Tuesday, May 31, 2016

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Why I Will Vote To Remain In The EU

Mick Hall @ Organized Rage explains why in the upcoming Brexit referendum he will cast his vote for Europe.

Like many socialists I have pondered long and hard about how to vote in the EU referendum. My main gripe with the EU is the massive democratic deficit at its core.


It is this deficit which has allowed fanatical supporters of neoliberalism to insert their poisonous theory throughout the EU bureaucracy.

Only fanatics could have treated Greece in such a heartless way - when as a fellow member of the community they asked for help and support they received lectures and orders from some of the very people who held some responsibility for the 2008 economic crash. Instead of helping the Greeks to turn their ship of state around they drove the Greek people into further penury.

What has the EU done for me?

On the EU plus side there is a fair amount of worthwhile progressive legislation that benefits us all; the Transfer of Undertakings Regulations, the Agency Workers Regulations, Part-Time Working Regulations, the Working Time Regulations, Statutory Parental Leave.

Unparallelled rights for European consumers: four weeks statutory paid holiday a year for EU workers; no death penalty (it is incompatible with EU membership); cleaner beaches and rivers throughout Europe; minority languages, such as Irish, Welsh and Catalan recognised and protected; f
free medical help for tourists from member state's throughout EU; no tiresome border checks (apart from in the UK); human rights legislation has protected the rights of the individual, a strict ban on animal testing for the cosmetic industry has reduced untold suffering.

This is just a small number of the progressive legislation the EU has brought us. You can find much, much more on the Internet.

We cannot ignore the fact much of this legislation, especially that which protects workers, consumers and the environment, would be targeted, and if possible removed from the UK statute book were the Leave campaign to win the referendum.

When I first travelled to countries like Spain, Greece and Portugal, they were all ruled by dictators, their peoples were overwhelmingly dirt poor, there were literally no highways worthy of the name, and it was illegal to be a member of an independent trade union.

Whilst they still have problems economically - which nation in the world today does not?- all have prospered societally since they joined the EU and today they are solid democracies, which is not something to dismiss lightly.

Indeed when it comes to a lack of democratic accountability it's the UK which lags behind.

Only this week we saw an example of this with the State opening of Parliament by the British crown.
Two weeks ago, the leading Brexit campaigner Michael Gove MP described the European Union as a "mock parliament," seemingly oblivious to the 'mockney UK parliament' he is a member of.

One parliamentary chamber is unelected, full of flummery, party place men and women and hereditary aristocrats whose sell by date is long gone. The other chamber is elected, but it uses the most antiquated electoral system in the EU. Which allowed the current Tory government to come to power with only 36% of votes cast. The unfairness of this system is best demonstrated when you consider between them the Green Party and UKIP gained 16.4% of all votes cast, which is not far short of half of what the Tories received, yet they gained only 2 MPs between them, whereas the governing party gained 330.

How the Brexit crowd can claim by leaving the EU we are regaining our sovereignty is beyond me when the UK has such a massive democratic deficit at the heart of its 'democracy.' Their talk of the British people regaining their sovereignty is a complete sham, for you cannot regain something you never fully possessed.

To sum up it seems to me if the Leave camp win the referendum reaction will become emboldened. It's bad enough being governed by Cameron but the thought appals me of the two bit shyster Boris Johnson, Iain Duncan Smith - the most odious man in Britain - and Michael Gove, a scholarship boy gone bad, holding the reigns of power with Nigel Farage MEP and his fellow racist bigots acting as cheerleaders.

I will be voting to remain because I feel the defeat of the aforementioned Leave Tories in the referendum will enhance the splits in the Tory Party. Embittered they will undoubtedly plot and scheme against the Cameronites in much the same manner as the Maastricht Rebels did John Major down.

