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The European Elections: will you be voting?

Vote in our vote about whether or not you'll vote

Published on June 2nd 2009.

The European Elections: will you be voting?
Yes: - 66%
No: - 34%

In the city that saw people die for the vote in the Peterloo Massacre, why is it that the electorate are not interested in the forthcoming European elections? Are we removed from what is not on our doorstep? Out of sight thus out of mind? Or is it that the parliamentarians across the Channel are a bunch of irrelevant much of muchness?

We mustered a turnout of less than 37 percent in the last European election – a statistic indicative of the voter apathy that is rife amongst the British electorate. Maybe we are entrenched with a subconscious distaste for the EU after they (namely France) refuted our first and second applications for membership in 1961 and 1967, insulting our post-colonial and possibly delusional sentiments, but surely this is not a justifiable reason to not vote at all?

We at Confidential believe the reason may be a little more obvious than this; namely the sheer complexity endemic to the EU. The island mentality we've adopted in our view of the European Union's workings implies we're disinclined to try to understand what the EU means for us; as soon as talk starts about constitutions and institutions, we switch off. This time though, we cannot afford to.

The expenses scandal has tarnished our trust in representative democracy and with accusations that Westminster's expenses pale in comparison to the 'gravy train' that MEPs are afforded, little wonder we are disillusioned. Like scavengers smelling a decomposed corpse, the BNP are rubbing their hands at the political capital they feel is up for grabs. They're playing on the concerns of civilised folk with claims they represent a 'new way', and they're making themselves known for what they hate rather than what they embrace (FYI: White British).

Voting the BNP in the European elections will lead to them joining the parliamentary party that boasts other European extreme parties including one led by Mussolini's granddaughter who claims that, “It is better to be a fascist than a faggot”. Let us hope that the expenses scandal does not constitute what sociologist Norbert Elias described as a disturbing incident that triggers decivilisation.

Confidential are firm believers in 'knowledge is power' and have provided a run-down (some might say an idiot's guide) to the mainstream parties' policies.

Green Party
Dubbed a 'love and peace' party, the Greens believe that the EU should fight harder against climate change in the midst of an environmental crisis. To become more prosperous and sustainable, Green Party leader Caroline Lucas champions a smaller economy and 'less stuff' to achieve a Better Britain. Other policies include abolishing the monarchy, legalising drugs for personal use, leaving NATO, and legalising brothels.

UKIP are staunchly anti-Europe, arguing Britain would fare better apart rather than as part of the EU. Labelling the Euro an 'economic prison' they are self styled 'anti-politicians' who believe the UK should return to being an independent, self-governing nation. UKIP want the golden carrot of trading with the EU but to relinquish our membership.

Liberal Democrats
Occupying the opposite end of the EU issue to UKIP are the LibDems, who believe that we are 'stronger together, poorer apart'. Their pro-EU prowess is surprising for a party that is often viewed as gathering splinters on their derrierès from sitting on the fence. LibDem MEP leader Chris Davies is 'championing reform' of MEPs' allowances and expenses, not through antipathy to the EU but through the love of it.

Like the LibDems, the Conservatives believe in a reformed EU, but not of the same kind. Arguing for 'leaner bureaucracy', Conservative MEP leader Timothy Kirkhope wants a 'different kind of EU' that is not stifled in institutions and constitutions such as the controversial Lisbon Treaty. Tories being Tories, there is a rebel in the midst in the shape of Daniel Hannan who is garnering support from within with his anti-EU, off message sentiments.

Actively working towards further integration with the EU, group leader of the Labour MEPs Glenis Willmott is trying to shake off Britain's image as the 'awkward partner' across the Channel. Aligned with the LibDems' mantra of 'stronger together' and against the Conservative's proposals for change, Labour believes that being part of the EU gives the UK a platform and promotes Britishness on the international stage. They champion an EU president, but one suspects Brown would not vote for Blair. Oh, the injustice.

All that is left to say from us is: Happy Voting!

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33 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

JonJune 2nd 2009.

More cheese from Europe

DescartesJune 2nd 2009.

To be honest I don't see the point. I certainly don't view it as a wasted vote in the way that not voting in a general election would be. As a populous we're told little to nothing about what happens in Europe, it's all clandestine and secret, and the only real thing we get told is that our laws have to change to suit the groups. We should have joined the The NAFTA, not the EU.

