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Tag Archives: EP2014

The new British policy on the European Union: scapegoats and crossed fingers

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The European election fallout continues to amaze. In Brussels, Strasbourg and national capitals, the consequences of historic and contemporary decisions are working their way through the system. Jean-Claude Juncker’s election to Commission President might have been a shoe-in, but he still had 250 votes against him and the maths suggested that not all his grand coalition supported him. As […]

A new European Union, or just more of the same?

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Cynicism comes easily: to watch the events of this week unroll has been to see every cliche of European integration at play. Backroom deals, grandstanding eurosceptics, scapegoating and general ignorance – sadly, an all too common sight in and around the EU. Rather than wallow in this, I would rather try to step back and […]

Respecting voters’ ‘mistakes’: The EU and euroscepticism

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I’m just back from Montreal, where I was invited by the EU Centre of Excellence at the Université de Montréal and McGill University to participate in a roundtable on the European elections. My plan was simple: to go and talk about how well eurosceptic parties of different stripes had done, but how they were likely to be […]

I love the smell of democracy in the morning…

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It’s voting day here in the UK, so I’m off to the polling station to exercise my democratic rights. When I vote, I’ll be choosing who represents me in the world’s only supranational, directly-elected Parliament, a body that speaks for half a billion people. And because of a decision made some 15 years ago, there’s […]

Will 2015 see the end of UKIP?

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It’s almost Easter, so it is also time for the Political Studies Association annual conference, held this year in Manchester. I had the great pleasure of sitting on a roundtable on UKIP with Rick Whitaker, Phil Lynch and Matt Goodwin, where we discussed the party’s support, strategy and organisation: much debate ensued. We’re producing a series of blog posts […]

Starting a debate on Europe? Clegg v. Farage

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Despite the usual embarrassment of riches that I could cover, today I’m going to build on some of the thoughts that I discussed some weeks ago, regarding the LibDem’s strategy for the European Parliament elections. During the past weeks, we’ve seen Nick Clegg offer - and Nigel Farage accept - to have a public debate on things European, which will have […]

How to sell Europe? #whyiamIN and the coming British debate

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For some time now, the Liberal Democrats (and other pro-EU groups) have been trailing the use of the #whyiamIN hashtag as a hook for a campaign in favour of British membership of the Union. This week saw that step up a level with the launch of a new website (www.amillionjobs.org), with a centrepiece video by Nick Clegg used as […]

Does UKIP need a manifesto?

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At one level, the denunciation by UKIP’s leader, Nigel Farage, of the party’s 2010 General Election manifesto as ‘drivel‘ at the end of last week merely confirms the image of plain-speaking, see-as-they-find types, unafraid to change tack as they develop. Certainly, it’s almost impossible to imagine any other party leader (and not just in the […]

Is the EU going to hell in a handcart?

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Let’s assume that our readership is intelligent enough to know the answer to this question is ‘probably not’, but you’ve been drawn in by the phrasing. Let’s also assume that the question isn’t totally ridiculous, i.e. that the EU has some kind of problem, at the very least at the level of how it is perceived. Certainly, […]

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