What became clear was that Cameron and the Tories are more focused on structure and prefer to keep talking about treaties and referenda and that their view of foreign policy remains stuck in the 19th century. Everybody (like Cameron) who says with a straight face “in Europe and not run by Europe” knows nothing about how decision making on the EU level works. If the other 26 partners would follow Camerons advice and say in Brussels what they are saying in Brest, to say in Brussels what they are saying in Brindisi, to say in Brussels what they say in Braunschweig or Bratislava, … or as Cameron wants to say the same in Brussels what he is saying Bristol (well in Brussels he can say it to the Kaminsky’s of this world and the other extreme right-wingers the Tories chose to ally themselves with in the European Parliament after snubbing Merkel and Sarkozy) – Europe will cease to work. The common challenges we face are more important than petty squabbles about where best decisions to solve them are made. Climate Change and post crisis recovery needs cooperation on a global stage. European people can have a stronger voice on shaping global outcomes when working together.
Cameron repeated his nonsense on what’s needed is political will not institutions. Firstly, its him who was talking about institutions and Brown and Clegg were talking about content on Europe. Secondly, it required immense political will post WW2 and subsequently to build common institutions to facilitate co-operation and more efficient decision making.
The Tories seem to believe that European integration and cooperation is a zero-sum game. If Germany benefits from a specific measure, does everybody else suffer for it? No, we are all interconnected and if a members-state on the continent would suffer economically, the UK would be effected and vice-versa. As EU-citizens we share a multitude of values and interests. Insisting on dividing each other along national lines does not make sense anymore in an increasingly interdependent and globally interconnected world.
What also became clear during the debate is that the differences between Labour and LibDems on Europe are minimal compared with the gulf that divides both form the Tories.
On Saturday April 24th the Labour Movement for Europe together with the UK Branches of PES sister parties (German SPD, French & Portuguese Socialists, to name but a few) & Labour Friends of Italy are going to Poplar & Limehouse to campaign and help re-elect Jim Fitzpartick MP.
With so many undecided voters that close to the elections, every door knocked, every letter delivered, every hand shook and every conversation had can make all the difference especially in three-way marginals.
Jim faces a double euro-sceptic threat in his constituency. George Galloway’s Respect Party seems to think of Europe as an irrelevance. They didn’t even field candidates in the European Elections last year. The real threat, however, is that the euro-ignorant Respect party wins enough Read the rest of this entry
On April 24 right across Europe, progressives and activists from the Party of European Socialists (PES) will be participating in a day of action to call for an international financial transaction tax. Play your part in the London event of this Pan-European Campaign Day.
We’ll meet at 10am at 11 Market Way, E14 6AH next to Chrisp Street Market.
[It's close to All Saints and Langdon Park DLR stations - the Bus Number 15 also goes there.]
The financial crisis has already cost 7 million Europeans their jobs. The cost of the bail outs and intervention measures has been estimated by the PES to have cost each European €6,000 in extra public debt by the end of 2011.
Over the last 15 years, the number of financial transactions has increased by 450%. We are therefore calling for a financial transaction tax, (sometimes known as a ‘Robin Hood’ or ‘Tobin’ tax) of 0.05%, so that this massive flow of money, produces more social good.
A small tax on these transactions could help fund public services and help the world meet the UN Millennium Development Goals, to ensure that as we re-build our economy, we all benefit from this growth.
You can find further information on the European campaign is at: http://europeansforfinancialreform.org/
Please watch ‘The Vandal Banker’ and see where else in Europe FTT activities will take place. http://www.pes.org/en/financial-transaction-tax/pes-european-day-of-action
10:30 – 11:30 Event:
leaf letting passersby, taking pictures and recording short clips to upload to the PES Action Day website. Play your local part in a Pan-Eurpean event with a global goal.
We will be joined by Jim Fitzpatrick MP and Claude Moraes MEP and are expecting considerable media interest in the event.
To RSVP and to request further information on the social, environmental and macro-economic benefits of a financial transaction tax please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call David Schoibl on 07976 252 768.
I had a really enjoyable day of campaigning in Hammersmith. I even managed to get sunburnt in the process for the first time this year. It was great to catch up with German and US American comrades I met the Saturday before when we were out for the campaign launch of Sadiq Khan in Tooting. It was also great to see French, Italian and Portugues friends again, who were also out in Tooting and or in Islington on March 20. And to meet so many new PES sister party activists. As on the Saturdays before parliamentary and local candidates as well as everybody in the local Labour party made us feel welcome and at home right from the start.
Hammersmith can really do with 4-5 more years of Andy Slaughter MP and a Labour Government. Having seen the effects of the socially divisive policies this Tory run Council has been advancing, you can only wish for all the local citizens that Labour will be able to wrestle back control locally as well on May 6.
I am just worried about this new tribal confidence I have detected amongst Lib-Dem voters. Clegg’s perfomance in the leaders’ debate on ITV and subsequent polling results seem to have made them immune to the Tory squeeze message (As in “this is a Labour-Tory marginal, by voting Lib-Dem you let the Tories in”) So is Clegg’s success this Thursday a blessing in disguise for Cameron? Let’s hope not. Because we all know what the Tories stand for and not only in terms of their position on Europe.