Don't waste your voteJune 2nd 2009.

Vote Libertas, the only party which is Europe wide and trying to end the gravy train of MEP's. They have some good videos on their site and on YouTube.

CastlefieldJune 2nd 2009.

Why can't we really embrace the EU stuff, take advantage of the no borders working laws and import our MP's and MEP's? I think we'd end up with rich business people trying to 'buy' seats by offering the local electorate new parks etc funded by themselves, a bit like they do in Russian politics and President elections at Real Madrid. It's got to be more fun and let's face it what power do our local MEP's have anyway, we may as well get some benefit.

spicyJune 2nd 2009.

Des, I get what you're saying, but people have to get out and vote in these elections because they represent the best chance for the BNP in years and they need to be STOPPED! These cryptofascists will be able to strut around saying they represent US if Griffin gets elected and for that reason alone we all need to get out there and put our cross where it counts. Let's send Griffin back where he came from (he lives in Wales)! I'm a massive fan of the EU in principle, but find it pretty vile. Hence, I am voting LIBERTAS!

vexedJune 2nd 2009.

Really fooked off. My housemate just smugly dismissed every choice on the form before ticking Labour. Why am I vexed? Because she actually doesn't know anything about the majority of the choices and voted thus "because I don't want the Tory twats to get in". Groan...

AnonymousJune 2nd 2009.

Politicians are people too. The recent problems surrounding expenses claims point to systemic failures rather than inherent lack of moral fibre in politicians as a professional body of people. You get rid of the current crop and put Joe and Joanna Bloggs in charge, you can be sure as night follows day that our Joe and Joanna will fall foul of the same pitfalls. People rightly retain a distance and scepticism of their politicians... why not with their journalists - those people whose livelihood depends on finding an 'angle' on a story and filling those column inches. People should take a step back and focus instead on what we elect politicians to do rather than dancing to the media's tune.

Tony Benn's lovechildJune 2nd 2009.

Why is it then, that some MPs claim very little, whereas others (the ones in the headlines at the mo) claim for quite outrageous expenses? Some uphold the spirit of the law, others work around the edge of the letter of the law!

Mark Garner, the PublisherJune 2nd 2009.

I think that like any institution that doesn't police it's expenses properly, there will be a number of bad apples that will abuse the system and when eventually caught, then they should be prosecuted like the rest of us. Having said that there are honest mistakes, and clearly Darling made one, for six or seven hundred quid. Then, he is tried by the press who of course love it and trial by the press is every bit as ugly and self serving as fiddling expenses knowingly and thats my opinion as a member of the press. This has been a great excercise that has gone way too far. The next question, given that a trainee solicitor straight out of Uni can expect nearly forty grand, is it unrealistic to expect one of the most important jobs in the country to offer fifty-odd? We don't want to return to the days when only union-funded nutcases and chinless wonders out of Eton are lookin after our affairs. I say the best for the job gets it and we make sure their salaries are commensurate with the pressure and aggravation that comes with the position.

CastlefieldJune 2nd 2009.

What twaddle anon. Is it a systematic failure when someone buys a duck pond or pays for their husband's porn films? People will bend rules in any environment but it's one thing ordering the most expensive food and wine on a menu because work are paying for it and totally another redecorating your whole house and flipping your main residence to claim the most expenses and avoid tax. It is also not possible for a lot of these crooks to be brought to account by the electorate as they are in such safe seats they could get away with anything. So the only way to shame them and begin their demise is through media. They have not 'fell foul of pit-falls' that's a joke surely! It's time for a new breed of politicians who are career focused and at the top of their game rather than the collection of trade unionists, eton boys and public sector noneties we have at the moment. People with charisma who catch the attention of the electorate, not just names on ballot sheets that are irrelevant because people just go for red or blue or yellow. The whole system needs shaking up from top to bottom including local councils, it would be interesting if Marc Ramsbottom who reads this publication could shed light on his and his colleagues expenses. When the cabinet which is supposed to be the cream includes such people as Hazel Blears, Douglas Alexander, Ed Miliband, Shaun Woodward et al we have no chance. When Alistair Darling has to get us to pay someone to give hime him tax advice, we have no chance. And if you want a real life, have a look at what the members of the cabinet did before becoming an MP and decide yourself if you think this justifies their status.

