Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Monday, 25 May 2009

European Parliament elections - June 2009

The elections for the European Parliament are almost upon us once more (Thursday 4th June in the UK, Sunday 7th June in many other EU countries). When I returned to Scotland from Spain last week the election literature for these elections from several of the political parties awaited me so I will as is my usual habit be recording for 'posterity' images of the leaflets I have received through my own letter-box. This year I have so far received literature from:
- Conservative Party (Scottish Conservative and Unionist);
- Labour Party (Scottish Labour Party);
- Liberal Democrats (Scottish Liberal Democrats);
- Scottish National Party;
- British National Party.

Click on any image to see a larger version plus additional images

Conservative Party (Scottish Conservative and Unionist)


Labour Party (Scottish Labour Party)


Liberal Democrats (Scottish Liberal Democrats)


Scottish National Party


British National Party


Click on any image to see a larger version plus additional images

The last time there were national elections I did not actually receive a leaflet from the lovely folks (irony alert! - Ed.) at the British National Party so did not include an image of their leaflet (although I had seen it elsewhere locally), but this time I did, so I am. I am doing so through 'gritted teeth' of course, but on the basis that 'sunlight is the best disinfectant' I think it necessary to expose these awful bigots for what they are and what they say they believe in (see 'Section 2: Membership' on pages 4 and 5 in particular), however 'reasonable' they may try to persuade us they are; it is unquestionably a racist political party. (NB/ If that document is unavailable online in the BNP website for any reason, I have uploaded a back-up copy into my own website server and you can find it here.)

The BBC has details of political parties and candidates standing throughout the UK here (click on the region that interests you to see more detail). For Scotland the link is here, but I am reorganising the information presented there in the 'house-style' of this blog. As you will see there are many political parties putting up candidates for which I have not yet received their election literature:

Political parties standing in Scotland and their 'list' candidates in order of preference

Conservative Party
1 - Struan Stevenson, 2 - Belinda Don, 3 - Helen Gardiner, 4 - Donald MacDonald, 5 - Gerald Michaluk, 6 - PJ Lewis

Labour Party
1 - David Martin, 2 - Catherine Stihler, 3 - Mary Lockhart, 4 - Paul McAleavey, 5 - Kirsty Connell, 6 - Nasim Kham

Liberal Democrats
1 - George Lyon, 2 - Euan Robson, 3 - Robert Aldridge, 4 - Patsy Kenton, 5 - Douglas Herbison, 6 - Clive Sneddon

Green Party
1 - Elaine Morrison, 2 - Chas Booth, 3 - Kirsten Robb, 4 - Alastair Whitelaw, 5 - Ruth Dawkins, 6 - Peter McColl

Scottish National Party
1 - Ian Hudghton, 2 - Alyn Smith, 3 - Aileen McLeod, 4 - Drew Hendry, 5 - Duncan Ross, 6 - Gordon Archer

British National Party
1 - Gary Raikes, 2 - Charles Baillie, 3 - Deborah McKnight, 4 - Roy Jones, 5 - Maxwell Dunbar, 6 - Elise Jones

Scottish Socialist Party
1 - Colin Fox, 2 - Angela Gorrie, 3 - Johanna Dind, 4 - Nick McKerrell, 5 - Raphael De Santos, 6 - Felicity Garvie

Socialist Labour Party
1 - Louise McDaid, 2 - David Don, 3 - Katharine McGavigan, 4 - James Berrington, 5 - Claire Watt, 6 - James McDaid

Christian Party - Christian Peoples Alliance
1 - Sheila McLaughlan, 2 - John Smart, 3 - Brian Ross, 4 - Archie Linnegan, 5 - Christine Cormack, 6 - Isobel MacLeod

Individual Candidate
1 - Duncan Robertson

NO2EU - Yes to Democracy
1 - John Foster-Grime, 2 - Tommy Sheridan, 3 - Leah Ganley, 4 - Stuart Hyslop, 5 - Ajit Singh Uppal, 6 - Thomas Morrison

Jury Team
1 - Alan Wallace, 2 - John O'Callaghan, 3 - Stuart Brown, 4 - Melville Brown, 5 - Austin Compson-Bradford

