Monday 10 December 2018

Loony Eurosceptics cosy up to their new Irish bedfellows

FIONNAN SHEAHAN

What a proud day to be Irish. Every piece of reactionary pondlife in Europe was out in force yesterday to celebrate our 'No' vote to Lisbon.

The far right, the extreme right and the downright racist were cheering on the "peasants" of Ireland for voting against progress in the European Union.

Wearing green T-shirts with the slogan 'Respect the Irish vote', these new-found friends of Ireland are really not the type of people we want to attract to these shores.

The European Parliament protest was led by UKIP -- the United Kingdom Independence Party, the golf club version of the BNP, British National Party.

UKIP's principal aim is the withdrawal of Britain from the EU. Oh and it is also against widescale immigration into Britain.

In the 2004 European elections, UKIP's 12 elected MEPs were all white, male, and aged between 50 and 65.

The Tory Party in Britain don't even hold these guys in any way in high regard. Conservative Party leader David Cameron described them as a party that was just trying to make mischief.

"UKIP is sort of a bunch of ... fruitcakes and loonies and closet racists, mostly," he said. When the Tories are saying this about you, you're really in trouble.

Not so long ago, senior members of UKIP endorsed the right-wing historian David Irving's denial of the Holocaust.

Also championing the Irish cause was the Traditional Unionist MEP Jim Allister. He resigned from the DUP last year because of the party's decision to enter into government with Sinn Fein. And even as a member of the DUP, he was generally perceived as being on the right wing of the party.

But the bonhomie is not restricted to Britain. In Austria, a newspaper devoted a two-page spread "congratulating the Irish 'No' campaign" during the referendum. Problem is, the newspaper's controlled by the Freedom Party of Nazi-sympathiser Joerg Haider.

Mr Haider's party came to power in Austria in 2000, prompting the heads of government of the other 14 EU members to cease cooperation with the Austrian government because of the presence of right-wing extremists.

He saluted Waffen SS veterans, campaigned against Austria's EU membership and railed against immigrants.

Making statements implying support for some ideas of Hitler's National Socialism, his first stint as a state governor in 1989 ended abruptly when he praised the employment policies of Nazi Germany and was forced to resign.

But a few years later, he described World War II concentration camps as "punishment camps" and said the Nazi SS was "a part of the German army which should be honoured".

From Germany, the NDP (National Democratic Party) -- best known for objections to a moment of silence for those who died in Auschwitz -- are also fans of our stance.

Worst of all, in France, Ireland is now a cause celebre for Jean-Marie Le Pen's Front National. A nasty piece of work, Le Pen vehemently opposes immigration to France. He has been charged with Holocaust denial several times.

No doubt Mary-Lou McDonald, Joe Higgins and Patricia McKenna will be delighted to receive the congratulations of these strange bedfellows. Ireland is now proudly welcomed into the Eurosceptics club.

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