Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity


This is a Wordpress-powered version of Europhobia, an EU politics blog founded back in March 2003. This somehow makes it one of the longest-running European politics blogs out there.

It is dedicated (mostly) to politics and international relations from an Anglo-European perspective, with a particular focus on the European Union.

Is this site pro- or anti-EU?

The politics here is centrist, non-partisan and critically pro-EU, though it’s not as simple as that makes it sound.

Hell, if my relationship with the EU was on Facebook, it’d have to be labelled “It’s complicated”.

I’m a former eurosceptic who can occasionally slip back that way, and more in favour of the idea of the EU than the current reality. I grew up with one uncle working for the European Commission, while another ended up standing for the UK Independence Party in the 1997 UK general election on a “quit the EU” ticket.

A more detailed explanation of the site’s political stance can be found here, with a shorter version here.

In May 2012 I revised my views a little, calling for an EU Reformation.

Because the EU tends to spark strong emotions, please do check out the comments policy before joining in the discussions. (Short version: All views are welcome, and I positively encourage debate and disagreement – but keep it civil and on topic.)

Why “EUtopia”?

a) Because of the European Union focus.

b) Because a utopia is an ideal society, and it’s arguable that the EU is striving towards that.

c) Thomas More’s Utopia was fictional – it doesn’t exist. Much like an ideal society – and much like the ideal of a perfect EU.

d) I like bad puns.

Why “Nosemonkey”?

No reason whatsoever – it’s merely a hang-on from my early days using the web, when *everyone* seemed to have a stupid, meaningless pseudonym.

What’s the focus?

Since 2008 the blog has begun to (occasionally) diversify into European history and culture, and the tagline shifted to “In search of a European identity” to reflect the new focus. Largely because I’m not sure if there IS such a thing.

Politics and current affairs still play a strong part, but the theme is now politics and Europe in their broadest possible sense. More explanation here.

Who is Nosemonkey?

Nosemonkey is J Clive Matthews – a writer, editor and online content consultant whose work has cropped up everywhere from the Times Literary Supplement to B2B magazines, openDemocracy to various books (some of which have even made second editions).

He is currently working for Microsoft as Managing Editor of the MSN International Editorial Solutions team, working on content specials across all subjects for a generalist audience in 50+ countries and more than 25 languages around the world.

His political knowledge comes from a couple of stints as researcher to a (then) member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee at the House of Commons, a short period working at the European Commission in Brussels (unpaid work experience), a postgrad degree in history, and an obsession with current affairs and international relations going back years.

In 2008 he made the five-man shortlist for the inaugural UACES-Reuters Reporting Europe Award alongside the likes of the Europe Editors of the BBC and The Economist. Which was nice. In 2010 he was awarded the European Parliament Prize for Journalism – despite having serious reservations about the very concept of such an award.

More endorsements can be found on the testimonials page.

In 2010, he was named Winner in the Internet category of the European Parliament Prize for Journalism.

For more detailed information, check out his CV.

If you want to get in touch, email nosemonkey [at], or leave a comment.