So, Labour Conference over, and I hope you enjoyed looking at Jonathon Roberts's blog
Another Parliament week over too, so I only saw Tony Blair's speech on TV from Strasbourg - but what a performance!
Yesterday, I was interviewed by the "p.m
." programme on BBC Radio 4, on what I thought of the absence of much debate on Europe at the Conference, something Commissioner Wallstrom had commented on in her blog
. Questions soon centered on Gordon Brown's speech - a very good speech, but with no mention of Europe.
Even when he said he was proud to be Scottish and British, he didn't add "and European", which would have been particularly appropriate the day after Europe's Ryder Cup triumph in a sport that was invented, after all, in Scotland!
Does he want to keep quiet on his European policy? Or does he think it not important? Or is he still pondering on it? Who knows. It certainly contrasted with the view of one of his closest confidents, Ed Balls, who in a fringe meeting said Britain's constructive engagement with the rest of Europe was the most important issue facing us over the next decade.
David Milliband too was a powerful advocate of acting at European level - not surprising as he is minister for an issue on which national action alone is less useful, namely the environment. He said that, in peoples minds, the letters "EU" should stand for "Environmental Union".
There were in all a dozen fringe meetings on Europe at party conference, with just one Eurosceptical one from the "common market safeguards campaign", a throwback to the 1970s. Whatever the detailed views of Gordon Brown turn out to be, the party as a whole remains pretty committed to Europe - an improved and enlarged EU, of course, but not an unravelled one.
Labels: blogging, environment, Labour