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



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarStephen Tall 2nd Oct - 3:19pm
    @ Fiona White - the devolution questions are ahead of the Centre for Cities fringe meeting highlighted above, focusing on the urban battlegrounds. I'm sure...
  • User AvatarJohn Roffey 2nd Oct - 3:15pm
    @ Eddie Sammon I wasn't disagreeing with your proposal or its sentiment. However, if the Tories do mange to win a majority, particularly with the...
  • User AvatarJerry Lonsdale 2nd Oct - 3:15pm
    Balls made the proverbial when he was the Children's minister back in the days, if he laid out the foundations correctly the house would not...
  • User AvatarCaracatus 2nd Oct - 3:10pm
    Great result - still a few people in the party capable of campaigning rather than just electioneering. Well done.
  • User AvatarRichard Dean 2nd Oct - 3:10pm
    Going to a conference is expensive and unusually disruptive of other social activities - activities that political action ought to be protecting. So, the present...
  • User AvatarEdward Reach 2nd Oct - 3:09pm
    Matthew, where is the book being presented as representing the authoritative Liberal Democrat position?