James Forsyth

If anti-Semitism is the problem, then the Tories shouldn’t sit with the EPP either

If anti-Semitism is the problem, then the Tories shouldn’t sit with the EPP either
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No one has done more to make the Tories’ new European allies an issue than Jonathan Freedland. He has written about the subject with real passion and, so sources in the Jewish community tell me, played a crucial role in persuading the president of the Board of Deputies to write to David Cameron expressing concern about them.   

This week, his column on the subject contained this point:

‘Just this month Oszkar Molnar, an MP from Hungary's main opposition party – on course to form the country's next government – told a TV interviewer that "global capital – Jewish capital, if you like – wants to devour the entire world, especially Hungary". His party leader said there was no need to discipline him because he'd broken no rules.’

Molnar is a member of the Fidesz party, and the Fidesz party is a member of the EPP, the group that the Tories left to form their new group. Logic would suggest that Jonathan should not want the Tories to sit with the EPP while this party remains in it.

Now, obviously, the abhorrent views of one man don’t excuse the vile views of someone else. But this quote does illustrate that no grouping in the European Parliament is free of people whose views are objectionable and, rightly, outside the British mainstream. To my mind, what this whole row about the Tories and their new allies shows is the absurdity of the idea of European political integration.