One man is witness, prosecutor, judge and jury

Today (April 9th) the Bureau of the European parliament will hear my appeal against the penalty imposed by the President, Hans-Gert Poettering MEP, as a consequence of our demonstration for a Referendum in Strasbourg in December. My appeal is based on two grounds: the events themselves, and the nature of the disciplinary procedure. The following text is taken directly from my appeal submission to the Bureau.

1 The events of Dec 12th

I dispute that the events that took place were “Exceptionally Serious” (Rule 147 para 1), or that they were “recurrent or permanent” (Rule 147 para 2). The events complained of could be regarded as a robust exchange of views. It is true that MEPs have the option of making their case for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty in the course of regular debates in the parliament, which I and many colleagues have done repeatedly. Yet we have had no proper response: the EU institutions continue in their determination to disregard the democratic will of the French and Dutch peoples, expressed in referenda in 2005, and to disregard the will of electorates in other nations, including the UK, which have been repeatedly demonstrated in opinion surveys and local polls. I consider that I have the right, and the duty, to press the strongly-held views of those I represent, until I get a response. We now have a response, in the form of this proposed penalty, which demonstrates that the parliament is unable to tolerate dissent, and disregards the democratic will of the people.

The disruption on Dec 12th was very largely the result of the over-reaction of the President of the parliament himself. I and the dozens of colleagues who demonstrated on the 12th had intended to mount a silent and dignified protest against the Lisbon Treaty, on the occasion of the formal signing of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. It was the decision of the President to instruct the Ushers (to their obvious embarrassment) to confiscate the banners and placards which led to the disturbance. In fact it is commonplace for members to display banners or placards in the parliament without this sort of provocative over-reaction. In January many members displayed placards calling for the release of Ingrid Betancourt in Columbia. On March 27th, I and other colleagues displayed the flag of Tibet, as a protest against Chinese policy in that country. In neither case was there any call for the removal of flags and posters, still less any attempt to confiscate them. The President’s behaviour on Dec 12th was exceptional and provocative, and led directly to the shouting and disturbance.

2 The disciplinary Procedure

The parliament’s disciplinary procedure is a travesty of due process, and provides prima facie grounds for a further appeal to the ECJ if this current appeal fails.

One man — the President of the Parliament — is witness, prosecutor, judge and jury. He is also (presumably) Chairman of the Appeals Committee — the Bureau of the parliament. This is wholly unacceptable. The President is also a deeply unreliable witness. One of the MEPs originally indicted, Andreas Molzer, was in fact in Frankfurt at the time in question, not in Strasbourg at all. It is clear, therefore, that the President’s evidence is not to be relied on. It seems he was proceeding on the basis of his personal prejudice against those he regards as troublemakers, and not on the basis of accurate observation.

The process is partial and discriminatory. On a conservative estimate, some sixty to eighty MEPs participated in the demonstration. But only thirteen (after the exclusion of Mr. Molzer) were indicted. One prominent participant, Nigel Farage, rose afterwards on a point of order to demand to know why he had been overlooked, and concluded his question (in a reference to a well-known cinema epic) with the words “I am Spartacus!”. It appears that ten members have received penalties, which range from a reprimand to a five-day fine. There appears to be no evidential basis either for the selection of those who were indicted, nor for the discriminatory nature of the penalties imposed.

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10 Responses to One man is witness, prosecutor, judge and jury

  1. Derek Tipp says:

    What an extraordinary procedure. Thinking of fines reminds me – did the French ever pay the fine for not admitting British beef?

  2. Roger Helmer says:

    So far as I know, they never did! I now have the result of the appeal: as I fully expected, it was dismissed. I am now considering whether to pursue an appeal to the ECJ, on the basis of lack of due process.

  3. Malcolm Edward says:

    The EU parliament does not wish to gain the consent of the peoples of Europe for the powers which it wishes to exercise.
    You oppose that position and you are fined. And on the say-so of one man.
    This fits the pattern of EU-style justice. And I guess we’ll see more like it in the future. We all need to take this as a warning about the nature of the EU project – I wish the newspapers would make an issue of this to alert their readers to the nature of the EU government that is being imposed on them by NuLabour.

  4. John Nichols says:

    This is absolutely ridiculous! The EU is less democratic than Zimbabwe!

    Why do we possibly allow a bureacratic autrocracy to subvert our age-old parliamentary democracy? Its over complicated, unfair, it doesnt give a hoot for what anyone thinks and it works persistently towards goals we do not want! Aptly, on St Georges day I am frustratingly informed that the latest attempt to re-divide European borders leaves the British Isles split into 3 and joined with a hotchpotch of unconnected other regions.

    You can sit back if you like, and before you know it you’ll be told your waving the wrong flag. Your in the North Sea Region now, not Britain. No doubt they will have some pathetic new flag for that soon.

    Our country is under attack.

  5. John Davis says:

    The more that I read your newsletters, the more I despair of the Eu ever becoming democratic and open.
    Thankfully, there are people like you trying to bring the commisioners to account

  6. Allan Tallett says:

    I read recently a very apt quote “The truth is treason in the Empire of lies”. You can think yourself lucky that you were not sentenced to hang for treason in this Orwellian institution.

  7. R Hewson says:

    Like John Davis I also despair of the Eu. Sad to say there is little chance of stopping our full time membership of the European State regardless of the fact that it would seem from various polls, that more people are against our full time membership than for it.

  8. James A.Hutchinson says:

    I entirely agree with John Nichols,our country is under attack.The recently published Euro Regions “map” had me incensed,drawn up by some nonenity in Brussels. “This ENGLAND never did,nor never shall,lie at the proud foot of a conqueror.”(William Shakespeare).That was,of course, until UNELECTED Brown and his cohorts sold this country out cheaper than he did with our gold reserves.The more I read and hear of this corrupt European Club,the more I am convinced that we should pull out of the unholy mess. They need us more than we need them.Get out of this “union”(a misnomer if there was),and get back to Global trading,making our own laws and running our own lives.The prime target being the abolishing of the ludicrous Human Rights Act.
    Rule Britannia!

  9. Bonjour Roger,
    I read: “So far as I know, they never did! I now have the result of the appeal: as I fully expected, it was dismissed. I am now considering whether to pursue an appeal to the ECJ, on the basis of lack of due process.”

    Do pursue this procedure because there is ALWAYS new elements comming out of them.

    If you need arguments against the Euro, don’t forget that I am the specialist of the “XPF”, that double Franco-colono-europeano Dominique Strauss-Kahn fake “currency” used by the “Banque de France/IEOM” until this moment.

    Avec Honneur

    Le président de “la Polynésie française”,
    Président des Françaises et des Français
    René G. HOFFER
    Tél (689) 77 71 70

  10. Roger Helmer says:

    Many thanks for all the helpful comments. My summary would be: the EU is beyond reform and deserves to be put out of its misery.

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