Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Crisis? What crisis?

At least we know what might cause a crisis in what some in the media erroneously call the EU legislators, the European Parliament. No, it is not the lack of democracy or political accountability in the whole system. Much they care about that. No, it is not the corruption and venality either. Hey, whom are you calling corrupt and venal? I just take the expenses that I am entitled to according to the system.

However, let a would-be Commissioner express unfashionable views on social and ethical matters and …. well, it depends what the views are. Should a devout Muslim say that he thinks all homosexuals should be stoned, there would be sighing and shaking of heads but a general plea to be more understanding and not to discriminate against other people’s religion and culture. Must not make people feel unwanted.

If, as in this case, a devout Catholic says that he believes homosexuality is a sin, though he does not think it should be made illegal and, to top his crimes, adds comments that he thinks legislation of that kind should be left to the member states; if he then proceeds to explain that he thinks families should have two parents, and women should look after the children; well, then there is a crisis.

Lack of democracy we do not mind; corruption we accept; freedom of speech is something else. Up with that we shall not put.

Incoming Commission President Barroso has asked for the European Parliament vote on his Commission to be postponed as he rearranges his team. MEPs cannot vote out indidividual Commissioners, only the whole lot. The way the numbers stacked up, there would have been 362 votes against it with 345 in favour. Barroso is going to have to do some fast thinking and negotiating. So far, it seems, Buttiglione has refused to bow to the pressure and change jobs. Quite quaint really. The man seems to think that he is entitled to his opinions, that were, in any case, dragged out of him by some self-righteous MEP. Furthermore, they are shared by a large proportion of Europe’s population. They will all have to be re-educated if the likes of Baroness Ludford, the Lib-Dim MEP, have their way.

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