Apologies for having been fairly light in recent days. I was, and I am, putting the finishing touches to the European Election Special of The Lanchester Review, which with any luck will be published tomorrow.
Speaking of which, with No2EU not standing in the North East (Brian Denny was terribly apologetic to me on the phone, but apparently Bob took many of his fundraising tricks to the grave), and with three soundly anti-TTIP candidates out of three on the Labour list, I shall be voting Labour in a European Election for the first time ever.
The core of the Labour Movement is absolutely opposed in principle to any free trade agreement between the EU and the US, and at least 100 Labour MPs would certainly vote against any such thing no matter what, while the Leadership is not exactly keen, and would undoubtedly lead the public opposition to any threat to the National Health Service.
Whereas the only critics of the EU who are ever allowed on television are away with the "Anglosphere" fairies, are sometimes on the ALEC payroll, are obsessed with the drivelling referendum distraction, and exist so far apart from British culture that they honestly believe that everyone hates the NHS as much as they do.
As for those claiming that MEPs will have the final say, not only does this week mark a 2010 or a 2015-style clearout of the Blairite old guard, but the Westminster Leadership, being the Party Leadership, can and does simply move to the bottom of the list any MEP who steps out of line; that was why Tony Blair introduced party lists for the European Parliament, purging numerous of his critics when he did so.
In any case, the Commons vote would and will happen long before anything went before the European Parliament, forced by Labour and with every Labour MP voting against massively increased powers for the EU institutions in the service of American corporations, while most (not quite all) of the fabled "Tory Eurosceptics" voted in favour.
The Greens have had a good campaign, however ignored they have been by the media, based on opposing the TTIP that has been a core Lib Dem aim for as long as that party has existed. If you would have voted Conservative in Scotland, Wales or the North, then vote for UKIP in order to deprive the Conservatives of all of their seats in Scotland, Wales and the North. But if you would have voted Lib Dem anywhere, then vote for the Greens in order to deprive the Lib Dems of all of their seats everywhere.
Interestingly, the two regions where the majority still identifies specifically as British, albeit for what might appear to be the most diametrically opposed of reasons, are London and Northern Ireland, which are the two regions least likely to return a UKIP MEP.
Ponder these things, brethren.
Ponder these things.
And in the North East, Vote Labour.