CastlefieldJune 2nd 2009.

Mark, they earn 65K plus 'expenses' and a brilliant gold plated pension just not available anywhere else. They even continue to earn after being de-selected or un-elected.

emma graceJune 2nd 2009.

I think the majority of them have blatently took the p1ss, and should have the book thrown at them. But not Darling. I really doubt that if he was going to try and swindle some money out of the system, he'd waste his time with £700. What use is £700 to him? Having said that though, given his position..............

CastlefieldJune 2nd 2009.

Emma, what cocerns me more re Darling it not that he got us to pay for his tax advice, but that he needed it! Surely he should have of a good grasp of these things?!

Mark Garner, the PublisherJune 2nd 2009.

Castlefield, 'Expenses' shouldn't be 'Expenses', but expenses. That is, not perks but covering genuine out of pocket expenses for doing the job. Therefore they are on £65k, a mid range solicitor's salary. They should be on £125k for that position, therefore not being put in the position as journalists used to be, 'salary not too good me old mate, but, by Christ, you can hammer those expenses!'

CastlefieldJune 2nd 2009.

Mark, cabinet members are on much much more and I'm not sure anyone really believes that MP's are worth more than mid-range solicitors. Hazel Blears, who I would guess is on over 100k, was a junior solicitor before joing the council and then becoming an MP. I think the current salary plus the amazing not-available-anywhere-else pension, continuing wage when de-selected etc is enough for now.

Mark Garner, the PublisherJune 2nd 2009.

Castlefield, an MP who does the job properly is worth far more than a junior solicitor. One who doesn't isn't worth anything at all. If you want an answer to this mess, it is his pay scale, full stop. Gold plated pensions mean little to shrp late twenty year olds. Old men like me know these things ;-)

AnnaJune 2nd 2009.

It is important to vote in these elections to stop the BNP! End of discussion.

BNP =June 2nd 2009.

Blatant Nazi Plonkers

CastlefieldJune 2nd 2009.

Before the backlash I am not a BNP supporter, do not agree with their views and find the whole thing vile. However we live in a democracy and it's up to each individual who they vote for, whether we like that or not and usually I don't. I do not think it is for people to disregard votes for the BNP as protest votes but work out why people may vote that way and deal with it. The current 'vote anyone to stop the BNP' could backlash as it may bring more borderline BNP supporters out to vote. I think voting to just stop one party is futile and undemocratic, who do you vote for in that case? Do you vote for Labour even though you may find their policies awful, just because they've got the best chance in a certian seat against the BNP? If you are a usual Labour voter in an area where the BNP could beat Labour, but want to vote Lid Dem or another, are you somehow culpable if the BNP beat Labour? I hazard a guess that door knockers for Labour and others in these seats are using the BNP card to guilt people into voting for Labour and co.

rufus t. fireflyJune 2nd 2009.

vexed, I bet she watched Britain's got talent as well. am I right?

KellyJune 2nd 2009.

No Castlefield. You vote for some one who is not against women and the colour of some ones skin. I half understand where you're coming from, but I do think more people should be aware that there is a good chance the BNP are going to get two seats. Surely, if people are realising this, this should encourage them to vote and encourage them to make a responsible educated vote.

CastlefieldJune 2nd 2009.

So if you're a true blue tory in a seat that's marginal Labour/BNP, are you wasting your vote for the Conservative party? By not voting for the only party with a cat in hells chance of beating the BNP (Labour) are you by proxy helping the BNP?

east lancsJune 2nd 2009.

I agree with both of you. Kelly is bob on, but Cas is unfortunately right; until we get a more representative voting system (sod PR, STV works though), we have to use tactical voting to keep these morons out. So yeah, Kelly is 100% right, but sadly the current system is far from 100%.

Castlefield TooJune 2nd 2009.

Castlefield - Thursday's Euro election is on a Proportional Representation system, not the 'First Past the Post' system used in national and local elections. Therefore any vote other than BNP reduces the chances of the BNP being elected; there's no need for tactical voting. Understandably the electorate, antagonised by the expenses scandals, is tempted not to vote, but this will only play into the hands of the BNP. There won't be enough time on Thursday to resolve the expenses issue, but there will be enough time to vote for a candidate who is not going to stir the foul flag of racist blame, tension and persecution. Let's hope Diversity wins again.

