Thursday, 22 January 2009

10 things you didn't know about MEPs, but didn't care enough to ask

Tne BBC has an article up written by journalist Brian Wheeler who spent a week experiencing the life of a Member of the European Parliament(MEP). He wrote about 10 different aspects that he learned from his experience. The headers for what he wrote (for the full thing you'll have to read the article) are:

1. It's life, but not as we know it
2. The terminology can be baffling
3. MEPs have more power than you might think
4. Most MEPs hate coming to Strasbourg
5. Compromise is not a dirty word
6. The debates seem to lack humour
7. British MEPs have less accountability than MPs
8. The UK's Euro MPs often feel like second class citizens
9. Few British people know how it really works
10. It's still too early to tell...

I'd particularly like to highlight 8 and 9. The apathy of the British public to the political process is really quite shocking, that applies to all levels of government but it seems especially acute when it comes to the EU. I think that it's important for Labour to engage with voters and to emphasise what it is that we can do for them in power; how ideas like the minimum wage make their lives better, and that these things are thanks to Labour.

Political literacy is also important to dispel the filth spouted by rags like the Mail; the tabloids feel safe to spew whatever nonsense they like because most people don't have the facts needed to repudiate their disinformation.

As I have said previously, communication is key to the successful propagation of our ideals.

[On a personal note "Their debates can sometimes be as lively as anything you would see on an average day in the Commons, but there is not the same adversarial, yah-boo, quality to them." sounds good to me, the constant jeering in the Commons annoys me; I find it juvenile and not worthy of a modern democracy.]

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