Nigel Farage MEP, former Leader of UKIP and a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate in Buckingham, interviewed by Jerome di Costanzo
Jerome di Costanzo - You have been condemned by the EU parliament to pay 3000 euro and apologise after your tirade against Van Rompuy. Is this the price of free speech in Brussels?
Nigel Farage - Exactly the description I used myself. Very apposite I thought. Comments of the sort I made are commonplace in real parliaments, where passions run high because real decisions are being made. The EU's "parliament", on the other hand, is a rubber-stamp for a faceless bureaucracy. It's not supposed to have its own opinions, let alone to be passionate about them.
JdC - What is your analysis of the after-Lisbon E.U? Is the Lisbon treaty already a total failure?
NF - Success and failure are highly subjective. If success means carte blanche for the members of the EU's élite to do whatever they like, in future, at the expense of the EU's formerly sovereign electorates, then, yes, they have succeeded. Don't let those minor squabbles between the institutions fool you! The EU-imperium has been launched and is stealthily building up steam.
However, from my point of view also, the Lisbon Treaty is a success, because it has demonstrated, more clearly than ever, that the EU's élite despises democracy and suffers from an incurable addiction to power. Some of the EU's most loyal supporters were appalled at the way it was introduced, if not (as they should also have been) by its content.
From every other point of view, the Lisbon Treaty is the worst failure - of political accountability, judicial process, constitutional propriety and governmental honesty - which I have ever had the misfortune to witness.
JdC - Would you say it is dangerous for democracy and the people and, if so, why?
NF - Yes, of course. It provides for ever more policy-areas to be transferred to majority-voting, in the EU-Council, and any remaining vetoes to be scrapped without further treaties. It gives the EU "legal personality", which allows it to become a state, in its own right, usurp the right to diplomatic representation worldwide, field an army and engage in conflicts. It allows the EU to promulgate, and enforce, its own legal code, within, the EU-countries, appoint its own Public Prosecutor, deploy its own Gendarmerie .... All of this means that elections, within EU-states have become even more meaningless than they were before.
JdC - What would your propositions be for changing this situation?
NF - Elections must be made meaningful, if we are to avoid being trapped in a kind of neo-feudal tyranny. This means unseating the pro-EU parties, which are indirectly funded with tax-payers money, and protected by the media (state and private) which are also in the EU's pocket. The extent of the EU's bribery of professional associations, trade unions, academic institutions, churches, charities and pressure groups, is staggering and must be exposed. The EU can then be kicked out of country after country, until we are able to establish a free association of sovereign, democratic electorates. I see no other way of escaping the horrible fate which the EU has designed for us.
JdC - As with the violent reactions against Vaclav Klaus and you now, do you feel that the E.U looks down on anyone who is an opponent of the project? Is it a sign of totalitarianism?
NF - Absolutely!
JdC - UKIP isn’t just a party about Europe, you have recently taken a position on banning the Burka in Britain. Surely that is contrary to the politics of religious tolerance of your country?
NF - Wearing the burkha is not a religious requirement of Islam, but a custom imported from the more backward regions of some Muslim countries. It is intended to be divisive - in terms of gender and ethnicity - and promotes division in society. A senior Muslim cleric said this, only last week, and suggested issuing a fatwa against it.
JdC - What do you think about the result of the Swiss “votation” on minarets?
NF - I applaud it, if only because it is one of the few genuinely democratic decisions, which have been made, in Europe, for years. The public was concerned about a proliferation of minarets. It didn't want this. It voted against it. If the public does not start using its vote, in this way, in more important issues - such as its own right of self-determination - then it will be enslaved. This vote was a good start, but only a beginning.
JdC - In this context what is the difference between the BNP propositions and yours?
NF - The BNP is an exclusive, authoritarian party, which would happily embrace the EU if it could dominate it. UKIP is an inclusive, libertarian party, which will not tolerate undue influences on democracy from whatever quarter. There is no affinity at all between these parties.
JdC - You consider yourself a real liberal-conservative. What do you think of the American “Tea party” movement, which also doesn’t want a “big government”?
NF - From what I have heard of it, I am greatly in favour of it: "no taxation without representation" was the battle cry of the original "Boston Tea Party", and it is ours, in the anti-democratic EU of today.
JdC - From the Battle of Blenheim to the fall of the iron curtain, British European policy has been to preserve the continent from totalitarianism and absolutism. William Pitt the Younger explained this tendency in his quote "Europe will not be saved by any single man. England has saved herself by her exertions, and will, I trust, save Europe by her example." Are you ready to endorse this historic vocation again?
NF - What else can we do? Moreover, with the help, as always, of our friends on the continent, I think we shall succeed yet again in this endeavour.