Voiced belief in listening to opinions you disagree with.
It was remarked on in a recent interview with Vaclav Klaus that he sounded more like Americas Founding Fathers than any of the current crop of US politicians. I tend to agree, and I do not find it all that surprising. The Founding Fathers spent the first part of their lives under an oppressive colonial regime, much the same as Klaus, and came to love the values of liberty through understanding the lack of it. There is however something special about those who, on achieving political power use it in the cause of liberty, and not to enhance that power.
From The Telegraph, we have an article by Daniel Hannan, a writer and journalist, who has been Conservative MEP for South East England since 1999. He has written eight books on European policy, speaks French and Spanish and is author of "The Plan: Twelve months to renew Britain."
Vaclav Klaus was addressing the chamber as President of the Czech Republic, the state that currently holds the EU presidency. His speech was moderate, thoughtful and restrained - in places, almost to the point of being platitudinous. Governments worked better when there was an opposition, he said. We should all listen to dissenting points of view, he said. He had grown up in a system where there was no opposition, he said, and he didn't want the EU to go down that road.
The response of MEPs? To hoot their derision and flounce out. By a delicious coincidence, the walk-out happened just as Klaus was making his point about listening to opinions you disagreed with. It may have been an accident of timing: the vinegary Thatcherite had, moments earlier, been arguing that democracy was not necessarily enhanced by giving more powers to the European Parliament. …..This is the gist of the talk that upset the EuroPols: -