What, exactly, is the point of the European Parliament?
Here in the UK, elections to this foreign body are used as a nationwide opinion poll on the state of the domestic parties. The elections are based on proportional representation, which means that parties that have a negligible to non-existent presence in Westminster manage to get MEPs elected. The last European election here in the UK was won by Ukip. This was ignored by the EU leadership when the time came to provide concessions to David Cameron’s well-meaning requests for reform. Humiliated by Brussels, Mr Cameron lost the referendum and his job. The EU didn’t care.
Certainly, the role of the European Parliament is not to represent the feelings of constituents. Since none of its members form part of an executive, it seems to be just a talking shop. While the BBC and the remainder of the liberal media extol the ‘virtues’ of the EU, no meaningful attempt has been made to educate the British people about how the European Parliament affects their lives. We know more about local authorities’ bin collection policies than we do anything that comes out of the European Parliament. The reason for this self-imposed censorship by the BBC is not clear. The BBC cannot even produce a documentary for BBC4, while at the same time being perfectly happy to trace the rise and fall of the Hapsburg dynasty. Perhaps the BBC is too busy lavishing money on duff episodes of ‘Sherlock’.
The behaviour of the European Parliament’s MEPs is also poorly managed by British standards. Nigel Farage made a speech recently defending the actions of President Trump. For most of Farage’s speech, Seb Dance, a British Labour MEP, held up a sign saying ‘He’s Lying To You’. No-one from the Chair intervened. Instead, after a few minutes, a clerk resplendent in white tie and tails came to have a quiet word with the socialist delinquent.
Had this hapless lefty pulled the same stunt in the House of Commons, assuming he occupied the same benches, he would have been instantly pounced on by Mr Speaker. Here in the UK, standards of parliamentary behaviour are much higher.
Farage’s speech was interrupted by the Chair, not to rebuke the disgraceful behaviour of the socialist, but to have words about comments made by Farage himself about the EU’s institutions. This was at a time then Dance’s banner was in full view. The Chair did nothing. The European Parliament seems to be run by hippies.
Perhaps it is too hard for Europeans, including British Labour MEPs, to understand how to behave properly in a supposedly democratic chamber. After all, there is only one European country that has both remained democratic and spent blood and treasure to restore democracy to those European countries that carelessly lost it, and it is that country that is walking away from the EU’s own undemocratic mess, its banners and all.