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Radical Bulletin 333 – May 2009
18 May 2009 (20:33:00)

A SONG FOR EUROPE

Liberal Democrat candidates will all be singing from same hymn sheet devised by Willie Rennie, Nick Clegg’s vicar on earth to the European election campaign.

But how robust will the tunes sound? As Liberator has long argued, there is a pro-European constituency that comprises roughly one-third of the electorate and which is targeted by no other party. Targeting that significant group would give the Lib Dems both a distinct position and a large reservoir of voters in which to fish.

As we have also argued, there is no point in the Lib Dems trying to out-sceptic the Euro-sceptics, since this will alienate pro-Europeans while convincing no-one else.

But with some people determined to pander to opinion polls, Rennie has sought to square this circle with mixed success. He is looking for five simple messages about things the Lib Dems would change or improve in Europe alongside five things that are being done well, preferably as a result of Lib Dem efforts.

Rennie has come to a sound conclusion in wanting to attack the other parties for things they have got wrong in Europe, which would mean the campaign would at least be fought on European issues rather than the attempt to ignore them that characterised the disaster of 2004.

So far so good, but Rennie does not want the campaign sounding too positive about Europe and does not want to offer any vision of what it might be – merely that its members are stronger together and things would be worse outside the EU, hardly the most inspiring message.

Also in Radical Bulletin 333:

  • SPILT MILK
  • TESTAMENT OF YOUTH
  • PLAYING TRUMPS
  • SILENCE IS GOLDEN
  • WHERE WERE YOU WHEN…?
  • MONEY SUPPLY
  • UNSUNG HEROES

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