Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The only personalised anti-Brit comments I have seen have been Vladimir's on Ashton's appearance - a poor attempt at a joke - and Migs' comment on Blair's teeth.  All other comments have been couched in terms of "why allocate one of the top posts to a nominee from the UK given their history of opposing the European Project" or queries as to whether Ashton's lack of high level electoral, foreign policy, or indeed European experience qualified her for the job when there seemed to be other more qualified candidates or potential candidates around.

As Jerome has stated, the brief was to find a female, at least nominally left wing candidate to complement the appointment of Van Rompuy and two other centre right men to key European posts.  In the end she had to be British as well to get Brown to ditch Blair.

To criticise her appointment or query her qualifications is not to be sexist, extreme leftwing, or anti- British.  It is to query why the price of not appointing Blair had to be the appointment of another British candidate (there are 25 other member states in the EU all with legitimate claims to push their nominees).  

If she turns out to be a nuLabour Atlanticist are we to be labelled anti-Brit, sexist, extreme socialists for criticising her?  If she turns out to be not very good at developing and projecting a coherent EU foreign policy around the world or achieving public support for same, are we to be debarred from pointing out that well, actually, she never had senior prior foreign policy experience, never did more than inherit an already well developed trade negotiating brief, and never led a public election campaign to achieve popular endorsement for any particular policy agenda?

Is it not elitist and contemptuous of democratic politics and absurdly racist to discount the claims of 25 other member states to the post on the grounds that it has to be a Brit who is not particularly well qualified for the post and who has never seen fit to seek a popular mandate for anything?  This is politics we are talking about here, not administration, and ultimately what the citizens of Europe think and feel and believe and perceive IS important even if some intellectuals want to tell them they are all ignorant and wrong and have no right to disagree with their expert analysis.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 12:50:32 PM EST
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