Socialism Protects Workers In Britain; Not The EU Social Chapter. (Lexit)


Welcome back Tweedsters, The majority vote
by Britons to leave the European Union was an act of raw democracy. Millions of ordinary
people refused to be bullied, intimidated and dismissed with open contempt by their
presumed betters in the major parties, the leaders of the business and banking oligarchy
and the media. A forewarning came when the Treasurer, George
Osborne, the embodiment of both Britain’s ancient regime and the banking mafia in Europe,
threatened to cut £30 billion from public services if people voted the wrong way; it
was blackmail on a shocking scale. The most effective propagandists of the “European
ideal” have not been the far right, but an insufferably patrician class for whom metropolitan
London is the United Kingdom. Its leading members see themselves as liberal, enlightened,
cultivated tribunes of the 21st century zeitgeist. What they really are is a bourgeoisie with
insatiable consumerist tastes and ancient instincts of their own superiority. In their
house paper, the Guardian, they have gloated, day after day, at those who would even consider
the EU profoundly undemocratic, a source of social injustice and a virulent extremism
known as “neoliberalism”. The aim of this extremism is to install a
permanent, capitalist theocracy that ensures a two-thirds society, with the majority divided
and indebted, managed by a corporate class, and a permanent working poor. In Britain today,
63 per cent of poor children grow up in families where one member is working. For them, the
trap has closed. More than 600,000 residents of Britain’s second city, Greater Manchester,
are, reports a study, “experiencing the effects of extreme poverty” and 1.6 million are slipping
into penury. Little of this social catastrophe is acknowledged
in the bourgeois controlled media, notably the Oxbridge dominated BBC. During the referendum
campaign, almost no insightful analysis was allowed to intrude upon the clichéd hysteria
about “leaving Europe”, as if Britain was about to be towed in hostile currents somewhere
north of Iceland. On the morning after the vote, a BBC radio
reporter welcomed politicians to his studio as old chums. “Well,” he said to “Lord” Peter
Mandelson, the disgraced architect of Blairism, “why do these people want it so badly?” The
“these people” are the majority of Britons. The wealthy war criminal Tony Blair remains
a hero of the Mandelson “European” class, though few will say so these days. The Guardian
once described Blair as “mystical” and has been true to his “project” of rapacious war.
The day after the vote, the columnist Martin Kettle offered a Brechtian solution to the
misuse of democracy by the masses. “Now surely we can agree referendums are bad for Britain”,
said the headline over his full-page piece. The “we” was unexplained but understood – just
as “these people” is understood. “The referendum has conferred less legitimacy on politics,
not more,” wrote Kettle. ” … the verdict on referendums should be a ruthless one. Never
again.” Referendums are often awkward terrain for
anyone who doesn’t fall into the left right paradigm, because the terms of the debate
are set by establishment politicians. The referendum on British membership of the European
Union (EU) is a particularly tricky specimen. The mainstream arguments on both sides will
be unpalatable. The extent of this political backing reflects
the priorities of big capital. Three-quarters of large British firms told a recent survey
they backed continued membership. The Confederation of British Industries and most members of
the Institute of Directors take a solidly pro-EU stance. Meanwhile, the tone of the No campaign was
set by the UK Independence Party (Ukip), some of the nastiest elements of the Conservative
Party and a motley array of smaller businesses. In other words, on one side we will face calls
to support big business, on the other a little-Englander campaign steeped in racism towards immigrants. However, the EU’s support for free movement
is based on its desire to create a European-wide labour force that can be profitably exploited
by capital. It is not motivated by humanitarianism or anti-racism. The European Union provides
internationalism for the bosses, not for workers. It is only necessary to look at the way the
institutions of the EU have treated the people of Greece – forcing endless austerity on them
which has lowered incomes by an average of one third and led to mass unemployment – to
see that the EU acts in the interests of the 1% not the 99%. For decades now the majority of trade union
leaders in Britain have argued that the European Social Chapter provides important protection
for workers in Britain. In reality the Social Chapter, while it potentially
gave some extra legal protection on certain issues, was never much more than a fig leaf
to disguise the reality of the European Union as an employers’ union. What protects workers in Britain – and in
other countries – is not the European Social Chapter but our collective strength. If, over
the last decades, the trade union leaders had led a determined struggle against austerity
and privatisation, they could have won far more than the few crumbs provided by the Social
Chapter. Let’s remember Major’s Tory government was
allowed to simply ‘opt out’ of the Social Chapter when it was first introduced. When
Labour was elected in 1997 they opted into the Social Chapter. However, Britain’s anti-trade
union laws, both the already draconian existing laws and the even more brutal ones currently
going through parliament, are not deemed to have contravened the Social Chapter. And after many years of neo-liberal EU treaties
and endless austerity, even the fig leaf of the Social Chapter is now in tatters. EU member
states that have been ‘bailed out’ by the troika have suffered the biggest fall in collective
bargaining rights in the world. According to the International Labour Organisation,
collective bargaining rights have fallen by an average of 21% across the ten EU countries
hardest hit by the economic crisis, and have fallen by a massive 63% in Romania and 45%
in Greece. During the referendum campaign, the Remain
side emphasized the economic consequences of a leave result, but, more often than not,
by advocating the same neoliberal principles that had alienated big parts of the population.”
Of course, at the same time, socialists attempted to put across the reasons why a Leave vote
should be the official position of a socialist Labour Party (a message that was drowned out).
But despite the left-wing leadership of Corbyn (and his hundreds-of-thousands of supporters),
the right-wing majority of the members of the Parliamentary Labour Party tragically
won the day and helped lead a pro-establishment Remain campaign. It’s hardly surprising that the Labour Party
made a point of embracing Brexit. After all, so much of its manifesto is in direct violation
of European Union law. Corbyn has vouched to regain control over energy supply networks,
discriminate against companies that don’t recognize trade unions, and actively support
struggling industries through state aid — ideas the European Commission and the European Court
of Justice would find very difficult to accept. Only by leaving the EU can the party hope
to implement its pledges. The distinction between a hard and soft Brexit
was always deeply flawed. In the end, a hard Brexit is the only thing that makes sense.
The only way the high costs of leaving Europe can be justified is by aggressively pursuing
all potential advantages in the areas of regulation and trade. And these advantages cannot be
pursued if the U.K. stays in the single market or the customs union for any amount of time. In the long run, soft and hard brexit will
mean nothing, what matters is how life after the EU will be shaped in terms of the people
at the top and those at the bottom.




