Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ferrets in a sack

Another day another party promising to put up candidates in the European Election. At the rate we are going they will have to issue handcarts for voters to get the ballot paper into the booth.

This lot is NO2EU, a pleasantly old-fashioned Marxist trade union organization though with enough sense to adapt the highly successful NO2ID name. Their slogan: "No to EU railway privatization. No to the Lisbon Treaty. Yes to Workers' Rights" reminded me of one very good reason why that 1975 referendum went the way it did - trade unions and their slogans frightened people into voting for Brussels rather than Moscow (as it was then).

They are also worried about the BNP though why I cannot imagine, given how many of their ideas are similar. Unlike other parties they are proposing an "empty chair" policy. Vote for them and, if they win, they will not take up their positions as MEPs. Fair enough but one wonders what on earth that will achieve. A few empty places in the Toy Parliament are unlikely to bring the process to a halt.

One group is getting worried about it. The Jury Team (of whose launch I am in the process of writing) has issued a statement denouncing NO2EU. [No link to the actual press release.]

Sir Paul Judge has pronounced anathema on these upstarts and, in the process, informed us that the Jury Team opposes the Lisbon Treaty. They certainly did not mention it at the launch and the two potential candidates for the Toy Parliament did not seem to have a clue about that. It seems a little illogical since their main platform, if one may call it that, is the need to change the structure of party politics; opposing the Lisbon Treaty is wandering into the content.
While we welcome another voice making the case that the major parties aren’t representing their constituents in Europe, No2EU aren’t serious about changing the status quo or they would have made a commitment to represent their voters in Brussels.

No2EU will not change British politics, or get new people involved. Indeed, they won’t even represent the people who vote for them in the European elections – so why vote for them?

The Jury Team offers a platform for people who are against the Lisbon Treaty to either stand as a candidate or vote for the candidate who supports this policy. The Jury Team offers a way of re-engaging people with politics who have been shut-out by the antics of the major parties.

The Jury Team offers the best hope for putting MEPs in Brussels who are committed to representing the opinions of the British people.
All of which proves that the gifted researchers of the Jury Team have not, as yet, had any time to investigate how the Toy Parliament is structured or what its functions are. They do not have much time.

Meanwhile, is anybody opening a book on how many parties there will be on that ballot paper on June 4?

CORRECTION: We have received a note from the Jury Team's Campaign Manager in which he rightly takes us to task (well, takes me to task) for saying that his party opposes the Lisbon Treaty. The statement does not actually say so. What they say is that they offer a platform for people who oppose the treaty just as they offer (though do not say so in this press release) a platform for those who support it. The only thing they dislike is the fact that members of the Toy Parliament do not represent their constituents. Actually, as anyone who does know about the EU could tell them, they are not supposed to represent them. They are there to promote further integration.