From the Archive: UKIP provide further proof of their far-right leanings

Labour Party

UKIP have proved time and time again that they are a great deal more extreme in their politics than they would have you believe as these archives blog seem to be proving.  This blog was originally posted last year when a number of MEPs joined UKIP’s European Parliament political group the Europe for Freedom and Democracy party.  The most worrying among them is Slavi Binev, formerly of the Hungarian political party Attack, an extreme right wing organisation.

UKIP provide further proof of their far-right leanings

This morning in the plenary chamber Martin Schulz announced that two MEPs have joined UKIP’s Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) political grouping.  

The first of these is Mike Nattrass, though he is actually rejoining after quitting the group in June 2010.  Mr Nattrass left the group because, as he said, he did not want to sit with MEPs “who do not wish to leave the EU and have very odd views on many issues which are incompatible with my own”. He also said that by remaining a member of the EFD he “would be condoning this progressive destruction of our cherished institutions” and would be ‘far more effective’ as a non-attached MEP.

Perhaps more intriguingly, the newest member of the EFD is Slavcho (aka Slavi) Binev from Bulgaria.  Mr Binev was elected in 2009 as an MEP for Attack, a far-right nationalist party, that he has since left.  The Attack party has been involved in a number of scandals, most notably in 2006 when then leader Dimitar Stoyanov made racist and misogynistic remarks about another Bulgarian MEP.  What’s more Mr Binev was named in a 2005 US diplomatic cable on organised crime as heading the MIG entertainment group whose ”criminal activities include prostitution, narcotics, and trafficking stolen automobiles”.

UKIP are a strange bunch with stranger friends and this acceptance of Slavi Binev is further proof.  It’s worth remembering another person who felt the need to leave the EFD, Nikki Sinclaire who resigned from the EFD citing her displeasure at what she claims to be some of the racist, extremist parties that belong to the group.  Sinclaire was subsequently expelled from UKIP for refusing to be part of the EFD group, but went on to win an Employment Tribunal claim for sex discrimination against them.

Farage may be feeling confident after UKIP’s showing in the recent by-elections, but he should show a bit more care about his public perception.  I have already spoken about Godfrey Bloom’s sharing wine with fascist leader Marine le Pen and now Farage has decided to campaign against gay marriage in order to steal votes from the Tories.  Farage, it appears, is well on the way to exposing the extreme-right and bigoted character of UKIP.

UKIP provide further proof of their far-right leanings

Labour Party

This morning in the plenary chamber Martin Schulz announced that two MEPs have joined UKIP’s Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) political grouping.  

The first of these is Mike Nattrass, though he is actually rejoining after quitting the group in June 2010.  Mr Nattrass left the group because, as he said, he did not want to sit with MEPs “who do not wish to leave the EU and have very odd views on many issues which are incompatible with my own”. He also said that by remaining a member of the EFD he “would be condoning this progressive destruction of our cherished institutions” and would be ‘far more effective’ as a non-attached MEP.

Perhaps more intriguingly, the newest member of the EFD is Slavcho (aka Slavi) Binev from Bulgaria.  Mr Binev was elected in 2009 as an MEP for Attack, a far-right nationalist party, that he has since left.  The Attack party has been involved in a number of scandals, most notably in 2006 when then leader Dimitar Stoyanov made racist and misogynistic remarks about another Bulgarian MEP.  What’s more Mr Binev was named in a 2005 US diplomatic cable on organised crime as heading the MIG entertainment group whose “criminal activities include prostitution, narcotics, and trafficking stolen automobiles”.

UKIP are a strange bunch with stranger friends and this acceptance of Slavi Binev is further proof.  It’s worth remembering another person who felt the need to leave the EFD, Nikki Sinclaire who resigned from the EFD citing her displeasure at what she claims to be some of the racist, extremist parties that belong to the group.  Sinclaire was subsequently expelled from UKIP for refusing to be part of the EFD group, but went on to win an Employment Tribunal claim for sex discrimination against them.

Farage may be feeling confident after UKIP’s showing in the recent by-elections, but he should show a bit more care about his public perception.  I have already spoken about Godfrey Bloom’s sharing wine with fascist leader Marine le Pen and now Farage has decided to campaign against gay marriage in order to steal votes from the Tories.  Farage, it appears, is well on the way to exposing the extreme-right and bigoted character of UKIP.

Hungarian Premier Orban Polarises the European Parliament

Labour Party

The European Parliament has just wrapped up a debate on the political situation in Hungary following the European Commission’s commencement of infringement proceedings a few days ago against Hungary’s right-wing Fidesz government. 

The Commission is taking action against three specific violations by Viktor Orban’s administration:

  • Risking the independence of the Hungarian Central Bank
  • Lowering the age at which judges and prosecutors retire
  • Undermining the independence of the data protection ombudsman in Hungary

This action by the European Commission could ultimately lead to loss of Hungary’s voting rights in the EU under Article 7 of EU treaty law. According to the Daily Telegraph, Lars Christensen from Danske Bank has said: “The EU is not bluffing. It will let Hungary go over the edge to make the point the EU countries must play by the rules.”

This is not, however, quite how Mr Orban sees it. Having been invited to speak in the European Parliament debate today – an unusual step which I think demonstrates a high level of fairness on the part of the Parliament – Orban was typically gung ho. An ardent anti-communist, he made sure we all knew that Hungary was the last iron-curtain country to get rid of its Stalinist constitution. The point being that it was Orban who did the deed.

Orban further maintained that the repressive measures brought in by his government were needed to sort out the economic mess he inherited, while claiming the country had also been on the verge of social collapse.

Following Orban, the European Parliament split on Party lines. The Socialist and Democrat, Liberal and Green Groups were passionately against Orban, seeing his government as anti-democratic, restricting fundamental freedoms. It was even suggested that the Parliament send a delegation to Hungary to find out why the homeless, the poor and vulnerable, and those in need of social care, not to mention intellectuals and free thinkers, were so afraid of Orban and his government.

The other side of the House, the European People’s Party (EPP), the European Conservatives and Reformists (the Tories’ group) and the ultra-right Europe for Freedom and Democracy took a diametrically opposite view. The EPP Leader Joseph Daul could hardly have more pro-Orban.

Such a very real political division is rare in the European Parliament. The Parties generally seek consensus, while EU matters quite often raise little controversy. A strong political debate therefore came as a breath of fresh air, one which should happen more often. A Parliament is a political institution and must have the oxygen of political disagreement and debate to be credible and effective.