Sneak Preview of new Party Political Broadcast: #whyIamIn

Tonight, the new Party Political Broadcast will be shown. It has, funnily enough, a very heavy pro EU message, showing the practical reasons we need to be in the EU. We have a sneak preview below.

Nick Clegg says:

Are you IN or are you OUT? That’s the real question at stake at the European elections on May 22nd.

UKIP wants to take Britain out of the EU – even though it would wreck the recovery and destroy jobs. The Conservatives are now openly flirting with exit. And the Labour Party don’t have the courage of their convictions on this – they won’t lift a finger to keep Britain in the EU.

So I am asking you to vote for the Liberal Democrats – the party of IN. IN for the sake of British prosperity and jobs.

OUT means fewer jobs.

OUT makes it harder to catch criminals that cross our borders.

OUT means we can’t work with our neighbours to tackle climate change.

OUT means we pull up the drawbridge and turn our backs on the world.

IN Europe means being in work.

IN means working with other European countries to keep our streets safer and protect our environment.

IN means standing tall in the world because we stand tall in our own backyard.

If you are for IN, make yourself heard. Don’t wait for a General Election. Don’t wait for a referendum. Don’t let anyone put jobs at risk and don’t let anyone throw our recovery away.

Let’s keep Britain prosperous, safe and strong. Be for IN. Vote Liberal Democrat.

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38 Comments

  • Better together – (to coin a phrase)

  • Alex Macfie 5th Feb '14 - 2:41pm

    Of course, it would be better if we talked about what how we, as liberals, want the

  • Alex Macfie 5th Feb '14 - 2:42pm

    Of course, it would be better if we talked about what how we, as liberals, want the EU to look and how our MEPs would help make it look if (re)-elected, rather than about something over which they have no influence whatsoever.

  • I think we should be acknowledging it has major defects and needs to change massively, working together with other European countries, rather than praising it as it is.

    This just makes us sound like it’s alright as it is, which it isn’t. Most people aren’t going to like this and there are very few starry-eyed Euroboosters around these days.

  • The message should be: Why it’s time for a change in Europe. One that only the Lib Dems can deliver.

    Not this stuff.

  • No RC the EU negative criticism is far too strong. If we took your tack we would only add to the Europhobic wall of sound. The message of the need for European nations to work cooperatively would be drowned out.

    In any case , in common with the Tory and UKIP Europhobes, you fail to spell out what you think should change. Naturally we all have our ideas and to that extent Europhobes and Europhiles alike are Eurosceptics. We could for example propose a mechanism for electing a president of the council of ministers in tandem with a deputy who looks after foreign affairs; we might have plans for improving management of agriculture.

    Lib Dems have very little to gain from perceptions that they too are dissatisfied with the EU. I am with Helen Tadcastle on this: the examples were well chosen and the message was clear and distinctive. To people who are supportive of the EU and want it to succeed in raising standards across the continent, this presentation says the Lib Dem party is a natural home.

  • Tony Dawson 5th Feb '14 - 5:58pm

    @Martin:

    ” the EU negative criticism is far too strong. If we took your tack we would only add to the Europhobic wall of sound.”

    Hmmm.

    Are you involved, Martin, in the design and content of media messages in any one of the six or seven towns in this country where the Party has not been absolutely tanking electorally for the past almost three years?

  • David Allen 5th Feb '14 - 6:08pm

    It’s not that the IN message is totally wrong. It has its place. But it’s not balanced. It needs to be balanced, RC has the words for that.

    Without the balance, nobody will listen to the IN argument either, because they’ll just think that the people delivering it have their heads in the clouds and are not to be listened to.

  • jedibeeftrix 5th Feb '14 - 6:43pm

    “The message of the need for European nations to work cooperatively would be drowned out.”

    Martin, surely we can work cooperatively without ceasing to be sovereign nation-states?

