1st April 2014: This morning at the European Parliament in Brussels, Andrew Brons made the following contribution during a debate in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) following a communication by the Commission (represented by Mrs Le Bail, Director General for Justice) on the Rule of Law.
"The Rule of Law means that people should not be punished except for a distinct breach of the law and that all people are subject to the law.
"However, there are loop holes.
"Laws can be devised so that only your political opponents run the risk of being caught by them. There are all kinds of incitement law - ethnicity, gender, disability etc. However, there are no laws preventing incitement to hatred on political grounds. Perhaps the wrong people would be prosecuted.
"Last year, we saw the leaders of a political party in Greece being detained on Sovietesque charges of heading a criminal organisation, following the appalling murder of a left wing activist, with whose death they were not charged. I know little about this party and I might not like what I have been told but that is not the point.
"In 2003, in Germany, there were attempts to ban a political party on the basis of incriminating speeches made by some of its members until it was discovered by the German Constitutional Court that the members in question were state agents. (Following the collapse of this case), there ought to have been a long and intensive inquiry into this case but there was none.
"We in AFCO have recently been discussing the hurdles for establishing European Political Parties, which will allow favoured parties to be registered and prevent un-favoured parties.
"So that's the Rule of Law for you!"