Jonathan Fryer

Elementary, My Dear Watson

Posted by jonathanfryer on Friday, 5th September, 2008

 Osama bin Laden has probably done more for European Union than anyone since Jacques Delors, according to the Leader of the Liberal (ALDE) Group in the European Parliament, Graham Watson. Speaking only slightly tongue-in-cheek at the Kensington and Chelsea Liberal Democrats’ ‘Food for Thought’ this evening, Graham said that post-9/11, European politicians had realised the need for greater cooperation on all sorts of matters relating to security. It was largely thanks to him that there is now a European Arrest Warrant (typically opposed by the Conservatives, as an unacceptable ‘attack’ on British sovereignty).

Graham said that there were three main reasons why the European Union matters now, as individual member states cannot handle mega-problems on their own. He cited global population growth and accelerated migration; climate change; and internationally organised crime. These are just some of the concerns we should be raising in the run-up to next June’s European elections.

He also posed a rhetorical question about why the Britsh media gives such little coverage to European issues (let alone the European Parliament itself). Certainly the attitudes of Eurosceptic media barons such as Rupert Murdoch are one important element. But I believe another important reason is that no political party in Britain has yet had the guts to fight a European campaign on positive European issues. If even the Liberal Democrats don’t do it, why should the media care? Elementary, my dear Watson!

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