  • good to hear the LibDems standing up for principles – they have always been the most pro EU of all parties – excellent broadcast

    Tories used to be pro-EU until they realised how it protected workers and ordinary consumers and so just want to opt out of everything except free trade elements. The EU always more than just free trade (that was the failed EFTA)

    As a very pro-European we need more of this to fight the UKIP and Tory right wing xenophobes

    Here the LibDems should be congratulated for being bold enough to argue against the narrow foolish & cheap little Englander populist voices of certain narrow minded newspapers and stand up for keeping Britain within and at the heart of Europe!

    Whilst the Tories cowtow to the likes of UKIP it’s good to see a party really explaining why we need to stay in Europe!

  • Alex Macfie 5th Feb '14 - 7:04pm

    @Martin: No, having specific ideas about how the EU should look does NOT make anyone a Eurosceptic, any more than having specific ideas about how the UK should look makes one a “UK-sceptic”. This campaign is a farce. Imagine if our 2015 UK general election campaign were fought like this. We would just be saying “Vote for us, we want to stay part of the United Kingdom”, and not mentioning a single specific policy for how we as a party would govern the country.
    The ideaz that being pro-EU means being uncritically supportive of whatever the

  • Reading some comments I’m disappointed – the EU benefits most working people. The tories want reforms e.g. to allow so called flexible working – the EU prevents people working too many hours.

    The EU needs much closer cooperation and an elected parliament with more powers but basically it is a fine organisation as it stands – suggested reforms would merely limit workers rights and limit needed regulation to protect consumers!

  • Alex Macfie 5th Feb '14 - 7:14pm

    [continued] EU does is one that we as a party need to challenge. This campaign seems to passively accept it. We need to get the message across that there are political differences in EU policy (and not just on the constitutional issues, but on ordinary bread and butter issues too), and that by voting in European elections you help shape EU policy.
    Incidentally, the message of “, working together with other European countries” is also wrong for a Euro election campaign, as it implies that MEPs sit and vote as national delegations, when they organise by party group. Like the pro EU message, it’s more appropriate for a domestic election campaign. In the Euro campaign, we should be talking about how we intend to work with other European liberal parties in the EP to promote liberalism in the EU , and work with other European Parliamentary parties to get as much of our liberal vision enacted as possible.
    In essence, we should be fighting this election campaign as we would fight a national general election campaign: on the issues.

  • Eddie Sammon 5th Feb '14 - 7:28pm

    Ha ha, I thought this was really good! The bit about Labour not wanting to lift a finger to keep us in made me laugh. Showing the open trading economy with the shipping was also a nice contrast to the Conservatives.

    Radicalism is more fun, but then it doesn’t appear to get us elected and outrages others :(.

  • jedibeeftrix 5th Feb ’14 – 6:43pm. “… …we can work cooperatively without ceasing to be sovereign nation-states?

    So can we look forward to jbt’s call for removal of the many US military bases which make parts of the UK –“sovereign territory” of the USA ??

  • I appreciate you only have a few minutes during the broadcast, but merely reiterating the standard propaganda is highly disappointing and reveals a lack of understanding of the real situation in the EU.

    OUT means fewer jobs – Sorry, the standard ‘3.5m jobs depend on EU membership’ claim uses data that in some regards dates back to 1990 and assumes all trade with the EU stops entirely on exit, which is not credible. Prof Iain Begg (who wrote this much misquoted report) is on record recently as saying leaving the EU would have no impact on jobs and with regards to the economic cost / benefit balance has said “if anyone tried to do it completely objectively, you would probably find that the economic plus or minus is very small” (2011). I would also point out that with the trade deal South Korea obtained in July 2011 they have access to 98.7% of the Single Market (EU figures) without membership fees.

