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Mazda's Maps and Mwikiboxes

Uhura's Mazda

Blavatskiwi
Published by SLP
Location
Tamaki Makaurau
#72
Members of the European Parliament for Europe of Values

The fall of the Santer Commission in 1999 pushed complaints about accountability and corruption in European institutions to the forefront of the minds of the electorate, and the failure of those institutions to deal with these issues led to a growth in not only Eurosceptic parties, but also Eurocritical movements which appealed to Eurosceptics and moderate Europhiles alike. Italia dei Valori, led by former Tangentopoli prosecutor Antonio di Pietro, was a pre-existing small party of the questionable centre-left which keyed into populist rhetoric in order to campaign against the remaining corruption in the Italian state. For the 2004 European elections, Di Pietro teamed up with ex-Communists including former PDS leader Achille Occhetto and won two seats - Occhetto resigned immediately, not having expected to be elected, and was replaced by another Communist journalist, Giulietto Chiesa.

This pair, upon their arrival in the European Parliament, discovered that a range of similar parties had been - even more unexpectedly - catapulted into prominence, and soon after, a Europarty was formed under the name 'Europe of Values'. Subsequently, it affiliated to the ALDE Parliamentary group, much to the chagrin of certain members. The group was made up of Italy of Values, together with the Dutch party Europe Transparent (whose purist goal was an end to fraud and corruption in Europe), the similarly transparency-focused List of former Austrian Social Democrat MEP Hans-Peter Martin, and the Transparent Suit Coalition.

This last group formed the largest component of the Europarty. It had been founded by former Independent MP and war correspondent Martin Bell in advance of the Euro elections and, like Di Pietro, Bell had sought out the organisational structures of the far left as a basis upon which to build his movement - the Socialist Party of England and Wales, valuable for their eager cadre of newspaper-hawkers, were persuaded to join the Coalition and managed to produce an MEP, Dave Nellist, on Bell's list. The Eurosceptic Continuity Liberal Party were also recruited and Steve Radford elected, and the other star candidates were Marta Andreasen (the EU's former Chief Accountant, who had acted as a whistleblower two years before) and Robert Kilroy-Silk, a former Labour MP who nonetheless headed up the Eurosceptic Right of the Coalition. He had also been a target for recruitment to UKIP, but had chosen Bell's movement instead, and UKIP railed against him and Bell for splitting the Eurosceptic vote and denying them any seat gains - however, when it became apparent that Kilroy wouldn't be able to outmanouevre Bell to become the leader of either the TSC or Europe of Values (still less to push his allies to join the Independence/Democracy group), he stormed off to UKIP, and is blamed for their bitter collapse over the next few years.

The collapse of Europe of Values was almost as bitter, though: Hans-Peter Martin's number two abandoned ship to stand for a more successful liberal party on a national level; Dave Nellist found himself very unhappy in ALDE and succumbed to pressure from his Socialist Party to defect to GUE-NGL, which he did in 2007; Steve Radford found himself ill-equipped for the media spotlight and press investigations into his Continuity Liberal Party found some dark secrets lying within, which eventually produced his resignation in favour of the Nellistite ex-Poll Tax rebel Roger Bannister, who followed his leader into GUE-NGL months later; Europe Transparent split as van Buitenen bullied de Groen into crossing over to the Green group, and then defected to a Dutch Christian party; and the ex-Communist Putin apologist Giulietto Chiesa went off to stand, unsuccessfully, for the Latvian Russian Union in 2009.

In that year, Italy of Values and Martin's List were the only EoV members to be re-elected, but both increased their seat counts and were joined by an MEP from the Czech party Public Affairs. The implosion of all of these parties over the next few years resulted in the Europarty being wound up in 2012. When former Hans-Peter Martin's List MEP Martin Ehrenhauser was re-elected in 2014 for the Different Europe coalition, there was a brief flurry of interest in a revamped Europe of Values party involving the Czech ANO 2011 and the Italian Five Star Movement, but it came to naught.

In the UK, the impact of the Transparent Suit Coalition is often understated, partly because of its brief existence and partly because nobody cares about European politics. However, their failure to recruit the Greens to their Coalition (even though Jean Lambert was keen) and their seeming suicide pact with UKIP encouraged the Greens to develop their own Eurocritical credentials in competition with their weakest rivals. Since then, they have become the voice of British opposition to Brussels, along with the Tories and BNP, and became the largest British delegation to the EU Parliament in 2014.

