Monday, 9 September 2013
Why I’m not sure about No to EU
Next year in 2014 is the European elections where the old and battered banner of No to EU is being rolled out again. It was last used in 2009 when the CPB and various other anti EU leftists used it to stand in 2009 under the name NO to EU yes to democracy. A fairly bland banner if ever you heard one. I may be wrong but bringing this awful banner back "no to EU" with no alternative posed is a big danger in my view. I do feel this will play into the racist and right wing UKIP agenda. The likes of Bob Crow of the RMT are big supporters of a left challenge to the EU and have opposed the European Union all along apparently yet I am not sure a left message will get a hearing next year given the media presence of UKIP and the Tories and others No to EU won’t get a look in. Seeing No to EU on your ballot paper will instantly make you think they must be another UKIP. People won’t stop to think and read what no to EU are saying if anything along an alternative line people looks at quick snappy slogans and will link No to the EU with UKIP unfortunately. I am deeply troubled this stance of standing against UKIP with this message and trying to play them at their own game will not pay off and will only play into the hands of right wing nationalists and euro skeptics. It’s a dangerous game to play I think I think the left and socialists should have full support and solidarity with our fellow workers in Europe and oppose austerity and call for the most widespread solidarity and linking up of workers across the continent. Only by mass joined up action can we affect things. Standing in the European elections and allowing UKIP to set the agenda is a dangerous thing in my opinion. If we are going to say let’s leave the EU we must say what we'd do instead as just leaving the EU is not a strategy or any sort of alternative for as long as capitalism lives on. Just like in Greece an exit from the EU will not end austerity and we must be careful not to dress this up as this. Only a break with capitalism will do pointing the direction on a class basis towards a socialist society meeting the needs of the many should be our goal. Tail ending left nationalism is a strategy which does not fit well with me and I am not sure I’ll be able to support such a project if I’m honest. A good long think on what as Marxists we should say about the EU needs to happen. The EU may look very different in a decade or son’s time and some countries may end up leaving but leaving on a capitalist basis is no answer to the troubles and struggles workers face.