In the European Parliament on Wednesday 6 November, Claire had an exchange with Michalis Chrisochoidis, the Greek minister for citizens’ protection. Claire pointed out that while there are calls for solidarity with migrants, that sense of fellow feeling has been undermined by the way responsibility has been outsourced to the Turkish government. This has been used by Prime Minister Erdogan as justification for invading part of Syria, creating further refugees. Perhaps, Claire wonders, the reason people are fleeing Turkey’s camps is because of the EU policy of integration into Turkish society, a society where journalists and academics are being locked up for criticising the government.
In the European Parliament on Wednesday 6 November, Claire spoke against attempts to regulate the media. She noted that the mainstream media is often caught up in a ‘bubble’ and is insensitive to trends and developments beyond that bubble. As a result, mainstream outlets were caught by surprise by the vote to leave the EU in the UK and the election of Donald Trump in America. Often, non-mainstream media is the only way we find out about important news. For example, coverage of the gilets jaunes in France has been sparse in the UK mainstream media, and alternative news sources are vital.
On Wednesday 6 November, Claire argued in the European Parliament that laws on hate speech are a threat to free speech. She used as an example the way that some feminists have been attacked by trans activists. By allowing free speech to be undermined in this manner, she continues, the EU is undermining a vitally important Enlightenment principle: to allow free speech and debate to determine the best way forward for society.
In the European Parliament on Monday 21 October, Claire expressed her deepest sympathies for the Jewish victims killed in the Halle Synagogue shooting in Germany. She made clear that we should not be too simplistic when calling out acts of extreme violence. She argues that those who willingly pointing fingers at anti-Semitism being a solely right wing problem too often fail to recognise that anti-Semitism has become rife in left-wing circles and organisations in Europe. She urged German authorities and MEPs in parliament not to call for bans on free speech, concluding that we need to be cautious with accusations and instead fight for freedom as well as the freedom to call out hatred.
In European Parliament on Thursday 10 October, Claire challenges the EU commission head-on over a motion about Russian interference in elections which argued that British voters were “duped” by Russian bots and misinformation peddled on social media. She reaffirms her belief in the sanctity of democracy by calling these statements untrue and stating that the British people knew exactly what they were voting for.
Claire then further goes on to point out that it is in fact the EU that interferes with European elections, especially when they have referendums – where Ireland, France, Denmark were told to vote again until they get the right result. She finishes by purporting that a vote for this motion would bestow upon the EU the powers to censor what citizens of member states would be able to see or read, thereby restricting freedom of speech and exchange of ideas.
In European Parliament on Thursday 10 October, Claire abstains from a motion about EU workers’ rights and unemployment, pointing out the bureaucratic attempts to appropriate the working classes’ historic struggle for their rights. She also points out the sheer hypocrisy of EU’s virtue signalling about workers’ rights whilst simultaneously imposing austerity and preventing member states from determining their own economic policies. While she supports workers having rights, she encourages fellow Europeans to take a stand against the bureaucratic nature of the EU.
In the European Parliament on Wednesday 8 October, Claire shows her solidarity with the ‘hundreds of heroic democracy protestors’ in Hong Kong and condemns the totalitarian efforts of the Chinese government to curtail democracy as well as their brutal treatment of the protestors. She then goes on to criticise the EU and its hypocrisy in cheering on the Hong Kong Protester whilst ignoring the struggle of the Gillet Jaunes in France.
In this video, Claire talks about a meeting she recently attended that was supposed to be holding to account the proposed EU Commissioner for Innovation and Youth, Mariya Gabriel. The meeting was a joint one between two European Parliament committees, the Culture and Education committee and the Industry, Research and Energy committee.
Claire explains her frustrations with the process. First, that the EU only seems to be interested in arts and culture where it promotes European citizenship and federalism. Second, that rather than holding Gabriel to account, or at least having an honest debate about the issues facing arts and culture today, it was really an exercise in asking for more money for all that pro-federalist cultural spending.
This is the first video on a new YouTube channel, The Leftie Brexiteers, that Claire will be sharing with her NW England MEP colleague, Henrik Overgaard-Neilsen. You can check out the rest of the content and subscribe here.
Claire asked the proposed EU Commissioner for Innovation and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, about the contradictions of the EU’s support for academic freedom while the EU restricts what material academics have access to through digital services rules. Claire also asked why funding for research and education is so often tied to promoting a sense of European citizenship and identity.
In the European Parliament, Tuesday 24 September, Claire Fox congratulates the European Parliament on the decision to allow a series of objective museum professionals and historians to decide on the content of the European house of history museum. Thus far, the EU have resisted their usual self-styled propaganda in dictating the historic content of the museum. With calls for more direct EU involvement from other MEPs, Claire urges the necessity for academic and historic research to be independent of EU politicisation.