Last week I put a link on my blog that cunningly tells readers of other web documents referring to the blog. I was intrigued to see one such web site called the Labour Movement for Europe. Not being a member of the Labour Party, this pro-Euro organisation working within the Labour Party has passed me by. LME Labour Movement for Europe
LME officers include such luminary figures as Lord Kinnock, Chris Bryant MP, Wayne David MP, Barbara Follett MP, and not totally unexpected Richard Corbett MEP.
LME was relaunched as a campaigning organisation on Noveber 22 in a packed meeting in Westminster. Over 70 members, MPs and peers crowded into Committee Room 6 in the House of Commons to discuss the future organisation of LME and hear keynote speeches from Geoff Hoon and Douglas Alexander.
Apparently “For too long, LME has been dormant while right-wing anti-Europeans have had their way in Britain. But the question of Britain's engagement with its European partners is far too important for the debate to be dominated by noisy xenophobes. Now is the time for LME to reawaken and rejoin the battle!”
I am always surprised and disappointed that the call to promote the EU is always structured in such a partisan manner. We Eurosceptics are always portrayed as right wing xenophobes, and the Pro-EUites are the knights in shining armour riding to the rescues of the poor EU damsel in distress. I assume these are intelligent people, they must either actually belive this guff, or they hope to attract willing idiots as cannon fodder, which is what they will be if they actually try to mount any attack based on these assumptions.
Over the coming months, I hope LME will be engaging in debate at every level—in Westminster, in Brussels, and most importantly on the ground in Britain.
To aid the campaign a new website was also unveiled with a variety of campaign tools designed to support grassroots activists.
Although some of the site is subscription only, through the Secure Campaign Centre on the front page there are links to Campaigns, Analysis of recent headlines, (sub) Myth-busting, (with links to the expected) Media centre (the list of officers) Policy briefings (Enlargement and Turkey Democracy in Europe The constitution)
In the campaign section there is “The five-minute campaigner”
where activists are invited to “Make your mark on the pro-European scene with our quick and easy campaign ideas.”
• Write to your local newspaper
• Find out about events in your area
• Join in an online debate
• Plan and discuss campaigns
My interest is the one about joining an online debate:
There are a large number of anti-European blogs (weblogs) out there, and not very many pro-European ones.
Sadly, the kind of euromythology which is the speciality of our tabloids often surfaces in these blogs too. However, one important feature of blogs is that they often allow readers to append their own comments, which then become visible to everyone who visits the site. In this way, a provocative post by the blog author can quickly become an interesting debate among different readers. Since blog readership is increasing all the time, this is an effective way of stimulating discussion quickly and easily.
Here's a selection of EU-related blogs you might find interesting. If something catches your eye, or you spot an omnipresent euromyth, why not leave a comment to set the record straight? Or you can highlight your find in the Secure Campaign Centre, where activists can discuss a response.
Top five UK-EU debates online
1. BBC Europe diary:
A regular online diary which invites comments.
2. Margot Wallström:
Regular blogging in English from the European Commission. Hundreds of comments and very lively debate.
Started off as a pro-EU blog, but now deals with all kinds of UK and international politics.
4. EU Referendum:
Widely-read blog maintained by two heavily Atlanticist eurosceptics. Regular and detailed posts, many comments.
5. David Rennie:
New Telegraph Brussels correspondent blog. Eurosceptic and anti-Brussels, but with very active debate among commenters.
EU blogs: recommended reading
• EU Pundit:
News and views on the EU.
• EU Law:
Academic blog for legal professionals.
• European Democracy
: Well-informed editorial.
• The Periscope
: World media monitoring of EU stories.
• Richard Corbett MEP
: UK Labour MEP with a daily blog.
• The Brussels Journal:
Regular blogging by English and Dutch eurosceptics. Professional and not too extreme.
• Anglo-Saxon Chronicle:
Withdrawalist and generally reactionary blog. Regular, but amateurish.
• EU Realist:
Another fairly reactionary
• EU Rota:
More of the same.
• Free Europe
: Tub-thumping, slow-loading euroscepticism.
Note! Oddly for one so intent on widening the debate Richard Corbett`s blog does not allow comments which I suppose tells us all we really need to know.
The problem is going to be for the un-informed that the debate is not based on a right wing xenophobic mythology agenda. Which they will soon begin to realise when they start to comment on blogs like Eureferendum.
That we need a debate about Britain’s future in or out of the EU is beyond question, that is the reason many of us started blogging in the first place, But a word to all those who do wish to take up campaigning for LME. We welcome you, please take note that unlike LME we have no need to keep things secret “The Secure Campaign Centre” If you do decide to comment on our posts, please come armed with knowledge not simply biased partisan opinions.
I think you will find that the EU pundit and the "yes campaign" have removed their comments section too.
In fact, I notice the yes campaign appear to have removed all their blogs now.