Thanks to LME for posting up the list of all of Labour’s candidates for the 2009 European Parliament elections – 69 candidates in all. Below you can find the full list. Apart from the retirement of Glenys Kinnock and Gary Titley all the other MEPs are sitting pretty at the top of the lists. With a small drop in the total number of MEPs I fear there will be no new faces at all, confirming my previous concern.
Almost all of the sitting MEPs have websites (Stephen Hughes is the only exception) while few of the other candidates have a decent presence online. In fact Google searches for 2 of the candidates – Esther Pickup-Keller and Victoria Quinn are quite terrible. Searching for Pickup-Keller takes you to this unfriendly blog post, and a search for Quinn takes you to this by Simon Hoggatt, with the lines: “…sends me a CV from his Labour European parliament candidate, one Victoria Quinn. She is trying to say how she helped farmers during the beef crisis: ‘During BSE I helped lead new alliances on the back of Dolly the Sheep.'”
Oh dear folks. Learn the lessons! Develop a decent web strategy and you can avoid that happening!
|Sitting MEPs||1||Glennis Wilmott|
|Vacant list||2||Roy Kennedy|
|4||J David Morgan|
|Sitting MEPs||1||Richard Howitt|
|Vacant list||2||Beth Kelly|
|Sitting MEPs||1||Claude Moraes|
|Vacant list||4||Anne Fairweather|
|5||Kevin McGrath (site closed)|
|Sitting MEPs||1||Stephen Hughes (site closed)|
|Vacant list||2||Fay Tinnion|
|Sitting MEPs||1||Arlene McCarthy|
|Vacant list||3||Theresa Griffin|
|Sitting MEPs||1||David Martin|
|Vacant list||3||Mary Lockhart|
|Sitting MEPs||1||Peter Skinner|
|Vacant list||2||Janet Sully|
|7||Munir Malik (2004 site)|
|Sitting MEPs||1||Glyn Ford|
|Vacant list||2||Isabel Owen|
|5||Dafydd Emlyn Williams|
|Sitting MEPs||1||Eluned Morgan|
|Vacant list||2||Derek Vaughan|
|Sitting MEPs||1||Michael Cashman|
|Vacant list||3||Claire Edwards|
|Yorkshire & Humber|
|Sitting MEPs||1||Linda McAvan|
|Vacant list||3||Emma Hoddinott|
Thanks for all this! I’m voting for the first time today and I’ve found it pretty hard to find any decent information on candidates so this was really helpful! =]
Labour MEPs have always left me bit baffled and sympathetic to the notion of perfidious Albion. Tony Blair wanted to be at the heart of Europe but found himself on the wrong side of the Atlantic over Iraq – Gordon Brown doesn’t seem to be at all interested in Europe although Europe seems quite enthusiastic about his, and indeed his predecessor’s, policies. It seems like lost opportunity cubed to me. In so many important policy areas the UK delegations have to keep their counsel for fear that any enthusiasm for anything will automatically generate opposition just because they are UK views. I thought that problem would go away with the Conservatives but it hasn’t.
So it must be tough being a Labour MEP these days, even for decent , intelligent and principled folk who know their way around the arcane corridors of the EU – like Michael Cashman, Glyn Ford and Glenys Kinnock. You may not agree with their policies but it is hard to argue that they do anything other than an excellent job as MEPs. But they will become the elder statespeople of the Parliament one day and so some bright dynamic young things are needed.
In an ideal world these bright dynamic young things would know their way around the EU, its key movers, its baffling procedures, and its institutions. But such candidates, with the qualities to get themselves elected AND do the job – never mind having a web presence, are rare indeed!
” Apparently they lost around 30 of their number during the course of this legislature ”
I think it’s around 20 Italian MEPs elected in 2004 who left the Euro Parliament so far (either because elected in 2006 GE, or because elected to some local authority in the meantime or just because getting disinterested in political careers).
Some others will certainly leave Euro Parliament after this week’s Italian GE.
James – an interesting point. I wonder how you might manage to measure the effectiveness of MEPs to try to prove it? Numbers of reports? Numbers of times quoted in major newspapers?
I also suspect that there’s a sort of peak point that MEPs reach – normally in their second term. By this point they know the rules of the game, and know plenty of people, and can take responsibility for things. Plus they have not had enough time to grow tired of the EP and bloated on all those Brussels lunches and dinners.
I would hence argue that a MEP that has done 3 terms and has never been a rapporteur for anything significant, or has never been a chair or vice chair of a committee is never going to actually do so. Worse still if MEPs hang around too long after having held positions of power they are never going to repeat past glories. Glyn Ford is a case in point for this.
Last but not least Labour has an awful record with MEPs standing in by-elections – Robert Evans beaten by Sarah Teather in 2003 in Brent East, and Catherine Stihler losing out in Dunfermline and West Fife in 2006. As I understand it there are other Labour MEPs who might favour a career in Westminster, but – in contrast to Italy – that route is not open to them.
A thought occurs to me on this issue of turnover of MEPs within Labour ranks. Experience of the EP, usually, means a greater knowledge of the rules of the game and how to bend them to get your way. This is going to take a number of years before one gets it, so to speak. Labour should therefore be punching above its weight given your observations, as long as the MEPs are themselves decent intelligent folk.
Contrast the Labour situation with delegations from other nationalities; the Italians (entire delegation) for example. Apparently they lost around 30 of their number during the course of this legislature and are to lose upward of another 20 in the course of the national elections this month. When you add this to their dismal attendance records, there is no wonder Italy is constantly seen to bat below its average in EU circles.
Ok, bright dynamic young things are good (see Stubb). But they also get attracted to other flames (see Stubb, Clegg etc.)
you’ve done a remarkable job Jon but let me do just a preliminary consideration about non-blogging web sites. I think in politics they are less useful than blogs are.
Blogs need time to grow up but their narrative structure is much more useful and affiliating than that of a “shop window” web site. The chronological ordering of material in a blog makes it alive and the possibility of commenting posts by the folk create the very base of affiliation.
I do not like too much electoral strategy (I prefer good policies and actual decision making skills to magic electoral spins) but I must say that politicians really understood quite nothing about the web and blogs…
This seems to be an Europe wide problem… in Italy the candidates of the Democratic Party for the two chambers of the Italian Parliament has no web strategy at all… it seems they think that the party website will be enough and even if they have personal web sites, blogs are very very few (and usually very boring) and everything is done at random, without a strategy.