Thursday, 5 March 2009

Anti-EU Platform for NO2EU

There is no doubt that Britain’s withdrawal from the EU would immediately put the question of power at the top of the agenda in every European state. Who will control the resources and decide the fate of the nation: the imperialist capitalist class or the working class? That it is being called for by both right and left demonstrates not just that the objective conditions for intensive class struggle are with us but that both sides want it. The working class cannot live in the old way and the ruling class cannot rule in the old way.

The decision of the RMT to bank roll a slate of candidates for the forthcoming Euro elections under the banner of NO2EU is, therefore, very much to be welcomed. It is always better to go out to meet the enemy when ever possible rather than wait to be winkled out of our fox holes to be picked off one by one. The name NO2EU is certainly emphatic and that too is to be welcomed as faint heart never won fair maiden as they say. However, after the name things get a little blurred and at times it looks like the RMT have got on the wrong platform which is not good for a railway union.

The platform itself represents a gradual retreat from the name. Here it is:

* Reject the Lisbon Treaty
* No to EU directives that privatise our public services
* Defend and develop British manufacturing
* Repeal ECJ anti-trade union rulings and no to social dumping
* No to racism and fascism
* No to EU militarisation
* Restore democracy to EU member states
* Replace unequal EU trade deals with fair trade that benefits developing nations
* Scrap EU economic rules designed to stop member states from implementing reflationary policies
* Keep Britain out of the Eurozone.

There is no prospect and no plan to put the Lisbon Treaty to a referendum in Britain so the very first demand is going to strike people as somewhat irrelevant. The recent spate of wildcat strikes were aimed not at something that has yet to happen but something that is already here. Posted workers and gang masters are a product of Maastricht, the founding treaty of the EU that Margaret Thatcher so eagerly signed despite being a hard line Euro sceptic. So, if the platform is going to live up to the name is should start as it means to go on:

* For immediate withdrawal from the anti-working class EU; so that we can
* Repeal all anti-socialist and anti-trade union legislation; and
* Restore national and local democracy;

The next demand is another retreat from the name:

* No to EU directives that privatise our public services;

Well if you are saying no to the EU then it goes without saying that you are opposed to EU directives unless you are not really opposed to the EU just bits of it. A simple

* Defend public services from cuts and privatisation;

will do.

The next demand,

* Defend and develop British manufacturing

Manages to be both too vague and too particular. Too vague in that it doesn’t say how we can defend British manufacturing in the current economic collapse and too particular in that it only talks about manufacturing when every sector is his.

* Nationalise the job cutting monopolies, restore manufacturing and share the work;

is both broader and deeper.

The next three demands can be reduced to one:

* No more social dumping: trade union control and deployment of labour;

The no to fascism and racism is superfluous and sound apologetic rather than sincere as is no to EU militarization.

The restore democracy demand we’ve already dealt with and the fair trade demand should come near the end. That leaves

* Scrap EU economic rules designed to stop member states from implementing reflationary policies
* Keep Britain out of the Eurozone.

Both of these are problematic. The last is not needed as again it is a retreat from the name and if you are against the EU then obviously the Euro is a no, no. Reflationary policies are those currently being implemented by the Bank of England to protect the financial institutions, we need socialist policies. So here we need to say what we propose to do with our new found national freedom. This is where we differentiate ourselves conclusively from the kooks and psychos of the far right in UKIP and the BNP:

* For a workers’ government in Britain and a United Socialist States of Europe;

We then come in with the fair trade point:

* End imperialist plunder of the developing world: fair trade, fair aid and fair play.

And sum up with a little something for the environment to show that we are in no way little Englanders or a bunch of ostriches:

* Full participation in an equitable and effective global carbon cutting regime.

In summary:

* For immediate withdrawal from the anti-working class EU;
* Repeal all anti-socialist and anti-trade union legislation;
* Restore national and local democracy;
* Defend public services from cuts and privatisation;
* Nationalise the job cutting monopolies, restore manufacturing and share the work;
* Nationalise the banks: initiate a debt amnesty for small businesses and individuals, repudiate the toxic debts;
* No more social dumping: trade union control and deployment of labour;
* For a workers’ government in Britain and a United Socialist States of Europe;
* End imperialist plunder of the developing world: fair trade, fair aid and fair play;
* Full participation in an equitable and effective global carbon cutting regime.

However, even if none of the changes I have proposed are adopted or even thought about I would still support getting the left anti-EU message out there even with the original faltering platform because it will smash open the debate on Europe in a most dramatic way and that has to be done by the left because if it is done by the right the battle will already have been lost. I do, however, think the left should try to get it right first time.

This is posted in the spirit of discussion.

1 comment:

Jim Jay said...

Hello, you said;

"It is always better to go out to meet the enemy when ever possible rather than wait to be winkled out of our fox holes to be picked off one by one."

That is so not true!

The reason why people dig fox holes is so they don't get shot within the first few seconds of fighting, and no general ever won a campaign thinking it was always better to engage the enemy regardless of the conditions.

If everyone jumped out of fox holes and advanced at the enemy in most battles it would mean they all died at once rather than in ones and twos, leaving the rest of the force to continue the fight.

In other words going into battle completely unprepared, on the wrong field of battle and without really knowing what you're doing is far, far worse than sitting tight and preparing for a proper offensive that wont end in complete disaster.