Monday, 27 February 2017

Why do we love Europe so?


I've tried long and hard but I cant see why my party is so enthusiastic about the European Union. I can see why our EU pensioners and Euro MPs feel obliged to sing for their supper and understand why long standing devotees like Blair and Hattersley feel Euro-enthusiasm as a mater of religion. What I can't understand or accept is why something Tony Crosland considered peripheral is so central for so many that it eclipses everything.

It's not a historic commitment. Gaitskell committed Labour against the Common Market. We urged withdrawal in our 1983 manifesto . Why then have we so reversed our position that we registered to support Remain in the 2016 referendum, spent eight times more on it than the Tories who's idea it was, bullied a leader who 'd been consistently against it into speaking for it, then blamed him for not being enthusiastic enough?

It's all a mystery. The EU benefits  the better off with cheap labour, cheap servants, cheap retirement villas and Erasmus scholarships but what about the workers? It  does little if anything for those lower down the pyramid except drain jobs, keep wages down,and strain their social, educational and housing facilities.

It's difficult to see why a Union with which we run a sixty billion trade deficit, which costs eleven billion a year to belong, which imposes higher food prices to protect France and whose aid is our own money back with their strings and their heavy costs deducted, is of any great benefit to the people we represent

It may be just naive idealism but even that shouldn't conceal the fact that the deficit is the export of jobs, a major cause of deindustrialisation,  and a drain on demand . Financing it  requires Britain to borrow  and to sell companies ,houses, land and property, leading to a proportion of foreign ownership greater than any other member. 

It's true that Gordon Brown  overruled Tony Blair's impetuous desire to join the Euro which has made the EU the world's low growth high unemployment blackspot Yet the effects of Europe's deflation still hit us because the EU is our main export market and the Euro- misery in the weaker economies brings more immigrants to Britain.

Being a party of the people  requires Labour to boost employment, growth and the industrial economy which sustains both. Yet the EU. Is a  corporate plutocracy created to serve the purposes of French agriculture and German industry in which a dominant Germany drains the other members by running enormous surpluses  and uses the Euro to keep its exchange rate down to boost its industrial power.

Labour is about democracy, the EU a framework devised and run by the bureaucratic elite which controls it through a  Commission surrounded and influenced by an enormous penumbra of lobbyists, big business and vested interests and largely unchecked by a play way Parliament which lacks any effective party system to allow it to control the executive

Why then were we so out of touch with the British people? Why do so many Labour Parliamentarians want to negate their vote, by  carrying on a long rearguard action against it? Why did we neither learn the lesson of the Scottish referendum, that backing the government helps them not us, nor seize the only opportunity we've had since 2010 to bring down the Cameron government and end its austerity?

Why were so many of our MPs keen for Britain to follow the old EU technique of asking the electorate to reverse any vote the EU doesn't like, and why, now that we've lost all the arguments are we still prepared to let the Tory government seize the centre ground because we're sitting on a pro-EU limb and preoccupied by refighting a battle we've already lost rather than providing a coherent effective opposition

The answer is we're abdicating.There's nothing the EU can do for us in respect of rights, unions, security or the environment that we can't do better for ourselves. There's no support the EU gives to rebuilding industrial strength, improving health and education or advancing equality. On the contrary it proscribes most of the techniques rivals have used to grow strong and reduces improvements to lowest common denominators.

Pinning so many hopes and responsibilities on a failing institution is saying  we've given up hope of winning power and have lost faith in Britain and in ourselves. It's time to move on. Stop fighting a war that's lost. Forget the Euro plumage. Leave the dying bird to the Liberals who're better at fighting dead causes .Instead fight to make Britain strong again and work for the best outcome from Brexit: a Britain that serves the purposes of the people. Not Brussels

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