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Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

About bloody time

Controversial Italian EU Commissioner Rocco Buttiglione has stood down. Why the hell didn’t he do this before, and save the ridiculous situation we’ve had over the last few weeks? God knows…

To be fair, I can see his point – he should not be forced to resign because of his beliefs; but by the same logic we should allow a Hitler or a Stalin to get away with mass murder because they, like Mr Buttiglione, believed that certain other human beings are deserving of contempt.

Unfair comparison? Certainly. But in a job which requires the office-holder to represent all people equally, having someone who is prejudiced against certain social groups was never going to work. It’s a conflict of interest, plain and simple.

But since it was announced that Barroso is going to re-jig the Commission, there has been no need to get rid of Buttiglione – if he’s not given the Justice brief, then there’s no problem.

So why the hell has the Italian waited until now to quit? All this delay has done is provide ammunition for Eurosceptic snipers, while weakening further the Commission’s already dodgy reputation. The new commission, which should have been starting on Monday, now has to wait for another month thanks to the stubborness of one man, who had claimed to be working for Europe’s best interests.

Is it any wonder people don’t think much of the EU? It’s a bloody shambles.

Good round-ups of the whole affair are here and here, or have a scan down past topics to the right of this post.

5 Comments

  1. You wrote:

    To be fair, I can see his point – he should not be forced to resign because of his beliefs; but by the same logic we should allow a Hitler or a Stalin to get away with mass murder because they, like Mr Buttiglione, believed that certain other human beings are deserving of contempt.Here's the thing – believing something isn't the same as doing something. Believing in a religion is not the same as murder. You are in effect saying that he shouldn't have to resign for a belief BUT is it not just the same as permitting genocide. It is ridiculous and shows your political naivity and immaturity. All of those in the EU Parliament who hold the same views that homosexuality is a sin have also accepted that whilst representing those views held by 25% of the EU population, they can not act on it in the context of their work within the EU as it is against the wishes of 75% of the population. They are quite clear about the difference between saying something is a sin and something should be a crime. They support the former, not the latter.

    I suggest you go and actually do some reading on political philosophy and try and understand the motivations behind a speech or action rather than just regurgitate right-wing nonsense that betrays your lack of understanding.

  2. Nosemonkey
    I am a sniping eurosceptic, proud of it and so on. I even enjoy your writing from time to time as I read it. However my respect for your viewpoint has taken a severe knock when you compare Butiglione to Stalin or Hitler. So the European Union showed itself us as an organisation where the politics of prejudice and intolerance wins over rationality, and you smear an honourable man in that fashion. Shame on you. It is not often that somebody becomes a troll on their own blog, but it seems that you have managed that feat.
    I hope that you come back to your statement, reflect and change your mind. As it stands it is a disgrace.
    Oh, if by tolerance you mean that you tolerate only those things that I agree with then you have no conception of the meaning of the word. To tolerate something it requires one to have no sympathy for it, but accept it nonetheless.

    Anonymous, not sure how you come to describe his attitude as right wing, to me it sounds more the dictatorship of the illiberal centre.

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  4. I did do a long-winded reply, but realised that would just be misinterpreted as well, so I'll keep it short and simple:

    Did either of you spot the "Unfair comparison? Certainly" bit, perchance?

  5. Yes
    But it isn't good enough. Some of my best friends are…name your minority.