This blog is a political blog from a left-of-centre perspective. This is not specifically a party political blog, but does have a Lib Dem orientation. Constructive enagement with radical liberals, social democrats / democratic socialists and greens is particularly welcomed.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A lone Liberal voice critical of the EU ?

This year sees the EU parliamentary elections and I'm not intending to be active at this time.

Now, I am not some swivel-eyed anti-European little Englander with nasty nationalist tendencies like many in the Tory party, UKIP or the BNP. I accept a good number of EU directives have had a positive impact upon this country, but as an institution it's centralising and undemocratic nature seems contrary to liberal values. That failed and unelected British politicians like Kinnock, Mandelson and Patten have had more say in the direction of the EU than elected parliamentarians seems an absurdity to me. That power is removed further away from the people it alleges to represent and decisions taken are often at odds with the political compass of individual member states jars with me greatly. Ever more qualified majority voting will only exacerbate matters.

Previous referenda where the political establishment has been defeated (such as in Ireland) only leads to further polls to 'correct' such outcomes. Yuk ! In short, to me, liberalism and the EU seem strange bedfellows.

Apart from Nick Harvey (I think) are there any other well known figures who are agnostic or sceptical as to the direction of the EU within the Lib Dems ? Anyone else on Libdemblogs feel this way too, or am I in a minority of one (again) !



Blogger Tristan said...

You're not alone.
I am very skeptical of the direction of the EU, and not for the swivel eyed natioanlist reasons which seem to dominate other parties as well.

I'm pretty sure Jock Coats is fairly skeptical too, and I recall Nich Starling being very outspoken on the issue...

8:53 pm GMT

Anonymous James said...

It's quite interesting that the old Liberal Party is opposed to the EU in its current form as well as being opposed to the Euro; I think they see it as being monothitic and undemocratic.

9:03 pm GMT

Blogger David Cox said...

Barry, I think you’ll find Richard Younger-Ross has doubts, as do I. But some of the lies that UKIP et al come out with are simply ridiculous. So if you’re not doing anything in Torbay, you will be very welcome to come and help this Lib Dem county councillor facing elections in June!

9:27 pm GMT

Blogger Barrie Wood said...

It is monolithic and undemocratic as far as I can see !!

9:28 pm GMT

Blogger Jock Coats said...

No disagreement here. I blogged about it last year during the candidate selection process.

However, I notice now that even libertarians like Sean Gabb are arguing that being run from Brissels may be better than the recent crop of incumbents in Downing Street, that it does at least have structures in place that theoretically ought to restrict member states' excesses. And I'm certainly beginning to agree on that - not as a permanent solution perhaps!

10:26 pm GMT


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