• UKIP MEP Nigel Farage, speaking in the European Parliament chamber today during the debate on the outcome of the European Council meeting last week, accused Herman van Rompuy of 'kidnapping democracy' as he ruled the new economic government of Europe in a Zeus-like fashion from Mt Berlaymont. Condemning van Rompuy's unelected position, he said, "what really matters is the loss of democracy here. You have not been elected. You are not accountable, there is no mechanism for the peoples of Europe to remove you. It was Zeus of course who kidnapped Europa, my fear is that you are kidnapping our democracy".
Describing van Rompuy's unelected position, and the failure of the British government to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, as 'unfinished business', he went on to attack Mr van Rompuy's plans for an economic government of Europe, highlighting the failure of the EU's last 10-year economic plan and drawing comparisons with the failed Common Fisheries Policy and the failure of the Euro.
He said the rescue plan seemed to be "We're losing, we're failing, let's have more of the same, let's have more Europe, let's have more failure"
We're in the presence of a great man today, the president of Europe, a man who is so important he is beyond criticism, beyond reproach, he is the king of the modern political class, he is the modern day Zeus, and he intends to rule us from Mt Berlaymont and woe betide anybody that questions his authority or questions his dignity or they will face severe punishment. Indeed, in my case the last time we met and I had one or two things to say the parliament imposed the maximum possible fine, and I'm told if I say anything that upsets you the microphone will be cut off. Well, what price free speech, what price democracy?
But you've come back to us today, and now with the approval of Mr Sarkozy and Angela Merkel you're the head of a new economic government for 500 million people. And you've launched your 10-year plan, your wish list, and I just wonder, have you remembered what happened to the last 10-year plan, that was launched in 2000? It was launched in this parliament to much acclaim, it was a total and utter crippling failure even before the global recession hit. And in fact, all centralised EU plans fail: just look at the disasterous, ruinous Common Fisheries Policy. And now, your beloved euro has failed. It's failed politically at its first major hurdle, you weren't able to come up with a plan at that summit, you can't bail out Greece without the International Monetary Fund coming in to save, at least for the moment, your euro dream. And yet, Mr van Rompuy, your plans seems to be 'we're losing, we're failing, let's have more of the same, let's have more Europe, let's have more failure'.
But what really matters is the loss of democracy here. You have not been elected. You are not accountable, there is no mechanism for the peoples of Europe to remove you. It was Zeus of course that kidnapped Europa, my fear is you are kidnapping our democracy. You are only here because that Lisbon Treaty went through, without the British people being given the referendum that they were promised, and as far as we are concerned, this is unfinished business. People fought and died so that we could be an independent, self-governing, democratic nation that was able to hire and fire its leaders, and no-one that believes in democracy will accept the post of President of the European Union. Thank you.