A Baroness for Europe, a Baron for Britain

<!--StartFragment-->On Tuesday the Lisbon Treaty comes into force and the European Union (EU) takes on the status of a genuine state with its own President and Foreign Minister. The Russian newspaper Pravda (Nov. 4) recently wrote that the EU is beginning to look like a “reincarnation of the USSR.” The appointment of Cathy Ashton as the first EU Foreign Minister (full title” “High Commissioner for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy”) would seem to confirm this.

In the 1980s, Ashton was the treasurer of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), a British organization, infiltrated by Marxists, which advocated the disarmament of the West in the face of the Soviet Union’s arsenal of SS-20 nuclear missiles. It is almost certain that CND received Soviet funding for its efforts to thwart the policies of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher which would lead to the collapse of the Soviet empire and the liberation of Eastern Europe.

Exactly 20 years after this liberation, at last month’s secret meeting of the governments of the 27 EU member states, Ashton, now a Baroness, was appointed Europe’s Foreign Minister. It came as an insult to the brave men and women who fought and died for Eastern Europe’s liberty in the four decades between 1945 and 1989. Last Wednesday, Nov. 25, Nigel Farage, a British member of the European Parliament (MEP), brought up Ashton’s CND past in a speech in the Parliament. He was shouted down and reprimanded by the Speaker. Farage was told that, if he continued to show “disrespect” for the EU leadership, he would face “disciplinary action.”

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Mr. Farage is a member of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP). In his speech he criticized the appointment of Lady Ashton as Foreign Minister and of the Belgian politician Herman Van Rompuy as President of Europe. Farage called the two new EU top leaders “political pygmies,” who are hardly known by the people and lack electoral support. The last time President Van Rompuy stood for election, viz. in the Belgian general elections of 2007, he received 31,403 votes in a constituency of 850,248 voters. This means that only 0.23% out of 375 million EU voters were able to vote for him and only 0.008% did so. “And yet,” Mr. Farage pointed out, “he has now become Europe’s President and will be paid a salary bigger than Obama’s.”

Baroness Cathy Ashton never had any voters at all, as she has never ever stood for election. Ashton made a career in leftist non-governmental organizations and was appointed to the House of Lords as ‘Baroness Ashton of Upholland’ by the Labour government. “She has never had a proper job and has never been elected to anything in her whole life,” Farage said, “so I guess she really is the true representation of the modern-day political class in this European Union.” Farage demanded to know whether “as the treasurer of CND during a period of time when CND took very large donations and refused to reveal their source she took funds from organizations opposed to Western-style capitalism and democracy.”

“That question must be asked,” Farage told the Parliament. “Did she take money from enemies of the West? That question must be answered.” He was interrupted by Jerzy Buzek, the President of the European Parliament. “Turn your tone down,” Buzek, a Polish Christian-Democrat, said. “Certain expressions are not acceptable in this House.” After the meeting, Farage was called to Buzek’s office where he was told to “restrain his language and refrain from making improper comments in the Chamber or face disciplinary action.”

The European Parliament is the only elected institution in the EU, but it has no legislative powers. It is, to quote Pravda, “a mere rubber stamp institution, just like the ‘Supreme Soviet’ in the old USSR.”

Fortunately, Europe still has a free press. Though many papers toe the official line, there are exceptions. The Economist (26 Nov.) criticized the appointment of Van Rompuy and Ashton to the top jobs. While Farage called them “political pygmies,” the Economist called them “two mediocre mice… two virtual unknowns, with paltry political experience.” The magazine, too, demands answers from Ashton about her past. “The peacenik past of the EU’s new foreign minister deserves scrutiny,” it headlined.

If Ashton does not answer the questions about the past funding of the CND, she is a liability. If she has, indeed, accepted money from the Soviets in the 1980s, proof of this is undoubtedly available in secret archives in Moscow. How can a woman who is responsible for the foreign affairs and security policy of the 27 EU countries – including the Baltics and Poland, which still have ongoing disputes with Russia – defend Europe’s foreign and security interests if she is a possible target for Russian blackmail? And why is it “improper” to raise this matter? That is also what former Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky would like to know. His research in the 1990s in the Soviet archives showed that the disarmament campaign in the West during the 1980s was covertly orchestrated from Moscow.

