Friday, April 02, 2004

Europe or America - The Decision

Staying on the theme of Lib Dem-ness, I've just come out of a breakfast meeting with one of my colleagues on the European Parliament candidate list, John Stevens.

John's take on the upcoming European elections is to pose the question of whether Britain wants to become more closely associated with Europe or America. This issue is now increasingly important, especially since the Iraq crisis first blew up in mid-2002. The demonstrations before war last year and the ongoing debate since make this decision ever more vital.

He also suggested that we might be seeing the beginnings of a European identity too. Just as the 1848 protests in central Europe helped develop German identity - and eventually gave rise to a German state - so might the European reactions to the Iraq war and the Madrid bombing also provide the stirrings of a collective consciousness.

Twenty years ago if a bomb had gone off in Spain, chances are few people in Britain would have noticed. But maybe you disagree. Let me know.

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