Thursday, 19 March 2009

No2EU is Live

The No2EU electoral initiative website is now live.

From 'about us':
No2EU Yes to Democracy is an electoral platform. It is a trade union-backed alliance of political parties and campaigning groups. We believe the time is right to offer the peoples of Britain an alternative view of Europe.

The recent referendum in Ireland clearly demonstrates that the working people of Europe are not happy with the direction the EU is taking. The failure of the mainstream parties to represent this feeling has led to a political vacuum.

We will not sit in the European parliament in the event of winning any seats. Our candidates will only nominally hold the title MEP and will not board the notorious EU gravy train.

We want to see a Europe of independent, democratic states that value its public services and does not offer them to profiteers; a Europe that guarantees the rights of workers and does not put the interests of big business above that of ordinary people. We believe the current structures of the EU makes this impossible.

We say...

* Reject the Lisbon Treaty
* No to EU directives that privatise our public services
* Defend and develop manufacturing, agriculture and fishing industries in Britain
* Repeal anti-trade union ECJ rulings and EU rules promoting social dumping
* No to racism and fascism, Yes to international solidarity of working people
* No to EU militarisation
* Repatriate democratic powers to EU member states
* Replace unequal EU trade deals with fair trade that benefits developing nations
* Scrap EU rules designed to stop member states from implementing independent economic
policies
* Keep Britain out of the eurozone
Thoughts? Comments?

Also, Bob Crow's blog here.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

A drive by the RMT down the nationalist path. There is a spattering of progressive demands among the slogans, but the overall message it is putting in reactionary: exploitation is caused by the EU. Some of it is utter rubbish too, the trade union law one ignores the fact that the most anti-union country in the whole EU is Britain, so even removing those laws wouldn't change much. Plus why wouldn't they sit in the parliament - it gives you a platform to raise workers struggles in the media, allows you to say things which would otherwise be illegal [and there is a lot, such as calling for mutinies or saying critical support to the LTTE, which are illegal under British law that you could use parliamentary immunity to raise]. This is a very bad platform for trade unionists and certainly not one I'd be voting for (and I'm saying that as someone who would vote voted Labour in 2001 because of their organic links to the working class and illusions in them).

Phil BC said...

SP Congress video with some related material here.

brother g said...

The decision to not actually utilise any seats they win seems a stupid one. Why reduce Britain's representation within the parliament in some sort of hollow protest when you could use the platform to put forward a serious left message?

Leftwing Criminologist said...

actually they've moved somewhat on that one - they're now saying that people should become MEP's but not physically go to Brussels.

Brother S said...

I agree with brother G. There was must be some percentage in going to Brussels or wherever the EP sits.

Also, won't people think twice about voting for someone who is not going to represent them if elected?

ModernityBlog said...

I'd prefer if they said, no borders, no states, but a community of Europeans

but Internationalism is not in favour nowadays instead we get dressed up Little Englanderism such as "We want to see a Europe of independent, democratic states that value its public services and does not offer them to profiteers;

Anonymous said...

comrades

yes it may not be what we would all have in the programme, but the primary and most important thing is the most militant trade union in the UK is making its first step towards taking part in elections. none of you have mentioned that!

cheers
paul
coventry

Steve said...

The left never ceases to amaze me - a major union breaks with Labour and stands independent candidates on a left platform in the Euro Elections taking an anti-EU stance and they are 'Nationalists' - good grief, are people realy this blind that they cannot see this is a huge step forward? Since when was the EU 'internationalist' or 'progressive' ?? It's a BOSSES Union, and every working person in europe knows it, and knows it for what it is.

Eddie Truman said...

Phil, by what process are candidates being selected for this ?

John said...

NO other significant section of the left in Europe takes the RMT euro-phobic stand, however critical they are about specific policies of EU governments (See Die Linke in Germany, the French Anti-Capitalist Party or the Peoples Socialist Party in Denmark). As for asking people to vote for candidates who will not take their seats in the European Parliament (but will keep the money)- that is an invitation for ridicule. The elected European Parliament is winning ever more legislative power and it is essential that the left exercises as big an influence as possible. I fear the BNP will trump the RMT in any competition for the working class nationalist vote.

John Palmer

Denzil said...

I'm not convinced that refusing to take up any seats won is correct. It reminds me of Militant refusing to allow Dave Nellist a column in The Sun 'newspaper' many years ago: with hindsight, I think it was just a missed opportunity to place socialist views before the overwhelmingly workingclass readership of that newspaper.

Phil BC said...

I don't think the idea of not taking up seats on Brussels is a smart move either. But there is wiggle room here. In the unlikely event of our winning seats there will be a convention on how to proceed. Personally, going to Brussels and accepting only the average wage would be my preferred option.

All that said I do agree this is a really significant development, and especially so if more parties and unions come on board - which is a possibility.

Eddie - no idea. There is a No2EU steering committee and I assume that will have the final say of who goes on the lists.

The platform and the way this has come about is not ideal. But for those of us who want to build a new workers' party there's no getting away from the boost this can give that project.

Andrew Coates said...

A doomed enterprise.

And, who can we thank for the silly name: No2 etc?

I'm taking bets on this getting less than 0,5% anywhere. Any wagers?

Mick Hall said...

Left wing crim said 'they' have moved on this, someone else asked 'who' picks the candidates. Phil tells us there is 'wiggle room'. Wiggle room Phil?

What is going on here.

Phil BC said...

