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Monday, April 28, 2014

Would it not be easier if 'Brussels' simply dissolved the people and elected another?

In less than a month's time voters across the EU (that is those who decide to vote) will head to the polls to elect the new European Parliament. Ahead of the elections there has been a lot of speculation about the surge in support for a range of populist anti-EU, anti-austerity, anti-immigrant and anti-establishment parties and what this will mean.

Breaking the parties down into these sub-groups illustrates that the potential 'anti-EU vote' is a complicated phenomenon. In a new briefing published today, we estimate these parties could win as much as 30.9% of the vote in May, up from 24.9% in 2009. This will give them 218 out of 751 seats (29%), up from 164 out of 766 (21.4%) in the current parliament. (You can see our criteria for categorising the parties in the briefing).

These parties, loosely termed by Open Europe as the ‘Malcontents Block’, span the political spectrum and differ substantially from each other, ranging from mainstream governing parties to outright neo-fascists, and will not therefore form a coherent block. The largest increases are among the anti-establishment parties typified by Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement in Italy and the anti-EU vote is largely driven by the rise of the Front National in France and UKIP in the UK. Having said this, we acknowledge that the European elections are in part used by anti-establishment parties to drive a domestic agenda, sometimes with limited links to "Europe". Still from free movement to the bailouts, European issues are now trickling through to voters' decisions.

Sources: Vote Watch Europe and Open Europe calculations

However, despite the strong performance of these anti-EU parties, the EP will continue to be dominated by parties which favour the status quo or further integration. The vote share of parties identified by Open Europe as being ‘critical reformers’ – parties which believe the EU needs fundamental reform if it is to survive – is set to go from 53 to 39 seats.

The net effect of the anti-EU vote could therefore ironically be to make the EP more integrationist: by crowding out critical reformers, by reinforcing the corporatist tendency of the two main groups who will want to freeze out the anti-EU MEPs, and by binding the EP and Commission closer together.

Source: Vote Watch Europe and Open Europe calculations

Another one to watch out for is voter turnout. If turnout is roughly the same this time around (43%), we estimate that 74.4% of all voters will have voted against the EU, for radical change, or not bothered to vote at all, with only 25.6% of all eligible voters actively turning out to vote in favour of status quo/more integration parties.

This is not to say that all 'non-voters' are anti-EU or anti-status quo - some have tried to put words in our mouth to that effect (somewhat predictably). However, it clearly reinforces the European Parliament's remoteness from voters and the thin democratic mandate that MEPs can rely on to push their agenda in the Parliament. Some may be tempted to see voter apathy as a 'net neutral' - we don't know how these voters would vote after all and they're voting for other things apart from Europe anyway. This is a familiar argument that has been used many times in the past as a pretext for pressing ahead with more integration. However, to conclude that voter apathy in fact means 'endorsement' is naive, intellectually dishonest - and outright dangerous as it'll only create even more fertile ground for an even more hostile response in future.

Source: Vote Watch Europe and Open Europe calculations
Worryingly for the UK and other liberal minded EU governments, the share of MEPs explicitly dedicated to free market policies is also expected to fall from 242 (31.6%) to 206 (27.4%).

Source: Vote Watch Europe and Open Europe calculations

All this means that the EP elections may be bad news for David Cameron. The EP has an effective veto over some of Cameron’s potential flagship reforms (outlined in his recent Sunday Telegraph article), including EU-US free trade talks, services liberalisation and rules on migrants’ access to welfare.

The consequence of giving the European Parliament more and more power under successive EU treaties is that these elections matter. MEPs now have equal status with national governments in the vast majority of EU policy areas from regulating working time to bankers' bonuses. Despite this, turnout has fallen in every European election so far and this time around we could see more anti-EU MEPs elected than ever before.

The usual response from the Brussels bubble to voter apathy is that people don't 'understand' the EU. Perhaps, this time politicians might spend more time trying to understand why the electorate is looking for alternatives to the likes of Schulz, Juncker and Verhofstadt or not bothering to vote at all.