Europe of Values.png

Martin Bell's infamous media appearances in his transparent suit yielded one positive: the celebrated Private Eye cover, "I think I can see his Bell End"
 
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Mumby

Always mysterious!
Published by SLP
Location
Municipal Commune of Bourne
Pronouns
He/Him
#75
In the UK, the impact of the Transparent Suit Coalition is often understated, partly because of its brief existence and partly because nobody cares about European politics. However, their failure to recruit the Greens to their Coalition (even though Jean Lambert was keen) and their seeming suicide pact with UKIP encouraged the Greens to develop their own Eurocritical credentials in competition with their weakest rivals. Since then, they have become the voice of British opposition to Brussels, along with the Tories, and became the largest British delegation to the EU Parliament in 2014.
This is such a cool idea.
 

Uhura's Mazda

Blavatskiwi
Published by SLP
Location
Tamaki Makaurau
#76
Transparent Suit 2 - Ashfield in the UK General Election, 2005

A year after the rise of the Transparent Suit Coalition in the European elections of 2004, it was time for Martin Bell and his allies to attempt to make it into the mainstream. But they were to discover that getting over 5% in an 'unimportant' Proportional election on low turnout was one thing, and that turning that into genuine support was quite another. The general election campaign was based around co-opting Independents and anti-corruption campaigners, as well as the Continuity Liberal and Socialist Parties, which were still involved with the Coalition at that point. A lot of Liberals wanted to run under their traditional name, and a lot of Socialists wanted to form electoral alliances on the Left, but these were overruled by their leaderships in a move which only increased the acrimony within the Coalition. Acrimony was the modus operandi over in Erewash as well, and Robert Kilroy-Silk's narrow defeat there was the tipping point which propelled him into the arms of UKIP.

The Coalition's problem was that it had so many moving parts, all of which wanted to target their own particular seats - not only Kilroy's target of Erewash, but also Dave Nellist's pop at Coventry NE, both Havering seats, Martin Williams' attempt on Doncaster North, Steve Radford's repeat fixture in Liverpool West Derby, and Peter Franzen's strong challenge in Makerfield were subsidised with whatever money and personnel the Coalition had accrued since its ragtag formation. None of these were won.

In effect, the Socialists did get their wish not to oppose other forces of the Left: Martin Bell arranged an informal deal with fellow Iraq War opponents RESPECT, not that it did either of them much good - George Galloway narrowly lost to Oona King in the event. Bell chose to stand against Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon in Ashfield, challenging the Blair Government on the allegedly erroneous findings of the Hutton Inquiry into the sexed up dossier that instigated the war. This was a perfect merger of zeitgeisty anti-war campaigning with a candidate who had experience of being under fire and a local area which had two Independent groups (Ashfield Independents and Mansfield Independent Forum) who had signed up their manpower to the Coalition - and it also married up comfortably with the TSC's transparency and anti-corruption stances. Excitement for a repeat of the Tatton upset of 1997 was rife, but this time, the Lib Dems refused to stand aside, resulting in Hoon clinging on by a whisker on the night. Gallingly, an Independent candidate campaigning for a medal to be given to Atlantic Convoy veterans got more votes than the difference between Hoon and Bell.

Despite the fact that Transparent Suit candidates had won in Wyre Forest (Dr Richard Taylor continuing his fight on local health issues) and Blaenau Gwent (Peter Law bringing internal Labour selection procedures to an external audience), Martin Bell's loss suggested to the public that lightning couldn't strike twice. The initiative had been lost - over the next few years, local groups (and the Liberals and Nellistites) drifted away and Councillor numbers declined, with only victories in the Blaenau Gwent by-elections to keep the movement in high-ish spirits. In the end, though, both MPs lost their seats in 2010, a year after the remaining MEPs did the same. It was no longer enough to oppose EU corruption, you had to oppose the EU itself, and the remnants of the Transparent Suit Coalition weren't ready to make that jump. The BNP, Tories and Greens were more than happy to pick up the slack, ensuring that the Coalition would be deregistered at its own request in 2012.

Ashfield of Values.png
 

Thande

The Great and Powerful Wizard, Opnohop Moy
Published by SLP
#77
Smashing idea U's M. Sort of a Noughties political equivalent of the 'let's combine the American Civil War and the Crimean War and the Indian Mutiny and the Taiping rebellion into one big Victorian world war' idea I've mentioned in the past.

The fall of the Santer Commission in 1999 pushed complaints about accountability and corruption in European institutions to the forefront of the minds of the electorate
I just remembered when I mentioned this in passing in Partying Like It's 1999 and people thought it was a made-up POD.
 

Mumby

Always mysterious!
Published by SLP
Location
Municipal Commune of Bourne
Pronouns
He/Him
#79
Smashing idea U's M. Sort of a Noughties political equivalent of the 'let's combine the American Civil War and the Crimean War and the Indian Mutiny and the Taiping rebellion into one big Victorian world war' idea I've mentioned in the past.
[MY FACE IS PURE HEAT]

this sounds so up my street