Tag Archives: Norway

The Swiss Wheeze: the Better Off Out argument that’s full of holes

Swiss CheeseIf only we were Switzerland, eh? That’s the dream of the Better Off Out brigade, who long for its freedom as part of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). And it’s a tempting offer: all the benefits of free trade with EU member states, and (if you believe Nigel Farage, Dan Hannan et al) none of the risks.

Except it’s not quite that easy, as The Economist highlighted when it investigated Britain’s options.

photo by: Filter Forge
Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 19 Comments

5 reasons not to assume the FDP wipeout in the German elections will happen here in the UK

fdp germany logoAn amazing result for Angela Merkel, increasing her vote and almost winning an absolute majority for the conservative CDU in her third election. A dire one for the liberal FDP, eliminated from the German Bundestag after failing to cross the 5% popular vote threshold – from 93 seats to 0 in one go. Ouch.

Part of the fun of elections in foreign countries is cherry-picking the bits of confirmation bias that suit our own weltenschaung. “Liberal party wiped out after coalition with centre-right party, eh – you just wait til …

Posted in Europe / International | Also tagged , , , , and | 58 Comments

Opinion: Norway? No way! Why a life on Europe’s periphery is not an option for Britain

Norweigan coastIn Britain’s recent EU debate, it’s clear that the anti-Europeans have been doing most of the running. When they’re not basing their arguments on wholesale lies, they fall back on a mixture of half-truths, assumptions and wishful thinking. One of the best examples is the common claim that Britain can leave the EU but keep trading with the Single Market, ’just like Norway’. A have-your-cake-and-eat-it solution that sounds like the best of both worlds. They highlight the non-EU country’s considerable oil wealth – irrelevant to the membership debate – to drive home their point.

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged | 24 Comments

80 dead in Norway shootings

I’ve been keeping late hours baking but as I was getting ready to turn in, the news began breaking about the extent of the awfulness in Norway. As I write, 80 are confirmed dead at a summer camp for youth members of Norway’s ruling Labour party.

It’s terrible, terrible news, all the more vivid for me for the thought that this meeting must have been a similar sort of thing to the dozens run by our own party over the years. None of us would ever have considered Activate, or a Liberal Youth meeting a target for such an atrocity. …

Posted in Europe / International | Also tagged and | 1 Comment
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  • User AvatarDavid Evans 31st Oct - 5:49pm
    Let's be honest, with no Lib Dems standing in local elections or in the S Yorkshire PCC election, Nick has destroyed this once proud party....
  • User AvatarJohnTilley 31st Oct - 5:45pm
    simon 31st Oct '14 - 3:21pm Aren't you the same simon that last night predicted that UKIP would win in South Yorkshire? What went wrong?...
  • User AvatarJohnTilley 31st Oct - 5:38pm
    Joe Otten Well done for voting and not following the pusillanimous example of our so-called leader. He never appears in by-elections, does not vote when...
  • User AvatarDaniel Henry 31st Oct - 5:28pm
    Ouch indeed! You're more man than me Joe - I think I would have spoiled my ballot, or even stayed at home!
  • User Avatarpaul barker 31st Oct - 5:21pm
    The crucial point is that Labour gained this great victory on organisation, not Politics. An astonishing 80% of the votes cast were Postal votes. Nothing...
  • User AvatarJoe Otten 31st Oct - 5:01pm
    Remember, g, the Sheffield figures are based on 5.5 consituencies, 3.5 of which are safe Labour (though UKIP topped the poll in 0.5 in May,...