Friday, October 12, 2012

My MEP Campaign Part One - 'For London, For Europe'

I am delighted to announce that I have been successfully placed on the shortlist for the London Liberal Democrats’ candidates, European Parliament elections in 2014. It was a tough selection procedure and interview but the campaign has now started.

There is some serious talent on the shortlist, which just shows the depth of quality we enjoy in the Liberal Democrats amongst our candidates. Alongside members of the academic and financial profession, my role as an administration manager in local government seems very humble. It will be a difficult campaign but I will give it my best shot, and hope I can encourage as many of the good Liberal Democrats of London to give me their consideration.

If you are looking at my blog for the first time – then you are very welcome. As you can see from previous entries, I always have plenty to say on plenty of topics.

I have worked in London for 18 years, and for almost every one of those working days, I have been helping and advising members of the public. Whether it is guiding nurses through their training requirements, or advising people on their complaints against local councils, I have enormous experience of talking to and helping ordinary people. Knocking on thousands of doors over the years has further developed my people skills.

Must also mention my organisational skills – leading a team to provide a service to professional colleagues, participating in local campaigns such as road safety and anti-social behaviour, local party campaigns, fundraising/organising church activities, editing and writing the newsletter in my role on the parochial church council – and of course running in the last general election where, despite a tiny local party, we increased our vote. I enjoy being busy.

I want to be a MEP, for London, for the Liberal Democrats. I can help and advise, I can run campaigns, I can organise, lead and participate in teams, I am always insufferably cheerful!

And what about Europe? As a keen student of European history, and traveller to a number of states, I have a great interest and love of the continent and the role Britain could play there. I have a degree in European history, a Masters degree in international politics and a law degree as well to add to my interest and knowledge.

I have written a number of articles on this blog on the topic – but in a nutshell
(i) the EU is a bureaucratic monster in dire need of cost cutting reform
(ii) we in the UK need to be more active in the EU both to further our interests and work towards these reforms
(iii) there should be more democracy within the European Union (see my last blog entry)
(iv) I find the Con-UKIP-media Eurosceptism view frustrating and holding the UK back – for this reason I favour an in-out referendum – I believe it can be won and would then neutralise the anti-EU brigade
(v) the Liberal Democrats are the most pro-European party – and pro-Europe means pro-UK – we should not be afraid to say so.
A simple slogan – job and business, jobs and business, jobs and business.

As an MEP I would campaign primarily for the interests of Londoners, but also to increase democracy and drive down bureaucracy within the EU.

Now the campaign has started, I have begun to receive invitations and hope to meet as many London Liberal Democrats as possible, including at the regional conference at Croydon next week. And those I don’t get round to meeting, I hope will be in touch on and give me their consideration.

Keep reading here and follow me on my campaign over the next seven weeks.

Away we go! 'Keith Nevols – For London – For Europe!!'


  1. As a Lib Dem in London, I like a lot of this, but I would like to make two points:
    1. Whether we have an in-out referendum in this country is a matter for domestic politics. Indeed, how much the UK engages with the rest of the EU is a domestic political issue, not a European issue. MEPs have no formal say in the matter. Euro campaigns need to be about issues that MEPs do have a say on such as the CAP and trade policy.
    2. I think it is important that a Lib Dem MEP candidate should promote a specifically *liberal* vision of the EU, not just on the issue of European integration but on more traditional ideological litmus-test issues. And the Lib Dems should not be afraid to be partisan, and attack the other parties. In particular, the raving right tendencies of the Tory MEPs and their allies in the ECR group provide plenty of opportunities for attack. The party should be standing for European Liberalism more than anything else in 2014.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Alex. I take the point about the referendum being a domestic issue. I feel though that this constant in-out speculation must make it difficult for MEPs to do their work.

    And yes I agree with the vision of a liberal Europe - a Europe which is open, transparent, fair and accountable. It is liberal values of fairness and opportunity we should promote, and these are the issues I will be campaigning on if selected.