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Ben Chu: Britain's European confusion

Posted by Eagle Eye
  • Friday, 20 November 2009 at 11:29 am
The appointment of the new EU council president and high representative has helped to expose some of the confusion at the heart of the British debate about Europe.

Here's what the Newsnight political correspondent, David Grossman, asked Gordon Brown after the decision:

"Could you explain to the nearly half a billion people in Europe why they themselves...couldn't have made a better selection in voting than these two people that most people in Europe will never have heard of."

Good question. Why didn't European governments throw open the process of deciding the head of the council to the population of Europe in a mass vote? How undemocratic can you get? Oh now I remember: we're told that the last thing anyone in Britain wants is an EU superstate. We want strong nation states.

A very confused man

And then there was Nigel Farage of UKIP on the same programme:

"If I was somone who believed in the European Union... I would have wanted it to have a voice on the world stage. If I'd been head of a European state that believed in the project I would have chosen Tony Blair...Goodness me, we've never heard of these two characters. It's an absolute farce".

Yes, but Nigel the whole point of your party is that you don't believe in the EU project. So why get all indignant about the fact that, in your view, they've chosen non-entities? If the process really was a "farce", shouldn't Europhobes be pleased?

Confusion reigns.

photo: UKIP


Faceless Bureaucrats
bob_idle wrote:
Friday, 20 November 2009 at 05:57 pm (UTC)
Britons have no right to complain about lack of democracy in the EU. Why? Look at the turnout for the European elections. Here

Europarl figures - scroll down

Only when Britons make an effort and make full use the democratic system that is available to them, can they have the moral right to complain when other areas of EU voting are denied to them.

The right wingers like Tony Blair. The pro-Americans like Tony Blair. The pro-Israel lobby like Tony Blair. Luckily other European leaders prefer someone else. Like them I prefer Mr Van Rompuy. Well, he seems OK so far. We don't want a poseur we want a quiet man who gets things done.