20th January 2014: Last week at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Andrew Brons made the following contribution, under the Catch the Eye procedure, to a debate on a proposed regulation on consumer protection.
"The words, consumer protection are used to elicit automatic approval but we should not presume that national legislation is insufficient.
"This proposal is ostensibly to protect consumers but the more you read, the more you realise that consumer protection is not wanted for its own sake but because it will facilitate free trade.
"It seems that cutting the budget would not be acceptable - so no surprise there!
"In the context of product safety, the report does contain some interesting revelations. In 2010, 58% of notifications were in respect of goods from China and in 16% of cases it was not possible to identify the manufacturer.
"The drive to extend free trade world-wide without regard for the job security of Europeans is well-documented. However, it seems that consumer safety has also been a victim of international free trade. The countries of Europe individually or collectively cannot deal with countries that habitually sell us unsafe and substandard products."
16th January 2014: This morning at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Andrew Brons made the following contribution, under the Catch the Eye procedure, to a debate on Homelessness.
"The cause of homelessness that is unmentionable, by the silent conspiracy of liberal consensus, is immigration and asylum. Every person or family entering a country, adds to the demand for housing by one. If there are homeless among the indigenous population, a house provided for a new arrival is a house denied to an existing resident.
"The decision takers - MEPs, MPs and local councillors - are not among the homeless. Indeed, most cannot number the homeless among their circle of acquaintances. To them, the homeless are just statistics and not real people.
"Decision takers feel terribly generous for granting a home to a newcomer but, funnily enough, they don't feel mean for denying one to an existing resident.
"We heard this morning from UKIP that it was opposed to mass immigration. However, its leader said recently: "We welcome immigration; we want immigration. In 2010, he said that the UK needed 250,000 each year. (UKIP is a party of fraud and deception)*.
* Andrew's speaking time had elapsed before he could add this final sentence.
Homelessness should be easy to define - somebody lacking a home. The extreme and most visible form of homelessness is that of a person living in the open air punctuated by the odd night in a refuge. Then there are those in hostels waiting to be housed. The least visible form of homelessness is that endured by those who sleep on the floors or settees of friends on a temporary basis.
16th January 2014: Yesterday at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Andrew Brons was unsuccessful in his attempt to make a Catch the Eye contribution to a debate on Freedom of Movement.
Had he been called to speak, Andrew would have said:
"The term freedom of movement is a dishonest understatement - a euphemism.
"What is really meant is freedom to settle, to work and to claim.
"Of course two-thirds of immigrants to the UK come from Africa and Asia but no mention is made of them by UKIP or the British Government.
"In the EU, when there are greatly differing wage rates the numbers moving can lead to job losses and overloading of the infrastructure in the host countries, and in the countries of origin there have been losses of valuable workers.
"A lot of attention has been paid to Bulgarians and Romanians and to their alleged behaviour.
"In fact responsibility for certain strains of criminality cannot be attributed to ordinary nationals of those countries but to a sizeable minority among them who were identified by President Schulz back in 2010 as “a difficult minority”.
"The right to decide on who may or may not enter a country is the defining characteristic of a state and must be restored.
"This afternoon, we have heard too much hate speech from the Political Class about right wing extremists and populists."
16th January 2014: Yesterday at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Andrew Brons asked a Blue Card Question to Dimitar Stoyanov during a debate on the Right of Freedom of Movement.
"Mr Farage recently said that Bulgarians and Romanians were responsible for a lot of the street crime in London.
"Would you agree that these crimes are not attributable to ordinary Bulgarians and Romanians but to a significant minority among them who were referred to by President Schulz in 2010 as 'a difficult minority'?"
Andrew commented afterwards:
"Mr Stoyanov seemed to agree with my conclusion, but neither he nor I felt able to identify this 'difficult minority'."