    OUT makes it harder to catch criminals that cross our borders – If we activate the JHA opt out we can still choose to accept those elements that we want. (ACPO have accepted the vast majority of provisions of this section of the treaty have no impact on British ability to deal with criminality). I would remind the Party that Fair Trials International is now actively campaigning against the EAW due to the repeated miscarriages of justice and impingement on individual civil liberties (Times 15/07/13). Your own MEP Sarah Ludford is on record as raising serious concerns (Euractiv 27/11/13). Similarly Lord Justice Thomas (UK senior extradition judge) has described the EAW as “unworkable in the end” due to the wildly varying standards of criminal justice administration across the EU. (04/11/12)

    OUT means we can’t work with our neighbours to tackle climate change – Why not? Inter-governmental options are still available, just remember the EU is so irrelevant that at the close of the Copenhagen Conference not a single European was in the room when the US, China, Russia Brazil etc decided what deal they would accept.

    OUT means we pull up the drawbridge and turn our backs on the world – The EU represents a small and declining proportion of World trade, yet due to the customs union we are unable to negotiate trade deals with anyone on our own behalf. So membership of the EU actually inhibits our ability to interact with the World.

    IN Europe means being in work – see above.

    IN means working with other European countries to keep our streets safer and protect our environment – see above.

    Reader might like to look at the comments of the British Chamber of Commerce (31/07/13), 17.9% of members want closer ties, 61.4% want to stay in EU but only if its controls are reduced, failing this a majority would want to leave. A view endorsed by Digby Jones ex of the CBI (07/11/13).

    Might I suggest you be more honest and just ask people whether they want to join in the gradual movement towards a single federal state as demanded by the logic of a single currency. Ultimately fulfilling the ambition of Jean Monnet (30/04/52) “Europe’s nations should be guided towards the super-state without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to federation.”

  • jedibeeftrix 5th Feb '14 - 7:49pm

    Does not compute, John. As usual. 🙂

  • Sorry but that was just a load of hogwash. Where is the evidence of the claims made ? Fewer jobs ? Really , Harder to catch foreign criminals ? Not if they cant get in in the first place , Turn our backs on the World ,tackling climate change ? Being Out will not mean cutting links with the outside World , we will not suddenly become a North Korea.

    The liberals should just say it as it is , that they support a Federal Europe , the ever closer political union , the European state . At least we could say they were being honest, this broadcast is not

  • We do need to be really careful about claiming that being in the EU safeguards jobs. Since 2004 when the A8 countries joined, there has been a loss of about half a million jobs of British workers, and an increase of nearly 2 million non-British workers.

    If you are speaking to someone, say a British builder who cannot find work easily because the eastern European builders snap up the jobs via their grapevine, what do you say to him? We need to do more than just wave our arms and talk about the risk of jobs lost if we left the EU. This man has already seen his pay declining and jobs hard to come by. He is primed to vote for UKIP, how do we persuade him otherwise? He may be somewhat annoyed that we are targeting eastern Europeans for votes, the very people as he sees it who have stolen his livelihood. We seem to have some sort of death wish!

    We need to be able to answer the questions that Mrs Gillian Duffy posed to Gordon Brown. Of course I doubt that our members would have described her as a ‘bigoted woman’ as Brown did, nevertheless her questions are still valid to be asked, and we need to be able to answer them accurately and honestly. Any suggestions?

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2010/apr/28/gordon-brown-gillian-duffy-transcript

  • Current polls indicate that we will get 9% of the votes in May, which could leave us with no MEPs at all. This video is too little too late. The message – being the party of ‘in’ is clearly not working. We need to spell out the exact details of why we think leaving would cost us 3 million jobs. Does anybody have a link to the study which this claim is based upon? It needs to be a very robust study, peer reviewed.

  • I am trying to find where the 3 million jobs figure comes from. This is a useful starting point:

    http://fullfact.org/factchecks/Nick_Clegg_3_million_UK_jobs_rely_directly_on_EU-3087

    Is it really wise to be basing our campaigns in 2014 / 15 on a report produced by South Bank University in the year 2000? If it were a report produced by the LSE or Oxford / Cambridge universities within the last couple of years then it would have more credence. I worry that we will end up with egg on our face.

