It’s not my intention here, to discuss either the Philip Lawrence murder case, or the arguments for (or against) a referendum on the European Union reform treaty: both are important issues, but are not the issue at hand.
What I want to discuss is the Stalinoid “left”‘s enduring and totally irrational obsession with all things European, and in particular, with the European Union – and the way they will twist and distort any issue into an anti-EU perspective. The Lawrence case and the reform treaty referendum argument are – in that context – merely the two latest examples of the reactionary madness of the Europhobic Stalinists.
Item: the Lawrence case: we all should have immense sympathy with the feeings of Mrs Lawrence about the decision to allow her husband’s killer to stay in the UK , if and when he is released under licence next year. But her understandable anger, exploited by the right-wing tabloid press, cannot be allowed to determine the treatment of the killer Learco Chindamo, when he is released. Like every other prisoner in Britain, Chindamo is subject to, and protected by, international and EU law, and – in Chindamo’s case – specifically the Human Rights Act, which is based upon the EU citizen’s directive of 2004, which restricts the deportation of EU citizens.
The Sun and the Tories have seized upon Mrs Lawrence’s anger, in an attempt to embarrass the government and whip up anti-EU sentiment. So what does the Stalinist, fanatically anti-EU Morning Star, have to say? Why, it both denounces the Tories’ playing of the “populist card over rights” (as in the Human Rights Act -JD) and, simultaneously (in its edition of August 22 2007), agrees with the Sun that the EU is to blame. To quote the Star‘s editorial:
“That Mrs Lawrence may believe that an Asylum and immigration Tribunal took its decision not to deport her husband’s killer Learco Chindamo to Italy on the basis of the Human Rights act is understandable.
“For Mr Cameron to pretend likewise and, on that basis, to propose the Act’s abolition is an absurdity.
“He must have known that the tribunal is more likely to have been influenced by European Union legislation on the rights of citizens of any EU member state to live anywhere else in the EU”. OK, you Morning Stalinists: tell us whether or not you think that that particular piece of EU legislation is a good or a bad thing?
Item: the EU treaty referendum: the same confusion and illogic seems to lie behind the disturbing news that (to quote the Guardian of August 23rd): “The row over whether Gordon Brown should have a referendum on the EU treaty took a new turn yesterday with trade union leaders joining Conservatives in calling for a public vote on the issue”.
What the hell is going on here? The leaders of the GMB, the RMT, the T&G-bit-of-Unite and UNISON are aligning themselves with the Tories’ anti-European opportunism over the EU treaty: and what principle of working class political interest lies behind that, exactly? Ehhh…well, the British government’s opt-out from the Charter of Fundamental Rights, giving workers the right to take industrial action. Ehhh? Shouldn’t that lead the unions to support the treaty and oppose the government’s attempts to opt out of parts of it? Well, the master strategists of the “left” of the British trade union movement think that the way to persuade the British government to opt “in” to the Charter is to campaign for the TUC to launch a “vote no” campaign against the Charter as a whole: follow that logic, if you can. But it just goes to show that the Stalinist and Stalinist-influenced “left” in Britain, is plain stupid and/or irrational when it comes to the EU.