Rik said...

1. Reform will at the end of the day be determined by the Council or better the seperate countries.
And likely by having one or more putting the whole thing under existential pressure (if I can call it that way).

2. We have now probably the UK, France and Holland where a anti-EU party likely will turn up as the biggest.
If they still donot get the message now would be very surprised.

3. Problem for the EU this election they came up basically completely with the same sort of people (probably even worse) as last time (when it was already a huge PR disaster).
Of the candidates for President Juncker looks by far the best. As I see it the only one who has the ideas and the skil to start a reform process. The other are Euro-philes and as such totally uncredible for the EU-sceptic group at the other side of the table. What I mean is a guy like Vanhofstad likely will have a reputation with say IP voters that even William Hague doesnot want to have. Which will mean negotiations will come under much more pressure.
Nesxt to approvals are still falling. The longer they wait the worse it will get and now they can blaim the UK/Cameron.

4. IP is doing great in the polls and well deserved.
Great campaign, great posters, great debate by Farage.
Other side was pathetic at best. Contrasts couldnot have been bigger.
Clegg so arrogant that he got butchered.
Cameron missed the opportunity to sell his plan and himself simply not active enough. It clearly has support but he is not using that to get voters.
Great move by IP to go for Labour's throat. Looks where by far the most gains can be made.

4. Attacks on Farage looked pretty pathetic. Simply doesnot work that way when people are already totally fed up with you.
Same with the media, by the way they repported on IP and blew everything up and call people racist for wearing black underwear have put themselves in the corner that is very likely to get hit. If that is the sink they have a dollhouse size kitchen.
Add the Ukraine or the Scottish independent coverage at the moment and increasingly people will simply donot take them serious. Simply too stupid to make a proper analysis or even report simply the facts from both sides.
With IP every minor incident was blown up and what was worse IP voters clearly saw it like that. Completely counterproductive. Subsequently continuing cf Einstein's definition of madness.

5. Traditionals have by all this now put Farage really on the map. As a serious alternative.
Whic opens clearly questions on the future of the Conservatives.
They will have to make some strategic choices on personal (unpalatables out) and the relation with IP.
Bit early before Labour get properly under attack, but it likely will both their views on this issue and their leader look complete crap. Considerably worse than Cameron tbo.

6. Farage now seems to have a tremendous momentum. Just have a look at the rise of Fortuin in Holland a few weeks before the elections. Very similar situation, might happen in the UK as well (sort of landslide).

Jesper said...

Might it be that EU-institutions are showing apathy in their dealings with the general population?
Is the voting population simply matching the energy level shown by EU-institutions in the interaction between voting population and EU-institution?

They don't care so we don't care etc to infinity?

Might be time to put in a treaty that if the turnout is less than 50% then the EP failed in its mission and is to be dissolved? To include: no perks, no pensions nothing at all paid out to former MEPs, commissioners etc until a new election has taken place and the participation rate is higher than 50%.
EU has tradition of asking people to vote again if the outcome isn't what is desired...

Rik said...

Imho the huge strategic mistake the EP and in fact the whole EU made was not putting a proper foundation (platform) under the thing. When they could.
Now they are faced with a situation where there is no such platform, credibility/trust (and with that real legitimation) out of the window, a number of huge policy mistakes (to say it friendly) and competition (by the sceptics). No enviroment to have even a remore chance of doing that.

Lack of platform now simply means that a huge part of the population just want to get rid of the whole thing. Another part of the present crew.
But also when things are presented people are now almost by nature sceptical. Check things and/or when in doubt rather believe the other side (plenty of them on the web).
No situation you want to be in anyway restore trust. Long term thing and 9 out of 10 times a lost cause.
EP was never properly put on the map. Not by EUs leadership as they used it often for having an 'democratic veil' over very indirect legitimised decisionmaking.
And by the club itself. It is more concerned about its own powers than getting to proper legislation. They were clearly there mainly for themselves not for the voter.
Absolutely nobody trying to get an All European face. When you hear from them it is how great they are but not trying to link at all with locals from other countries.