    Does anybody have a more robust and recent source for the 3 million jobs figure claim? To stand any chance of being electorally helpful to us these jobs also need to be demonstrably for British workers. It is of no help to the electorate if the 3 million jobs are taken by foreigners.

    Whatever claims we make need to be robust, otherwise the Eurosceptics will walk all over us.

  • It is only to be expected that non Lib Dem europhobes will contribute to this thread but how can pro Lib Dems argue that voters would favour us if we put forward a rather nuanced form of euroscepticism? Leaving aside the rights and wrongs of the policy and looking merely at the tactical aspect, why choose us? We would be throwing the voters husks while UKIP and most Tories would be giving them the pure juice of the grape. Also, while it is true to say that this election in itself is not about “in or out” surely it is obvious that a major victory for the “outs” will not only disrupt the European Parliament but also fuel the “out” bandwagon as we approach the Westminster election and potential referendum.

    As to the essence of the “in or out” argument, it is clear that the EU needs some reforms/improvements. Indeed the measures necessary to make the eurozone work smoothly will bring inevitable change. While this process continues (and it will take longer than the end of 2017) it is unquestionably in the interests of the UK to be in the forefront of the negotiations. In the meantime look at the enormous advantages the UK enjoys –

    1. Full access to the single market including the likely benefits of the impending European/USA agreement. Even
    limited access following “brexit” would mean acquiesence to all the rules imposed by the EU without any right to set or alter those rules (like Norway).
    2. Continuance and probable growth of the non European companies with a manufacturing base within UK geared to and dependent upon the EU market to which the UK gives them access. Already companies like Nissan and Ford are giving warnings. Ignore these at our peril.
    3. At the same time, freedom to operate our own currency, set our own interest rates etc. While the UK does not have enough clout to rewrite the basic principles upon which the EU is based it definitely has enough clout to remain outside the eurozone unless and until the UK parliament and people say otherwise.
    4. Complete freedom of our people to travel, live and work in any part of the increasing range of countries joining the EU.

    Why on earth would we walk away from a deal like that?

  • Simon Banks 6th Feb '14 - 12:10pm

    If most people don’t like it and 20% do like it, that could boost our vote. Besides, the number of people who’d like to kick the EU vastly exceeds the number who in the cold light of day would vote to leave it, and the message may have helped to make these people think. I thought the PPB was very effective precisely because it stuck to a simple message. I do believe the EU needs reform and we should be in the forefront of seeking that reform, and I don’t see why the Liberal belief in power going to the lowest levels possible shouldn’t apply to the EU, but in this election, with UKIP peddling a simple anti-EU message, we gain nothing through subtlety and ifs and buts.

  • Oh please such, unfounded statistics is what wrecks the credibility of the Lib Dems. As an independent nation we would not have the dictatorial restrictions placed by the EU on us for world and commonwealth trade enabling us to expand and increase our horizons which would increase jobs and prosperity for Britain all round. I notice one thing that Clegg never ever mentions the disadvantages of which Corruption and wastage is one of the many functions of the EU and would you put your money in an organisation which has not passed an audit for 18 years.
    Lib Dems Get Real.

  • jedibeeftrix 6th Feb '14 - 1:09pm

    “Leaving aside the rights and wrongs of the policy and looking merely at the tactical aspect, why choose us?”

    Denis, if all the party has to distinguish it is its europhilia the party has bigger problems than the euro elections.

  • Tony Dawson 6th Feb '14 - 1:36pm

    @jedibeeftrix

    “Does not compute, John. As usual.”

    You’ll just have to save up an buy a decent functioning computer. 😉

  • Tony Dawson 6th Feb '14 - 1:42pm

    @Joe King

    “Since 2004 when the A8 countries joined, there has been a loss of about half a million jobs of British workers, and an increase of nearly 2 million non-British workers.”

