The Great Debate UK
from The Great Debate:
Europe finally has its own Tea Party. Or something like it.
Last weekend, citizens of 21 nations elected members of a new European parliament. The result? An outpouring of rage.
Angry voters across the continent and Britain cast ballots for protest parties, mostly on the far right, which doubled their number of seats and now account for close to one third of the parliament. French Prime Minister Manuel Vallis called the vote “more than a news alert . . . it is a shock, an earthquake.”
What were the voters angry about? Well, everything. The parties that made big gains were anti-Europe, anti-common currency, anti-integration, anti-bureaucrat and anti-politician. They were also anti-immigrant. Angry voters were protesting immigration from within the Common Market (mostly by Eastern Europeans, who have the right to work in any European country) and from outside Europe (mostly by Muslims).
Anything else? Yes.
“This is a bad day for the European Union when a party with such an openly racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic program gets 25 percent of the vote in France,'' the president of the European parliament said after it became clear that the far-right National Front led the polling in France.
And the award for foot in mouth this week goes to… UKIP, again. This time it was leader Nigel Farage, who said that women who take time off to have children are worth less to their employer. He said this to an audience of (presumably) men in the City and rounded it off by saying there is no sexism in financial services and that childless women are more than a match for their male counterparts.
While I am not normally in the position of defending Nigel Farage, or any other politician for that matter, I think his comments deserve our attention and women should use them to trigger an important debate about mothers and the work place.
Political leaders gathered in Dublin to debate both sides of the controversial Lisbon Treaty and the implications it could have on the future of Europe.
The panel consisted of Micheál Martin, Ireland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nigel Farage MEP, leader of UKIP, Mary-Lou McDonald, Deputy President of Sinn Fein and David Begg, General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.