Which MEPs deserve the small business vote?

By Chris Dawson May 22, 2014 - 9:14 am

EU FlagI’ve just been down to vote in the MEP elections and have to say it’s a pretty dismal experience. There were no other votors there and not even the habitual exit polls you expect to see at election time. Of the major parties only UKIP bothered to deliver a leaflet so it appears that even the politicians can’t be bothered with encouraging the votors to the polls.

The big question is do you care? Can you even name your MEPs? Does it matter?

The answer is yes, as a business owner it matters a lot. Red tape spews forth from the EU on a daily basis and much of it such as the Consumer Rights Directive requirement to have a non-premium rate phone number comes from Brussels, not from our UK Government.

Which party’s MEPs work hardest for businesses? That’s not an answer I feel qualified to answer, not least because you’re not even voting for a particular MEP – The way the polls work is your votes give parties a certain number of MEP seats and it then appears little more than an old boy’s club to allot seats as favours and thank you’s to those the party wishes to reward with a plumb salary and expense account. You have no say in who gets the seats, just which party gets allocated them and there’s the nub. It’s impersonal which is probably why only about a third of the country bothered to vote last time around.

I remember growing up on the Isle of Wight and for many years Stephen Ross was the Liberal candidate. He was elected four times in a row but on his retirement the Isle of Wight swung from being a Liberal seat to voting Conservative. Residents were voting for the man, not the party and that goes a long way to explaining why people don’t bother to vote in the EU elections.

It matters though, these MEPs may or may not decide on the fate of your business over the coming four years. No one knows which candidates may or may not have an interest in business and fight your corner. No one knows which will represent your interests. You don’t even know which MEP will get your vote regardless of the party you put your cross besides.

The title of this article is “Which MEPs deserve the small business vote?”. I haven’t a clue, do you? Will you be voting and if so which party do you believe will serve business owners the best?

  • admiralhardinge
    4 years ago

    If you run an internet business, the question is not which MEP is best for you, but which party.

    If you believe that EU membership is essential for your business then only the Liberal Democrats are fully committed to the EU.

    Do you think leaving the EU is a high risk prospect for your business? Do you think your business will be immune from any change of EU membership?

    All I can say is I wore my international business owner hat, which made the way to vote obvious to me, changing the voting habits of a lifetime.

    • 4 years ago

      I also considered very carefully how to Vote. I have been an active Member of a Political Party since 1964. I have been on the National Executive and Stood for Parliament etc. However I still had to carefully consider my position. Then I went out and Voted.

      I am proud to say that I Voted for the Party that would rather we Traded with the Whole Population of the World and not just limit ourselves to being part, a very small part, of a very restrictive club in Europe run for the most part by the various Mafia around Europe.

  • paddy
    4 years ago

    I don’t think it matters at all. The UK only gets 68 or so MEP’s, it doesn’t really matter how they vote as they can get out numbered by a group of other countries on any vote.

  • Glenn
    4 years ago

    It’s a good question and one that I don’t know the answer to and therein lies the problem.
    We are alway hearing the European Government has made this ruling or that ruling and each and every such ruling either seems daft or of no benefit to the UK.
    I’m sure that some rulings must benefit us , but we never seem to get the complete picture.
    My gut instinct it that there is simply too much red tape attached to everything coming out of Europe, and that one size doesn’t fit all.
    I distrust most politicians who I see as having a vested interest in the debate about Europe and as such it not easy to make a decision.

  • 4 years ago

    There is another point which few even consider. Years ago a significant proportion of the population were involved in Politics. They were Members of their Local Party, Paid their Subscriptions and worked for the Party. Their voice was heard within the Party and often they went on to becoming Councillors or on the Constituency Executive and in those days the organisation went down through Town Branches and even Ward Branches.

    It did not really matter which Political Party because all the Parties were much larger and better organised than today.

    Then over the years Politics has changed. To start with it has drifted away from the Ordinary Member of the Public. It is not that the Political Parties discourage your involvement. it just that for much of the time they do not really care if you get involved or not.

    Those running the Political Parties are for the most part the Political ‘Elite’ who seem to have the idea that Politics is just for them. This is true of all of the Political Parties with one exception and that exception is UKIP. It may go some way to explaining UKIP’s success because ordinary people feel that it really is relevent to them

    I know that I have been active in Politics since 1964 and when I first started many were interested and involved. Today relatively few are interested and involved and being a Politician is hardly a respected profession.

    We need our Politics to be active and respected. We need it to be responsive. After all UKIP is responsive so why is the Tory Party and Labour not and as for the Lib Dems they seem to be in a state of total chaos all the time.