Add to that unappealing people saying unappealing things.
Very few fruitcakes vote for people who call them that way.
And effectively that is the main defence now (racism (including that against people with red shoes and blond hair. Everything is racism nowadays anti-gay marriage: racism, kick your dog: racism) and fruitcakes).
Not taking people seriously and completely ignore their views doesnot get votes.

This new bunch is probably even less appealing than the current one. Hard to see an improvement.
Simply eroding itself further.
They probably make another backroom/undemocratic show about the president as if that will help.

The thing never lived with the population as a whole. And now things go clearly wrong we see some rubberbands and Scotchtape. Hard to see the electorate buying it.

Anyway it is still basically way too late. Trend is very negative.
And it is not a politicians issue now.
Top of the agenda, perpetual frontpage voterstuff.
Not the EU as such but the issues surrounding it (immigration, Euro, bail outs, lack of influence nationally but as well at voter level).

They also try to spin themselves out of everything which is an absolute crap strategy longer term.
First of all long term events get so much coverage nowadays they determine the profile/image institutions or people have.
nearly impossible to spin yourself out of that. Obama the spinner in chief, great at that simply totally missed the plot on things like Obamacare, NSA, Syria and now Ukraine. Too much dirt comes up out of other sources, way too long in the news. People not forget this simple as that.And with every missed spin people leave and hardly any new ones come back in return. Simply support erosion.
Small events can be spun too much info for the ordinary brain on a daily basis they will forget. Normally nearly all of it.

It is all also on top of the general disconnect between electorate and politicians. These are simply disconnected and any politician with very few exceptions will not have a problem with that. Plus when something goes wrong irritation pops up much quicker.
EU are a sort of Uberpoliticians and therefor Uberdisconnected. Not a position you want to be in.

Another point most people can envision a world without EU (and their government). Very few can do that for their own country.
The EU in its present form is not a given (like the nationstate is).

Summarised a complete mess and I simply donot see how they will clean things up.

Average Englishman said...

The EU has done its best to complicate matters, so that the ordinary man in the street cannot understand what is going on in Brussels (e.g. the Lisbon Treaty) and how it effects them. Therefore, the EU cannot complain when most people still either regards the EU as an irrelevance to them or they do not believe that engaging with the very limited democratic process in place for the EU will make any real difference.

The more that people understand what the EU is all about and how it really effects their lives the more they take the trouble to vote and then vote for anti-EU parties. The trend against the EU will continue the more that people finally understand what is going on and in particular, the people in Southern European countries get the message that their lives are being blighted by EU policies.

Jesper said...

& about the benefits of a free trade agreement with the Americas...

It is said that the benefit of such an agreement would be lower prices. What is the definition of (the bad thing) deflation? Lower prices.

If an agreement is found, will it lead to all the dangers associated with deflation? Falling investment, unemployment etc etc etc?

Anonymous said...

Given that this is a very pro brussells article it misses the basic point if the entire parliament was eurosceptic it wouldn't make an iota of difference because the commission would just continue its federalising lowest common denominator one size fits all fits no one legislation.

Rik said...

Fully agree both national governments and the EU were in the business of complicating stuff.

However that is turning itself against them.
If you are low in approval and structurally you are not able to explain the benefits as well as it is complicated.
Furthermore in a climate of negativity (I think we can say the EU is there certainly in the UK (and well deserved I like to add)) people go largely for emotion as well. How they feel about it.
Incredibly difficult to bring them back from there especially when it is negative.
Basically on all aspect:
-emotion or rational (if people dislike things thye usually take everything up in order to keep disliking it);
-fact or general impression;
and most important
-when emotion turns negative (that means credibility/trust) is gone it is nearly impossible to restore.

