Monday 8 June 2009

Richard Corbett MEP

These things happen, when people vote from other motives than securing the best possible representation in the European Parliament. Dr Richard Corbett, MEP, loses his seat when the newly elected EP convenes on 14 July 2009.

Corbett was one of the foremost representatives for the PES and Labour in the European Parliament, and he drafted many of the EP’s reports and opinions on institutional affairs, with Europe-wide significance.

He was also a frequent blogger, although the absence of comments and discussion was a sad indication of the quality of the EU debate in Britain.. His Blog – Richard Corbett MEP explained the workings and the issues of the European Parliament in reasoned terms.

Britain’s troubled relationship with Europe seems to be about to take a turn for the worse. Whatever happens, Dr Richard Corbett’s knowledge and capacity will be needed during the trying times ahead.

Ralf Grahn


  1. The lesson Labour must learn is that running for election with a federlist zealot like Richard Corbett lets the BNP in. Labour must root out the federalist 'party within a party' that Corbett represents if they are not to destroy their own electoral chances for a generation in the same way that militant tendency did in the 1980s.

  2. Freeborn John,

    As long as Britain is a member of the European Union, it would not necessarily be a bad idea to be represented by respected and knowledgeable people.

  3. Nils Hyllienmark, Lund, Sweden9 June 2009 at 14:38

    Log onto
    and find a very timely comment.

    Richard Corbett is a man with the right attitude, depth of knowledge and communication skills that both Britain and Europe need after this election or polarization and sheer nuttiness will prevail.

  4. Nils,

    I saw the post on Charlemagne's notebook today, and the proposal to use Corbett's capacity was excellent.

  5. Freeborn John,

    You make two mistakes in your analysis.

    The first is that Labour ceded ground to the BNP because of Mr. Corbett's beliefs (or, given how you describe them, alleged beliefs) on the European debate. This is entirely wrong-headed. Labour took a beating because of national issues. Anyone could have been mistaken for believing that it was a general election such was the dearth of European issues. Furthermore, the BNP did not make electoral advances, rather voter apathy (caused by the expenses and a flush of cabinet resignations that the WHO would be wise to investigate) and a consequent depressed turnout allowed a constant BNP vote-share to gain seats.

    Second, you charge Mr. Corbett with being a 'federalist zealot." Again, you are misguided. It is an unfortunate trend for people such as yourself to accuse pro-Europeans of being 'federalists,' when they sensibly suggest that there are some issues (such as climate change, consumer protection etc) which cannot effectively be dealt with on a national level and therefore require a united, European effort.

  6. Caseagainstbnp,

    Thank you for your comment. Most of what I have seen of Corbett's writing and work give the impression that it is based on facts and polemical mainly against false or misleading assertions.

    That is not enough to make anyone an EU-fanatic in my books.

    After the European elections Britain is going to have few representatives in the political groups, which influence the work of the European Parliament, although the significance of the vote and the new nationalist, anti-federalist group may have escaped some.


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