    If we are concerned about Politics and Business and especially in regard On Line Business perhaps we should think about joining a Political Party(Cambridge_Blue earlier today gave the impression that there was only one way that those involved in On Line Business should Vote. In reality most Political Parties are to a certain degree sympathetic to Business. So if you want to Join a particular Political Party then do so. Get Involved and use your expertise and knowledge to mould that Parties Policies towards On Line Business. Don’t just leave it to the Party to formulate the Policies. Get in there and raise your voice, get involved and perhaps, just perhaps at next years General Election your efforts will be bearing fruit.

  • 4 years ago

    There may be questions in the minds of many as to how Political Parties formulate Policies. Firstly they do not come down of the top of Mount Olympus carved on stone tablets.

    They are produced within a Political Party from discussions. Some of these will be at Party Conferences. Not necessarily on the Floor of the Conference. Perhaps in Fringe Meetings that are held in conjunction with the Conference. Possibly by Committees where the Party may invite Members with special interests to attend. Possibly even by long running consultation within the Party. Some may even be written by the Political Elite without regard to anybody else because as usual they consider that they know best.

    However On Line Business is what we are all interested in. We all have some knowledge and expertise. Obviously some a great deal more than others. Some may have axes to grind or specific interests. Whatever we all have a point of view. However if we do not join the Political Parties and get involved our voices will not be heard.

    So if our voices are no heard whose will be? Probably the voice of ebay and Amazon and the big companies. So at the end of the day the policies that result will be slanted towards them with little to benefit us the small and medium On Line Companies including the Private Sellers.

    So it is worthwhile getting involved. Politics does potentially take up a great deal of time. But there are many who control their involvement. But if the long term future of On Line Trading is important to you it might very well be worthwhile joining a Political Party and getting involved. If you decide that its not for you then in a few years time you really cannot complain if the Policies that the Political Parties promote are written in the interests of ebay and Amazon and the big corporations and not us the small guy.

    • 4 years ago

      Saw an interview with Nigel Farage tonight where he said that they were working on their Manifesto for the 2015 General Election. It has generally been accepted that the UKIP Manifesto from the last General Election was a shambles. So they are effectively starting with a blank canvas. So if you are a UKIP Member and want to influence their policies for the 2015 General Election and have knowledge that they could use now is the time to get in contact with them.

      There may be some who still think about UKIP as being a protest vote.

      When I first got involved in Politics in 1964 there was a point of view expressed amongst those far more knowledgeable than me about Politics that there was going to be a ‘Re-alignment in British Politics’. Over the years that has not really happened. But could it be that UKIP is with us for the long term and it represents the long awaited ‘Re-alignment’ in which case it needs to get itself a solid Manifesto and develop all the structures of a Serious Political Party and by this I do not mean cutting itself off from the people of the country and just treating us all like fools as the other 3 Parties tend to do.

  • northumbrian
    4 years ago

    nowt will change
    ukip will become the establishment if it continues
    it will be an Orwells animal farm re run

  • 4 years ago

    That is certainly on possibility. But if they do not get their Manifesto sorted out it is also possible that they will fly across the sky like a Comet never to be seen again. Which is why it is so important that it sorts its Manifesto and sorts its organisation. At next years General Election it is likely to receive far more attacks from the other Political Parties and the Media than even it received at the Euro Elections. Any weakness will be found and exploited.

    • jimbo
      4 years ago

      UKIP will never be a serious or viable party with a serious or viable manifesto, as essentially it is a party one by biggots and is incoherent (except on a couple of issues which appeal to reactionaries). That you are their cheerleader says it all.

    • 4 years ago

      I am a bit concerned by your statement that I am their Cheerleader…I am not even a Member of UKIP I almost by definition cannot be their Cheerleader. However I am very interested in Politics and have been since 1964. I am fascinated by what they have achieved and hope that they will go on to greater things. But I will not be joining UKIP.

      In case you wonder why. Most Political Parties have within their Rule Books that if you are a Member of them you cannot also join another Political Party. As I have been a Member of another Political Party since 1964 I cannot join another Party. However you might say thats easy Resign from the one and then you are free to join UKIP. I am sorry that would be far too great a shock to my system.

      I did Vote for UKIP and that was because the Party that I am a Member off was not fighting in the South West. So I was free to use my Vote as I wished.

      Can UKIP go on to become a Major National Political Party? I believe it can but it has to develop Policies on just about everything and a Comprehensive Manifesto for the 2015 General Election. Its Manifesto for the last General Election was very poor. Almost drivel. So they have a great deal of work to do. Obviously in 2015 if they have a Sound Manifesto then they have a chance. If not then their future is likely to be relatively short.

      You seem to think that they have no possible future no matter what they do. I suspect you are wrong. So could I suggest that we have a look at the situation after the May 2015 General Election. I suspect that UKIP will count it a Great Success if they win 10 or more seats at the General Election. I suspect that you expect them to win not a single seat. Lets look again after the 2015 Results are announced.

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