    I would point out to you that almost all the ‘migrant workers’ I meet these days have no intention whatsoever to ever leave this land. Their kids are already scousers. They are fully part of the British economy and many of them would have become British citizens by now were it not so massively-expensive so to do. Some still take citizenship, despite the expense. Their employment has expanded the British economy. There are not a fixed number of jobs in any economy except one which is dying on its feet. So, at what point does one start to recognise that the employment of these people is actually ‘British jobs’ to all intents and purposes?

  • Denis,

    Just a few quick points for you

    1. Full access to the single market and benefit of EU / US trade deal. We could have a similar deal as South Korea. Access by EU figures to 98.7% of the single market, no EU fees and the need to apply EU legislation only to those goods that are going to the EU. The overwhelming majority of our economy is not impacted by the single market. The single market applies almost solely to goods, ie 15% of our economy. Two thirds of which are consumed in the UK, so about 5% of our total output is manufactured goods for export, less than half of which goes to the EU. (So approx 2.5% of total output.) We don’t have any say over the rules in the rest of the World but we seem to be able to trade with them. Re the US trade deal, might I remind you of the attempted 1998 New Trans-Atlantic Market Place deal with the US that was torpedoed by France, as was the Mercosur deal with South America. The current negotiations are already facing difficulties in relation to French cultural exceptionalism, GM crops, data protection etc. Given that trade deals have not yet been made with any of the other large economic groups I would not hold my breath. By the way Iceland was able to negotiate its own deal with China in 2013, we are of course prohibited from doing so.

    2. You mention the car industry. The UK is the biggest market for German vehicles, does anyone think the German Government will support an EU move to put tariffs on UK manufactured vehicles given the impact on their own industry? Again South Korea doesn’t have any difficulties exporting Hyundai, Kia, Daewoo etc to the EU (402,000 vehicles in 2012 according to Eurostat).

    3. Every single country in the EU except Denmark and the UK are obliged by treaty to join the single currency, (Including Sweden where the people voted convincingly not to, but they still are legally bound at some point to do so.) Why would anyone believe for one moment that a structure of 26 countries would be concerned at the needs of two countries that are not in the single currency. They will understandably pass laws etc which they need to protect themselves and tell us we should just join them. The only honest position for a pro EU party is to campaign today for UK membership of the Euro rather than say nothing and hope force of circumstance imposes it on an unwilling electorate.

    4. Freedom of travel undoubtedly benefits the individual who move but at great social and infrastructure costs both to the receiving and losing countries. As several contributors above note you still have to explain to Gillian Duffy how it benefits her and her friends who find so many jobs closed to them.

    To those who are asking for a recent source for the ‘3 million jobs’ reliant on membership of the EU, it does not exist. The figure (actually 3.5m) comes from a report commissioned by the ‘Britain in Europe’ pressure group (since closed) from the European Institute at the South Bank University London and published in 2000. The researchers used export figures from 1997 (when UK exports to the 13 EU states amounted to 55.8% of our trade, it has since become less than 50% despite the growth of the EU as we turn to other markets) The import component of exports figure was taken from the 1990 figures as it was the best then available. So your source is using data which is 17 years old but with a vital component which is 24 years old, as is noted, hardly current.

    A second report by the National Institute for Economic and Social Research from the same time was leaked by ‘Britain in Europe’ stating that 8m jobs were reliant on membership. The NIESR actually said that few if any jobs would be lost if the UK left the EU and Martin Weale a director of NIESR said that the claims by BiE were ‘pure Goebbels,…… I cannot recall such a wilful distortion of the facts’ (19/02/2000 Times)

    I suppose you disregard my comments and mark me down as a europhobe but maybe worryingly I am someone who has read very extensively on the subject and has come to his own views and does not accept simple sound bites.

  • Alex Macfie: perhaps you do not understand what sceptical means. Of course we should be sceptical and I would suggest since Lib Dems are, on the whole, more likely to understand the EU than Tories (for example), Lib Dems are likely to question more how the EU operates. The difference is that the Party is not overwhelmingly Europhobic.

