I've visited the EU's election website (filled with dull and worthy headlines such as 'From One Legislative Period To The Next') seeking a list of the candidates standing in my area, and what their manifestos are. Not there. Ah, found a list of candidates at the UK office of the European Parliament. Well I'll ignore the Christian Party "Proclaiming Christ's Lordship", Fair Pay Fair Trade Party and the like and concentrate on the ones I've heard of. It's a bit unfair, but I haven't got all day. I have to choose a single party, and then the seats get allocated according to an unusual system.
Green PartyI've had a look at their list of candidates, and their core policies. The first policy is:
Resist economic globalisation and privatisation. Revive UK manufacturing for a balanced economy.Well they can stop right there. I'm not against economic globalisation or privatisation. Also I wouldn't intervene to help one sector of the economy against another. Maybe I'm being a bit hasty, let's look further down the list:
No single currency. No further centralisation of economic or political power. No EU army.Why rule out the single currency? For the UK to have its own currency is bonkers. I'd like to see an EU army as well, and an EU government! No way am I voting green.
Liberal DemocratsGraham Watson is the first candidate. I'm glad he's supporting the European Grid. Not a word about EU elections on the LibDems UK site. The ALDE group in the european parliament has a list of its top ten policies. Ooh, don't like talk of the 'european social model'. Like the bit about common foreign policy. Point 9 seems to point to tentative support of free trade? The entire list is vague and woolly, but nothing too appalling.
LabourTheir list of issues highlights the importance of the European Social Chapter, something I'm sceptical about. Their health text is good:
From food additives, to dangerous chemicals at work and to free emergency hospital treatment throughout the EU, acting at European level makes a real difference for your health.I suppose that's where socialism comes into its own.
Nearly there, thanks for bearing with me this far...
ConservativesThe Tories are members of the European Democrats. They say:
The ED is expressly committed to democracy, individual liberty, the rule of law, national sovereignty, free enterprise, minimal regulation, low taxation, private ownership, respect and security for every individual and a strong transatlantic alliance.Well that's great, just the party for me! But what about this national sovereignty? I think that's sometimes in conflict with individual liberty. I can live and work anywhere within the EU, and that's a triumph for individual liberty. But it was only possible at the cost of national sovereignty. So sorry ED, until you rid yourself of this 'national sovereignty' hangup, I'll not vote for you.