It is deeply unsatisfactory, Mick. No2EU should have been sorted months ago. The platform and candidate selection should have been open. It isn't good enough that comrades are left groping around the internet for more information - there are lessons here we can all take on board for the future.

When there's more major news I'll post it here and/or at SU.

Mick Hall said...

Thanks Phil.

Gerry said...

Socialist Fight

Internationalism Now! Down with Economic Nationalism, Bj4Bw and No2 EU Europhobia! Build a Rank-and-File organisation that fights the bosses and the class treachery of the TU bureaucracy!


The G20 summit demonstrates the rapidity with which the crisis is unfolding. Whole economies like Iceland and Ireland are virtually bankrupt, financial meltdown has unleashed economic meltdown and no one can say where it will end. And the political ramifications for the left are equally rapid. The Lindsey Oil Refinery strikes were the August 4th for the British working class. Those like the SP and CPB who gave them enthusiastic support have now got their reward.

The Stalinists of the CPB, who have been the traditional bagmen for the class traitors of the TU bureaucracy, have welcomed the ‘Trotskyist’ SP into the fold of economic nationalism. Fronted by Bob Crow, with no consultation with his members, the new No2 EU platform is a straight British nationalist response which attempts to steal the votes of the UKIP. Like the infamous ‘foreigners out’ demonstration in Staythorpe this appalling political treachery has struck fear into every immigrant worker and much of the black and Asian community. If even ’lefts’ like Simpson, Crow, Nellist and the CPB are prepared to tack so far right for opportunist gains how can they fight let alone defeat the BNP?

But divisions are not really so bad if they reveal reality in time to fight back. The SWP has swung to the left after the split with Galloway and is now recruiting rapidly on leftist demands. Despite the problems with their own capitulation to trade union bureaucracies (why back Faircloth in the Amicus election?) and the popular frontism of the UAF, etc. their members are demanding a real fight now, revolutionists should give critical support to that.

The future of the working class and poor, particularly immigrants, is indeed grim and they will be joined by a vast section of the middle class who will be rapidly driven down into their ranks. A year or so ago every right-wing think-thank in the planet trumpeted low taxation, deregulation and privatisation as the neo-liberal model that leads to robust economic growth. The number of millionaires and billionaires has rocketed but this was “necessary” so the poor could benefit from some trickle-down, or ‘crumbs from the master’s table’ as one patronising bigot put it long ago. Today we are encouraged to hate these greedy bankers and fat cat finance capitalists but not the system itself, which the People’s Charter assures us is reformable.

The anarchist answer is to defend localism; local communities defending jobs and fighting the oppressive state is the only way. What is wrong with British jobs for British workers, Irish jobs for Irish workers and local jobs for local workers? Down with the EU, back to fortress Britain? But the door is then opened for the far right; economic nationalism is the field of operation of the fascists of the BNP, it ties the workers to the bosses' system and must destroy the very basis of working class consciousness, its internationalism and its objective need to produce wealth on the basis of a world planned economy. Workers are the only true global class whose interests can only be truly served by global planning; we live in a global system run by capitalists interested solely in their own greedy short term profits.
Revolutionary Trotskyists must provide the answer then by fighting for the world revolution. If the Waterford Crystal occupation becomes fashionable then the sacred right of private property, which underpins all global oppression, will be raised again as an international tactic. Only when private property is overthrown and collective, effective human rights (not the UN UDHR) are established and when we produce food and manufactures for human need, not profit can workers begin the struggle for international socialism. We must sweep away the ‘muck of ages’: sexism, homophobia and economic nationalism which leads to racism, wars and rationalises all human oppression.

But we cannot do it effectively when we collaborate with a TU bureaucracy which seeks to jail militant Belfast Airport shop stewards. We cannot do it when we go on marches with Lindsey Oil Refinery strikers who shout ‘foreigners out’. Just as we must not capitulate to the trade union bureaucracy we cannot circumvent them either by ‘base unions’, we must fight and defeat them to reclaim the unions as class struggle organs by building a rank-and-file organisation. Internationalists will then see their aspirations as real possibilities: no local answers, no trade union bureaucratic sell-out deals to save capitalism; occupy, organise and strike to unite the working class nationally and internationally, then the revolutionary struggles will begin in earnest. Down with Bj4Bw and No2 EU nationalism, workers of the world unite!

Steve said...

Who wrote this crap?

"But we cannot do it effectively when we collaborate with a TU bureaucracy which seeks to jail militant Belfast Airport shop stewards." - Socialist Party Members

"We cannot do it when we go on marches with Lindsey Oil Refinery strikers" - Socialist Party Members

"who shout ‘foreigners out’." - What evidence is there to support this crass drivel??

Phil BC said...

Welcome to the wacky world of ultra-leftism, Steve.

Mick W said...

For my sins I've become interested in the No2 - yes to democracy campaign. The result is I have dipped my toe into the world of the radical left. Very depressing.

To me it is simple. The EU is undemocratic and promotes neo liberal policies such as privatisation. I am against these things so I will vote for them, not for UKIP tories of BNP facists.

I'm not deluded into thinking that structural, policy and name changes will turn this into a party that will bring about a socialist, internationalist, workers Europe.

Whether they take their seats or not is not my main concern. They can't affect any changes in this so called 'parliament' anyway.

The nation state, with all its faults is surely better than a pan-European dictatorship of capital. Working people must have this option to vote for on June 4.

For now I must bid adieu to the ridiculous world of the leftist schism.