    UKIPers are fully Europhobic and not in the least sceptical: for them Eurosceptic is a complete misnomer.

    Of course there is an important place for voicing our ideas for reforms; even more important is to outline what our MEPs are doing and what they can do in the future. However a party political broadcast is hardly the place for a nuanced dissertation.

    There is a reason that adverts are as they are: you never, for example, find adverts that extol a car’s virtues but then add that there are plans to reduce wind noise at speeds over 60 mph. If you think that the virtues of the EU are widely understood and generally accepted then Clegg would be wasting time and money on this presentation. I think the benefits of the EU are taken for granted, only to be missed if they are lost, which is why I think Nick Clegg is right to put a clear positive case for the EU.

    Jedi puts a false binary that does not exist on this planet. Perhaps he is a sovereignty purist, perhaps he rejects the World Trade Organisation, perhaps in similar light, he argues passionaltely that the Scots can be a “sovereign state”, perhaps he has Pirate Party sympathies and would call for a referendum on whether we should respect Intellectual Rights agreements that have been negotiated far away from the “sovereign” parliaments.

    The truth is that we cede sovereignty to have the power to influence the agenda and retain pure sovereignty only to be told what to do. One part of the clip I really liked the best was where a business man said “it is simple, it is just like selling to the UK”. The single market is vital for UK interests, but it does require commonly agreed rules and democratic oversight and therefore a pooled sovereignty. Jedi muses that surely it would be so lovely if nation states could just cooperate, could just agree and treat each other fairly without the need for governing structures nor any formalised democratic structures : surely we can all sympatise a little with the dreams and fancies of the Liberal Anarchists, however the real world does not work that way. Sorry, Jedi, government is a necessary evil that is rendered better by making it democratic: if the EU did not exist there would be a pressing need to invent it.

  • jedibeeftrix 6th Feb '14 - 7:42pm

    @ Tony – “You’ll just have to save up an buy a decent functioning computer.”

    Let me rephrase the statement as a question:

    How does the presence of US/NATO airbases on UK soil effect the essential sovereignty of parliament to detertmine how the nation is governed?

    @ Martin – ” The single market is vital for UK interests, but it does require commonly agreed rules and democratic oversight and therefore a pooled sovereignty. Jedi muses that surely it would be so lovely if nation states could just cooperate, could just agree and treat each other fairly without the need for governing structures”

    No, i simply recognise Mastricht as the logical high-point of functional integration for a nation that does not hold ambitions to dissolve itself into a larger federal union.

    Who knows, maybe the eurozone nations haven’t really admitted to themselves that this is the logical endpoint of monetary union, but by god have they not got themselves into a pickle in their indecision!

    “Sorry, Jedi, government is a necessary evil that is rendered better by making it democratic: if the EU did not exist there would be a pressing need to invent it.”

    I would not argue otherwise, i am no anarchist, i simply believe that governance should stem from a position of publicly recognised legitimacy. Britain does not consider the EU to occupy such a position of legitimacy, therefore governance should reside at a lower level.

    None of this prevents or inhibits a functioning single market.

  • I think “Iwantout” is strangling himself or herself with a plethora of statisistics. He or she seems to think (for example) that the establishment of major motor manufacturers in the UK – reviving an industry that was dead on its feet – was nothing to do with British membership of the EU, exporting as it does some 80% of its output. Even though leaders of that industry (with no axe to grind other than achieving continued growth in their enterprises) say the exact opposite.

    By the way an issue not as yet mentioned in this thread is the avoidance of repeating the utter devastation which we commemorate this year – the (in effect) 31 year war starting in 1914. The ultimate destiny of escalation in competing nationalisms is war. “Iwantout” will no doubt produce lengthy arguments as to how what is probably the longest period in recorded history without war between core European nations is nothing to do with the formation of the EU. Most of us know better and that alone justifies all the enormous effort of the struggle to reach the best feasible way of running this complex but enormously beneficial organisation.

