Honeyball’s Weekly Round-Up

Labour Party

This week saw Conservative MEPs vote against a Europe-wide initiative to provide aid for those struggling with food poverty. The £3 billion EU fund, known as ‘European aid to the most deprived’, would have sent £3 million in the direction of Britain. The choice to try and block the fund was made on the grounds that “It is not for the EU to dictate…how to help the needy. Individual countries must be allowed to decide for themselves.” It left the Tories among a tiny rump of MEPs voting against, making the Coalition the only European Government to oppose the fund.

With the Tories under pressure to address the explosion in the number of food bank users since they’ve been in office, their approach to Tuesday’s vote baffled many. It comes at a time when pressure is building on the Coalition to address the food poverty crisis, with religious and third sector organisations condemning the effect welfare cuts are having on UK rates of poverty. This week Richard Howitt, my Labour colleague in the European Parliament, called the Tories’ decision to vote against the fund “heartless and callous”.

Blocking European Aid is just the latest in a string of instances which have seen Conservatives adopting indefensible positions in the name of Euroscepticism. Before Christmas they blocked the Estrela report – a strategy to, among other things, end FGM – and they have also obstructed the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, a market-based solution to environmental challenges. They’ve done so on the grounds that endorsing such plans would represent a concession to the EU. This is despite the government’s Balance of Competences review so far finding that the weighting between EU powers and domestic autonomy is roughly right.

David Cameron’s increasingly hostile noises about the EU appear to have been taken by Tory MEPs as a license to indulge their most reactionary instincts. They do this irrespective of morality or the UK’s national interests. As a result we are approaching a state of Tea Party-style fanaticism among some on the British right in Brussels; a new and virulent brand of Euroscepticism. It’s vital that those of us who support the EU do not allow this self-defeating ideology to triumph.

Also this week, UKIP’s Spring Conference was overshadowed by the embarrassing revelation that Nigel Farage’s campaign slogan – “Love Britain: Vote UKIP” – was a rehash of a strapline used by the BNP. Nick Griffin’s far right party campaigned under the same banner in 2010, using the wording “Love Britain: Vote BNP”. The comparisons did not appear to end there, with Farage using his “Love Britain: Vote UKIP”-branded plinth to launch an excoriating attack on immigration, which he claims has made Britain “unrecognisable”. When the BNP link was pointed out Farage argued, bizarrely, that he’d been trying to ‘reclaim’ the slogan.

So far Ukip have resisted calls from the European far right to join ranks. Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen have both attempted, unsuccessfully thus far, to reach out to Farage, pointing out the common ground their respective parties share with his. But with UKIP MEP Gerard Batten’s ties with the far right attracting increasing controversy – not to mention Farage’s recent admission that he supported the “basic principle” of Enoch Powell’s 1968 ‘Rivers of blood’ speech – the overlap between UKIP and the extreme right is becoming hard to disguise.

To avoid a return to the ugly politics and racial tensions of the 1970s Labour must contest UKIP’s narrative every step of the way.

Gábor Vona is Not Welcome in the UK

Labour Party

Theresa May is being asked to stop the leader of the Hungarian extreme right-wing political party, Jobbik, from entering the UK this weekend.

Vona is coming to Holborn on Sunday to speak at a rally that he says is for the Hungarian community living in London, in advance of this year’s European elections.  This is made all the more troubling as his visit falls the day before Holocaust Memorial day.

Home Secretary Theresa May has been urged to ban a Hungarian extreme right leader from the UK, as he prepares to come to a meeting in London on Sunday.

Labour’s Frank Dobson MP and London Assembly Members Andrew Dismore and Murad Qureshi have urged the Home Office and the Met to take action to prevent any potential unrest provoked by the arrival Gábor Vona.

The party is the most successful extreme right organisation in Europe, with three seats in the EU parliament and 44 in the Hungarian Parliament. They are aligned in the European Parliament with parties such as the BNP, Front National and Greece’s Golden Dawn.

