Monday, May 26, 2014

The EU elections; & unhelpful RENFE


So . . . What to make of the UK EU elections? Well, firstly, 66% of the electorate couldn't be bothered to vote. Secondly, for the first time in over 100 years, one of the 2 major parties didn't win a national election; and thirdly those who did vote plumped for the only 'protest party,' UKIP. How many of these did so for anti-EU, anti-Tory or anti-Labour reasons we will never know. Nor will we ever know how many voters UKIP will retain in next year's general election. But this doesn't stop the talk-o-sphere expatiating at length on these questions. Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has said the Conservatives must now “respond to the genuine concerns” of UKIP voters. The point is, as I said the other day, short of exiting the EU, it simply can't. Either it 'improves' the EU between 2015 (assuming it wins) and 2017 or it leaves it after a referendum. Foolishly, it seems to think it can do the former by threatening the latter. The party is presumably led by Alice disguised as David Cameron.

As for France . . . Pick the meat out of the Front National's win. Now, there really is an anti-EU, anti-immigration party. But, absent a revolution, I can't see it taking France out of the EU, either. Or reforming it in France's favour. After all, they've had the Common Agricultural Policy goodies to virtually themselves for decades.

Here in Spain, the turnout, at 35%, is said to be slightly higher than last time round but this was only because of a much higher participation in favour of a Catalan nationalist party. In the rest of Spain, as in the UK, tnaturally behind with this - the 2 major parties still dominated the results, though with lower percentages than ever before. El País sees this as a major blow to Spain's 2 party hegemony and one which was much greater than expected. Again, though, it's impossible to know how much was an anti-EU protest and how much an anti-corrupt-politics vote. I suspect more of the latter.

All-in-all, with every member unhappy for varying reasons, I wonder if 2014 will be the year we will look back on as the beginning of the end of the top-down European 'project' and its disastrous currency experiment, which spurred the very opposite of the desired 'convergence'.

Meanwhile, my good friend Alfie Mittington has written a few choice words on the results - well, choice words - and you can enjoy them here.

Finally . . . A friend is stuck on the day train from Madrid to Pontevedra and can't find anything to eat or drink on it. When I asked RENFE's virtual helper about the availability of succour on the train, she gave me these subject headings: An aerial view of Pontevedra station; the weather forecast for Pontevedra; Taxis in the province; The town hall; a street map; An aerial view of the city; Car hire; Hotel reservations: The postal code; Museums; The cultural agenda; and Interesting Links. But nowt about grub and booze. Helpful but not very.

3 comments:

Alfred B. Mittington said...


"Nor will we ever know how many voters UKIP will retain in next year's general election."

You mean HM's Government will refuse to tell us…?

Frankly, I wouldn't put it past them…

Your Good Friend Al

(Who is very grateful for your publicity, by the by…!)

Colin Davies said...

I mean we don't know now (or ever) how many of the people who voted UKIP last Thursday will also do so in the next year's general elections.

De nada.

Colin Davies said...

I mean we don't know now (or ever) how many of the people who voted UKIP last Thursday will also do so in the next year's general elections.

De nada.

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