In 2011 the Public Prosecutor of Bielefeld in Germany asked the European Parliament to waive immunity from prosecution for Elmar Brok MEP. The authorities in Bielefeld wanted to bring a criminal action against Brok for failure to report to the tax authorities a €5,000 (£4,300) fee paid to him for giving a speech by HypoVereinsbank Group, a large Munich-based bank owned by Italy’s Unicredit.
The committee on legal affairs at the European Parliament refused point blank, instead deciding that politicians such as the left wing EU fanatic Brok must have immunity from prosecution for crimes such as tax evasion. It’s one of the many perks the ‘elite’ treats itself to – considering themselves to be above the law, the rules only applying to the little people.
So it was with interest that in recent days another immunity case concerning a sitting MEP has come to the fore. It so happens that the Chief Prosecutor of Lyon in France opened a case, also in 2011, and asked the European Parliament to waive immunity from prosecution for Marine Le Pen MEP. The authorities in Lyon want to bring a criminal action against Le Pen for comparing Muslims praying in the streets to the Nazi occupation of France.
The committee on legal affairs at the European Parliament has agreed with the request, recommending that the right wing Le Pen be stripped of immunity forthwith. The perk, it seems, only extends to the favoured sons of the EU who travel the world at our expense – including Downing Street – preaching the EU gospel and challenging any opponents to the vision of a a single political entity for the whole of Europe.
But there is another interesting angle to this story concerning our very own UKIP. It transpires that UKIP voted in favour of Le Pen keeping immunity from prosecution. This was gleefully seized upon by Labour MEPs, one of whom – the fragrant Arlene McCarthy MEP – took to the Public Service Europe website to ‘expose’ UKIP’s hypocrisy.
Regardless of McCarthy’s opportunism there is a real issue here for UKIP. How can UKIP declare in all good conscience that is opposes the mainstream political stitch up here and across the EU, yet vote in favour of keeping a group of citizens above the law and out of the reach of prosecutors when accused of criminality?
It is not only hypocrisy, as charged by McCarthy, it is outrageous and plain wrong. For those who think UKIP represents a challenge to the political class, this should act as a wake up call that under Nigel Farage the party simply aspires to break into the political class for its own ends. If UKIP doesn’t believe in equality under the law then it cannot claim to be working in the interests of ordinary people.