1 September 2003 – A day that will live in infamy

Welcome to A Fistful of Euros. In celebration of Labour Day – the bank holiday that Americans and Canadians get in lieu of that subversive communist holiday May Day – we are finally on line. This is the blog you want for creative, English-language coverage of European affairs.

Add it to your bookmarks and stay tuned.

14 thoughts on “1 September 2003 – A day that will live in infamy

  1. Are we to assume that this blog is a discussion of the EU from a wholly europhile perspective? Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it might be a good idea to acknowledge the viewpoints of your contributors, who seem to be europhiles to a man.

  2. Peter – we don’t actually have any sort of mission statement as such, but we’re aiming to discuss more than just the EU. I described it as ‘from NATO to UEFA, the EU to Eurovision’ and we won’t just be writing about politics – culture, society, sport, linguistics (see Scott’s post above) and a host of other subjects will be covered.

    As for the ‘europhile perspective’ the aim is to be broadly pro-Europe – that is, we’re not slavishly preaching ‘everything that the EU does is wonderful’ but we do believe that the EU and other European institutions are in principle a good idea, though we may have disagreements over how it should work in practice. In an ideal world we’d be able to have a multitude of different viewpoints, but blogging is far from that ideal world and we need to have a broad perspective in common. However, we are hoping for some lively debate in the comments!

    We think there’s a unfilled niche in blogging for commentary on European affairs from a European perspective and hopefully we’ll go some way to filling that niche while promoting European blogging in general.

    Of course, that’s just my take on it – the others may well disagree!

  3. Peter, I am willing to accept the label “europhile” but I can’t speak for anyone else. “Broadly pro-Europe” – as Nick put it – is the goal here. Not “slavishly and uncritically pro-Europe.”

    We don’t have a mission statement or a fixed political label and it would seem awkward to try to develop one. This is, in the end, just a blog, not a party platform. Letting it evolve more or less freely to see what comes of it strikes me as the best way to go about things.

    Many group political blogs – all the ones that I think are really good anyway – don’t feel the need to label their political sympathies. They usally shine through on their own. Frankly, I’m not quite sure what label would apply to all of us anyway – “More pro-Europe than Iain Duncan Smith and somewhere to the left of Margaret Thatcher”?

  4. Apologies to all the Canadians out there. I’ll do my best to speak Canadian in future.

    But what’s up with the Australians? They seem to celebrate Labour Day on different days in different states, only have a May Day holiday (following the UK practice by postponing it to the following Monday) in Queensland and the Northern Territory, and despite spelling “labour” with a “u” still insist on having an Australian Labor Party. That’s very peculiar.

  5. Chris, re: Australians’ confusion over spelling ‘labour’, according to the official party history, it’s the Americans fault. Where was Arthur Henderson when our spelling needed promoting?

    “During the early years of the ALP, the Party was referred to by various titles differing from colony to colony. It was at the 1908 Interstate (federal) Conference that the name “Australian Labour Party” was adopted. In its shortened form the Party was frequently referred to as both ‘Labor’ and ‘Labour’, however the former spelling was adopted from 1912 onwards, due to the influence of the American labor movement.”

  6. Re: Laboring Australians – Glad to have something that is demonstrably our fault, rather than having the blame simply asserted or, worse yet, assumed!

  7. Was it just the American influence which led to the ALP being spelt the way it is? I think I thought that it had something to do with the influence that early-twentieth-century Bernard Shaw-inspired projects for the reform of spelling had among socialists around the world, but that’s probably just a product of my general tendency to see the world as slightly sillier than it is.

  8. A technical note:
    Should the words “Strike most of this” really appear under the link heading “NOT WEBLOGS”?

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