Tweets of the Week: Anger in Strasbourg, plastic ban, and the Sakharov Prize

Angry words in the chamber are drastic, MEPs vote against plastic, and reaction to the Sakharov Prize is fantastic.

This week we are supported by the European Parliament.

And this week the European Parliament plenary session that descended into a slagging match after ECR leader Syed Kamall pressed the Godwin’s Law Nazi button.

Hitler Klaxon reported James Crisp after Kamall described Nazism as a “strain of socialism,” on Wednesday.

He was responding to comments made by S&D leader Udo Bullmann.

Kamall later apologized, but then followed that up with a tweet saying it was “nothing personal.” Adding “I have utmost respect for anyone who stood up to and fought against Nazism, Communism and any other kinds of extremism.”

Quite a few people questioned Kamall’s grasp of 20th century European history, including Bullman himself. It was the Social Democrats who stood up against fascism!”, he said.

Scottish MEP Alyn Smith said Kamall’s comments were “grossly offensive.” “These chancers are trashing the UK’s image.”

Relax, guys, quipped Martini Seltzermayr… “he meant it as a compliment.”

In the middle of all this, Parliament president Antonio Tajani gave UKIP MEP Nigel Farage a ticking off for laughing: “Laughter is the last refuge of the stupid. You should learn to respect other people if you want respect yourself,” he said.

But Tajani himself was also in hot water this week after comments that appeared to denigrate Roma to second class citizens.

“The citizenship income will end up in the pockets of Roma, of foreign citizens (from the EU and non-EU) and certainly not in those of many Italians,” he said. Leading to widespread condemnation.

“We are appalled by the shameful comments of Antonio Tajani!” tweeted the European Greens.

But Sam Morgan’s favourite part of whole furore is the outraged response of Commissioner Franz Timmermans at the end: “Has the Conservative party finally been eaten by UKIP?”

Good to see the European Parliament is now essentially just reddit in a chamber said Josh Lowe.

Thankfully there was also some serious business in the Parliament as well.

MEPs voted by 571 to 53 to ban single use plastics by 2021. That includes plastic plates, cutlery, straws, balloon sticks, and cotton buds.

Lots and lots of people, including Marie Loff were delighted with the move.

Zero Waste Europe called it a historic stand to end the plastic pollution crisis, and urged national governments to follow suit.

Indeed, who on earth would vote against the ban of single-use plastic?

Enter stage right, self-styled “man of the people,” Nigel Farage once again.

Quite a few Tory MEPs also voted against the ban on plastic balloon sticks!

“I’ve done without balloon sticks for all my life, I see no reason to save them when the planet needs saving first,” said Catherine Bearder MEP.

Seeing this sign, Thomas da Silva Rosa joked that the Dutch have already started a nationwide crackdown on the horrible crime of possessing a balloon!

I know it’s not the first time the EU sought to ban things but honestly this is the last straw added Seltzermayr.

Finally on Thursday, showing it still manages dignity and tolerance on a grander scale, the Parliament announced the 2018 Sakharov Prize winner for Freedom of Thought.

The award went to Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian film director and human rights activist convicted to 20 years of imprisonment in a penal colony by a Russian court.

Lithuanian President, Dalia Grybauskaitė ,was one of the first to welcome the news.

The prize will be awarded during the December plenary session of the European Parliament.

That’s it for this week. Join me again next Friday for the good the bad and the ugly in the Brussels Bubble Twittershphere.

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