20th November 2013: Yesterday afternoon Andrew Brons attended a presentation by Krystina Morvai, and some fellow Hungarians from both Hungary and from Serbia, on racially motivated attacks by Serbs on the large Hungarian minority in the Vojvodina.
The presentation was attended by just two Hungarian MEPs and two British MEPs - Andrew Brons and Nick Griffin.
Andrew will be providing this website with a fuller account of the presentation later, but more information can be found here.
31st October 2013: Last week Andrew Brons wrote the following letter to the editor of the Financial Times.
The headline of Bernard Kouchner's article (23rd October) was quite right to say that Lampedusa brought shame on the European Union but not quite for the reasons advanced.
Why have an estimated 20,000 people perished in the Mediterranean in a desperate attempt to reach Europe. It is because when they reach Europe, they will either be granted asylum or they will be refused asylum but not deported.
Is there any way in which we could deter people from taking such dreadful risks? Yes, we could refuse asylum to anybody who tried to enter Europe illegally. Would anybody risk his own or his family's life if he or she knew that it would not succeed in gaining the right to live in Europe.
The people who should hold their heads in shame are those who have devised asylum policies that provide incentives to desperate people to endanger themselves and others.
30th September 2013: This morning Andrew Brons wrote the following letter to Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar, the President of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, on the issue of the arrest of four Members of the Greek Parliament.
"Dear Mr Lopez,
When the Hungarian Government used its Parliamentary majority to make changes to the Hungarian Constitution that some thought to be undemocratic, LIBE initiated an inquiry and conducted several debates on the question. This was despite the fact that no actions had been taken against individual politicians or against any political parties.
We have now witnessed the arrest of four members of the Greek Parliament - the first such arrests since the overthrow of the Greek junta in 1974. The deplorable murder of a left-wing activist seems to have been used as a pretext for the arrests, although there has been no evidence cited of any link between the alleged perpetrator and these politicians.
I am sure that Golden Dawn is not the preferred party of any members of LIBE. However, democracy is not about protecting the rights of those of whom we approve, whilst tolerating the repression of those of whom we disapprove.
I look forward to hearing that a debate will be held in LIBE within the next few weeks.
30th September 2013: Andrew Brons has written to the Editor of New Europe in response to an article that appeared in that newspaper.
The scribbler who penned the Monnet Matters column (22nd-28th September) is a master (or a mistress) of non sequiturs - not to mention malapropisms.
The person who has been accused of murdering (the Greek Government has not yet got around to banning trials) the 'rapper' Pavlos Fyssas, has been reported to be a supporter of Golden Dawn. Your scribbler has translated supporter into member.
The question raises the question of whether political parties are vicariously liable in criminal law for the crimes of their members and even those of self-proclaimed supporters. At the count at which I was elected in 2009, a counting agent with a Labour Party rosette lunged at me with a clenched fist. Nobody suggested that Linda McAvan or Richard Corbett - the leading Labour candidates - should have been prosecuted for assault. Indeed there was no suggestion that Gordon Brown, as Labour Party leader, should have received a summons. However, since your article has been written, the leader and other M.P.s of Golden Dawn have been arrested on sovietesque charges of founding a criminal organisation.
One does not need to a sympathiser with Golden Dawn to view the arrest of their elected MPs on trumped-up charges to be a much more sinister threat to democracy than Golden Dawn could ever have been.
Jobbik, the Front National, the True Finns and the Dutch Freedom Party are very different parties from each other and even more so from Golden Dawn. To suggest that their agenda is not political engagement but murderous contempt is a monstrous slur. It is a smear by lack of association.
This was the article:
When right is wrong by Monnet Matters
22/09/2013 - 1:25am
Pavlos Fyssas was murdered in Greece on 18 September.
He was a musician and noted left-wing activist. He was killed by a man who admitted to be a member of the far-right Golden Dawn ; which has brazenly adopted the apparel and tactics of the 1930s. They are not simply a neo-Nazi organisation – they represent Nazism reincarnated. Like Jobbik in Hungary, they are not simply a thuggish, marginal movement so easy to dismiss, they are an organised party, whose uniform – and, yes, they adopt the clothes and tactics of the past – is an obvious visual indicator of their political views.
They have seats in the national assembly, and have their eyes on returning candidates to the European Parliament in May next year. With the general rise in populist, extremist, and perhaps more pertinently, anti-political feeling in Europe right now (especially in economically marginal countries like Greece), the rise of parties like the Golden Dawn makes some kind of sense.
It used to be a crass generalisation to accuse someone of being “a Nazi” if they had vaguely right-wing views, but in certain, newer, cases it appears that has become the case. It is as if the famous maxim by George Santayna has horrifically come true, “those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.”
It seems that the past has been forgotten; not just in terms of the longer historical view of
European wars, but also in the fact that the post-war ideal that brought about European integration in the first place, and which stemmed from a desire to escape the kind of horrendous political ruptures that divided the continent, should be put t an end. Sadly, there is an upsurge in the opposite feeling.
Greece and Hungary are the most visible examples; but other illustrations exist. In the Netherlands, for instance; in Denmark and Finland also. The National Front in France is already making moves to secure a political group (and with it, therefore, more speaking time and funds) in the European Parliament. They crave respectability. Sadly, there are those who are seemingly only too willing to give it to them.
