Democrat September-October 2012 - Editorial (Number 131)
Stop the raiding parties
Asset stripping in Britain and Greece
Statements by government ministers have deliberately given the impression that they have serious reservations about the EU and get very close to being anti-EU.
This is misleading and muddies the subject of EU membership. Included in the confusion is that of holding an in-out referendum on EU membership. Even that has been watered down to negotiating a new relationship with the EU. A statement in Germany by William Hague, the foreign secretary, that a minimalist EU should be created adds to the deliberate confusion.
This is a repeat of the trick used by Harold Wilson in 1975 two years after Britain joined the European Economic Community, known as the Common Market.
One further objective of the Tory leaders is to head off the right wing UKIP challenge for Tory votes. This is an indication that the far right want to take over the anti-EU stance of the majority of the electorate.
Make no mistake, the real position of the Tory and Lib-Dem leaders in Government is to put in place yet more austerity and privatisation. In addition to what has already happened, which is bad enough, there are to be further attacks on the welfare state, pensions, NHS, education, wages, conditions at work and what is left of the public sector.
The government has chosen to ignore completely and hide the fact the IMF has admitted that the austerity policy does not work, is counter-productive and actually causes a decline in a country’s economic performance.
All these attacks and policies are common in some form or other across the EU, especially in the eurozone. It must not be forgotten that we are in the penultimate stage of joining the euro and the budget is scrutinised and has to be approved by the Commission. Britain has lined itself up with the criteria and is lending money to prop up the euro, and hopes to make a profit as well.
The labour movement must not take a knee jerk reaction to the alleged Tory impression of opposition to the EU and must continue support for the EU and eurozone.
The example of Greece should be plain for all to learn from. In Greece medieval-like raiding parties led by the Chancellor of Germany are stripping out Greece’s assets. Part of the operation includes privatisation and ruthless attacks on the welfare state, pensions, health service, education, wages, conditions at work and what is left of the public sector - worse, but exactly identical to that taking place in Britain.
The way towards a rational development of Britain is for the left to take the lead and remove Britain from all the tentacles of the EU and re-establish the right to self-determination and national democracy and independence. If the left does not carry out this fundamental responsibility the far right will with tragic and dire consequences. Again the example of Greece is clear and must be acknowledged. Golden Dawn in Greece has emerged to contest the left in an attempt to gain control. The left in Greece have stated that the only course to take is for the country to leave the EU to end all the misery and deprivation.
The fundamental line which divides politics in Britain, as elsewhere, lies between those who support and those who oppose this country ceasing to be a sovereign state and effectually being turned into a regional or provincial state in what is now constitutionally a supranational EU federation, whose key policies are decided by its big member states, in their own interests. There can be no compromise on this issue. The longer that steps are not taken the harder it will be to put all things on a proper rational course.
Demonstrations against the ConDem cuts took place on 20 October but the labour movement needs to go further with action. That includes a General Strike but also requires its own policy to leave the EU which would dump the austerity policies at the same time.
That is the rational objective which will benefit the peoples of Britain.