Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Open Season on Frank Vanhecke

We’ve written previously about the political persecution of Frank Vanhecke and Vlaams Belang by the Belgian establishment. Vlaams Belang’s stated intention is to establish an independent Flanders, so the Belgian government has good reason to suppress the movement at any cost. The preferred tactic is to declare a prominent VB member’s words or writings “racist”, and then apply the full force of the law to destroy that person’s political career.

This tactic was used to good effect with Bart Debie, and now Frank Vanhecke is being set up as the next victim. As a member of the European Parliament, he was protected from prosecution by parliamentary immunity, so the primary task for the Belgian government was to have his immunity revoked. Compliant MEPs jumped on the bandwagon and voted to strip Mr. Vanhecke of all protection, so that his government is now free to haul him into court and give him the Bart Debie treatment.

Bear in mind the nature of his “crime”: a Vlaams Belang publication written by someone else accused immigrants of desecrating Flemish graves. Mr. Vanhecke is deemed to be editorially responsible for the “racist” pamphlet, so he, rather than the author, is being prosecuted for it. Not only did he not write it, but he ensured that the text was corrected when it turned out to be inaccurate.

But none of this matters in the Orwellian world of Belgian and EU politics. Frank Vanhecke is guilty of a heinous crime against Multiculturalism, and must be punished severely pour encourager les autres. It’s open season on him now. He can expect a trial, conviction, a sentence (which will later be commuted to something symbolic), the removal of his civil rights for many years, and the end of his political career.

That’s the way business is conducted in Belgium. If your party is dubbed “far-right”, it means that you are beyond the pale, and that you lack ordinary political rights. And remember: this is the high-minded country that lectures the rest of the world on human rights.

Here’s the story from EU Observer:

European Parliament Lifts Immunity of Far-Right MEP

The European Parliament on Tuesday (18 November) lifted the immunity of Belgian far-right MEP Frank Vanhecke, who is facing racism charges in Belgium.

MEPs voted by 564 for and 61 against to lift his immunity, while 42 abstained.

The Belgian deputy of the Flemish nationalist party Vlaams Belang is accused of publishing and editing a political pamphlet in 2005 which wrongly accused “foreigners” of desecrating cemeteries.
- - - - - - - - -
The text also said: “a culture which has no respect for the dead or for the symbols of a different faith is a delinquent culture,” according to French news agency AFP.

It later transpired that four local Flemish young people were guilty of the crimes the “foreigners” had been accused of in Saint-Nicolas, a town in Flanders, Belgium’s Dutch-speaking northern region.

MEPs dispose of an immunity which prevents them from being “wanted, detained or sued because of opinions or votes emitted by them in the exercise of their functions.”

They rarely lift the privilege over political statements, but in this case decided Mr Vahnecke’s parliamentary cover did not extend to his editorial activities and obligations.

For his part, the Belgian MEP said he was the victim of a “political lynching,” arguing that he had made sure the article in question was corrected, the Associated Press reports.

The party to which Mr Vanhecke belongs is a successor of another formation that was dismantled after it was found guilty of racism in 2004. Vlaams Belang also backs independence for Flanders.

The European Parliament move comes ahead of the June 2009 European elections, where far right parties are expected to score gains across Europe due to the financial crisis and recession.

From a country that wants to try George Bush and Dick Cheney for “war crimes”, I guess all this makes sense.

Previous posts about Bart Debie and Frank Vanhecke:

2007 Sep 11 Arrests in Brussels
    11 Vlaams Belang Video
    11 More SIOE Brussels Updates
    11 This One Takes the Prize
    12 It’s Come to This
    14 The Press Conference at the European Parliament
    17 Dutch Language Video of Brussels on 9-11
    20 Brussels’ Own 9-11
    21 On the 11th of September I Broke the Law
2008 Sep 9 Lynching Frank Vanhecke
    10 Once Again, Fat Freddy Says “No!”
  Oct 28 Bart Debie Prepares for Prison
    29 Defending Bart Debie
    29 Bart Debie Has Been Released
    30 A Report from Bart Debie
    31 Bart Debie and Frank Vanhecke
  Nov 3 So It’s Come To This, Yet Again
    10 Frank Vanhecke Interviewed in Haaretz

Hat tip: Henrik.


Fjordman said...

I bloody hate the state of Belgium, and the EU. I hope splitting up the former can aid the process of splitting up the latter.

Dymphna said...

From your keyboard to God's eyes, Fjordman.

Meanwhile, notice the pattern: they tried first to outlaw the secessionist party en masse, using judicial means. It worked until they reformed as Vlaams Belang.

Now they are acting legislatively, taking them down one at a time, until all the leaders have been stripped of their citizenship and confined to their homes or prison.

It is so corrupt and malign that it's hard to take in.

Of course there is a "my-eyes-glaze-over" (called "mego) phenomenon re this horrible series of injustices.

The blogosphere, just like the Belgian parliament, has established a kind of "cordon sanitaire" around VB stories...thanks to the overt evil of Chazzer. He has much to answer for the harm he has caused innocent people.

But, as I've said, the mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine. CJ's echo chamber will eventually empty out and he will slide into a well-deserved oblivion. Maybe he'll find some peace there.

There is hope because principled people like Diana West are picking up this story. When writers actually meet VB members and examine things in situ, they become appalled at the deep injustices these people have endured.

Like the Jews of old, and the black slaves in America, the Flemish should adopt as their battle cry, "Let My People Go."

Unfortunately, the pharaoh had his uses for his Hebrew slaves, just as the American slave owners did for their human property.

So, too, do the Belgians find the initiative and wealth-producing behavior of the Flemish to be of use to them. If they were to let the Flemish go, where would they get another golden goose?

The only way to fight this corrupt and malign group is to make holding onto the Flemish more painful than letting them go.

That is a strategy for VB to find.

American slaves were not freed without the blood given for them by many Yankee soldiers. The Hebrews weren't let go until the plagues made having them around more trouble than it was worth.

Who or what can intervene on the behalf of the Flemish?

Here's a thought: the coming economic horror, which will be world-wide *might* work to Flanders' advantage. Since no one knows how things will play out, it's too early to tell.

But let's watch and see what happens...the crisis, all by itself, will rip asunder the EU. What it will do to the cracks in the "country" of Belgium may be most interesting.