Mr. Bukovsky, who spent 12 years in Soviet jails, concentration camps and psychiatric institutions, knows a totalitarian dictatorship when he sees one. Since 1976, when the USSR exchanged Mr. Bukovsky for a Chilean Communist, he has been living in Britain. A few years ago, he joined the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), a party which advocates the withdrawal of Britain from the EU. Bukovsky considers the transformation of the EU, which was once a free-trade organization, into a genuine federal state to be an extremely dangerous development. With the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, the EU has officially become such a federal state. This United States of Europe, however, resembles the former USSR more than it does the USA, warns Mr. Bukovsky, who has coined the term “EUSSR” for the new EU.

When I interviewed Bukovsky four years ago, he said that the aim of the EU to supplant the old nations of Europe with a new European identity endangers Europe and the world: “The ultimate purpose of the Soviet Union was to create a new historic entity, the Soviet people, all around the globe. The same is true in the EU today. They are trying to create a new people. They call this people “Europeans,’ whatever that means.”

Bukovsky thinks that, as in the Soviet Union, the political establishment will not succeed in its goal to obliterate the nationalities. “At the time of the Soviet collapse the suppressed feelings of national identity came bouncing back.” He expects the same thing will happen in the EU, but in the meantime many people will suffer and when the system collapses, considerable violence may occur.

“There will be a collapse of the European Union pretty much like the Soviet Union collapsed,” Bukovsky predicts.

“But do not forget that when these things collapse they leave such devastation that it takes a generation to recover. Just think what will happen if it comes to an economic crisis. The recrimination between nations will be huge. It might come to blows. Look to the huge number of immigrants from Third World countries now living in Europe. This was promoted by the European Union. What will happen with them if there is an economic collapse? We will probably have, like in the Soviet union at the end, so much strife that the mind boggles. In no other country were there such ethnic tensions as in the Soviet Union, except probably in Yugoslavia. That is exactly what will happen here, too. We have to be prepared for that. This huge edifice of bureaucracy is going to collapse on our heads. This is why, and I am very frank about it, the sooner we finish with the EU the better. The sooner it collapses the less damage it will have done to us and to other countries.”

Messrs. Farage and Bukovsky are both members of UKIP. So far, this party has focused on running in the European elections. In last June’s European elections it obtained 13 of Britain’s 72 MEPs. Last Friday, UKIP elected Lord Malcolm Pearson, a former member of the Conservative Party, as its new leader. Lord Pearson wants UKIP to run in the next British general elections too. He hopes that UKIP will gain enough seats to prevent the Conservative Party from obtaining a majority in the House of Commons, in which case the Conservatives will need UKIP’s support in order to form a government. UKIP will use this as a leverage to force the Conservatives to pull Britain out of the EU.

Lord Pearson, who was appointed to the House of Lords by Margaret Thatcher in 1990, as ‘Baron Pearson of Rannoch’, also wants to broaden UKIPs political platform. So far, the party has only emphasized the goal of withdrawing Britain from the EU. In his aim to preserve British national identity Lord Pearson wants UKIP’s focus to include actively campaigning against Islamism. While Lady Ashton is the European establishment’s favorite, Lord Pearson hopes he can become the British people’s favorite.

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What's in a name?

...or a word like "cause" (or "lead").

There is something small-minded in the continuing refusal of many 'continental' Europeans to recognise that (in the words of Paul Belien) "the policies of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher...would lead to the collapse of the Soviet empire and the liberation of Eastern Europe".  

The Soviet Union did collapse and, obviously, such a momentous development has many "causes".   But, there can be no doubt that the policies of RR and MT were a mighty contributing factor to that result and, most certainly, hastened its appearance.   Both, (a) the contrasting developments around the world (in Cold War terms) during the preceding time of very different policies by Jimmy Carter and his European counterparts, as well as (b) the evidence from Russian sources after the collapse, support this notion.


One can also safely assume that most readers have no clue about the irrelevance of "Able Archer '83" or the "CIA's Team A", and they are much the better for it.

RE: "A Baroness for Europe"...

I have no doubt that the Soviet and Warsaw Pact intelligence community actively infiltrated and supported Western anti–nuclear and pacifist NGOs for obvious reasons, and that the CND was no exception.  However, I do dispute that Reagan and Thatcher caused the downfall of the Soviet Union or the democratization of East–Central Europe.  Indeed, this claim brought to mind the events surrounding Able Archer ’83, as well as the prescient and overlooked analysis of the CIA’s “Team A”. 


Mssrs Farage and Bukovsky and Lord Pearson are all on point, unfortunately.   It is disconcerting to see a Pole enforcing the corruption in the Berlaymont that is metastasizing and spreading across Europe like a cancer.