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Some neologisms are helpful if they pin down meaning that needs tighter definition. Some are just sneaky. I have always disliked Brexit it gives a simple word to the previously unthinkable act of withdrawal from the EU. It sounds perfectly normal as in a fire exit or a motorway exit. However it has come to… » read more

  Posted by Tom Spencer's Blog

The Lawson Mistake

One can see why Conservative Euro-sceptics might be reluctant to let Nigel Farage lead the Out campaign. The man is not sound. He is not properly house-trained. He is capable of ill advised jumps in policy designed to attract the attention that UKIP needed to maintain its upward direction. However despite his time in the… » read more

  Posted by Tom Spencer's Blog

  One can see why Conservative Euro-sceptics might be reluctant to let Nigel Farage lead the Out campaign. The man is not sound. He is not properly house-trained. He is capable of ill-advised jumps in policy designed to attract the attention that UKIP needed to maintain its upward direction. However despite his time in the… » read more

  Posted by Tom Spencer's Blog

“If Winter comes can Spring be far behind?” With apologies to Shelley’s Ode to the West Wind, I am increasingly struck by the parallels between Public Affairs, the British housing market and the state of European integration! The prolonged recession and the growing sense that there is likely to be no immediate relief, eventually forces […]

Maria, who died in November, was a radical Greek aristocrat. As a child during the war she was permanently marked by her experiences in German-occupied Greece. She opposed the Greek Junta passionately. She went to the extent of talking to the PLO in the shape of the “Jackal” about providing military training for young Greeks… » read more

A senior European figure, commenting on David Cameron’s demeanour during European Councils, is reported to have said “He is just not interested”. Margaret Thatcher, John Major & Tony Blair, whatever the other distractions of their premierships, were keen followers of the European debate. Only Gordon Brown, in the terminal stages of his decay, can be […]

In May of 2011 Wilfried Martens, President of the European Peoples Party and the Centre for European Studies, opened a CES Conference in London. He was asked about the future for European integration. He quoted George Herbert to the effect that “Storms make oaks take deeper roots”. I admired the elegance of the response, but […]

As the reality of ‘seven lean years’ sinks into the consciousness of the peoples of Europe, resignation and reality is crystallising in the minds of the peoples of Europe. Such a mood amongst the electorates of Europe is the essential precondition for any political or economic settlement of Europe’s current woes. The mood is not […]

Nobody in their right mind wants a treaty change either at 27 or 17 at this moment of maximum vulnerability for the European idea and the prosperity of the peoples of Europe in a difficult world. Lest we forget the agony of the process a brief reminder of recent history seems in order. The growth […]

Why does the great ape known as Homo Sapiens Sapiens insist on celebrating anniversaries? Does it have some evolutionary advantage? Maybe Darwin has somewhere argued that anniversaries are the most obvious way we have of sorting our memories into appropriate categories and highlighting aspects of ourselves that we wish to improve. Anniversaries are top of my mind […]

My first political memories were as a child of eight in 1956. My father was toasting the success of the Anglo-French intervention at Suez. We then listened in horror to the last words from the free radio station in Budapest as Russian tanks closed in. “This is free Hungary. We fight for Hungary. We fight […]

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