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Monday, June 22, 2009

Strange bedfellows

The Conservatives have finally unveiled the other members of their new grouping in the European Parliament and it seems that initial suspicions that they would marginalise themselves by their choices and reduce their and Britain's influence have been confirmed.

The full list of parties is:

Belgium: Lijst Dedecker (LDD), one MEP
Czech Republic: Civic Democratic party (ODS), nine MEPs
Finland: the Centre party (Keskusta) sits in the Liberal (ALDE) group but one of its MEPs is now joining the Tories' new group
Hungary: Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF), one MEP
Latvia: Latvian National Independence Movement (TB/LNNK), one MEP
Netherlands: Christian Union (Christen Unie), one MEP
Poland: Law and Justice (PiS), 15 MEPs
United Kingdom: Conservative Party, 26 MEPs (including an Ulster Unionist)

According to the Guardian Poland's opposition Law and Justice party has the second largest number of MEPs in the new group, with 15. It is run by twin brothers Jarosław and Lech Kaczyński, and has members who have expressed anti-gay and anti-German views.

Latvia's For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK party, which is represented by just one MEP in Europe, is also part of the new coalition. For Fatherland and Freedom merged with the Latvian National Independence Movement (LNNK) in the 1990s, but the Tories today listed the party as the Latvian National Independence Movement, rather than under its better known name of For Fatherland and Freedom.

The party has raised eyebrows in Britain due to the views of some its members, who see the Latvian Legion – the Latvian units of the Waffen SS – as brave patriots who fought against Stalin's Soviet Union.

Let's hear it for Cameron's new modernised Tory Party.
Interesting, but isn't it strange that no-one ever mentions Labour's strange European bedfellows.

Proinsias De Rossa MEP (Ireland)

Born Francis Ross, Proinsias De Rossa is PES MEP for the Dublin constituency and former member of the IRA. De Rossa was interned by the Irish government in the late 1950s for his involvement in the IRA’s border campaign – a campaign which caused the deaths of six British policemen.

Democratic Society Party (Turkey)

Despite being outside the European Union, the Party of the European Socialists has awarded the Turkish Democratic Society Party associate membership of their party. According to the European Union Institute for Security Studies, it is an “obvious secret that [the Democratic Society Party] is connected to the PKK, the militant terrorist organisation headed up by Abdullah Öcalan. Following a KPP terrorist attack in October 2007, Labour’s very own David Miliband had the following to say: “The PKK is trying to destroy the Turkish government's efforts to improve the situation of people in the south east of the country, provoke conflict between Turkey and Iraq and damage regional stability... I call on the international community to be unequivocal in its condemnation of PKK terrorism and to support Turkey in restoring stability”.

Self-Defence of the Republic (Poland)

The Self-Defence of the Republic party claims to represent the interests of poor, agricultural workers against big business. It is more famous, however, for the erratic behaviour of its leader Andrzej Lepper, the recipient of two honorary degrees from the anti-Semitic Interregional Academy of Personnel Management which counts, amongst others, American white supremacist David Duke as an honorary professor. According to the BBC, his party anthem once featured the line "this land is your land, this land is my land [and] we won't let anyone punch us in the face" – somewhat unsurprising, given Lepper’s multiple convictions for assault. The Party of the European Socialists welcomed a Self-Defence MEP into their grouping in December 2004.

Giulietto Chiesa MEP (Italy)

A former communist party official and television journalist, Giulietto Chiesa has sat with the British Labour delegation in the Party of European Socialists since 2006. Over the past five years, his parliamentary activities have largely focussed around organising screenings in Parliamentary buildings of his 9/11 conspiracy theory film “Zero” which alleges that the Pentagon was actually hit by a missile and that the Twin Towers were really detonated by explosives placed inside the building. Turning to other international events, Chiesa stated his opinion that “Russia did precisely what had to be done” during last year’s Georgia crisis.

Source: http://conservativehome.blogs.com/centreright/2009/05/labours-unsavory-allies-.html
Strange bedfellows? Maybe, but I think that the Finnish Centre Party, which has many religious fundamentalist members from Northern Finland (including Hannu Takkula who joined the new conservative grouping) and whose MPs have been mostly voting against the gay rights in the Finnish parliament, probably fits better to the new conservative grouping than ELDR or ALDE.
Have the Italian fascists joined the EPP?
Dave, two wrongs don't make a right and I note that you haven't found any dirt to fling at ALDE or ELDR.
Pot calls Kettle black!

"Liberal Democrats sit with a Latvian Party that opposes gay rights and a group of Swedish feminists who believe that marriage is a form of male oppression and should be banned and that there should be a special tax on men to recompense women for male violence."
"Dave, two wrongs don't make a right"

That's not the issue. The issue here is 'what's good for the goose'. The Labour party are making a lot of noise about who the Tories are sitting with, whilst sitting themselves with anti-semites, 9/11 conspiracy theorists, PKK supporters and former IRA terrorists.
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