My political take on remaining in the EU was best summed up by Yanis Varoufakis the former Syriza government Minister and economist:

We (the Left) should reject wholeheartedly the fudge that David Cameron came back from Brussels with. He is asking the public to support staying within a reformed Europe, but he has deformed Europe in the process of creating this fudge.
Yet at the same time we should also reject the Eurosceptic view that Britain should leave the EU, but stay within the single market. I have a lot of respect for Tory Eurosceptics with a Burkean view of the sovereignty of national parliaments. The problem is that they also support staying in the single market. This is an incoherent proposition: it’s impossible to stay in the single market and keep your sovereignty.
Neither withdrawing into the safe cocoon of the nation state, nor giving in to the disintegrating and anti-democratic EU, represent good options for Britain. So instead of seeing the referendum as a vote between these two options, and these two options alone, the UK needs a third option: to vote to stay in the European Union so that it can fight tooth and nail against the EU’s anti-democratic institutions.

Thankfully this is also the view of John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn and their wing of the British Labour Party, so when I vote remain I will be in good company.

Finally, to be perfectly honest, when I see the Union Jack flag with all its unsavory historic connotations it makes me shudder. I'm more comfortable when I see the EU flag which has at least not been dipped in blood.


DaithiD said...

Is the trend towards democratisation? I think what its inflicting on Mediteranian youth is the loss of a generation.
Is the bureaucratic caliphate reformable, when its populated with fundamentalists?

larry hughes said...

The EU is a German takeover of europe by BANK not TANK. The EU roped in every member state with a power hose of free money that was used to upgrade smaller nation members infrastructure, roads, bridges etc and visibly modernise third world nations like the mediteranian countries and Ireland. The incentive was a total lack of scrutiny for said money and endless photos of FF and FG cute hoors smiling and in many cases laughing while cutting ribbons at road and bridge openings that had as a matter of course cost the EU coffers several times the original estimate for the project. When the shit hit the fan in 2008 after letting another 17 nations into the EU against the wishes of referendum and with their own rules being shamelessly flaunted to do so, the ordinary people were shackled with the problem. The hose pipe that power hosed the cash around the national member state governments to be shared out to their criminal hangers on has now become a hoover and is sucking the money back into the central bank. Not a health service worth talking about, nor water infrastructure fit for purpose and again after all the free unregulated money the EU now insists on a certain standard in both health and water but the ordinary Joe Soap will foot the bill for the lack of foresight or interest by successive self serving governments.Those who benefitted are not suffering the pain. Nor will they in future. Indeed they are gearing up for another round of sucking the EU hind tit. Same faces/faeces same gangsters supporting them in FF-FG. I hope the Brits do walk away from the corrupt shambles that is europe. It will give the like of Borrusso and the slime balls in Brussels the shock they need. Referendums ignored and people picking up the tab for banking and political career criminality. I pray there is enough Little Englander' mindset left in Britain for them to BREXIT. However I think they will bottle it, and that truely will be an end to any delusion of Britania and Empire. It will be all over. Rue Britiania. Britains truely truely truely will be SLAVES.

alwayssunny said...

Noooo another socialist brainwashed by the EU. I thought socialists were supposed to be a bit rebellious. Big surprise life long politicians Yanis Varoufakis and Corbyn want to stay in the EU. So does Cameron, does Mick Hall still consider David Cameron to be good company. I don't get why anyone who is not a politician would feel strongly about letting the EU have more power over their lives. We get fucked over by Westminster and that is more than enough. The EU is involved in exporting arms so they are not more innocent than the UK. I'm not buying it and this article has further convinced me leaving the EU is the right thing.

Steve Ricardos said...

A socialist should be voting for nation states, self sufficient with a worker controlled system of government.

The exact opposite of the EU in fact.

The EU is nothing but a wet dream for the capitalists, who have NO regard for the people. Deluding yourself if you think otherwise.

Now ironically, that old warhorse of imperialism Britain, has the chance to break away and become more self reliant.

Just a pity the 'brexit' movement is led by an imbecilic born-to-rule tory in Johnson.

Can't have everything I suppose. But I have yet to speak to ONE person who is voting to remain, have you guys?

larry hughes said...

Steve Ricardos

My inlaws and outlaws in Free Derry are all voting to leave. I really hope it happens.