Democrat April 2002 (Number 61)
A boost in fight for democracy
Report by Brian Denny
The newly-formed group of Labour MPs Labour Against The Euro (LATE) have warned that a commitment to join the euro could cost the party up to 110 seats at the next election.
The fact that nearly 40 MPs are prepared to speak out against handing more economic and political powers to Brussels reflects growing general opposition to eurofederalism within the Labour and trade union movement.
Heading the campaign, Ian Davidson MP said an ICM survey of Labour voters found that the priorities for those voters during the current Parliament were overwhelmingly the NHS, education, transport, and law and order.
Only 3% identified joining the euro as a top priority.
"We are quite clear that we do not believe that there should be a referendum between now and the next election, and if a referendum is held we will be campaigning against joining.
"We do take the view that it is either/or, that given the Maastricht criteria, the restraints that would come on us from the European Commission if we were in the euro, then it really is a question of we either go for the NHS, education, the additional spending there, or joining the euro," said Mr Davidson.
Mr Davidson noted the survey found that around a quarter of Labour voters could be less likely to consider voting for the party at the next election if Blair made it clear he wanted to abolish the pound.
"All the evidence we have indicates clearly and categorically that a commitment to join the euro before the next election and a campaign to join the euro has electoral health hazards for us as a Labour Government and Labour Party."
The formation of LATE is a further sign of growing resistance to Blairs anti-democratic project within the Labour Party as well as for the country as a whole by locking Britain into the eurozone. It is part of an emerging movement which must be turned into a united campaign against the single currency.
The red-green element of this rainbow coalition will also be strengthened by the news in leaked documents that the EU is demanding full-scale privatisation of public services across the world as its price for dismantling the common agricultural policy in the new round of global trade talks.(see EU and WTO)
"We are shocked by how the the EU is preparing to trample over its claims to be in favour of sustainable development in the naked pursuit of the interests of European multinational service corporations," said Dave Timms from the World Development Movement.
"These documents confirm our worst fears about these negotiations. The EU is targeting sectors where there is no evidence that liberalisation benefits developing countries."
Democrat readers will of course not be surprised at this news, but it can only bring in new anti-globalisation forces to fight corporate plans for a single currency designed to help transnationals run riot across the continent and beyond.
The cross-party Campaign for an Independent Britain (CIB) recently agreed to work towards the building of an infrastructure to fight the euro based on ad hoc committees to be ready to fight the referendum when it is called.
A national No campaign must consist of delegates from all organisations that wish to be represented in the NO campaign and adequately reflect constituencies vital to winning the referendum. (Fascists and racists are to be excluded at all levels.)
Although it remains unclear when a poll date will be announced, it is becoming increasingly evident that in order to win against the rich and powerful corporate lobby the work must begin now.