But even Nick Griffin would shrink from publicly stating some of the things that Jobbik members feel perfectly comfortable with.  Mr Vona stated recently whilst protesting the World Jewish Congress in Budapest:

“The Israeli conquerors, these investors, should look for another country in the world for themselves because Hungary is not for sale,” party chairman Gabor Vona told the rally, according to Reuters news agency.

Marton Gyongyosi, deputy leader of Jobbik, said Hungary had “become subjugated to Zionism, it has become a target of colonisation while we, the indigenous people, can play only the role of extras”.

Recently, Mr Gyongyosi sparked outrage by saying all government officials of Jewish origin should be officially listed, as they might be a “national security risk”.

Let Theresa May know that we do not want this sort of hate speech on our street.  Please sign the petition here and stop Gábor Vona from being given a platform on Sunday.

From the Archive: The ever more appalling Godfrey Bloom brings shame on us all

Labour Party

Following Godfrey Bloom’s extraordinary outburst on London Loves Business where he states that hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs should be abolished as the public sector drains money out of the economy, I have posted another Bloom story. This one comes from my archive and shows just how unbelievebaly atrocious UKIP really are.

This blogpost went out on November 24th 2010, and is about Bloom in the European Parliament addressing German MEP Martin Schulz, at the time leader of the S&D,  using language associated with Hitler and the Third Reich.  After refusing to apologise, Bloom was ejected from the chamber.

The ever more appalling Godfrey Bloom brings shame on us all

Godfrey Bloom, UKIP MEP for Yorks and the Humber, was ejected from the European Parliament today for using language associated with Nazi Germany when addressing a fellow MEP. In a debate this morning Godfrey Bloom used the phrase “ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer” towards German MEP Martin Schulz, the Leader of the Socialist and Democrat Group.

Shortly after midday the Vice-President of the European Parliament chairing the session in the European Parliament chamber, British Liberal-Democrat MEP Edward McMillan-Scott who holds his Vice-President post as an  independent, ordered Mr Bloom to apologise to Mr Schulz. Failure to do so would lead to Mr Bloom being ejected from the chamber.

Inevitably Godfrey Bloom refused to apologise, following which McMillan-Scott put the motion that Mr Bloom be ejected to the vote. It was carried overwhelmingly.

Again very predictably, Bloom refused to go, despite the European Parliament ushers’ peaceful attempts to persuade him, whereupon McMillan-Scott ordered a five minute suspension. At this point Bloom skulked off and didn’t return.

During these proceedings as the atmosphere became ever more febrile, BNP MEP Nick Griffin shouted loudly in Bloom’s defence. However, since his microphone wasn’t on, Griffin’s efforts had no discernible effect.  Telling also that newly re-elected UKIP Leader Nigel Farage was passionate in Bloom’s defence.

Bloom’s utterly appalling behaviour was totally unacceptable. If you feel, as Bloom clearly does, that the second world war is not yet over, then you should at least have the decency to distance yourself from an institution, the European Parliament, which seeks to foster European co-operation and understanding. I do not believe it is either right or effective to seek election to the European Parliament and then take every opportunity to attack it. If you feel you must exercise your right to freedom of speech Mr Bloom, go and do it somewhere else. It is wholly out-of-order to use the chamber of the European Parliament to grossly insult fellow parliamentarians and attempt to resurrect past wars and past anti-democratic, violent and racist political movements in a place set up to enable Europe to recover from its twentieth century past.

From the Archive: Gerard Batten is Best, Forget the Rest

Labour Party

To continue with more of my previous blogs on UKIP.  This one is from November 6th 2009, a time when the UKIP leadership elections were taking place and Gerard Batten was hoping to succeed Nigel Farage.