United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP)
1 - Peter Adams, 2 - Paul Henke, 3 - Donald MacKay, 4 - Peter Neilson, 5 - Mike Arthur, 6 - Paul Wiffen
- the order in which names appear within a political party's list has been decided internally by that political party. Because the election uses a form of 'proportional representation' voters have no choice between individuals, instead they must choose one political party to vote for and the more votes within a region which that political party receives, the more of its 'list' will be elected as MEPs. The number of MEPs is reducing this time, in 'anticipation' of the ratification and coming into force of the Lisbon Treaty (aka the 'European Constitutional Treaty', the very similar rejected/failed treaty which preceded it); however, there will be 18 'phantom MEPs' elected - and paid - to comply with the current rules of the EU, although these 18 'phantom' MEPs will apparently not be permitted to vote in the European Parliament; although I am generally in favour of the EU this latest 'manoeuvre' is a travesty of democracy, not to mention the fact that the EU budget has not been signed-off by the Court of Auditors of the EU in the past 13 or so years! However much in favour of the EU one may be, as I am, the folks in Brussels and Strasbourg are testing the patience of even people like me to the very limit with their anti-democratic manipulation of both EU treaty law and whatever level of accountability exists. I have not yet decided how to vote although I must confess I am considering for the first time ever voting for one of the slightly less mainstream parties as a protest, even though I do not share their view that withdrawal from full membership of the EU is desirable - I speak of course of UKIP. Failing this I will most probably vote Conservative, as I usually do. I will mention here which political party I finally decided to vote for once the results have been announced.

PS/ (dated Thursday 13AUG09 08.26 BST) I have just realised I have not yet fulfilled my commitment in the final sentence above. I used my vote for my 'default' choice, the Conservatives. Although I am no longer a member and continue to have recurring doubts that they have really 'changed' their fundamentally anti-gay agenda (when the cameras and microphones are safely out of the way), a vote for them is probably the least 'evil' in general policy terms; that's about the best that I am yet prepared to say about them. The circumstance surrounding the creation of their new EP grouping leave many questions unanswered.

4 comments:

  1. Given the slim pickings I think as a (sensible) Conservative voter you have little choice other than them or UKIP. Not a pleasant choice though :s

    Hilariously UKIP have an even worse record in Europe for expenses than other parties British MPs (Nigel Farage = £2 million!!). You couldn't make it up....

    I wish the BNP would not use WWII images of Spitfires and the like on their literature. It is such an insult to the memory of what was fought for in that conflict. Churchill et al would not be amused.

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  2. Yes, I think the expenses of many MEPs probably put most MPs in the shade. Just this afternoon I was listening to a Swedish MEP explain how generous and arbitrary their expenses can be.

    He explained that when he first became an MEP he presented the receipt for his (return) airline ticket to the fees office for reimbursement. They explained they weren't interested in the actual receipt as travel was reimbursed based on distance and he would be entitled to payment of around 2,000 Euros. His claim based on his ticket price was around 500 Euros. He said that even travelling business class it would be impossible to spend 2,000 Euros.

    He was paid the 2,000 Euros and donated the 1,500 Euros surplus to charity. He estimates his total travel reimbursements have so far reached around 200k Euros, against a real ticket cost of around 50k Euros. He says he has therefore donated around 150k Euros to charity under this heading alone. This is the scale of the padding of expenses in the EU - and this must just be the tip of the iceberg.

    It was suggested to me some years ago that I might like to stand as an MP; it's not something that interested me (too much like hard work and the rewards are not that great, in my view), but I responded half-jokingly that if I was ever going to stand for anything it would be the EP as an MEP - the perks were so much better and of course there is relatively little accountability to the electors, provided one behaves reasonably and keeps oneself popular in one's own Party hierarchy so one is near the top of the 'list' at election time. And to be frank I'd far rather live/work between Brussels and Strasbourg (and the constituency) as an MEP than in London as an MP; a much more cosmopolitan existence, with access to good wines and foods at reasonable cost, not sky-high London prices for similar quality. I was once in the late 80s (when I lived in London for a year whilst studying Arabic) driving round Parliament Square quite late in the evening and spotted a very harrassed-looking Robin Cooke (now the late, of course) obviously going home to his London residence after a tiring day at Parliament, carrying a bulging brief-case and looking all sweaty and wet (it was raining). I thought then what a grim existence being an opposition MP must be, specially if you were not the Leader and even if you were still quite senior as he was then.

    Call me an old cynic.

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  3. I keep wondering if I even want to vote in these elections. It just seems like such a waste of money and effort for such little return. I barely recognise any of the candidates and this form of list just really annoys me as it give no choice on the person I want but just a colour of rosette. I want to vote for people not a number on a list. I will probably vote Conservative as UKIP are just a bunch of cheats, more so than any of the other parties. Sad to see that the BNP are getting publicity , it says more about our current government than anything else.

    Thanks for the post it makes things just that bit clearer.

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  4. Maybe one problem is that the media never report anything that happens in the European Parliament (if anything does indeed happen?).
    Our politicians aren't exactly talking about European issues too, are they? Perhaps they prefer it like that even with the difficulties that the expenses issue brings to their respective doors.

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