There’ll be fun and games in the Commons tomorrow as the Tories (hopefully) tear themselves apart over that favourite obsession of every little-Englander, reactionary and bigot – the EU. It is expected that over 100 Tory backbenchers will defy Cameron’s three-line whip and vote for David Nuttall’s motion calling for a referendum. There is talk of around half a dozen parliamentary private secretaries, and possibly even some ministers, resigning.
And for once, Ed Miliband is doing the right thing: resisting the temptation of abstaining or even supporting the Europhobes in some cheap populist gesture.
It will be fun watching the Tories falling out and the coalition splitting (albeit temporarily). But sadly, some very, very stupid people supposedly on the “left” are lining up with the little-England bigots, and trying to make out that what’s at stake is ‘democracy’ or even ‘workers’ rights’ (which is particularly laughable, given that what the Tory Europhobes particularly hate about Europe is the employment protection legislation it’s forced Britain to implement).
Yesterday’s Morning Star ‘s front page headline was DEMOCRACY’S DEFENDERS RALLY BEFORE CRUNCH VOTE and reported that something calling itself The People’s Pledge Congress is demanding support for the Nuttall motion and has rallied “pro-democracy campaigners from across the political spectrum to demand a referendum on EU membership.” What exactly is the People’s Pledge Congress? No prizes for guessing: it’s the usual band of geriatric Stalinists, RMT bureaucrats and assorted idiots who think there’s something “progressive” about joining forces with the extreme right of the Tory Party to attack Europe. Will these people never learn? Can they not grasp that their anti-EU obsession is inevitably reactionary, nationalist and, indeed, racist. Yes, racist: increasingly, they’re concentrating their fire on Mode 4, the EU concession that allows transnationally-established companies to move workers across borders. Now, of course, this is a charter for cheap labour and under-cutting pay and conditions. We’d support trade union action to prevent jobs and pay being cut by bosses bringing in cheap labour (as at Lindsey oil terminal in 2009 – despite some reservations), but this is quite different: what No2EU and the Morning Star are doing in their obsession with Mode 4, is demanding tighter immigration controls. The reactionary, racist logic of the anti-EU campaign (whether from the right or the idiot-“left”) has never been clearer.