Gerard Batten is Best, Forget the Rest

 

Fellow London MEP Gerard Batten is apparently campaigning to succeed Nigel Farage as leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP). The site set up to support him is interesting to say the least.Yesterday there was a post arguing that Gerard Batten’s attempts to cover up fraudulent spending of European Union monies did not matter, and there was no need for an investigation. An unusual position for a party which claims to be against the misuse of EU monies.However, like Ashley Mote and now Tom Wise, Gerard does not consider that laws apply to him. Gerard is a man who does not believe it is in the British character to play by the rules, and pay your taxes. He is refusing to pay his television licence.

Let’s return to his campaign website which reads a bit like the diary of Adrain Mole aged 55 and 3/4. Schoolboy politics might provide a slogan like  “Forget the rest and vote for the best.”   In the unlikely event of a Batten victory how will Gerard create a leadership team of all the talents other UKIP MEPs?

Gerard’s leadership blog certainly likes a bit of Viz style humour, commenting on the recent Exeter UKIP leadership hustings, the verdict is juvenile:  Pants to the rest, Gerard is the best!

Let’s hope this blog is written by an over enthusiastic supporter of Gerard’s.

Looking at his official website there is no mention of his campaign for Leader. Google “Gerard Batten” and Leader in news, and you find that the BNP have been writing to Gerard as the kind of person they think would like to donate to them. Why would this be?

Look at Gerard’s website, it is a place where a BNP supporter would feel at home.  Let’s start with his article “The Myth of Multiculturalism” which starts

“THE MYTH of multiculturalism depends on the belief that completely different cultures, and indeed contradictory world views, can peacefully co-exist within the same geographic and political space.”

Gerard represents London, he doesn’t seem to have noticed there are people with lots of differents beliefs in London. We all manage to rub along together. Londoners are pretty tolerant people, we even manage to put up with UKIP MEPs.

How about Gerard’s views on immigration? He’s written a 4 page pamphlet on the subject with the title “Enough is Enough“?

Then there’s his article in Freedom Today The Islamist threat to freedom where he talks about his regard for far right Dutch politician Geert Wilders (who Gerard is pictured with above).

You can begin to see why the BNP might consider Gerard Batten would want to support them. Let’s turn back to the intellectual masterpiece that is the “myth of multicultalism” article. This says in language strikingly like something Nick Griffin might say: “The British political and intellectual elite have not only thought that multiculturalism is highly desirable but they have spent the last fifty years actively bringing it about.”

Who could Gerard mean? How about current UKIP leader Nigel Farage? He’s married to a German. Yorkshire UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom? He’s married to a Pole. Even the Queen married a Greek. That’s right Gerard lots of British people are marrying foreign people, and I think love is wonderful, but you want to stop it?

Often when I write about UKIP members misbehaviour I receive notes from UKIP members complaining that they are decent people, and are unlucky to have so many people of bad character in UKIP. The other possibility is UKIP attracts people of bad character, discuss.

Looking at Gerard Batten’s record shouldn’t UKIP be investigating him rather than considering having him as a party leader?

Now that Tom Wise has admitted his guilt to expenses fraud, shouldn’t questions be asked as to why Gerard Batten defended him and tried to excuse Tom Wise’s fraudulent misdemeanours?

Surely any mainstream political party expects their representatives/leaders to pay taxes like the television licence fee?

Homophobic Nick Griffin may face European Parliament sanctions

Labour Party

Labour Members of the European Parliament have formally reported Nick Griffin’s controversial tweets to the President of the European Parliament. The BNP leader faces possible sanctions under Parliament rules.

On Thursday last week, British National Party Leader Nick Griffin, MEP for the North West of England, tweeted the private address of a gay couple, inviting his supporters to ‘give them a bit of drama.’.

Griffin disagreed with a county court ruling that refusing the couple to enjoy their B&B reservation because they were gay was discrimination.

The couple’s house was placed under police protection, and Griffin’s aggressive tweets are now investigated by the police.

Michael Cashman, Labour MEP for the West Midlands, who represents Labour on LGBT issues commented: “I brought this to the attention of the President of the European Parliament, who should act swiftly and officially.