Go to a major company. The first thing they will do when things go badly wrong is:
-admit the mistake;
-set up a credible plan to avoid the same thing happening again;
-limit possible damage for consumers;
-punish the ones who did it.
At least most of the above. And for a good reason. This is the best way of damage limitation. GMing your way in congressional hearings is many times worse. You can only shuffle things under the carpet when it is very unlikely to come up ever again. Otherwise you have the basic scandal plus the fact you have been hiding it and further endangered people. Recall one article in the paper. GM mess weeks in a row and it takes months if not years to get it out of there again (and all negative PR during that time).

Compare this with the EP.
-They are absolutely great according to themselves (but hardly anybody agrees with that);
-Plans to do things better galore, but nobody is buying these will not end up in a drawer after the election;
-Same guys are now apparently absolutely great in solving their selfcreated problems.
-Damage limitation is spin in order to paper over their own mistakes.

Absolutely not the way to handle things.
Basically the same at UK national level.
Eg all these attempt to stop IP are absolutely totally pathetic imho. And what is worse all over Europe in countries a bit ahead on protestparties it is pretty clear that these things do not work.
Both are totally disconncted with the people who are supposed to vote for them. If they made vehicles they probably still try to sell horses and carriages.

Look now at the anti-racist UKIP campaign.
Teaming up how can you be so stupid as one of the main selling points of IP is that the rest is effectively the same. Nigel says thanks for confirming that again.
Calling everything racist. So 1990 to start with but the only one who determine their preferences on those things are the average Guardian readers who arenot going to vote IP anyway.
They still not get the clue that worrying about immigration as several of these groups simply integrate not very well and have other real issues on top of that is a real problem and not racism.
The whole thing insults human intelligence (you can not advertise yourself with that longer term, people will think you are an idiot).

Now there are a lot of EU politicians in all sort of pro-Roma talk. Have they ever talked to normal citizens. Nobody wants them around and definitely hardly any voter like this to be made their problem. And putting the spotlight on another failed EU-policy in the eyes of >80% in some countries hardly will get Reding and Verhofthingy many voters. This is supposed to be a do vote (providing correct of course) and pro-EU campaign and not Mr Wilders advertising agency at work.

In a nutshell the marketing of the traditional parties and institutions like the EU is below even the lowest standard. They simply havenot got a clue how to sell themselves. And should read mr Rove's manual Throwing effectively mud at other candidates for dummies', before they come up with more of this nonsense.
Absolutely no clue how IP voters tick.

Rik said...

Lower prices are in general a positive.
And in general a FTA will not cause deflation.
FTA also simply creates more transactions (more economic activity), definitely not only lower prices.
Agree that for a substantial part these things contradict each other.
Other factor that messes the discussion up is the internal revaluation. Also very close to lower prices, lower wages (and lower spending power).
There is hardly an holistic concept of what to do.

First of all modern economist are deflationphobic. Part of the explanatioon is that it is a sort of pet of large groups of economist.
That is why we got the stimulus austerity discussion as well. Outcome was pretty clear from the start (not the end of not austerity). Politics gave the borders and these were very small.
RE prices and like now bubbles inflating themselves (equity UK possible RE) get a lot less attention. So did the influence of low interest on people's savings (and pensionfunds). And subsequently on their spending as they had to catch up for much larger amounts than any stimulus would have been (to keep their pensions). But no hobbyhorse so no attention.

Proof that it is as bad as they say is pretty thin btw. The US had effectively some of its peaks in growth while in deflation.
There is an IMF (if I am correct) study about it. Lot of stuff on the web as well. Mainstream clearly defaltiophobic alternatives often the opposite.

