The attempt by Conservative MEP Sajjad Karim to gain support in his unlikely bid to be president of the European Parliament – the German socialist Martin Schultz was re-elected today by MEPs with 409 votes of the 723 cast – would have barely left a memory at the parliament had it not been publicly slapped down by a Romanian MEP.
Now the most notable thing left from Karim’s bid is an attack on him and other Tories for “an insulting atmosphere in the UK towards Romanians, as well as towards Bulgarians, Poles, and other EU nationals.”
Karim, a former Liberal Democrat MEP who joined the Conservatives in 2007, had sent a letter to all MEPs asking for their support in his bid to “demonstrate a clear vision” and “unity” for the EU.
Romanian MEP Sorin Moisa replied, the full text of which has appeared in Euractiv, an online journal with close connections the EU establishment.
Moisa is very much EU establishment, which will add to euro-enthusiast Karim’s discomfort at the reply.
The Romanian MEP is an economist who was elected in May to the European Parliament, but before that he was a high-level eurocrat at the European Commission. That makes Moisa just the sort of person EU-loving Conservatives such as Karim would like to think consider them to be “one of us.”
However, Moisa attacked Karim and the other Conservatives, saying:
“Rather than leading by addressing people’s fears and concerns and making use of the TRUTH in the process, and calling on the great common sense of most British people, you, as a party, have chosen to surf on those fears, and profit politically from them, in what has also clearly proven the wrong strategy, given UKIP’s victory in the EP elections.”
This will be a particular insult for Karim, who has called eurosceptics such as UKIP “anti-EU Taliban.”
Moisa went on: “I have been sent to the European Parliament by the votes of Romanian citizens. I feel your party has not treated them fairly, nor Bulgarians, nor Poles. My vote in the European Parliament, that you are now asking for, is stemming from their vote in the election: that is my ‘lasting engagement with the people I represent’, so it is out of the question that you, as a Conservative candidate, could have my vote.”
“…you, the Conservatives have if not directly contributed, then definitely not opposed an insulting atmosphere in the UK towards Romanians, as well as towards Bulgarians, Poles, and other EU nationals. Stereotypes, gross generalisations, simply untrue facts and figures, have roamed freely, while, for example, 2,200 ‘readymade’ Romanian doctors, whose training was paid by those poor Romanians back home, form 0.8% of your NHS doctors.”
Last month Karim fell back on the old trick of trying to stir “fear, uncertainty and doubt” among British voters who want the UK to leave the EU by claiming that if the Britain left the EU then it could be forced to give up its seat on the United Nations Security Council.
In fact, the UK’s seat on the Security Council is guaranteed in the UN charter, and the guarantee cannot be removed unless Britain agrees. UN documents show that leaving the EU would in no way affect Britain’s right to the seat.