“Under European Parliament rules, MEPs’ conduct ‘shall be characterised by mutual respect, and be based on the values and principles laid down’ in EU treaties, including respect for minorities’ dignity. Nick Griffin certainly failed those values when he incited his followers to give a gay couple ‘a bit of drama’.”

Michael, and all Labour MEPs, hope the European Parliament will take serious action. Griffin’s appalling behaviour is a sad reminder of the homophobia and violence LGBT people still face.

The ever more appalling Godfrey Bloom brings shame on us all

Labour Party

Godfrey Bloom, UKIP MEP for Yorks and the Humber, was ejected from the European Parliament today for using language associated with Nazi Germany when addressing a fellow MEP. In a debate this morning Godfrey Bloom used the phrase “ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer” towards German MEP Martin Schulz, the Leader of the Socialist and Democrat Group.

Shortly after midday the Vice-President of the European Parliament chairing the session in the European Parliament chamber, British Liberal-Democrat MEP Edward McMillan-Scott who holds his Vice-President post as an  independent, ordered Mr Bloom to aplologise to Mr Schulz. Failure to do so would lead to Mr Bloom being ejected from the chamber.

Inevitably Godfrey Bloom refused to aplogise, following which McMillan-Scott put the motion that Mr Bloom be ejected to the vote. It was carried overwhelmingly.

Again very predictably, Bloom refused to go, despite the European Parliament ushers’ peaceful attempts to persuade him, whereupon McMillan-Scott ordered a five minute suspension. At this point Bloom skulked off and didn’t return.

During these proceedings as the atmosphere became ever more febrile, BNP MEP Nick Griffin shouted loudly in Bloom’s defence. However, since his microphone wasn’t on, Griffin’s efforts had no discernible effect.  Telling also that newly re-elected UKIP Leader Nigel Farage was passionate in Bloom’s defence.  

Bloom’s utterly appalling behaviour was totally unacceptable. If you feel, as Bloom clearly does, that the second world war is not yet over, then you should at least have the decency to distance yourself from an institution, the European Parliament, which seeks to foster European co-operation and understanding. I do not believe it is either right or effective to seek election to the European Parliament and then take every opportunity to attack it. If you feel you must exercise your right to freedom of speech Mr Bloom, go and do it somewhere else. It is wholly out-of-order to use the chamber of the European Parliament to grossly insult fellow parliamentarians and attempt to resurrect past wars and past anti-democratic, violent and racist political movements in a place set up to enable Europe to recover from its twentieth century past.

The Wiffen of Racism from UKIP in London

Labour Party

The Chair of UKIP in London Paul Wiffen has expressed these views on multicultural London:

“You Left-wing scum are all the same, wanting to hand our birthright to Romanian gypsies who beat their wives and children into begging and stealing money they can gamble with, Muslim nutters who want to kill us and put us all under medieval Sharia law, the same Africans who sold their Afro-Caribbean brothers into a slavery that Britain was the first to abolish.”

UKIP’s usual  different standards of conduct have been applied. Paul Wiffen has been temporarily suspended as Chair of London, but remains their Parliamentary candidate in Ilford South and also a candidate for Redbridge Council.  One can only imagine what he says in private. I love UKIP’s logic here, he is suspended from expressing his views to fellow UKIP members, but they are quite happy for him to talk to ordinary voters.

 Paul Wiffen is not the brightest tool in the shop. The 2001 census showed that 55% of the Ilford South electorate was non-white. Paul Wiffen has “worked closely” for UKIP London MEP Gerard Batten making videos for him. (He is pictured with Gerard Batten, Paul is on the left  with Gerard Batten third from left). Gerard has made no comment so far. Would that be because Paul posts adoring twitters about Gerard?

On 3rd March he wrote “Express reports immigrants will do anything 2 get 2 UK http://bit.ly/cNisCn but #UKIP MEP Gerard Batten has the answer.”

