Thursday, 4 June 2009

Euro Elections today

I'm up early today, having a coffee and preparing for the long day ahead. I love the buzz of elections, so the caffeine's not even that necessary! The only frustration is that we have to wait until Sunday for the count, and until Monday for the full result - the Western Isles don't conduct their count on the Sabbath.

There's also a couple of by elections today in Anniesland-Drumchapel and Bishopbriggs, and I wish our two great candidates, Martin Docherty and Denis Johnston all the very best.

I always feel the European elections are a great time to talk about independence in Europe, and how Scotland should be making it's mark on the world. Other independent nations around our size have double the representation we have, allowing them to do even more to represent their citizens.

Independent nations also have the huge advantage of being able to fight their cause in the Council of Ministers, being a full party to the important discussions which effect us. At present, the UK Government gives us no entitlement to even be on the delegation. This means Scottish interests can be neglected and traded off for the 'greater' UK interest - and since a lot of powers are devolved to the Scottish Parliament, I feel that the Scottish interest is something some UK Ministers will know little about in the first place. We need to be in the room, fighting our corner, as every normal nation state does.

I look forward to seeing you at the polls today - if you want to help, give me a call or email!


Anonymous said...

Gaun yirsel.....

Simon said...

Hmmm it seems the SNP did badly in those by elections, labour holding on to one and winning the two from the SNP. Thats good news isnt it.

Scotland as an independent nation in the EU would have a weaker voice than it currently has as part of the UK. The UK is the second biggest net contributor to the EU budget, it has the 2nd or 3rd biggest economy in the EU.

You may like to live in a dream world thinking every member state is equal, but you know full well France and Germany carry huge influence because their size.. The UK is one of the only nations capabale of withstanding their bullying.

Ted Harvey said...

"Scotland as an independent nation in the EU would have a weaker voice than it currently has as part of the UK".

That's a joke? It is isn't it??? I mean, The hardly aubible voice that Scotland had in the EU has at lerast improved since the SNP came into power.

Meantime, oh yes, Scotland has a stronger voice as a result of being in the UK... that will be the UK that is now listed by virtually all reputable analysts as one of the worst post-credit-crunch disaster economies in the EU alongside Spain and Ireland.

And of course let's not forget that another benefit of Scotland being in the UK has been just about one of the worse health and poverty records of any of the longer standing members of the EU.... yes, yes, let's not all endanger that with any talk of leaving the UK!

joe90 kane said...

The UK is one of the only nations capabale of withstanding their bullying. -
- But the 'UK' can never resist the opportunity to brown-nose the Yanks.
Blair couldn't do enough to prostrate himself before Bush and the rest of the gang of international war criminals that run the American government.

How is the 'war' in Iraq and Afghanistan getting on?
Found any Iraqi WMD yet, or can't you remember that the UK has no independent foreign policy apart from following its orders from Washington?

As far as I can tell, whenever there has been an opportunity to send Scottish officials and democratically elected Scottish representatives to any of the various EU bodies, for whatever reason, the UK government has never bothered its backside to even consider the matter. It simply sends out faceless Whitehall beaurocrats and the like who have no interest or knowledge about Scottish affairs.

This two-faced British hypocrisy can also be seen in issues to do with democratising EU structures. The UK government has done its best to make sure there is as little public transparancy and accountable as possible in the EU.

The UK government claims it stands up for British rights against the faceless unelected eurocrats and diktats from Brussels - but the UK government does its best to make sure the public are as excluded as possible from EU decision making.

Whenever there is social legislation for greater workers rights and such like, the UK government demands an opt-out for the British population. Same with European Human Rights legislation.

The UK government refuses to allow a British referendum on the largely undemocratic EU constitution as it now stands. It seems the British government doesn't trust the British electorate on this vital matter. This is the self-same electorate the British government claims it represents and in whose interests it is fighting - the British government trusts its people so much it won't allow them a vote on a matter which could diminish their own UK sovereignty and ability to decide for themselves what's good for them - handing over power to unaccounatable EU bodies.

Personally, I can't wait for Scotland to be part of the Euro-currency zone.

Brown-nosing the Yanks and refusing British people a say in Europe and preventing them from being the beneficeries of EU social legislation - this is what is known as the UK standing up for our rights!

Sorry for going on.

all the best BB and well done!

Regarding those local by-election results Simon,
it's my understanding the SNP vote actually went up from previous results, and the New Labour vote was down despite the fact New Labour won from the SNP.

I'm not complaining or anything - the more democratically representative an electoral system is the better, as far as I'm concerned.

BellgroveBelle said...

The by elections, as has been said so eloquently, are very difficult to win under STV.

I wouldn't claim for a second that Scotland could just run into the EU and start ruling the roost. I do maintain that Independence would give us more say and the ability to influence the issues which matter to us.

I heard a radio interview with the Finnish Foreign Minister - he said as a small independent nation Finland has all the influence in Europe they require. I'm pretty certain he wouldn't be for swapping with us...