The PES can’t hide their lack of leadership anymore

Poul Nyrup RasmussenAdmittedly, the PES is running a fairly good internet campaign. They have relaunched their web presence way ahead of the European elections and maybe even more importantly they have made a good effort to reach out to (EU) bloggers. They have even included me in their blogger email target list – so that I get updates whenever key blog posts from the party leader Nyrup Rasmussen come out or they hold key events.

I wish the European Greens (EGP) would have been able to run an equally good campaign.

There are two reasons why I am writing this blog entry – and why I am writing it on my blog.

The other day I have received an email from Jeremy Cliffe, the PES’s focal point for bloggers. He was linking up to a recent blog entry by Nyrup Rasmussen in which he declares that the PES is working towards a new majority to stop Barroso. – What a surprise I thought… as if this is not the logic of pluralist political party systems in which parties actually compete for leadership. However, this logic has not really got through to the PES leaders who have been incapable of agreeing on a candidate for the job of Commission President. Given that the PES is (still?) by far the second biggest grouping in EU politics, such a lack of responsibility is the biggest farce in democratic politics I have seen for quite a while (more on the reasons for PES cacophony in Jon Worth’s recent blog entry).

But to make things even more ironic, Nyrup Rasmussen goes out even more openly about it and declares:

I would have preferred the PES to have a candidate for the President of the European Commission, but we do not, and we will not before the elections. Who becomes President of the European Commission now depends on the result of the European elections.

So here we go: The PES party leader is (rightfully) demanding that the PES presents a face and his own members do not follow. Such a crucial issue would force any party leader elsewhere to step down and let others take over responsibility. Why not Nyrup Rasmussen?

For those who might still wonder why I am writing this comment here and not in response to Nyrup Rasmussen’s comment on his own blog, I must explain this: Best practice in blogging is to let people more or less freely comment on other people’s blogs. I would have liked to do that but the PES only permits comments from PES members – and only upon prior registration. Even if I were a member, would I go through an extensive registration processes, password confusions etc? No, restricting the comments section in your blog is the opposite of the interactivity that the web 2.0 allows. A lesson to learn for Jeremy Cliffe & Co? Or are you sceptical of critical comments? (But why do you email me then for a start?)

[Picture from]

2 thoughts on “The PES can’t hide their lack of leadership anymore

  1. Pingback: Stephen Spillane - Monday Links - 18/05/09

  2. Aleksander

    We are not living in a fairy Tale and in politics, much real reasons of such or such stands remain hidden. Anyway, if I too deplore the fact that PES member parties didn’t reach on a decision, I see that most other european political forces and leaders neither didn’t apply for the job.

    Cynicism ? Pragmatism ?

    I do not know. All I know, it’s that many but really many activists implicate themselves into PES activism (namely socialist european federalism) and that is a fact that national leaders should take into account.

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