Not keen on multicultural women too on December 13th 2009….”What exactly r Paula Buonadonna’s qualifications 2 b on The Politics Show? Not her dancing! Multi-cultural female-only shortlists @ BBC now?”

 On November 18th 2009 he expressed the wish “2moro have 2 decide if I will still stand in Ilford Sth @ GE or switch 2 Barking & Dagenham (500yds down road) 2 give Griffin a bloody nose.”

I can see why Paul thought he was best placed to take the racist vote away from the BNP’s Nick Griffin!

 I predict he will lose his deposit, but UKIP should immediately remove him as a Parliamentary and Council candidate and kick him out of the Party.

Gerard Batten is Best, Forget the Rest

Labour Party

 

Fellow London MEP Gerard Batten is apparently campaigning to succeed Nigel Farage as leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP). The site set up to support him is interesting to say the least.Yesterday there was a post arguing that Gerard Batten’s attempts to cover up fraudulent spending of European Union monies did not matter, and there was no need for an investigation. An unusual position for a party which claims to be against the misuse of EU monies.However, like Ashley Mote and now Tom Wise, Gerard does not consider that laws apply to him. Gerard is a man who does not believe it is in the British character to play by the rules, and pay your taxes. He is refusing to pay his television licence.

Let’s return to his campaign website which reads a bit like the diary of Adrain Mole aged 55 and 3/4. Schoolboy politics might provide a slogan like  “Forget the rest and vote for the best.”   In the unlikely event of a Batten victory how will Gerard create a leadership team of all the talents other UKIP MEPs?

Gerard’s leadership blog certainly likes a bit of Viz style humour, commenting on the recent Exeter UKIP leadership hustings, the verdict is juvenile:  Pants to the rest, Gerard is the best! 

Let’s hope this blog is written by an over enthusiastic supporter of Gerard’s.  

Looking at his official website there is no mention of his campaign for Leader. Google “Gerard Batten” and Leader in news, and you find that the BNP have been writing to Gerard as the kind of person they think would like to donate to them. Why would this be?

Look at Gerard’s website, it is a place where a BNP supporter would feel at home.  Let’s start with his article “The Myth of Multiculturalism” which starts 

“THE MYTH of multiculturalism depends on the belief that completely different cultures, and indeed contradictory world views, can peacefully co-exist within the same geographic and political space.”

Gerard represents London, he doesn’t seem to have noticed there are people with lots of differents beliefs in London. We all manage to rub along together. Londoners are pretty tolerant people, we even manage to put up with UKIP MEPs.

How about Gerard’s views on immigration? He’s written a 4 page pamphlet on the subject with the title “Enough is Enough“?

Then there’s his article in Freedom Today The Islamist threat to freedom where he talks about his regard for far right Dutch politician Geert Wilders (who Gerard is pictured with above).

You can begin to see why the BNP might consider Gerard Batten would want to support them. Let’s turn back to the intellectual masterpiece that is the “myth of multicultalism” article. This says in language strikingly like something Nick Griffin might say: “The British political and intellectual elite have not only thought that multiculturalism is highly desirable but they have spent the last fifty years actively bringing it about.” 

Who could Gerard mean? How about current UKIP leader Nigel Farage? He’s married to a German. Yorkshire UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom? He’s married to a Pole. Even the Queen married a Greek. That’s right Gerard lots of British people are marrying foreign people, and I think love is wonderful, but you want to stop it?  

Often when I write about UKIP members misbehaviour I receive notes from UKIP members complaining that they are decent people, and are unlucky to have so many people of bad character in UKIP. The other possibility is UKIP attracts people of bad character, discuss. 

Looking at Gerard Batten’s record shouldn’t UKIP be investigating him rather than considering having him as a party leader?

Now that Tom Wise has admitted his guilt to expenses fraud, shouldn’t questions be asked as to why Gerard Batten defended him and tried to excuse Tom Wise’s fraudulent misdemeanours?

Surely any mainstream political party expects their representatives/leaders to pay taxes like the television licence fee?

Nick Griffin denies Climate Change

Labour Party

You may be interested in this speech made by BNP Nick Griffin in the European Parliament earlier today.

While it is hardly surprising that Mr Griffin is a climate change denier, his lack of respect for the high level academic research on this matter is absolutely breathtaking.  In addition, virtually all of this research tells us that climate change is man-made and that it is extremely serious.   As far I am aware it is only extremists like Tory MEP Roger Helmer,  Godfrey Bloom of UKIP, and ex-President George W Bush who deny climate change altogether.

Nick Griffin (NI). – Mr President, there are two overriding themes in this place: first, concern with the growing gulf between the political elite and the ordinary taxpayers. Second, a hysterical obsession with man made global warming. These two themes are intimately linked. The global warming fixation is a classic example of how the political class here is out of touch with the little people who have to pay the bills. While the EU backs the Copenhagen proposals to further the deindustrialisation of the West and the corporate domination of the Third World, a growing majority of ordinary people regard climate change as an elite scam – an excuse to tax and control us and to impose internationalist dogma and global government at the expense of the nation state. Can you not see the danger in this growing gulf? It is time to look at the facts. Man made global warming is an unproven theory based on manipulative statistics. The so called consensus on the issue is the product not of debate but of the suppression of expert dissent. Before the political class and the green industrial complex dare to impose a single new tax, poisoned light bulb or useless wind farm on the ordinary taxpayer, they need to try to convince the public that global warming is man made, that returning to the warmer climate of medieval times would be a bad thing and that there is something that Europe – as opposed to the United States, China and India – can actually do about it. Either hold a debate and close the gap between you and the people, or do not complain when we nationalists – the ones who listen to the people – close it for you.

You can see a video here of Griffin’s speech along with a speech in the same debate by UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom.  As my fellow Labour MEP Linda McAvan points out, they are very similar indeed.

The BNP and non-white members

Labour Party

nick griffin

Continuing on the tricky theme of racism in politics, I was pleased to read in yesterday’s Guardian that Nick Griffin, a fellow British MEP and leader of the British National Party (BNP), has been forced to rethink his party’s discriminatory constitution. (Click here to read the article online.) Before now, the BNP has had the power to stop people from becoming a member on account of their race or religion. Yet this is all set to change thanks to a recent intervention by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), a British non-departmental public organisation.

Under the BNP’s current constitution and membership criteria, only ‘indigenous Caucasian’ people have the right to join the party. This policy, while hardly surprising, is clearly both unjust and prejudiced. Rightly, in my view, the EHRC has conceded that the BNP’s constitution is a breach of the laws described under the Race Relations Act. I cannot imagine why anyone, particularly a person of non-Caucasian descent, would want to join a party founded upon deluded racist principles. Nevertheless, I welcome today’s news that the party is being pushed to change its ways. For those who have tried in the past to deny that this is a fascist party, the EHCR’s ruling comes as a reminder to everyone just what the BNP is really all about. The party’s constitution stands in opposition to the core democratic principle of equality, which we are entitled to enjoy, and there can be no doubt that it must be changed.

Unsurprisingly, the BNP took less than kindly to the EHRC’s intervention. While Griffin has grudgingly agreed to ask his party to alter its constitution, a spokesman for the BNP, Chris Roberts, argued that the ruling was a ‘disgrace’ and stressed that it ‘will not change our core beliefs’.

For now, thankfully, the BNP has suspended its membership while it addresses this issue. Any changes to the constitution must be made by no later than three months from today. I sincerely hope that the EHRC’s ruling will come as a wake-up call to Nick Griffin and his right-wing cronies that this party cannot continue in the manner that it has done unscathed . At the same time, however, I also cannot help but worry that for a party with such inherently racist views, it is going to take much more than an intervention by the EHRC to overhaul the face of this bigoted party.