The Fulford File, By James Fulford
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It Happened There; etc

English Journalist Stephen Pollard wrote last week in the Times of London, that a Belgian Court has, in effect, banned the right-wing populist party, the Vlaams [Flemish] Blok:

"On Wednesday, the Belgian judiciary banned a political party from operating in Belgium. The reason? The country's political establishment dislikes its views. The party it banned is not some obscure fringe organization but one which has 18 MPs in the 150-seat Belgian parliament, many local councilors and two MEPs [Members of the European Parliament]. The opinion polls were predicting that it could win the most Belgian votes at the European and local elections in June.

"The banned party is Vlaams Blok (VB). The Court of Appeal in Ghent — notorious for its left-liberal bias — deemed it to be an 'undemocratic and racist' organization because of its policy that immigrants should be given only two choices: 'to assimilate or to return home.'"

[April 24, 2004 I've seen the future: it's scary and Belgian, also here]

The real reason for the banning may be the Blok's secessionist ambitions: they'd like to withdraw from multilingual Belgium and establish a Republic of Flanders.

As of this ruling, it is illegal to distribute Blok literature, and Blok politicians are banned from radio and television.

This was done under Belgium's Anti-Racism Act, which, like many such laws, doesn't allow for much in the way of liberty of conscience.

This restricts freedom of the press as well as political freedom, since the press might want to interview them or cover their speeches, but I gather no one in the (state-owned) Belgian media cares about the abstract principle; according to an update (scroll down) on Pollard's website:

"The Flemish state television authorities decided to impose only a partial ban on VB politicians, pending the verdict of the Supreme Court. The Francophone Belgian TV authorities have, however, banned the VB completely."

Furthermore, the party is banned from receiving government funding, a heavy blow in spite of their widespread support, because campaign finance reform in Belgium is so bad that no individual can give a political party more than 125 Euros. (A Euro is worth $1.18.)

The Court did not find the Blok itself guilty, as charges against a political party would have required a jury trial.

Rather, it found three party associations guilty of association with a racist organization; the racist organization being the Vlaams Blok. Each association was fined about $15,000.

According to Agence France-Presse, the court ruled "that the Vlaams Blok regularly portrays foreigners as 'criminals who take bread from the mouths of Flemish workers' and found it guilty of 'permanent incitement to segregation and racism.'"

The Court apparently failed to consider whether foreigners in Belgium are in fact "criminals who take bread from the mouths of Flemish workers."

Certainly, an estimated 10 percent of the foreigners in Belgium are illegal immigrants, the Muslims of Antwerp are organizing into a Malcolm X-style gang called European Arab League, and the U.S. State Department's travel advisory warns of muggings, carjackings, and reports that "Travelers to Brussels should be aware that small groups of young men have been known to prey on unwary tourists."

As for the part about taking "bread from the mouths of Flemish workers," the impact of mass immigration on native-born wages is known all over the world (with the exception of that part of it occupied by Wall Street Journal Editorial Page offices.)

One of the charges was the odd one of "inciting to segregation." This seems to mean, not that Blok is urging that immigrant Muslims should have their own neighborhoods, restaurants, schools, et cetera (the Muslims can manage that for themselves) but instead seems to be a reference to its support for the concept of the nation-state itself!

If Americans are in America, Turks in Turkey, and Belgians in Belgium, is that segregation?

The Belgian political class has been after the Vlaams Blok for some time. Coalition governments are the rule in Belgium, and in 1989 all the other parties signed a "cordon sanitaire" agreement, stating that they would never allow the Blok into government, no matter how many people voted for it.

In 1999, a judge threw out the same charges that have just resurfaced. According to the Times' Pollard, the head of the Belgian Center for Equal Opportunity said that "he would continue appealing until he had found a judge who would find against the VB."

They finally found one, who is thought to be opposed to the aims of the Vlaams Blok, and he has, in effect, banned a political party which has wide democratic support for having the wrong attitude.

Pollard's worry is that this can happen in England, which is part of the infamous European Union. VDARE.COM readers should worry that it can happen in America, under either international treaties, or by an unpredictable Supreme Court decision.

When it comes to real crime, though, European justice is not so harsh.

The Vlaams Blok is said to have much in common with the Dutch Fortuyn List. You remember what happened in that case: so much hatred stirred up against Fortuyn that he was murdered by an immigration-enthusiast.

The killer got a light sentence and is due to be released in 2015.

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Schwarzenegger in Israel

Arnold Schwarzenegger's first trip overseas as Governor is going to be to Israel. (I suppose you can make up your own jokes here.) I like Israel, and have, for example, no more sympathy for the Palestinians than John Derbyshire does.

But while Arnold is in Israel, I wish the Israelis would show him around, and point out the things that Israel has that California lacks. They could say: "This is our Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, where we make sure that immigrants learn the language. This is our border; note the armed guards. This is a wall we're building, to keep people out. And remember, Governor, you need valid ID to board the plane."

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Bill Mexico!

Robert Vasquez, who I mentioned a while back ["Look Who's More Loyal Than "Conservative Republicans"], is the Canyon County Commissioner in Idaho.

He has just created something of a stir by sending Mexico a bill for $2 million, to pay for the county's cost of dealing with illegal immigrants from Mexico—who are in Idaho, after all, with the advice and consent of the Mexican government.

"The $2,009,315.07 invoice Vasquez sent to the Mexican consulate in Salt Lake City, Utah, includes demands for the payment of about $1.4 million for expenses related to the incarceration of Mexican nationals held in the Canyon County jail and $575,000 for medical services provided by the county to Mexican citizens who entered the country illegally." Vasquez bills Mexico for $2 million By Michael McAuliffe, Idaho Press-Tribune, April 28, 2004)

Arturo Chavarria of Mexico's Salt Lake City consulate said that the request seemed "unfair." This is the universal response of anyone suddenly receiving a bill for $2 million dollars. But Señor Chavarria felt that the illegals were paying income taxes (if they were withheld) and sales taxes (when they paid for things), but not receiving benefits, which is simply not true.

Commissioner Vasquez also pointed out that if the Salt Lake City consulate could send people into Idaho to issue phony ID cards, as it has, it can send someone to take the illegals home, or least pay their bills.

A VDARE.COM reader tells us that the Idaho Statesman editorialized against this, saying, "Vasquez's grandstanding a pointless abuse of office." But the Statesman's web archive system is so bad that I can't confirm this. (Ask the Statesman.)

But assuming that the Statesman made such a claim, I'll say it is wrong. There's nothing wrong with making the occasional outrageous proposal, just to see who's outraged. 

Commissioner Vasquez may lack the power to collect this bill. (That would be up to the President—'nuff said.) But there's nothing to stop Mexico from paying the bill as "conscience money."

Nothing, that is, but the Mexican government's conscience.

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