3, July, 2019
The popular definition of democracy is that it is a system where the people can throw out the rascals — inept or corrupt politicians.
That is not the case of Europe today. Its hub has a system of autocracy. 28 politicians from nominal democracies don’t follow democratic rules. They self-select their Politburo, an oligarchy with no recourse to the voice of the people. It has become a system of the politicians, by the politicians, for the politicians. The people are excluded.
It is suicidal for rational politics and a prosperous economy.
Party politicians are a self-exterminating breed. They have stabbed themselves with the dagger of public distrust.
When the EC began, political parties in democracies used to attract 15 percent of the population to their ranks. No more. Today barely 2% of the population is a member of a party.
Europe is fast descending into a more and more anti-democratic system. An unrepresentative Politburo picks new rascals from a pack of rascals and makes it as difficult as possible to remove them.
Rascal is not just an uncomplimentary term. They have done their utmost to break the law!
In Brussels and behind firmly closed doors, the political class squabble for the top jobs. Instead of the eternal Brexit problem we now have a RascalENTRY problem: non-qualified politicians being given the #TopJobs by other politicians to the exclusion of any qualified other citizen.
Rascal-IN is a greater problem than BREXIT, UK-Out. Brexit is a symptom. Democrats are no longer in control of European institutions.
Here are just some of antidemocratic methods in use.
1. European Council Secrecy.
The idea of having a secret conclave choosing friends of partisan politicians for Europe’s top jobs is totally contrary even to the politicians’ own corrupt Lisbon Treaty. The only people being considered for jobs are politicians, friends of power-brokers. They hope their nominees will return a favour. Favours are increasingly important for those who no longer have the public trust. Some nominees are unwelcome rivals in their home countries, exiled to Belgian Siberia. Others have been kicked out of government by the people. Brussels is their prize for failure. Hardly a system that reinforces public trust.
Meanwhile 98 percent of the public and the press are both excluded. A number of honest, non-politicians have put themselves forward as candidates for these high offices. They read the treaty and believed it meant something.
So where do honest, experienced citizens stand amid the game where the musical chairs are reserved in advance for a political oligarchy?
Nowhere. The Politburo meetings are cloaked in secrecy and political compromise. Rascals are in power and they will stay in power, regardless of what the treaties say.
So let’s remind them of their own rules. The treaty says:
“Union institutions shall conduct their work as openly as possible.” The Council shall meet in public when considering and voting on a draft legislative act. TFEU article15.
Their Lisbon Treaty also says that non-politicians should never be excluded.
“The Union shall observe the principle of the equality of its citizens.” Article 9 TEU.
“Every citizen shall have the right to participate in the democratic life of the Union.” Article 10 TEU.
So choosing top officials in such a conspiratorial manner is also illegal.
2. European Commission.
The qualifications of the members of the Commission have been set out clearly since 1951 when the body was called the High Authority. That meant high moral authority. In the Council of Ministers (not the so-called European Council), ministers would present candidates from any Member State who they considered to be of the highest moral character, independence and competence.
If any other minister had received reports that the candidate was
- biased and prejudiced or
- lacked experience,
- could be shown to be dishonest or duplicitous,
- were not independent but
- the plaything of a party or State politics,
then they could veto the suggestion. That is, in fact, what happened in the early days of the European Community. Potential scoundrels, tied to cartels and other interests, were criticised in public and removed.
A former Nazi diplomat responsible for Nazi radio propaganda in France, Ernst Achenbach, was nominated by Germany in 1970 as a Commissioner. As chief of political affairs he was instrumental in deporting thousands of Jews. He was exposed by Beate and Serge Klarsfeld. His name was vetoed. Do European leaders now want to open the door for such rascals?
In that way the original system was designed to expose untrustworthy people with murky pasts. It is like the selection of a Jury of twelve honest men and women. An honest reputation is the prime attribute of a Jury member.
But Politicians didn’t like that. Nor the idea of high moral authority. The Authority was therefore renamed the Commission. That was just the first sleight of hand.
Today we could call the Commission the immoral authority. Europe is plumbing new lows. When in 1961 General de Gaulle wanted to change the European Commission into a political secretariat under his Fouchet Plan, real Europeans reacted. They stopped him creating a Gaullist Directory of the Continent.
Today politicians apply his tactics with a bit of camouflage. None of them say they are Gaullists but they use his tactics of control of the levers of power and the money bags.
Politicians have long shed any pretence of following the legal criteria and conditions for selecting the Commission. These Politburo candidates are proud to assert that they are doing exactly the OPPOSITE to what the treaties say. The whole idea of Spitzenkandidat is that the person is a delegate of a political party, literally a Party Apparatchik — exactly what the treaties have always forbidden. They must be mentally defective or ethically contrarian. Perhaps they are just blinded by their overwhelming talents. You can’t be so openly partisan and expect the public to consider you non-partisan as the treaties require.
The treaties up to and including the politicians’ own Lisbon Treaty repeat the criteria given in the original Treaty of Paris, 1951. So politicians have no excuse for not knowing the law.
The same goes for a Judge in the European Court of Justice. The Commissioners have to swear an oath of impartiality just like the Judges in the Court and before the same Judges.
It is also obviously a very, very serious matter. Compare this to the United States or even an oath of office in any of the European democracies. In the USA the oath of office is taken in public on Inauguration Day as the major event and the culmination of the election process. It is followed by the President’s speech, before huge crowds in Washington and broadcast nationwide and worldwide.
Have you heard European politicians proclaiming about how this European oath is the central feature of full and legal inauguration of the Commission? Have you heard Commissioners proclaiming before and after the inauguration how they will fully adhere to all the conditions of impartiality they have promised on oath?
Has any of the Commissioners or would-be Commissioners made any speech about how they will faithfully and scrupulously adhere to this oath of office? Like renouncing party membership?
Obviously not. They would be shown to be hypocrites and fraudsters. They are active attendees of party gatherings before the ‘European Summits’. Why? To get instructions and policy.
There is a difference however with the oath that the Judges in the European Court of Justice take and that which the Commissioners are obliged to take.
The oath of office of Commissioners is far more strict. But it is ignored with vigour.
The Commissioners dole out money (one trillion euros worth). They give subsidies to untold number of entities. They take people, companies and countries to Court for non-compliance to Treaty law.
Isn’t it vital that their “independence is beyond doubt”? Does the public think they are impartial? They don’t take criticism lying down. Why is everyone who opposes them called a populist or a nationalist and excluded? Should Commissioners be opposing their opponents? Should they and their friends in Council be raising their salaries? Should they be paying tax money for political campaigns to these same friends?
Why are these would-be Commissioners nominated by Governments and not the people? Why are they members of political parties at all? Is a political party an “institution, body, office or entity”?
Without a shadow of doubt.
So shouldn’t the rascals appear before the European Court of Justice to answer charges about a conspiracy to destroy real democracy? Aren’t they turning Europe into a fraudulent People’s Democracy just like Stalin?
After all, Mr Juncker considers that the greatest political thinker of modern times was not Robert Schuman who brought Europe its unprecedented peace and his salary. It was the revolutionary who imposed the dictatorship of the proletariat and millions of deaths on the world, Karl Marx!
David Heilbron Price
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