It is customary around here to congratulate people who publish reports, but I am afraid that this report is a bit of sick joke. I can only conclude that its proponents smoked something funny on the way to the PACE.
This report purports to defend civil society and the participation of ordinary people in public decision making.
Well, if that is the case, what a strange champion its authors have picked in George Soros.
When we examine Mr Soros and his Open Society Foundation, what we actually discover is the attempt to manipulate large numbers of people by paying people to occupy space in civil society and to seek special privileges for elite groups.
Here is why Mr Soros is putting hundreds of thousands of euro into the campaign to legalise abortion in Ireland, and we have Wikileaks to thanks for this revelation:
“With one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world, a win there could impact other strongly Catholic countries in Europe, such as Poland, and provide much needed proof that change is possible, even in highly conservative places.”
And that in an Ireland with a consistently high maternal health care standard.
Until recently in Ireland, hardly anybody knew about all this Soros money.
And who are the children of Soros? People like the Commissioner of Human Rights, Mr Muiznieks, who told this chamber yesterday that “the right to life does not apply before birth”.
What a chilling and Orwellian statement. He mocks the freedom which the European Court concedes to member states to protect unborn babies in their laws, not to mention Paragraph 9 of the preamble of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which describes the need for ‘legal protection, before as well as after birth’ for the child. But Mr Muiznieks never objects to babies being aborted in Britain late term for conditions as treatable as cleft palate, and being left to whimper to their deaths in a sluice room or be injected in the heart with potassium chloride. That’s our human rights commissioner, child of Soros. And, of course, Mr Soros bankrolled Mr Muiznieks in the past.
What a mockery of the stated claim to ‘respect dignity of all persons’, and of the claim to support children’s rights and oppose violence?
This perverse selectiveness about human rights diminishes the moral authority of human rights defenders and gives comfort to regimes who disregard authentic human rights. It is a scandal.
So what are Mr Orban and his Government doing. Like Britain at the outset of the Second World War, they stand alone against a tyranny.
Mr Orban’s country is plucky. And its demands are reasonable.
It’s about transparency, friends. This Assembly is under a shadow at the moment because some of its leading lights are thought to have been taking money secretly from certain Governments in order to advance certain political ends. Shame on anybody here who attempts to deny that Mr Soros and his people seek similar secretive influence. Bankrolling organisations, secretly if possible, so as to create the impression of public opinion in support of their goals. That’s their game.
Mr Orban may not get everything right. And when he attempts to restrict free speech or harasses human rights defenders in the streets, you can expect my support. But don’t come into this chamber championing the right of foreign organisations to inject large wads of cash secretly into political organisations, left or right, in a given country. And please don’t sully the cause of authentic human rights by trying to clothe yourself in its mantle.
So let Mr Orban and his Government legislate. If you’ve a problem then, come back to us.
It might be worth asking, how many people who have spoken in this Assembly today have taken money, directly or indirectly, from Soros.