Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Euro Elections

A very brief political post (which is therefore of no interest to anyone outside of the UK, and probably very little to those in it). No, I'm not about to talk you into voting for my favourite party, but I did want to make two points about the European elections on Thursday:

First- vote in them. If you don't make the effort to exercise your controls over the European Parliament, then you really don't get to whinge about it later. I'm talking to you, the huge numbers of people who didn't bother voting last time. And no, it is not voting for an anti-democratic institution. The clue's in the voting. If Europe is un-democratic, then frankly, so is the UK. All the key complaints, about having appointed figures and indirectly elected ministers intervening in law making, apply to us too.

Secondly, I'm a little annoyed by the tone most of the parties have taken in their campaigning. Not because it's negative or jingoistic (although hats off to "An Independence From Europe" for their badly animated monster eating Westminster. I couldn't stop laughing) but because most of it has nothing to do with the European Parliament. Pamphlets I've received have talked about the various UK parties' records on domestic issues, or about independence from Europe.

The trouble is, neither of these is really a European issue. No, the second one isn't, despite the name. Because whether we decide to hold a referendum on independence, decide to pull out, or decide to stay in without any further discussion, is a matter for the UK parliament, not the European one. Westminster makes that decision for the UK. So talking about it in European elections is just another way of saying that you don't want to talk about what you'll actually do for the UK's interests in the European parliament if elected. That's the part that matters. Now, to try to find a party that is actually talking about that.

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