Thursday, April 22, 2010

The rules must be respected

Ryanair's u-turn on its threat to ignore EU rules on compensating passengers doesn't come as much surprise. However high its planes may fly, the company is not above the law.

However, it's likely that this will prove to be the opening salvo in an attempt by airlines to challenge passengers' legal rights.

Of course the recent events were unprecedented and it may be that there are lessons to learn. But we mustn't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

The European rules give people the confidence that they aren't going to find themselves racking up huge costs because an airline has cancelled their flight. They will have brought some level of comfort to the people stranded over the last week and have already helped hundreds of thousands of passengers across the EU.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Hanging in the balance

I have written a short article for the Parliament Magazine, the in-house magazine of the European Parliament on the ramifications of the UK general election for the European Union, and the United Kingdom's influence within it.

You can read it by clicking here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

And they're off!

So we’re off. The 6 May election date will hardly come as a surprise to most, but yesterday’s announcement has fired the starting gun on what’s going to be a crucial election.

The debate over the coming weeks will, naturally, focus on key issues such as the economy – a challenge that will be relished by senior Labour figures who have shown, time and again, that they will make the right decision in a crisis.

Compare that to the mess that the Tories would have made had they been in charge. They’d have let dogma get in the way of doing the right thing. They would not have delivered the stimulus the economy needed.

That desire to put ideology ahead of making a difference is something we’ve also seen in the European Parliament where the Conservatives have abandoned their influence by quitting the mainstream centre-right.

The party's obsession with ‘Europe’ has plagued the current Tory leader as it has all Conservative leaders of modern times. Just as with the economy – it’s clear that for David Cameron, when tough decisions need to be made, ideology trumps the right choice.