  • Denis,

    The statistics that offend you are facts.

    Those same disinterested leaders of the auto industry told us that failure to join the euro would result in them reassessing their investment in the UK and the implied message being ‘join or we will leave’. Yet I suspect they are all now rather glad we are not in the euro, as indeed are the vast majority of UK electors.

    Again I would point out that access to the single market does not require membership of the EU. Given the trade balance between us, the EU will certainly be extremely interested in establishing a trade agreement.

    But the main point is that membership of the EU is predominantly a political matter. The Liberal Democrats would garner much more credibility if they started to campaign openly for a federal state rather than pretending the entire structure is simply an economic issue.

    As for the EU being the cause of peace in Europe, well it is perfectly possible to say that the EU is a symptom of the peace rather than the cause. Most of us think NATO had a much bigger impact. Final point, I can’t think of a genuinely liberal democracy ever attacking another but again that is just an inconvenient fact.

  • Chris Manners 7th Feb '14 - 2:41pm

    ” Given the trade balance between us, the EU will certainly be extremely interested in establishing a trade agreement.”

    Not as interested as we’ll be with them!
    Our exports per head are far higher to them than theirs are to us.

    The overall trade balance is a complete red herring.

  • NATO has been a very important military alliance but its formation was much more to do with fear of Russia and what became the Cold War than avoidance of war between western European countries. As for so-called “genuinely liberal democracies” assuming you include USA and UK in this category they may not have been on the receiving end of international conflict since 1945 but boy have they dished it out!

    The EU is crucial to the diminution of escalating competitive nationalisms within Europe. That is the core factor towards eliminating wars and threats of wars.

  • Thank you for posting a typical piece of Daniel Hannan casuistry, Jedi. How exactly does he define these “nations” whose absolute independence gives them such self confidence that they will reach out towards others and eschew conflict , who will co-operate in some way to tackle the enormous international problems (whose existence even Hannan must admit) but never share any sovereignty with other like-minded peoples which must surely be needed to tackle those problems including the problem of economic competition in a world containing individual nations as big as or bigger than the whole of Europe ? Is Scotland one of those “nations”? Is Hannan a Scot Nat supporter? The truth is that the pattern of nations is a strange jigsaw, often brought about by conflict and containing whole sections who differ on some very basic issues – Ukraine indeed a topical example.

    How dare Hannan quote Mazzini as an advocate of nation states retaining absolute independence. Mazzini and Garibaldi were internationalists who saw the uniting of the fissiparous principalities of Italy as merely the first stage of a form of European unity surprisingly similar to the EU of today. Look no further than Wikipedia – “In the Spring of 1834, while at Bern, Mazzini and a dozen refugees from Italy, Poland and Germany founded a new association with the grandiose name of Young Europe. Its basic, and equally grandiose idea, was that, as the French Revolution of 1789 had enlarged the concept of individual liberty, another revolution would now be needed for national liberty; and his vision went further because he hoped that in the no doubt distant future free nations might combine to form a loosely federal Europe with some kind of federal assembly to regulate their common interests. […] His intention was nothing less than to overturn the European settlement agreed in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna, which had reestablished an oppressive hegemony of a few great powers and blocked the emergence of smaller nations. […] Mazzini hoped, but without much confidence, that his vision of a league or society of independent nations would be realized in his own lifetime. In practice Young Europe lacked the money and popular support for more than a short-term existence. Nevertheless he always remained faithful to the ideal of a united continent for which the creation of individual nations would be an indispensable preliminary…….Mazzini was an early advocate of a “United States of Europe” about a century before the European Union began to take shape. For him, European unification was a logical continuation of Italian unification.”

    I’m sorry, Daniel Hannan, I am a follower of Mazzini – Mazzini was a friend of mine. You are no Guiseppe Mazzini.
    .

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