After elections to the European Parliament has come the retirement of some in the Top Jobs, and therefore the process of replacing them. This includes the President of the European Commission, the President of the European Council, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs (effectively the EU’s Foreign Minister), and head of the European Central Bank. Nominations have been agreed for all four roles.
And as usual, those in the UK viscerally opposed to the EU and all it stands for have decided that, whatever the process for selecting, appointing and confirming candidates for those roles, it must be Undemocratic. This may be because those criticising do not understand how the EU works; it may also be because they are plain flat wrong.
Failed EU 101: clueless Monty ...
So let’s look at the panoply of rank ignorance that is the Pundit Establishment, starting with one of its youngest members, Darren Crimes, oops, sorry, Grimes. “It’s so important that we get away from this madness. Suddenly, the EU army isn’t Nick Clegg’s ‘fantasy’ and now a real possibility thanks to our newest set of unelected EU overlords!” he frothed.
... gobby Grimes ...
Doing little better was self-promoting TalkRADIO host Julia Hartley Dooda, trilling “There are pros and cons to all voting systems, including First Past The Post. But it’s so laughable to see Remoaners like Dawkins criticising our voting system as ‘highly undemocratic’ while EU leaders do backdoor deals to stitch up who runs the *unelected* European Commission!” And she gets invited on by broadcasters like the BBC. Yes, well.
... and Ms Hartley Dooda
What say the serially clueless Tim Montgomerie? “Forgetting we are a parliamentary democracy Remainers endlessly complain at the way the Tory party is choosing its leader… I’m not noticing many complain at the way leaders of the EU bureaucracy are(n’t) being chosen behind closed doors in Brussels”. He doesn’t understand, either.
So let’s put these titans of tosspottery straight. The Head of the European Commission is one of 28 Commissioners appointed and confirmed by the Governments of each EU member state. Those Governments are democratically elected. Moreover, the appointment of the Head of the Commission has to be confirmed by the European Parliament - whose 751 MEPs are democratically elected. And the President of the European Council?
This body consists of heads of state, or heads of Government, of all 28 EU member states. The President of the European Council must also be confirmed by the European Parliament. As must the High Representative for Foreign Affairs. As must the head of the ECB. When did the Governor of the Bank of England last get elected?
The UK’s Foreign Minister gets decided at the whim of whoever is Prime Minister. And as for Monty’s characteristically clueless snipe at “leaders of the EU bureaucracy”, well, when was the last time any of the Civil Service got elected? Yet when the EU ensures all those senior positions are subject to confirmation by a democratically elected Parliament, which has the power to remove the Commission, and has done in the past, it is “undemocratic”.
Such wrong-headedness only confirms the wilful ignorance of so many in the Pundit Establishment. If only pundits had to show they knew what they were talking about in order to get to do punditry, eh? But that’s an exam that most of them would fail.
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