Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The extremists of the EPP and their new fascist members

I see, with the news that the Tories plan to leave the European Peoples Party group in the European Parliament the usual rubbish about how they will now have to sign up to be in a group with neo-nazi extremists and fascists is doing the round.

Whilst I like Paul Waugh's Evening Standard blog, which I linked to earlier today, even he has pushed this line when commenting on Manual Barroso's comments yesterday noting that from the comments by Barroso,
The implication is clear: 'why is Cameron linking up with fringe parties, some members of which have strange views on climate change, homosexuality and race?'
This line of argument is not only written by Paul Waugh I should add, but it has made a number of people understandable angry, not least of all Dan Hannan MEP over at the Telegraph, who has taken the time out to list some of the thing EPP members have said on the issue of homosexuality and race. For example, EPP members Forza Italia had this campaign poster in their General Election.

That essentially says "Daddy and Papa? This isn't the family we want!". Likewise we have the German CDU, who ran a campaign in North Rhine-Westphalia in 2000, which the slogan "Kinder statt Inder" - "Children instead of Indians". It is quite clear that the parties that the Tories are leaving behind are anything but moderate, but we don't hear anything from Labour on that.

More bizarrely as Hannan points out, is that ten years ago, when Paul Waugh was working at the Independent, there was a story that the Tories were in secret talks with the successor party to Mussolini's fascists Alleanza Nazionale. That story has perpetuated for a number of years now, yet as Hannan pointed out last week, those extremists are now joining the EPP.

So we now have a situation where the meme that the Tories are to join up with the lunatics fringes in the European Parliament by leaving the moderate EPP, when the reality is that the moderate EPP is not only already full of parties that hold what are considered extreme views, but even have the very extremists that the Tories have been in "secret talks" with for the last ten years joining.

Will any of this ever come to light in the mainstream media that revels in saying the Tories are going into bed with fascists? Of course it won't, to admit that they're actually leaving a grouping of fascists and homophobes wouldn't exactly suit the domestic narrative about the Tories and the EU that the Labour spinners want.

UPDATE: Note that Derek Draper's LabourLost is also peddling the line that the Tories are leaving a grouping that is not full up with racists and homophobes. It's all so easy to do.


Sam Duncan said...

Of course, if the Tories had any smarts whatever they'd put it about that the Forza Italia and CDU campaigns, and the Alianza Nazionale joining the EPP were the reasons for them leaving.

Of course, they stated the intention to leave years ago (what took them?), but they could still say this was the final straw.

David said...

It's their own fault. There is no good reason at all to leave the EPP. Being part of the grouping hasn't prevented the Tories from ploughing their own line, and there are a number of procedural advantages.
All thrown away for what?

Gareth said...

Is there anything to stop Conservative MEPs standing alone and to stand up for them, and our, selves?

Sam Duncan said...

"There is no good reason at all to leave the EPP.

Except EPP policy being in direct opposition to their own, of course.

Actually, I wonder how FI and the AN justify having to sign up to the political unification of Europe to their members. Or maybe they just don't tell them about it, like the Tories did for years.

Seriously, this is no small deal. If we can simply ignore EP groupings' stated platforms, the Tories might as well join the Socialists. After all, they wouldn't really mean it, right?