A Future That Works

A Future That Works
NO2aTory/Liberal coalition - Vote with your feet for an alternative to a neo-liberal economy and neo-conservative state Yes2aLeftFront and a Red/Green Left Alliance

Friday, 9 December 2011

European Union and the dilemma for the Left

Hungary, Sweden and Czech Republic join the 23 countries isolating Britain, what effect will this have on the people of Britain and what should be the response of the British Left now the right-wing Eurosceptic’s have won and Britain becomes a second rate member of the European Union?


  1. The EU treaty is a disaster for the left


    This makes it even more important now that the broad left unite across Europe.

  2. The European Union's New Face


    We are entering uncharted waters from here on, how will the British Left respond?

  3. European Union and the dilemma for the Left, if we leave the EU will Britain become more or less right-wing, more or less neo-liberal? My instincts still tell me we need to unite with the European and Scandinavian Left against the forces of neo-liberal/neo-conservative capital and the autocratic elites of global finance capital. François Hollande the French socialist candidate for president has spoken out against a treaty. The left need to take the fight to Europe and the Treaty rather than run away they have to confront the EU directives that call for more privatization and marketization of health care, education, transport, and public utilities. We need to unite with the European and Scandinavian Left parties and labour movement more now than before, will that be the response of the British Left or will they act according to nationalist instincts and play into the hands of the Tory right and the interests of British finance capital?

  4. I am not sure how we asses Cameron’s strategy at the EU summit, Britain is now on the periphery of the decision making that will decide the economic and political fate of Europe. How Clegg can support the Tory/Liberal coalition much longer defies any logic when the Liberal-Democrats are the most pro-Europe of the three mainstream parties. I would surmise that Cameron is now a prisoner of the euro-sceptics and policy will be dictated by a shift further to the right and become increasingly neo-conservative and authoritarian. Both in Britain and Europe finance capital is calling the shots, demanding austerity and the dismantling of what remains of the post-war Keynesian compromise between capital and labour.

  5. Cameron, Merkel and Sarkozy are the political agents of British and European finance capital, but they have to play to their respective national electorates in order to get re-elected and in France it’s increasingly possible the Hollande could be the next president and that there could be a Socialist/Communist coalition government. But just as with the Mitterrand socialist government of the 1980’s it will be impossible for one country to pursue socialist/social-democratic domestic policies against the dictates and directives of the IMF, ECB and EU treaties, in just the same way as if it were possible that a Left-Labour government was elected in 2014 either within the EU or outside if the euro-sceptics have by then achieved their goal of taking Britain out of the EU.

  6. What happens next now that new EU treaties are decided by the other nation states of Europe and thanks to Cameron and the euro-sceptics, we as a nation have no say and our fate is in the hands of the Germans, French and ECB technocrats, Cameron may have defended the city and the interests of British finance capital but not the interests of the people of Britain. The anti-European newspapers such as the SUN and Daily Mail will be loving it they can wave the Union Flag's and no doubt the Moring Star will be putting a positive spin on what Cameron has done as it furthers the CPB’s national bolshevik dogma of socialism in one country, thankfully the LRC are moving towards a European approach rather than the nationalistic ideology of the CPB.

  7. I am at a total loss as to how we can put socialism back on the agenda in Britain now the Tory euro-sceptics have succeeded in isolating Britain politically from the rest of Europe. The 9th of December 2011 may well be as significant as the 3rd of May 1979 for politics and see the final nail in the post war settlement and welfare capitalism in Britain, how the left fightback to defend what remains of the concrete gains of communist, socialist and social-democratic activist, trade unionists and political parties of the 20th century has just become that bit harder, as they say be careful what you wish for comrades.

  8. ‘‘Britain is not leaving the European Union, just yet. But the EU may already have abandoned Britain.’’ (John Lichfield, independent, 10/12/2011)

  9. European debate goes on in the Morning Star

    ‘‘The French Left Front (Communists and Left Socialist) and the German Left (die Linke) have jointly tabled detailed proposals that completely reverse EU policies….. with the European Left party, a campaign for a million signatures to a petition demanding a referendum on this alternative.’’ (Jimmy Jancovich Monday 19/12/2011)


    This is the way forward if there is to be any chance of reviving a reformist or building a revolutionary fightback against the mainstream neo-liberal/neo-conservative and ultra-right neo-Nazi parties in Britain, France, Germany and across Europe and Scandinavia and the broad left in Britain should/could rally around European Left campaign for a referendum for a Left Alternative as its focus against the Tory/Liberal coalition and the dictates of the ECB and IMF.

  10. I suspect the official line is ‘ultra-leftist, but I suspect there is enough support both in the CPB and amongst Morning Star supports that they are finding it difficult to ignore Jimmy Jancovich’s argument and if there was enough support on the broad left for the proposal put forward by the French and German Left parties and the European Left the paper would have to support it or they would look very negative and isolationist. I think many Morning Star readers feel that Jerry Jones often rights very muddled arguments and lacks any real understanding of Marxist or Keynesian economic theory. It would be my guess that the Morning Star and CPB will have to at some point move towards the position the Jancovich is arguing if they are to have any credibility, otherwise as the older generation dies so too will the party and the paper.