Main issue that the idea behind it is that there is a lot of saving and all over the board. And if next year something is cheaper you buy next year iso now.
Simply not correct under the current circumstances.
Looks to be somewhat outdated 2 out of 3 live from paycheck to paycheck. Hard to see that these will postpone buying/consuming. They simply need to eat.
Same with investing: this is mainly about future growth. If they think nobody will buy (situation now) they will not invest anyway.
So as I see it in the EU most of the buying will be done anyway. And most of the postponing as well (as there are more important issues playing than next years things being 2% cheaper or expensive).
Deflation theory only works re consumers that actually postpone buying things when next year things are cheaper (and we are only talking say 1 or 2% here). Look around that are not many of them and on top of that not for large parts of their income.
(Government that would spend less is a total joke).
Same with investing look at business people how they invest. If there is no growth they will not invest anyway. Simply the risk of a missinvestment is so much bigger than the advantage or not of 2% deflation or inflation.
It will have some influence but these are marginal, especially in Europe now.

Denis Cooper said...

"However, it clearly reinforces the European Parliament's remoteness from voters and the thin democratic mandate that MEPs can rely on to push their agenda in the Parliament."

The "democratic mandate" from the people of this country is not just "thin", it is non-existent.

Let us remember what the Tory party said about the Lisbon Treaty in its manifesto for the last EU Parliament elections in 2009:


"We pledge that if the Lisbon Treaty is not in force in the event of the election of a Conservative Government this year or next, we will hold a referendum on it, urge its rejection, and - if successful - reverse Britain’s ratification. And if the Constitution is already in force by then, we have made clear that in our view political integration in the EU would have gone too far, the Treaty would lack democratic legitimacy, and we would not let matters rest there."

And that formula that "the Treaty would lack democratic legitimacy" without approval in a referendum, and "we would not let matters rest there", had been running since November 2007, with Hague in the Commons:

"... we would have a new treaty in force that lacked democratic legitimacy in this country and in our view gave the EU too much power over our national policies. That would not be acceptable to a Conservative Government and we would not let matters rest there ..."

And then once the 2009 elections were out of the way, and the Irish voted again and got the right answer on the second time of asking, or telling, Cameron ceased to be concerned about the lack of democratic legitimacy and announced that he would after all that blustering indeed "let matters rest there" and swallow that treaty whole, while trying to pretend that it no longer existed anyway and so it could no longer be put to a referendum.

And of course that treaty which still lacks democratic legitimacy in this country abolished more national vetoes and made more decisions subject to codecision with the EU Parliament, just as preceding treaties had done, so that now the EU Parliament claims to have an equal say on about three quarters of all new EU laws:


"For many years the Parliament was simply a forum for debate, a purely consultative body. But since its election by direct universal suffrage and thanks to the active work of its members, it has been able to secure greater powers and acquire the status of equal partner in codecision with the Council in areas covering three quarters of Community legislation."

By the Tories' own words repeated for nearly two years, up until Cameron's abject surrender on November 4th 2009, none of this has any democratic legitimacy at all in this country; if the Lisbon Treaty needed to be approved by the British people in a referendum to be democratically legitimate in this country then so did the Nice Treaty, and the Amsterdam Treaty, and the Maastricht Treaty, and the Single European Act, and as none of them were put to referendums none of them have democratic legitimacy in this country; and therefore it must follow that EU Parliament has no democratic legitimacy in this country to exercise the powers that it has acquired through those treaties; and so its "democratic mandate" is not just "thin", it is non-existent.

Rollo said...

There are only two ways to stop these parasites from sucking us dry. One, a bit extreme, would be to use Brussels for Nuclear Weapons tests, one of the rare places on earth that there would be no nett damage; and the other one, which I would commend, is to stop paying all of them. They would soon find others to sponge off, but at least there would be a temporary respite.

Average Englishman said...

A lot of sense there. Will Open Europe please take note: the die is cast and what has been done by the EUSSR cannot be easily undone - certainly when the EU 'powers that be' do not even recognize the problem let alone that something needs to be done about it. They seem to continue to live in their own little bubble of unreality.