Castlefield TooJune 2nd 2009.

I should have added that the Euro Constituency is the whole of the North West; we're all counted together. So even if you're normally in one of the safest seats in the country you won't be tomorrow. Yes, it is worth voting. Amazing we even ask the question in Manchester!

AnonymousJune 2nd 2009.

Castlefield - no. Think about it. There are bad apples in any organisation. those that will bend the rules, break the rules take liberties and so on but by and large those are in the minority. MPs are no different. The vast majority of the examples that have provoked this rather disingenuous moral indignation. Innapprorpiate use of public finances - almost certainly - but does it mean politicians are inherently less moral than the rest of us? Of course not. So I would implore you - do not be taken in by media spin. Why on earth should one not vote for a mainstream party based on an assessment of their ability to effectively deliver public services. Unthinking abject cynicism is just lazy.

CastlefieldJune 2nd 2009.

I obviously don't understand the Euro elections rules, which is my ignorance. However if I, as a person with a passing interest in politics, doesn't understand them then surely a lot of people don't! But thanks for correcting me, I may now even vote - I hope my doodled upon voting card will be accepted!

CastlefieldJune 2nd 2009.

For clarity that was directed at the wise Castlefield too and not anon who is talking twaddle again. Anon I expect my MP's to nop attempt to rip off the state, at no point have I suggested against voting for a mainstream party. Not reading rants and then commenting on them is lazy.

jaybeeJune 2nd 2009.

Well, another fair and balanced report....I don't think.I always laugh at those UAF spotty teenager type students who join the SWP as rabid 'socialists' and when they grow up they realise what silly plonkers they were.The voting is over, the people have decided, not including the many cases of voter fraud and theft.If I said those who fly abroad on holiday are on a par with thugs who stab people I would be ridiculed. So who actually said these reidiculous words? None other than Green Fuhrer Caroline Lucas! Fruitcakes the lot! UKIP, £2 million in 'allowances' for Question Time regular Nigel Farage, well it does have to promote him, or her, and in fact anyone other than the BNP.I hope all you leftie apologists for Stalin's Gulags, where 30 million perished, have egg on your faces come Sunday night.The media and leftie journo's should all be ashamed of their collective lies and blatent smears against a legal political party.One question...where was the Communist candidate? Yeah right.Too negative to put REAL policies to the electorate, so they join the £abour Party front group UAF.Don't worry, they will grow up...eventually.

jaybeeJune 2nd 2009.

Just another quickie.Passing a couple of Greens trying to offload their 'please don't vote Nick Griffin' leaflets in Piccadilly yesterday I asked them why anyone should vote for them when I read in the Evening News that their leader calls holiday makers thugs who stab people.... her reply? You don't believe everything you read in the papers do you? No I don't...I voted BNP! Wonderful to see her spotty lettuce based face drop!

east lancsJune 2nd 2009.

Jaybee, nobody believes the BNP spin because we've all seen countless undercover exposes of the vile, facist filth that pervades the upper echelons of the party. Well done for buying into THEIR hype though.

Stuart AdamsonJune 2nd 2009.

What's the use of voting in the EU elections. We voted for MEPs, members of the EU parliment. They carry NO power in Europe. The power lies with the commision, which is unelected. Once the Lisbon treaty is ratified, the EU ceases to excist and the state of Europe comes into being, complete with constitution and president (again un-elected) England will be no more independent from Europe than California is from the USA. Ireland is in a mess, economically and the EU has hung a huge carrot for them to vote yes. These elections were a con.

Stuart AdamsonJune 2nd 2009.

What's the use of voting in the EU elections. We voted for MEPs, members of the EU parliment. They carry NO power in Europe. The power lies with the commision, which is unelected. Once the Lisbon treaty is ratified, the EU ceases to excist and the state of Europe comes into being, complete with constitution and president (again un-elected) England will be no more independent from Europe than California is from the USA. Ireland is in a mess, economically and the EU has hung a huge carrot for them to vote yes. These elections were a con.

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