I have been a lifelong European social democrat. I have campaigned for Europe for forty years, for Labour and, more widely, the social democrat ideal for even longer. Sometimes I have been a candidate for office, always a militant for these causes. At times as at present these ideas have had the nobility of lost causes, but I cannot change. As Luther is supposed to have said and written, ‘Ich kann nicht anders. (I can do no other).’
In the wreckage that is Brexit, I believe that British Europeans must now organise and campaign, and unfettered by the constraints of an immediate referendum, build support for a political Europe which is much more than a set of internal rules. In the Labour Party meltdown, I’m not prepared to chuck away membership of an organisation I first joined fifty years ago but I will only support leaders who convince me that they are hungry to win and to create a majority for social democratic change.
I’m impatient with honourable losers. And as for the European Socialists, I would like to see the Party (the PES) become a force for reform in Europe, not just a clearing house for low-level bargaining between national party bureaucrats.