There has been a torrent of tributes of late to Daniel Cohn-Bendit, who has announced that he will not be running for reelection to the European Parliament next month, signaling, in effect, his retirement from electoral politics. I am, needless to say, a big fan of Dany’s, adhering to his political positions 93% of the time and to his values, world-view, and spirit a full 100%. He’s great, c’est tout ce que je peux dire à son sujet (for those on the hard left who despise him—who call him a sell-out, or worse—, they can just go bugger off). Cohn-Bendit has been a fixture in the European Parliament for the past twenty years—elected with the German Die Grünen in 1994 and 2004, with Les Verts/EELV in 1999 and 2009 (his heading the French lists causing their scores to spike)—, the veritable conscience of that body, and a fierce defender of the European project. Le Monde, in an online piece on Wednesday on DCB’s two decades as MEP, linked to videos of some of his more memorable interventions in recent years during plenary sessions in Strasbourg. They’re great. As the LM piece will eventually disappear behind the paywall, here are the vids:
Dany giving his farewell speech on Wednesday.
Dany reprimanding Martin Schulz in 2010 for voting to approve the Barroso Commission—and telling him ta gueule! i.e. STFU, while he was at it (no hard feelings from Schulz, who is a good guy himself).
Dany verbally pummeling Victor Orbán in 2012 and to his face.
Dany giving President Hollande a hard time in 2013, and addressing him in the familiar form.
Dany letting Jean-Marie Le Pen have it in 2011, after the latter’s scandalous reaction to the Utoya massacre in Norway.
Dany in 2012 telling the Earl of Dartmouth—UKIP MEP—a few home truths (and in English).
Daniel Cohn-Bendit is sui generis. As I’ve already said twice, he’s great. Brussels and Strasbourg will be diminished without him.