Parties are patronising us over Europe

Share this article
Have your say

What is the point of the European elections, now just over a fortnight away? I’ve received my ballot paper by post, but virtually nothing from the various parties.

The SNP has delivered a leaflet which tells me nothing about what its policies are, what its MEPs have done over the past five years, or what they hope to do in the future.

About the eurozone ­crisis, and the enormously important debates among the various institutions – the ­European Commission, the parliament and the Council of Ministers – it is entirely silent, as it is about anything to do with the European Union.

Go to the party’s website (no address in the leaflet), and you find out very little more, except that the SNP’s successful candidates will “fight for Scotland’s national interests in areas such as fishing and farming”.

The Labour Party’s publication is longer, but no more informative. It’s mostly about the independence referendum, but on the last page tells us that in Europe “being part of the UK means Scotland has a strong voice at the top table”.

Then it goes back to referendum-related issues and banalities – “we will work for a Europe that progresses”.

Finally, it tells us that we can find out more at the Scottish Labour website, but, astonishingly, there isn’t a single mention of Labour’s EU policies, or of the election itself.

The Conservatives’ website (I haven’t yet seen any leaflet) is just as bad, with brief information about its candidates, but nothing – absolutely 
nothing – about the party’s policies.

One might expect better of the Liberal Democrats, traditionally the most pro-European of the major parties. But according to its leader: “This European election boils down to one simple question. Are you in or are you out?”

Oh dear. I can’t speak for others, but such simplistic nonsense is an insult to my intelligence.

There are huge, and hugely complex, issues involved in EU politics that will have a profound effect on the UK, whether or not it is broken up, and whether or not some or all of it leaves the EU.

The regulation of the banks; the question of a eurozone 
fiscal policy to support the single currency; immigration; energy policy; a common foreign policy; a common ­defence policy: why does none of the parties have anything to say to us about any of these matters?

It’s not because they don’t have views, or plans, but for some reason they feel no need to share them with the ­electorate, to whom they are supposedly accountable and in whose interests they profess to act.

It appears that the answer to my opening question is “none”, for otherwise we would surely not be so patronised by our politicians.

Andrew Anderson

Granton Road


I am a floating voter. None of the major UK political parties impress me. This is a view that many other people share, seeing the leaders as Oxbridge public schoolboys who have never worked in industries.

Also I do not see the ideas of the SNP as being economically viable.

The forthcoming European election will help me decide how to vote in the next general election.

If Ukip manages to obtain a huge increase in votes and seats in England, but not in Scotland, for the European election I will vote for separation, since the cultural ­division is becoming just too gigantic.

I have not heard of anyone else sharing my point of view, but believe many people might agree. Is this the case?

John Hughes

Hamilton Avenue