Brilliant work there. Excellent quotations. The UK voters are finally waking up to all of the deceit that has been practised upon them and the more this can be shown to them the better.

Out of all of this mess this is the worse part for me to accept; the continual lies from my country's own politicians. If UK politicians had adequate confidence in their pro EU policies and had won a mandate from the UK people by way of one or more referendums after a proper open debate then I would not be happy but I would accept the democratically arrived at verdict involved and try to love the EU. However, whenever they have tried this (as per Cleggy of late) they have failed miserably and so they continue to lie and deceive their way to making their fellow countrymen vassals of the EUSSR. Enough is enough.

Anonymous said...

Great post Denis.

For me the ongoing lies of our very own politicians (Mr 7% Clegg is a good example) is the most worrying thing.

If the Con/Lib/Lab parties really want to hand over more sovereignty to the EU then I would suggest that they are incapable of leadership and do not have the confidence and ability to lead us.

In which case they should disband themselves as political parties and ask us to vote for the EU directly.

Free trade = YES
Sovereignty = NO
Vote for the main 3 UK political parties = NO


Rik said...

Looks like Labour is coming under severe pressure. Which will mean that they as expected will have to move on referenda and that sort of things.
If Farage attacks them properly on: no clear policies on all the main issues; the lack of democracy in their views; and a pinch of incompetent Mr Ed a lot can still be done there as well.
More than half of the traditional voters of parties like Labour are as culturally conservative (or even more) than those of the Conservative or IP camp (and as big immigrationfans).
And as with the Conservatives (even more than those in fact) disconnected from the party leadership.
Nationally the Labour camp should be split by letting them make a choice between entitlementholders (he probably does that) and traditional support (tax paying workingclass). Make clear that one will have to be thrown before the bus (or both with only their left leg).
Ed cannot make strategic choices. Probably like with the EU makes a mess of the process to start with. Looks undecided (and un PM like).
Splitting Labour and Tories also mean a lot of extra seats for the others even when percentages do not rise. But they will as well on top of that as often people voted a big party to have their vote counted. When that is gone smaller parties will gain.

Defence mainly by the media (probably eager now their readership is changing political parties to have them change newsmedia as well) is completely pathetic. Works counterproductive at best.
The media still donot grasp that only 10-20% of the electorate think Guardianistic (and the rest has more or less enough of them).
While half the country think much more like yourself.
They might not like it (well that is for sure) but real votes count not fictional Florence Nigtingale ones.
The only thing that needed to happen was to get organised (that seems to be solved now).

Cameron was very late. He probably could have turned the tide if he had gotten head first in and remained totally coherent on the EU referendum issue. Plus started no other controversial stuff for his voterbase. Plus a much higher profile on this (you get that automatically when you make referenda top of your list (media will follow).
That is the weakness of Labour as well. Cameron came up with something coherent. Labour is a much bigger mess and a market not yet properly developed. Looks really like the ideal target at the moment.
Eg try to go for an EU debate with Mr Ed for instance as the 2 leading candidates. He has a position that is as crap as Clegg's.
Probably refuse that with some bogus reason which will work as well.

As said before guys like Clegg are your friends and Mr Ed also looks like a new friend in the making.
But I really have to say Denis you keep some dodgy company.

Rik said...

A bit on the sideline of this one.
Last couple of weeks have seen some (partly) unexpected developments that might play an important role in the future.

1. Rise of IP
I always said that I wouldnot be surprised when IP would win the EP elections. Most people will have thought that was very optimistic.
However it start to look that I wasnot even optimistic enough.
And what is probably at least as important is it is putting IP on the map as a normal party and a real alternative.
This simply changes the political landscape in the UK.
What it also brings more to the forefront is the question how IP voters should be communicated with.
Via which media? The traditional media simply missed this one completely. Could well end up as requiring a more alternative way.
And how? The racist-calling strategy of the traditional media was simply a complete disaster (worked basically counterproductive).
Anyway it is very likely that these voters will be required to give a reneg a proper push (against EU interest); to push a referendum through; and most difficult to vote with a yes obo a hopefully good reneg result.
In a nutshell traditional media likely will not do the job.

