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Eurosceptic Bloggers

Monday, April 11, 2005

Don’t Mention the E Word

Have any of you noticed how much the parliamentary candidates can’t stop talking about Europe? No you haven’t have you, I wonder why? The Mother of Parliaments has become little more than a rubber stamp assembly, the kind that exist in countries most likely to be invaded by GW Bush. Yet in this election, very little is being said by any of the parties about this issue. It’s not just me that’s noticed:
At the start of Britain's election campaign, for all the daily sound and fury, there is one word that has barely been heard. Call it the E-word.
Yet with a Conservative party boasting of how it will match Labour’s profligate spending and sacking those talking of creative destruction in the public sector, Europe is one of the few areas where there is clear blue water.
Oddly enough, Europe is one of the more glaring areas of disagreement between the contenders, since the Conservatives - unlike their adversaries - totally oppose British participation in the euro or endorsement of a new European constitution.
But the Tories have been damaged by internal battles over this issue and are determined to keep a lid on it. Making it a big issue might also play into the hands of UKIP. The Labour Government for its part is in the uncomfortable position of backing positions, that it knows the majority of voters reject. It sees the EU as a useful ally in its war against Britain, but is not really that enthusiastic, with a few individual exceptions (MacShame etc.) The Lib Dems are in love with the EU and are trying to hide it. They know that voters, especially in those areas where they compete with the Tories, are likely to jump ship at the mere mention of the Euro. So we have a campaign which ignores the fact that Britain no longer rules itself, or that all the other issues are under strong influence if not direct control of Brussels. Which is why my feelings are going to be so mixed, if as it seems, the French reject the constitution. When will we get a chance to give our verdict on this issue?

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