France

European Parliament Removes Marine Le Pen's Immunity

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Reason

The European Parliament has removed immunity from one of its members and leader of the nationalist French National Front, Marine Le Pen. The decision means that Le Pen is likely to face charges in France for incitement to hatred and discrimination.

A prosecutor in Lyon asked for Le Pen's immunity to be lifted after Le Pen compared the sight of Muslims praying in the streets to the Nazi occupation. While perhaps a stupid thing to say, any country or institution that had a sensible attitude towards free speech would allow for such statements to be made without the threat of prosecution. The removal of Le Pen's immunity is only the latest example that the European Union and France do not believe the freedom to make dumb and offensive statements is a freedom worth protecting.

From the BBC:

The European Parliament has removed the immunity of the French far-right leader and MEP Marine Le Pen, paving the way for her prosecution in France.

French prosecutors opened a case against Ms Le Pen in 2011 after she compared Muslims praying in the streets to the Nazi occupation of France.

Ms Le Pen, leader of the National Front (FN), is accused of incitement to hatred and discrimination.

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  1. I think recent polling shows the National Front in a near three way tie. Seems like a recipe for trouble to after the leader of a party that popular.

    1. Maybe that’s the plan.

    2. Apparently some people in France are interested in having a real country again.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/fin…..ro.html?fb

      1. “The euro ceases to exist the moment that France leaves, and that is our incredible strength. What are they going to do, send in tanks?” she told the Daily Telegraph

        She apparently has forgotten who the neighbors are.

    1. Don’t you know every famous woman in Europe from reading your daily rag?

      1. I read the DM to get American news that American media ignores.

        1. You read the Fail for boobs, don’t lie.

          1. Tiny titties!

            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/fem…..orris.html

            1. Why did I just hear the Don Ho in my head?

  2. While perhaps a stupid thing to say…

    I don’t want to live in a world where comparing things to Hitler is considered stupid.

    1. You know who else didn’t want to live in a world where comparing things to Hitler was considered stupid?

      1. Mel Brooks?

        1. I was going to say Simon Wiesenthal, but that works too.

    2. While perhaps a stupid thing to say…

      It was clearly doubleplus ungood.

      Off to MinLove!

  3. I guess we shouldn’t point out that sending him to a re-education camp is like a simulated Soviet occupation. They’d probably get all offended n’ shit, wouldn’t they?

  4. “A prosecutor in Lyon asked for Le Pen’s immunity to be lifted after Le Pen compared the sight of Muslims praying in the streets to the Nazi occupation.”

    Le Pen sounds like shreek, but that prosecutor wouldn’t last 10 seconds on H&R…

  5. Why did she have immunity in the first place?

    1. Parliamentary privilege, I would imagine.

      1. So she had special rights. Until she didn’t. Dumb!

    2. A robust vaccination programme in France.

    3. EU MP’s have immunity by default. Politicians don’t like to have to follow laws they make for the little people.

  6. So Godwin’s Law is actually a penal statute?

    1. More like a “Penile Statue” to be received in prison.

      1. Sounds more like a Women in Prison movie…why am I talking like this? You H&R people are a corrupting influence!

  7. “Yeah, that whole pesky law thing… it only really applies when we say it does, FYTW.”

  8. Her party just won a big victory in a regional election. They’re prepping the battleground. The prior strategy of the political elites was to ignore and marginalize; that didn’t work out so well. New strategy is to criminalize. That’s not going to work either. She’s a twat, but also gaining in popularity. The Euros have been using the specter of a rising Hitler as a club against populist movements for decades. Now that they have an actual fascist on their hands the population now doesn’t trust them enough to acquiesce to their viewpoint. This isn’t going to end well.

    1. What’s French for schadenfreude?

      1. Google Translate says it’s “jubilant”.

        Stuck me as kind of funny.

        1. Like so much artificial intelligence it works most of the time. It just fails when you come to count on it working.

      2. Parliament

    2. Now that they have an actual fascist on their hands the population now doesn’t trust them enough to acquiesce to their viewpoint.

      “Yeah but she’s kind of a cute Nazi.” – George Costanza

  9. It does make me wonder how political and social change can to brought about in a climate where disagreement is outlawed.

    1. I’m pretty sure that’s the point.

    2. Since she seems to be a no-shit fascist, I am sure dissent will be further outlawed after she wins.

      1. And by what right and standard will her opponents object? If they can outlaw speech they deem offensive, why can’t little old Miss Fascist?

  10. On one hand, it’s wrong that she’s having her immunity removed for saying this.
    On the other hand, it’s wrong that she had immunity just because of her role in the political class.
    On the other hand, it’s wrong that anyone would need immunity for saying something people find offensive.

    So, basically, this whole matter is screwed every which way. And these are the assclowns we’re told we should try to emulate?

    I won’t be too surprised if this winds up backfiring. The face of a rising political party gets jailed for offending the ruling party. In theory, she now holds the moral high ground. I suspect, a lot of folks in the European Parliament might be a little surprised how that precedent turns out.

    1. It’s definitely going to backfire. Her platform is French Nationalism and anti-EU. So, we have a European parliament in Brussels expo facto stripping her of a “right” as a French citizen. It will feed her cause not damage it.

      1. shit – ex post not expo

    2. In theory, she now holds the moral high ground.

      In reality though, she said something offensive about a protected minority, which is a sin against the Eropean Church of Multi-Culturalism. And she Godwined at the same time. She’s lucky she’s not facing the death penalty since she’s clearly worse than Hitler.

      1. That’ll soothe the consciences of the elites for now. But, what happens when enough of the Pierre Bonhommes decide they’d rather fascism on their own behalf than fascism on the behalf of a higher, multi-cultural European ideal?

  11. Doesn’t this also raise some ex post facto issues, as well? What’s the point of immunity if it can be retroactively revoked?

  12. The point of parliamentary immunity is supposed to prevent the rulers from arresting the opposition for disagreeing with them.

  13. The problem she raises is a real one: In many situations, religious liberty is an unstable condition. Then one side will eventually dominate & suppress the other, or they may alternate (viz Turkey). So the only reasonable choice is picking which side’s domination is less harmful.

  14. It’s outrageous that what she said is being criminalized, and it’s outrageous that this amounts to an ex post facto law, which I thought was a core tenet of all Western law. I know Europe is rather weak on what we consider free speech, but I didn’t know they were weak on ex post facto laws as well.

    I am not sure how “fascist” she is, though. Wanting to keep your traditional national/social identity instead of becoming a Muslim country doesn’t strike me as something only fascists would want.

    1. Well immunity can be removed since parliamentary privilege is not supposed to be a carte blanche to break all laws.

      1. My point is that she had immunity when she said it. They have a right to remove parliamentary immunity if they want, but it’s wrong to remove it for just her (what’s the term for a law that only applies to one person?), and to remove it retroactively.

        1. I don’t think this counts as a ex post facto law since the rules state that “immunity cannot be claimed when a member is found in the act of committing an offence and shall not prevent the European Parliament from exercising its right to waive the immunity of one of its members.”

          Personally I hate (heh) hate speech laws but people here don’t seem to understand the concept of parliamentary privilege.

          Here is the US equivalent:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S…..ate_Clause

          1. Ah, well, then it’s just a free speech issue, I suppose. And probably a hypocrisy issue, because I’ll bet that left-wing deputies have said some pretty offensive things but have gotten a pass.

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