Thursday 10 January 2013

Tory Disarray Over Europe

1. You know the government's position on Europe is broken when the US State Department is compelled to publicly comment on Dave's anti-EU posturing. As far as US interests are concerned, whether there is a Republican or Democrat in the White House they need their most steadfast ally at the heart of Europe. Partly as a Trojan horse to those federalists who would like the EU grow into a counterweight against overweening US domination, partly to promote the liberalisation of markets for the benefit of US corporate giants, and partly to ensure its interests have a place round the decision makers table. If UKIP and Europhobic Tories had their way, their hope for closer ties with the other side of the Atlantic will come to naught if the useful role they play in the EU ceases. One section of the Coalition understands this, but it seems lost on the traditional party of the rich and the privileged.

2. In the Manifesto, Marx and Engels define political sects as organisations that put their interests before those of the working class. In a different time and involving a completely different set of forces, the Tories are doing just that. Dave's clever-clever prevarication, his hints that he may go for an in/out referendum, the notion that the UK needs to renegotiate its relationship, all of this is giving some leading business people the jitters while undermining Britain's standing in the near-abroad. And for what? To try and win back disgruntled Tory voters from UKIP? For nicer headlines in the Telegraph and The Mail? To placate the has-beens and never-weres of the back benches? A purer example of a party putting its interests before the class it represents is seldom seen.

3. Dave doesn't realise it's pointless trying to out tough UKIP on Europe. Whether he favours a renegotiated relationship or not, he knows a UK exit from the EU would be an utter disaster. With all the arrogance of the ignorant, UKIP simply don't care. While it is true Dave got a poll bounce last winter vetoing an agreement that Britain had no intention of participating in anyway, support for UKIP is not specifically driven by anti-EU sentiment. It is about anti-establishment politics. No one really cares what UKIP stands for beyond an amorphous sense of patriotism and anti-political correctness. They have become the de facto middle finger for middle england. As such, UKIP is a symptom of the alienation between the electorate at large from the particular kind of professional politics that have become hegemonic in Britain. Tory repositioning on Europe is not going to stem the trickle of blood from their right flank.


DeeDee99 said...

You baldly state that a UK exit from the EU would be an utter disaster without providing any evidence whatsoever.

There is plenty of evidence to support the alternative viewpoint - that a British exit would do the UK the power of good .... although it wouldn't be so good for the EU and it might temporarily upset the Americans.

But since when does the UK have to subvert its own Sovereignty and Democracy in order to please the Americans - who would do no such thing themselves.

Membership of the EU has not been a benefit to the ordinary British people - athough it suits multinational corporations and the political elite. It's time the British people decided whether we stay in or leave. And we should do it without any interference from the leaders of other nations who do not have OUR best interests at heart.

Alex Dawson said...

I think the intervention from the US politicians - and now, it appears, the German politicians - is most interesting. In many respects I fear it could end up being counter-productive, fuelling the conspiracy theorists and little Englanders into saying "we told you so - they're telling us what to do so let's do the opposite of what they want."

That said, the all-too-likely-true pronouncements on major job losses that would be caused by a UK/Euro divorce may have some resonance on those still lucky enough to have jobs in manufacturing and global services.

In terms of UKIP - I saw a detailed poll today that I think showed that UKIP support is getting terrifyingly high amongst DE voters. I think this idea that it is a home counties middle-class phenomenon is quite dangerously mistaken and I believe that UKIP is now eating into what was the BNP share of working class votes. UKIP could overtake the Labour party amongst the poorest in society and leave Labour to fulfil the Blairite destiny and transition fully into wet-left a middle-class vehicle for capital.

What I cannot fathom is the existence of many on the Labour Left and Outside-Left who are salivating at the prospect of leaving the EU. Such a move will be suicidal in terms of job losses, international isolation and inflaming base nationalist fervour and will, I suspect, end in some sort of neo-fascist government in England hid behind our revived and emboldened monarchy.

It is beyond comprehension that self-described socialists continue to bleat on the 1970s line about the "bosses club" of the EU when they must realise that a UK exit will not herald any sort of revival of socialist support amongst the little Englanders.

That said, I fear it is too late and the Atlanticists running the media have done the job already. I think the UK will leave the EU, break up and Balkanise and England will end up a sort of giant tax-haven with expensive nuclear submarines to fund - isolated and hated by our near neighbours, irrelevant and joked about by the rest of the world. A North Korea of Europe.

Robert said...

A UK exit might not be good for the UK but I believe it would benefit Europe. De Gaulle was right Britain should never have been allowed to join. He knew that the UK would be an American Trojan Horse. The UK blocked the Delors plan for a social Europe based on the Rhineland model of capitalism with union reps on the boards of the corporations.