Euro-ignorance and opportunism

The European elections, the photogenic Lebanese and The Byrds' tribute to politicians in our weekly

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Not talking Europe

With polls showing Labour trailing in a miserable third place, excitement grows in the blogging community that next Thursday could finally prove the sucker punch that knocks out the prime minister. On the Spectator’s Coffee House blog, James Forsyth speculated:

“If the Labour press were to decide Brown has to go because otherwise the party could die, Brown would be in dire trouble.”

But on the Wardman Wire, Garbo was frustrated by the trivial tone of the campaign.

“So why, during a party election broadcast for the European elections do the Conservative talk about expenses? Why do the Labour Party and Lib Dems refuse to mention Europe at the moment?” he complained, and was concerned by the notion of voters “punishing democracy,” arguing that “what it [democracy] does not need is tokenistic, opportunistic knee jerk reactions”.

Lib Dem Alex Wilcock answered the call, proving that even if the parties don’t want to talk Europe, the activists do. He believed that only his party can “hit Labour hard,” and offered a positive view of the party’s European agenda.

“They can protect civil liberties, from global corporations and big governments alike. Gangsters, murderers and terrorists can all be dealt with far more effectively in cross-border co-operation, but anti-European parties like the Conservatives have voted to let them all go free rather than work with other countries. And that’s insane,” he wrote, detailing some of the benefits of pan-European co-operation.

http://www.organizedrage.com/2009/05/why-i-have-just-voted-g...">Mick Hall, who describes his blog as being “from the perspective of the working classes and the dispossessed,” explained his reasoning in casting his postal ballot. He regected No2EU, the left-wing anti-EU platform, on the grounds that its “candidates are standing on an abstentionist ticket, which I regard as a betrayal of the needs of working class people”. With some reservations, he decided to back the Greens, noting a “…social program which I can endorse, a fine anti-racist/fascist record and are solid on the environment”.

Elsewhere, former UKIP Press Officer Annabelle Fuller holds forth on the Euro-ignorance of mainstream party politicians while Labour MEP Glyn Ford blogs for Tribune on the potential impact of the expenses scandal on Tory election prospects.

Full blog reaction to the results will follow next week’s poll.

What have we learned this week?

That on June 4th, you may be able to cast your vote for a Kitcat. Harry’s Place kindly keeps an eye on the Euro candidates with the most appealing and unusual names.

Around the World

I was in Beirut last week – and could not avoid the myriad posters depicting young photogenic Lebanese hoping to seduce voters ahead of the country’s elections. Beiruter illustrates and notes the influence of agencies on political advertising in the country.

Video of the Week

Dedicated to all the candidates whose futures now rest in the hands of Britain’s voters, enjoy Roger McGuinn of The Byrds singing ‘I wanna grow up to be a politician’.

Quotes of the Week

“One MEP candidate who just phoned me told me of almost uncontrolled anger on the part of many people. There's also a suspicion that half the people who say they are going to vote UKIP actually intend to vote for the BNP but are too ashamed to admit it.”

Iain Dale gives readers an important reason to get out and vote on June 4th.

Paul Evans is a freelance journalist, and formerly worked for an MP. He lives in London, but maintains his Somerset roots by drinking cider.
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