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Showing posts from May, 2014

It's the fees, stupid

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(Yes, that's my real signature)

Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems ran an admirable European election campaign. It is clear what they stood for in leaflets and in broadcasts: "the party of in", in their well-honed words. Clegg was even prepared to take Farage and UKIP on directly in two TV debates. For people who believe, the disaster of the Euro project notwithstanding, that the EU is a good idea, here was a party prepared to make that case bravely and forcefully.

Labour, by contrast, had nothing to say on Europe. Literally nothing: their election leaflets were concerned only with domestic issues, and they bizarrely chose not to attack UKIP at all, despite the open goal that their "Thatcher on steroids" worldview presents, not least in areas in the North where they are now challenging Labour's traditional strongholds. I admire Ed Miliband in many ways, but it's hard to argue that their campaign this time round was anything other than dismal.

And yet I couldn&…