As the ultra-right within the Tory Party increase their campaign to get Britain out of the EU, it should by now be obvious to everyone that the anti-EU cause is by its very nature, the preserve of the racist, anti-working class and thoroughly reactionary forces within British society. However you dress it up in “anti-capitalist” rhetoric, this is a right-wing cause and those deluded souls on the anti-EU idiot-left, need to wake up and smell the latte.
Above: Martin Rowson’s cartoon in the Graun
I have been attempting to make this point to the Morning Star
(which seems to be home to the last desperate remnants
of the anti-EU “left
“); here’s my latest effort to wake these people up to the realities of the present debate on EU membership:
Richard Maunders (M Star 09 May) disinterring the anti-Common Market stance of John Gollan from 1969 reminds me of those old generals forever fighting the war before last.
Even accepting that Gollan and the Communist Party had a coherent socialist case against the Common Market during the cold war (which I wouldn’t, but that’s by the by), such a case is now long gone.
The anti-EU cause is now quite clearly an ultra-right Tory/Ukip preserve, based upon xenophobia, hostility to workers’ rights and human rights legislation, and a thinly disguised nostalgia for the days of Empire.
Socialists who delude themselves that there is now anything remotely progressive about the anti-EU cause need to wake up and smell the coffee so helpfully provided by Mr Farage and his shower of all-purpose reactionaries.
Meanwhile I see that the preposterous Bob Crow has once more blundered into this debate with a characteristically moronic and ignorant press statement:
TRANSPORT UNION RMT today called for British withdrawal from the EU and attacked the media for only using right-wing voices from the anti-EU side of the debate when in fact it is the working class that are suffering most across Europe as a result of the bankers and business-led austerity measures.
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:
“RMT’s position is clear, not only should there be an early in/out referendum but also we are calling unequivocally for British withdrawal.
“Across Europe, and specifically in Spain and Greece which are at the eye of the storm, it is the working class who are suffering the most as democracy is ripped apart and the EU and the central bank demand cuts to jobs, wages and pensions and wholesale privatisation of public assets.
“RMT will not sit back and allow this debate to be dominated by UKIP and the right wing of the Tory Party. Ministers like Michael Gove are now only raising the issue of withdrawal out of pure political opportunism. He could not care less about the rates of youth unemployment across Europe, the only concern of these Tory “Johnny Come Lately’s” is saving their own political skins.
“RMT will continue to set out the left wing, pro-worker case for British withdrawal from the EU that puts jobs, standards of living, democracy and public services centre stage. The truth is that you cannot be pro-EU and anti-austerity when the whole structure of the European project is dominated by the interests of bankers and big business, the driving forces behind the imposition of austerity measures across the Continent.”
Union calls for withdrawal from EU
Finally (for now), I must commend Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (not someone I have always agreed with) for her brilliant cut-the-crap demolition of Ukip and their anti-EU friends, on BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions
and, again in today’s Independent
“The ugly truth is that Farage and his gang are encouraging the hatred of the outsider, blaming them for all ills, just as the BNP and NF did in their time. Poor Nick Griffin must be bursting with envy and wrath to see the upstarts winning hearts and minds which recoil from good, honest Fascism. Immigrants and the EU did not create the economic crash and crisis and did not impose painful cuts to benefits; migrants use our services and also work hard to provide those services in the public and private sectors; most pay taxes and are happy that some of the money goes to indigenous Britons who can’t or won’t work. It may be cunning and clever of Ukip to use these recessionary times to whip up animosity against “alien” interlopers. But it is morally repugnant and makes us all unsafe. Think of how people were incited to turn against those unlike themselves in Bosnia before the war, or Germany in the 1930s. Think and be afraid, very afraid.”
Well said, Yasmin! And what a pity that the likes of the Morning Star and Bob Crow continue with their pathetic self-delusion about an impossible “left wing” anti-EU stance.