2. Traditional media on the way down.
Related with 1). Anyway the power of the traditional media is rapidly going down the drain.
The 2 most clear examples. No1 attack on IP. Incredibly poor to start with, but also in a way that has irritated a lot of people.
More important in spite of all these attacks IP went balistic in the polls. Simply shows traditional media a)havenot got a clue how the world ticks and b)have likely lost contact with at least this part of the population (and we are getting close to 40% thereof now).
Same with the Ukraine. News is overly Westernphile and large parts of the public are simply not buying that. Just look at comments and recommending and thumbs up stuff.
This looks to be partly a similar group as the IP voters but partly also a different one.
Even worse the media seem unable to adjust when their customers clearly have other views.
It might well be that other media will be required to communicate. Simply as many will drop their traditional ones and on top of that traditional media look to become not the way to communicate with large groups of voters and definitely not for convincing them.

You probably need them for more complicated messages however. However seen the poor quality of recent journalism it should probably be largely prefabed. They themselves seem not able to get a difficult message properly on paper. Just look at the technical stuff around Scotland. I havenot seen any simple but still correct fully covering newsitem on the technical points. Story was always way too complicated. And proper analysis were nearly always lacking.

Rik said...


3. Position Conservatives
Basically they have themselves to blame for IPs success. Cameron messed it up, badly managed excercise.
The worst thing that could happen is put IP permanently on the map and that happened.
Opens all sort of questions:
-how about the next election?
-how to reneg?
-how at the end sell the result. As said before if you have Hague selling a reneg result you can as well stop right away. IP voters are in no way to buy anything from Hague. And Cameron himself is going hi-speed into the same direction.
In general it takes much too long to react on developments.

4. Position Labour
Farage is now going for them. seem from his angle a very good strategic move. It looks to be working. My best guess it that it will bring in a considerable number of %%, seen the history in Europe. Labour has basically the same problems as the Tories and nearly all populist parties took a lot of their gains from Labour equivalents. Simply as the new parties donot fit in the left-right thing and their main attraction is being a protest party.
Have to see how well Farage does here. he is a bit further than the usual start up populist and on the right.
He is however running a brilliant campaign so likely it will at least be good. Contrast with the rubbish shown by the competition couldnot have been bigger.
Which therefor is a lot better than Milliband who is basically close to crap. It clearly has a lot of potential.
Anyway a substantial gain from Labour will not only get through the whole political system as basically all would have been butchered or close to that, but would also require Labour to adjust their EU views.
Hard to see that they will not have to move pretty close to Cameron. Which would vis a vis the EU be a gamechancer. not that it wouldnot have happened anyway, but that then nobody in the EU could even remotely think a reneg could be solved otherwise.
Plus it could speed up the reneg process as well. Now basically Clegg is blocking a lot of things because of the coalition government.

A lot of things might chance within a very short period of time. Nearly anybody is properly prepared. Very likely the ones that did their homework in advance will have a huge advantage.
This is all so technical and complicated not properly planned and it end like an immigration discussion. A lot of shouting at each other but no step forward now for more than 1 decade.
Overseeing the playingfield when the game itself substantially chances is simply very powerful.

christhai said...

Just reading the article by Open Europe's Pawel Swidlicki - it is tragically clear that Open Europe is governed totally by the EU, in particular, their paymasters in Berlin.

The whole monologue is to brand liberation movements of voters and Parties fed up with the gross and incompetent meddling by an utterly corrupt EU Commission in their national affairs - as - to use the EU rubber stamp words now taken over by OE - populist and extremist.

We have all know that since OE opened its Berlin office it has gone off the rails in terms of being an honest broker.

It simply cannot claim this anymore.

Open Europe has thrown its lot in with the fascist EU.

How sad.