Wednesday, 1 July 2009


The new leader of the Liberal Democrat (ALDE) Group in the European Parliament is a man formerly opposed by the UK Government for being too pro-European.

Guy Verhofstadt was prime minister of Belgium for 9 years and has 'European Federalist' stamped through him like the words on Blackpool rock.

When his name came up 5 years ago as a potential president of the European Commission the UK Government immediately shot it down.

Now he has been chosen by acclamation to lead the 84 Lib Dem MEPs and his words on day one confirmed all that we expected. "Europe is the solution not the problem." "I want people to know that when ALDE votes 'yes' to a measure it is good for Europe, and when we vote 'no' it is bad for Europe.

The British tabloid press will love him.

1 comment:

Jock Coats said...

Why do I fear that by "federalist" you don't mean quite the same as Proudhon would have done by the same word - as in a loose grouping of smaller, essentially independent and self-governing entities who occasionally work together through their federation to achieve common aims?

It may be that in all my time as a member I have fundmanetally misunderstood the nature of the Lib Dems' enthusiasm for Europe, of subsidiarity and local power working together, rather than of an increasingly big state interfering in our lives.

It may be that Verhofstadt acclamation as leader of our group in the parliament is the thing that should rationally make me walk away.