There has been some talk about the Greek government moving against the Golden Dawn. Maybe this is the, for want of a different cliché, the smoking gun. The fears are genuine from the political establishment; that the party (which mobilises local support horribly efficiently, hence their ongoing recent success). But without a willingness to engage in a proper political debate, the threat is useless. The current political establishment – and Greece should not be signalled out by any means – is not willing to do this. It would only expose their own lack of ideas. On a local level, this happened in Italy with Beppe Grillo, and that didn’t last long, you can only stretch a joke so far. But parties like the Golden Dawn, Jobbik, True Finns and the rest, are not a joke. As the murder of Pavlos Fyssas expose, there agenda is not political engagement but murderous contempt for the current system.
The current system is flawed. But murder is no solution. Banning political parties is one solution, but maybe, and this would require a huge effort on behalf of those in power who quiver at the thought of rhetoric, rather that recognise it as the greatest weapon in their arsenal, we might just remember the words of Germaine Greer: “To kill a man is simply murder; it is revolution to turn him on.”
29th August 2013: Earlier this week Andrew Brons sent the following letter to the editors of the Rotherham Advertiser and the Yorkshire Post.
'It has now been revealed that the police and social services in Rotherham knew about a relationship between a fourteen year old girl and the twenty-four year old Arshid Hussein but did nothing to prevent it or to prosecute Hussein. This was despite knowing that he was ‘grooming’, with others, as many as forty other children.
Why would the police and the social services refuse to take action?
There is always a reluctance among senior police officers to take action against Asian suspects, lest the police should be accused of ‘racism’ and ‘discrimination’. However, in this case, there is an additional political factor. Hussein is a cousin of the Labour councillor, Jahaangrir Akhtar, who is now deputy leader of Rotherham Council and vice-chairman of a police scrutiny body.
Mr Akhtar knew of the ‘relationship’ but denies being aware of Hussein’s ‘grooming’.
I have no reason to believe that Mr Akhtar misused his political connections to protect his cousin. However, it is likely that the police and social services knew of Hussein’s family’s political connections and it is quite possible that they feared that there would be political consequences of any action against Hussein.
The only other explanation is gross dereliction of duty on the part of police officers and employees of Rotherham social services.'
22nd August 2013: This week Andrew Brons sent the following letter to the editor of the Bradford Telegraph and Argus.
'So two Asian youths, one aged sixteen and one aged seventeen, are not be prosecuted for making racially abusive remarks to a twenty-two year old woman travelling alone on the train from Keighley to Skipton. We know that they are Asian from the photographs of them published in your paper, when they were being sought.
People from the indigenous population have been prosecuted and imprisoned for racially offensive remarks on Twitter that would have been unlikely to have been seen by the intended victim. However, the present case involved abuse directed at the victim in her presence and must have been a frightening and upsetting experience for her.
If two white youths had abused an Asian woman in the same way, they would quite rightly have been prosecuted. The same standards should be applied to all residents of this country, regardless of their ethnic origin.'
16th August 2013: Andrew Brons has sent the following letter to the editors of Britain's national newspapers and to those in his Yorkshire and the Humber constituency.
I am less offended by the insensitivity of Mr. Godfrey Bloom’s Bongo Bongo Land remark than I am about its dishonesty.
This was not a chance indiscretion. It was a calculated attempt to create the impression that UKIP was concerned about immigration from Sub-Saharan Africa. In fact, his Party is concerned only about immigration from the EU, which accounts for about a third of our total tally of immigrants. Indeed, Nigel Farage said on the Daily Politics Show on 4th May 2010 that Britain needed to grant about 250,000 work permits each year.
It is, of course, easy to make anti-immigration speeches at UKIP private meetings. However, Mr. Bloom and his fellow MEPs should be making those speeches in the body to which they have been elected – the European Parliament and in its Committees. The Committee concerned with immigration is LIBE – the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee. UKIP has one MEP who is a full member of that Committee, Gerald Batten but I have seen him there only three times in four years and I attend about 75% of meetings. The attendance records of UKIP’s MEPs are among the worst in the Parliament.
29th May 2013: On Monday, Andrew Brons sent the following letter to the editor of the Harrogate Advertiser.
"I am pleased that Kevin McNerney, the 'Chair' of the local Labour Party has found a word with which he can play. ‘Racism’, a word invented by Trotsky, in his 1930 work, The History of the Russian Revolution, is so wonderfully imprecise that it allows us to avoid the difficult task of thinking for ourselves.
"However, I would prefer to be associated with the ‘stain’ of imprecision, than the stain of mass murder.
"Mr McNerney was pleased to support a Party in 2005 and 2010, that was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis in a war based on the lie of Weapons of Mass Destruction, not to mention hundreds of thoroughly gallant British soldiers who gave their lives, bravely but needlessly.
"I am sure that Mr McNerney is a decent man in his personal dealings but his association with his Party is something of an impediment to his taking the moral high ground.
"However, I have some good news for Mr McNerney. I made it completely clear before and after my election in 2009, that I would not be standing again in 2014. I shall then be sixty-seven. I am currently very active in my duties as an MEP. I do not wish, in my old age, to be compared with the appalling attendance records of UKIP MEPs. A vote for UKIP is a vote for an empty seat in the chamber."