Comments
  1. Somehow the media managed to flip the support of remain as something which the left must support. Yet the EU is a neo-liberal club, more examples of the billionaires setting the agenda.

  2. amazing video, an assessment that is simple, accessible and in my opinion spot on.
    rejection of the EU …IS…solidarity with Europe, the EU isn't Europe, the Labour movement must rediscover it's role as the people's champion and reject the anti democratic consolidation of power by the few at the expense of the many.
    thumbs up to all LEXIT voices (oh and JC4PM)

  3. Mr tweedy, a correction!
    Manchester is the third city! Behind Birmingham……
    …. Other than that, a fine video

  4. He probably wouldn't want a second referendum, but what about the Blairite backstabbers who still represent the majority of Labour MP's? He still needs them to govern and will have to reach some form of agreement with them… unless, of course, the militants manage to institute a mandatory re-selection of candidates by the party membership before the next General Election.

  5. what think you now that Corbyn is insisting that no deal be taken off the table, removing any leverage we had and taking away the one option that delivers what the ref promised? I am NOT happy, have a look at what May as been up to with EU whilst "negotiating" see 4 30's plan and anglo franco agreements for a super state and control over our forces, it's very scary indeed

  6. Brexit is more socialist than people think
    It will free the Woking class for the EU capital filth
    Any true socialist support Brexit

  7. Great video. Very well said. Have shared on Twitter in the hopes of persuading remainers, but from past experience know that minds will be closed as far as people who have swallowed the whole Brexiteers are racist myth and the lie that the EU protects worker's rights are concerned. I have argued the case for a left-wing Brexit over and over. Now and again the message gets through,but it's hard going!.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *