As was predicted early yesterday morning, the EU Parliament
has now rubber-stamped [stitched-up] the appointment of the new German-led EU Commission which, in just three days time, will take over from the previous administration led by Jean-Claude Juncker.
What we were not expecting was a bravura performance by Brexit Party MEP Claire Fox
who gave a short speech in which she slammed both the chaotic selection process and the democratic legitimacy of the new EU Commission.
“My fellow MEPs, let’s be honest with our voters at home. This process is a sham. Colleagues, we are being used as a stage army, marched out today to rubber stamp a thoroughly anti-democratic imposition of top-down power at Commission level. This parliament is no more than a faux democratic charade used to give a veneer of legitimacy to an illegitimate decision-making process.
“We may salve our consciences by rejecting a few bad eggs at bogus commission hearings, but the truth is all we can do is accept or reject from a bunch of pre-selected candidates with no real choice. This hypocrisy is summed up for me by their gigantic poster of Ursula von der Leyen outside the parliament in Brussels.
“It is frankly distasteful and Orwellian propaganda. It reads “In fair and free elections, the power of the people determines the people in power”. “That is true in national democracies but it is a flagrant lie, fake news, and disinformation in relation to the Commission.
“Mrs von der Leyen herself was not elevated to her position of power due to people power. The only power on display in her election was a behind the scenes cabal who pushed her forward as a last minute compromise candidate. And although she only scraped through, she now has the power to dictate the priorities of Europe. She has the power to impose her agenda on millions of European citizens whether they like it or not.
“From the Commission’s ambitions for a green new deal, for deeper monetary integration, or austerity, or the appointment of Josep Borrell [new de facto EU Foreign Secretary ] who endorses qualified majority voting on foreign policy that strips nation states of their own foreign policy.
“This federalism steals power from the people and is a naked power grab from the Demos to technocrats in the Commission, and we’re expected to nod it through. In the UK we’re mid general election. Voters will directly vote on who they loan their authority to.
“Yet that national popular sovereignty that treats workers and bosses as equals at the ballet box means voters are the masters and politicians are the public servants”.
How the EU Parliament voted? A total of 461 MEPs voted in favour of the new Commission out of a total of 747 MEPs eligible to vote. 157 MEPs voted against and 89 abstained. 40 MEPs clearly decided that there was little point even turning up.
Whilst the UK Parliament publishes the voting record of each MP within about an hour of each vote, we are still waiting for the EU Parliament to publish the list of MEPs voting for or against the Commission yesterday. Sadly this was a secret ballot, so we will never be able to tell readers how their British MEPs voted.
Ms Fox was allowed just two minutes to speak. Despite the Brexit Party being the largest single party in the entire EU Parliament, it is not allowed the six minutes allotted to the leaders of the political groupings of other countries. Ms Fox was therefore allocated the two minutes given to selected individual MEPs.
In the very short time available to her, Claire Fox delivered a powerful indictment of the sclerotic nature of the EU and its processes for appointing those who govern it. Her message was deeply unpopular with the majority of the overpaid MEPs in the hemisphere that is the EU Parliament, but we are very pleased that someone stood up and spoke truth to power.