I’ve copied below a transcript between a Euro MP and the Eurosceptic president of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus, about the impending Czech presidency of the EU. I’ve highlighted some phrases that we can go over afterwards, but for now just have a read:
“Brian Crowley MEP: I am from Ireland and I am a member of a party in government. All his life my father fought against the British domination. Many of my relatives lost their lives. That is why I dare to say that the Irish wish for the Lisbon Treaty. It was an insult, Mr. President, to me and to the Irish people what you said during your state visit to Ireland. It was an insult that you met Declan Ganley, a man with no elected mandate. This man has not proven the sources from which his campaign was funded. I just want to inform you what the Irish felt. I wish you that you get the programme of your Presidency through and you will get through what European citizens want to see.
President Vaclav Klaus: Thank you for this experience which I gained from this meeting. I did not think anything like this is possible and have not experienced anything like this for the past 19 years. I thought it was a matter of the past that we live in democracy, but it is post-democracy, really, which rules the EU.
You mentioned the European values. The most important value is freedom and democracy. The citizens of the EU member states are concerned about freedom and democracy, above all. But democracy and freedom are losing ground in the EU today. It is necessary to strive for them and fight for them.
I would like to emphasize, above all, what most citizens of the Czech Republic feel, that for us the EU membership has no alternative. It was me who submitted the EU application in the year 1996 and who signed the Accession treaty in 2003. But the arrangements within the EU have many alternatives. To take one of them as sacrosanct, untouchable, about which it is not possible to doubt or criticize it, is against the very nature of Europe.
As for the Lisbon Treaty, I would like to mention that it is not ratified in Germany either. The Constitutional Treaty, which was basically the same as the Lisbon Treaty, was refused in referendums in other two countries. If Mr. Crowley speaks of an insult to the Irish people, then I must say that the biggest insult to the Irish people is not to accept the result of the Irish referendum. In Ireland I met somebody who represents a majority in his country. You, Mr. Crowley, represent a view which is in minority in Ireland. That is a tangible result of the referendum.
Brian Crowley MEP: With all respect, Mr. President, you will not tell me what the Irish think. As an Irishman, I know it best.
President Vaclav Klaus: I do not speculate about what the Irish think. I state the only measurable data which were proved by the referendum.
In our country the Lisbon Treaty is not ratified because our parliament has not decided on it yet. It is not the President's fault. Let's wait for the decision of both Chambers of the Parliament, that is the current phase of the ratification process in which the President plays no role whatsoever. I cannot sign the Treaty today, it is not on my table, it is up to the parliament to decide about it now. My role will come after the eventual approval of the Treaty in the Parliament...”
This probably amounts to one of the most breathtaking assaults on democracy in recent times. The Irish people said no, they didn’t want the European Constitution Lisbon Treaty. Yet, Mr Crowley claims to think the Irish do in fact want the treaty. Was he asleep during the vote, or has he just decreed that his will is that of the Irish people?
So, we shouldn’t be surprised that the EU is asking Ireland to vote again, just like they asked Ireland to vote twice on the Nice Treaty, how they ignored the French and Dutch No votes on the EU Constitution, how they asked Denmark to vote again on the Maastricht Treaty.
To think we give billions of pounds a year to this body that won’t take No for an answer, whose contempt for democracy and the will of the people beggars belief. We give billions of pounds a year to a body that wants to take control away from you. It wants a common EU tax system and harmonisation. Euro MPs voted on British working hours, yet surely that should be the decision for our parliament (or the market, rather). Its meddling has led to the complete annihilation of our fishing industry, turning coastal fishing communities into ghost towns.
So, seeing as we send billions a year to the EU, do you think that money could be better spent here or kept in your own pockets?