip Cordery, accusing the EPP of "power whatever the cost." "The European People's Party's reaction to the new Dutch government has shown the true intellectual weakness of the Conservatives in Europe," he said on 4 October in the wake of the Dutch parliamentary pact. The PES also criticised Wilfred Martens, the president of the EPP, for saying that his party would not work with the far right at the European level while leaving the door open for member parties to do so nationally. EUobserver was unable to reach Europe's liberals in the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party for their reaction to the call.

But on Thursday, the group's president, Belgian MEP Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck issued her concern at the new Dutch government while not condemning the move. "What worries me is that this government is depending on the support of a radical right party, to put it mildly. I hope this is not going to push it in a direction I would not like it to go," she told EUobserver. Socialists themselves have in parts of Europe been known to embrace the far right in order to cobble together a parliamentary majority. In 2006, the Slovak centre-left, Smer, entered into a coalition with the nationalist Slovak National Party (SNS) and as a result was suspended from membership of the PES and only readmitted in 2008. The PES also called on all parties to not "take up [the extreme right's] ideas into its political principles or policies." On Monday, the governor of Bavaria, Horst Seehofer, said Germany should end immigration from Turkey and Arab countries because citizens of these lands allegedly do not "integrate" into German society as well as others. "It's clear that immigrants from other cultures such as Turkey and Arabic countries have more difficulties. From that I draw the conclusion that we don't need additional immigration from other cultures," Mr Seehofer, of the Christian Social Union, the more conservative sister party of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, told Focus magazine. The comments, condemned as "shocking" by Ms Merkel's integration commissioner, Maria Böhmer, come after Bundesbank board member Thilo Sarrazin claimed in a book published in August that German Muslim immigrants were not integrating, that they were less intelligent and that they use more social services than other citizens.

Mr Sarrazin, a member of Germany's centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) also said that with their high birth rate, they threatened to overwhelm the ‘native' German population within a few generations. The SPD has since announced it is considering revoking Mr Sarrazin's party membership. According to the Berliner Morgenposten, some 18 percent of Germans would vote for his party if he started one. The country so far has been one of the few European states not to witness a sharp growth in support for far-right parties".

PASDE's demands represent a gross insult to the millions of voters of immigration-control parties and the denial of their rights to political-representation. It also represents a brazen attempt at censorship and interference in the internal-affairs of member states. The Left can't handle rejection and consequently, are lashing out at their opponents. These demands also recall the failed diplomatic-sanctions against Austria in 2000 after the entry of the Freedom Party into a Coalition-government with the People's Party. The consequence of those sanctions was to increase Euroscepticism in Austria and support for the new government. The ball is now in the Centre-Right EPP and ALDE's court. They should reject the PES demands for a "cordon-sanitaire" around so-called 'Far Right parties'. In any case, the term is in the eye of the beholder. For example, how can:

- A party that is pro gay-marriage and pro-Israel. (Dutch Freedom Party).
- A party that supports a cradle to grave welfare state (Danish People's Party) and the repeal of blasphemy-laws, and is pro-Israel.

Be "Far Right" organisations? My point on them being pro-Israel is to demonstrate that it proves they are not anti-semitic - which removes one element in traditional fascism and so-called 'Far Right' ideology. (I am a staunch critic of Israel and opponent of anti-semitism but my point is that being staunchly pro-Israel and anti-semitism are hardly compatible). Clearly this farce is an arbitrary ploy by the Left to seize power by denying Coalition partners to their Conservative and Libertarian opponents by depriving them of their democratic-rights to represent their supporters in government if necessary. Write to Irish MEPs to demand they oppose this measure.
These outbursts have to be seen in the context of the rejection of the Left in:

- The Swedish General Election on 19th September 2010 in which the Sweden Democrats entered Parliament for the first time. The Social Democrats had their worst showing since 1914 at just over 30%.
- The Viennese local elections on 11th October where the Social Democrats lost their overall majority (falling from 49% to 44%) and the Freedom Party gained 28% of the vote and more than doubled their seats from 13 to 28.
- The victory of the CDU-FPD Coalition in German on 27th September 2009 where the SPD fell from 34% to 23% - its worst losses in its history.
- The fall of the UK Labour Government in the British General Election on 6th May 2010, following the 'Bigotgate' affair where Brown was recorded calling an elderly lady concerned about immigration a "bigoted old woman".

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