Brussels Diary: Rejecting the Nobel Peace Prize
From Tories proscribing UKIPers, Corby by-election hopes and the bizarre EU award today; Alexandra Swann brings us her excellent Brussels diary
On Sunday I was packed and ready to head to Birmingham for Conservative Party Conference to debate whether or not UKIP are a threat to the Tories.
However, as has been widely reported, my pass was blocked at the 11th hour apparently on the orders of Ben Howlett, arguably the most unpopular Conservative Future Chairman in the history of the organisation.
James Cleverley and Charles Tannock MEP, two of my proposed opponents, have both openly stated their opposition to this decision in what has become one of the biggest own goals since (insert sporting reference); if UKIP are not a threat and the Tories happily give a platform to the likes of Keith Vaz MP, why not let me in and take the opportunity to rip my arguments apart?
I may not have made it to Birmingham but I have made it up to the East Midlands. As I’ve mentioned before, I have moved to Roger Helmer’s East Mids constituency office so I can spend my spare time campaigning for UKIP candidate Margot Parker at the Corby by-election.
I am staying in the UKIP activist house as it is just five minutes from Market Harborough and I’ve had one of the most tiring but amusing week for months; nicknamed the Big Brother house for the constant coming and going of UKIP activists, the house is not only rather fun but it instils a certain camaraderie and enthusiasm for the campaign when there are a few of you cooking breakfast together and sitting about in fishing chairs every morning, sort of like a political anorak’s Reading Festival.
Last night Paul Nuttall MEP held a public meeting at the Corby Cube (a building project that has run over by £12 million under the Labour led Corby Borough Council) which drew an impressive and engaged crowd despite the skies opening a few hours beforehand.
Our campaign office doors are always open and the interest from people coming in off the streets has been fantastic. So far I have seen only one Tory activist and none from any of the other parties; I think Margot has a brilliant chance and it is high time the Conservatives actually called the election.
At the moment there is a potential for four Westminster by-elections on the 15th November, as well as the forthcoming Police and Crime Commissioner elections; Corby really should have been called by now and it is a typical stunt by the larger parties to drag out by-elections in the hope that we will run out of money. Dirty politics at its finest.
AND THE WINNER IS...
I can’t write the Brussels diary of a Eurosceptic without commenting on the travesty, the almost comically ludicrous, the utterly insane and the inherently depressing decision by the Nobel Committee to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union.
Unsurprisingly, this decision has been lauded by the BBC who, in a triumphant proclamation of their Europhile leftist values, today declared that “the EU wins the Nobel Peace Prize for six decades of advancement of peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.”
It appears that the EU has won this prize because there has not been a war between France, Germany or Britain since WW2 and the EU is being given credit for this feat rather than the evolution of liberal democracies and increased global cooperation between nation states.
This is, of course, the sort of patronising deduction we expect from the European Union itself; societal progress is nothing to do with individuals, it is a consequence of extending the EU. However, beyond satire, of which there have been many fine examples today, and the tragic farce that this once respected prize has become, there is a very worrying element to today’s news.
For a start, the European Union is one of the most undemocratic institutions imaginable; only the unelected Commission can propose legislation and you only have to try to interpret an EU document to understand the disdain with which the Institutions hold transparency.
Even if you are to ignore the democratic deficit, the EU is the slowest growing block in the world, presiding over monstrous tax burdens which fund systems such as the Common Agricultural Policy that are largely responsible for stunting third world trade and development. But even if we forget democracy and economic growth, what about basic human rights - the sort of rights that we went to war to protect back in 1939?
The EU has not only turned the concept of “human rights” into a farce as great as the Nobel Peace Prize, but they are now considering letting in Turkey which has a truly terrible record of protecting the human rights of its minorities.
The EU member states have been involved in many wars since World War Two – Afghanistan and Iraq to name but two – and the EU has clearly not prevented these; indeed it is terribly arrogant of the EU who, let’s not forget, are proposing their own army, to suggest that the relative peace of the last 60 years is their own achievement or that if sovereign nations wished to go to war they would take any notice of the views of Brussels.
Furthermore, the EU refuse to even acknowledge known terrorist groups such as Hezbollah as terrorists and are content at taking credit for “peace” in Europe as the streets of Athens and Madrid burn. What “peace” is this when “European Citizens” are facing poverty, destruction and riot police and some in Greece are burning effigies of Chancellor Merkel?
The failure of the Eurozone becomes more apparent with each passing week and the inevitability of the breakup of the EU as we know it is slowly being accepted; the EU has only increased the division between member states and now, as the weaker countries pay the price and Germany foots the bill, resentment is growing.
It is easy to laugh at this decision, for who really takes the Nobel Prize seriously anymore after it was awarded to Al Gore and the IPCC for promoting an idea that has led to fuel poverty and deindustrialisation or to Obama merely for getting elected. But you can guarantee that taxpayer funded champagne corks will be shooting across Brussels tonight and that winning this prize has strengthened the European Commission’s determination to stick to the federal Europe project, whatever the cost to its citizens.
This is not peace, this is the road to war.
Alexandra Swann works in the European Parliament and tweets @AlexandraLSwann
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