Now it’s too late, the media are talking about the European Elections. And if they are so important to our national legislature, how come the media allowed the expenses scandal to wreck them?
UKIP, the BNP. Reminds me of this episode. Hungary, Austria and The Netherlands have it far worse. I don’t want to hear wise-after-the-event casualties of the Left blaming Hope Not Hate for doing it wrong, either. It wasn’t the fact that Hope Not Hate called them fascists and Nazis that won the BNP their two seats and nearly a million votes. It was the fact that racism is permitted to exist unaddressed at all levels of British – and European, it seems – society and is readily fomented where there is material insecurity and competition for employment. It’s not coincidence that they gained in the old mill towns. Our good friend’s brother voted for them up Barnsley way.
My contribution to democracy in the coming term of EU Parliament is to link to the charters, manifestos etc of the different groupings within the EU, and which of our MEPs are aligned with which grouping as of June 09.
- Socialist Group (13 seats) – second-largest caucus, includes all 13 Labour MEPs
- Independence / Democracy (13) – includes all 13 UKIP MEPs
- Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (11) – includes all 11 Liberal Democrats
- Greens / European Free Alliance (5) – includes our 2 Greens and one each for Plaid Cymru and the SNP (‘free’ refers to so-called ‘stateless nations’)
- Confederal Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left (1) – the Sinn Fein MEP from Northern Ireland
- Unaffiliated – the 2 BNPs and the 25 Conservatives. The Conservatives seem likely to join with the Czech ODS and the Polish Law and Justice Party in a new conservative grouping
And groupings without UK representation:
- Union for Europe of the Nations
- European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats aka EPP-ED – the largest caucus
I’ve yet to read them. What’s on the cards and how will the MEPs vote? How can we be better European democrats?
There were also elections in Lebanon. The religious supremacist and anti-Jewish Hesbollah, affiliated along with the Syrian National Socialist Party to the March 8th coalition, lost out to Hariri’s more progressive March 14 coalition. Here is a Lebanese political primer, on what looks like an excellent Lebanon elections blog. Lebanon still hangs in the balance, open to be meddled with by outside agents.
Update: The Guardian has a helpful mouseover map of Europe showing the political affiliations of MEPs What the fuck has happened to Italy? Greece is the only state where the socialist caucus leads.