    Can the Morning Star bridge the gap between the old guard who seek refuge in the ‘certainties’ of Stalinism and the Soviet Union and a new generation which will fight capitalism in the 21st century? If not the CPB and Morning Star are existing on borrowed time. As you know my position is it has to let go of national bolshevism and agree with Jimmy Jancovich if the CPB and Morning Star are to be relevant this provides them with a legitimate way forward campaigning for a referendum, not to come out of the EU but for an Alternative Programme similar to the CPB’s Left Alternative Programme for Britain by campaigning for the scraping of the Lisbon Treaty, Stability and Growth Act, privatization and the austerity packages dictated by Herman Van Rompuy, Mario Draghi, Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy, David Cameron and George Osborne.

    I guess we will have to wait and see if the Morning Star and CPB choses to mobilising behind these proposals at the national and European level as Jancovich argues or whether it prefers to standing on the side-lines or worse ally itself with the neo-liberal/neo-conservative nationalist right-wing of the Tory party, UKIP, BNP and English Defence League. Communists and socialists have always stud against fascism so I would think eventually the Morning Star and CPB will have to make a choice between national bolshevism and international socialism, it cannot sit on the fence for ever and have any credibility with the broad left in Britain, Europe and globally.

  11. The broad left has to start building resistance somewhere and this campaign looks as good a place as any.

  12. oops got my rights and writes mixed up

    ''Jerry Jones often rights very muddled''

    Wolfie often writes very muddled!

  13. Tories' anti-worker EU agenda must be vigorously opposed

    ‘‘Instead of shedding tears of despair, those of us on the left of the Labour Party fought hard for health and safety at work and a shorter working week - a whole raft of regulations came from Europe to protect British working people.

    More than that, the EU brought in human rights legislation which has given a second chance to those seeking justice after British courts have failed them, particularly the defenceless, immigrants and those seeking political asylum.’’

    ‘‘All the Tories want is to throw every piece of legislation that benefits the working class to be thrown into the dustbin of history, making it easier to sack workers, reduce their pay packets and undercut our brothers and sisters on the continent.

    In the long term they will turn what factories we have left into sweatshops which would not be out of place in Dickens' Victorian slums or the most impoverished parts of India, China and the Far East.’’

    (Ray Davies, Letters, Morning Star, 20/12/2011)


  14. European Union is a dilemma for the British Left, the French Communist and Socialist and German Left are calling for a referendum supported by the European Left ‘‘No to EU authoritarianism – Real democracy in Europe’’. Where do the British Left parties stand on this issue, this isn’t a call to leave but for a social economic and political European Union. The Labour Representative Committee voted for a Europe wide working-class response to the capitalist crisis and austerity programs called for by the IMF, ECB and right-wing national governments on the 19th of November.

    The CPB and official line of the Morning Star newspaper oppose this and calls for withdrawal from the EU allying the official Marxist Left with nationalist groups such as the Euro-Sceptic wing of the Tory Party, UKIP, BNP and the English Defence League. What should be the response be of labour activists in the union movement who see the practical benefits of EU legislation on working hours, holiday and sick pay plus human rights legislation in defending the conditions of employment.

    Is there a need/is it variable for the European Left to mount a recruitment drive in Britain to build a Left Front affiliated to the European and Scandinavian Left that could campaign for a ‘‘No to EU authoritarianism – Real democracy in Europe’’ referendum in Britain.


  15. European Left - Individual membership


  16. European Left

    observer status parties


  17. European Left



    Crisis & EU Governance, The Left Response


    Lothar Bisky - Crisis & EU Governance: The Left Response


    Declaration of the EL Council of Chairpersons: "Less “Merkozy”, more social and democratic Europe!"


  18. Don't knock tax just because of the EU

    I am glad to hear from Carol Wilcox's letter (M Star December 21) that economist Jerry Jones did support the idea of the Tobin tax years ago.

    The reason why he has changed his mind, however, raises two important issues. They are the question of ways and means and of anti-European chauvinism.

    Politics has long confused ends and means - of accepting quite unacceptable means on the grounds that the ends justified them.

    The example of the Soviet Union is a recent reminder. The result was that, by the Brezhnev era, the ends had been completely subverted and Soviet people ceased to believe in socialism. So when Yeltsin introduced primitive capitalism there was virtually no popular opposition.

    The ends alone neither justify nor invalidate the means - only those that are appropriate, or otherwise, to their realisation.

    This means that any measures have to be judged on their own merits - not on the basis of the reasons advanced to justify them.

    The Tobin tax was proposed solely to bridle increasingly dangerous speculation in currency that had already caused a number of regional financial crises.

    Even capitalists recognised its usefulness - but the predominance of the financial sector prevented it being applied. Which was just why many on the left supported it at the time.

    Trapped in a currency crisis of its own making, the EU is proposing to adopt it to shore up its financial sector, not to bridle it. The measure in itself, however, is a useful if partial way of exerting some control over the financial sector - which is why the City objects to it.

    So do we back the City and snipe at the measure because the EU is proposing it or do we back the European Left in its proposals to use it as one measure among others of a radical (but not revolutionary) way of reversing the EU's current ultra-liberal policies?

    That is why I call Jones's about-turn a knee-jerk reaction.

    Jimmy Jancovich
    Paris, France



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