“Mistaken or otherwise, alienation and
resentment has been part of our national
character for a long time, as we have failed to
find answers to the most serious social and
economic problems; poverty, industrial failure,
budget deficit and debt”

“a derogation of our historic
democratic right to select and remove
our governments"
(Tony Benn;
Parliament, People and Power 1982).
 People on the left who think of
themselves as opponents of the banks and
big business should be thinking about
their forthcoming chance in the
referendum to oppose them.

 In 1975 the Labour Party conference voted 2-1
in favour of leaving the Common Market, the
capitalist free trade organisation that now calls
itself the European Union.
  Now Labour is a very different party, it has
determinedly severed its links with the unions it
was formed to represent, and made its bed with
big business and their advocates. It doesn't
represent the low paid and it was a long time
since you could expect the Labour Party to offer
any resistance to the status quo in capitalism, and
it makes no moves to radically alter the current
share-out of wealth.
 It is that Labour Party, and its middle
class supporters who are now giving their
wholehearted support to the European
Union, an organisation dedicated to the
smooth functioning of the economy along
the lines already determined by the  owners
of capital and to upholding the current
apportioning of wealth.  Its means are a
downward pressure on wages, and hostility
to trades unions throughout Europe, and
the usurpation of the legislative rights of
elected governments.
It has at its core the intention to exploit the poor
of Europe and create a pool of cheap, non-union,
migrant labour on an unprecedented scale, not
seen since 1930s America.
Most frightening of all, it is an organisation that
has successfully replaced democracy with the
unelected power of the elite administrative class
of Europe. Jose Barossa the twice appointed EU
Commissioner called the EU “An antidote to
democratic governments”
 Why is it that the left offers no resistance to
what amounts to a coup d'etat against
democracy, and therefore of the hopes of the
worse off around Europe and in Britain, to get a
better deal? It is one of the great propaganda
victories of history that the EU has managed to
make itself appear so benign to those who ought
to be its opponents.

 While Tony Benn and the hard left rump
increased and maintained their opposition to the
growing beast of the EU, as it gobbled up political
and administrative power, the Labour Party
itself, in government and out of it, gave its
support. The unions too eventually fell in line
with the project, despite the European Union's
obvious anti-union, anti democratic nature.

 One notorious EU laws The EU Posted
Workers' Directive (the one used against workers
at the Lindsay Oil refinery) ensures that low paid
migrant workers can be denied local union rates;
workers can be moved into a country by a
company which only has to pay the wages they
might have received in their country of origin as
long as it is the same as the minimum local
wage). Not what the unions were expecting
when  Jacques Delors made a speech to the TUC
in 1988 that perhaps turned left wing opinion in
favour of the EU.
Facing a TUC that had been badly bloodied by
the Thatcher government, and a left that had just
lost its third general election in a row, EU
Commissioner Jacques Delors (the unelected
head of the unelected EU government) offered
them the prospect of achieving some of the kinds
of measures they wanted, without the need to win
a mandate for them at the ballot box; These were
social democratic measures, mainly in the realm
of employment regulation, measures that
ameliorate the conditions of the poor without
altering their cause, low pay.
In other words Delors offered them Social
Democracy by the back door, Capitalism by
the front. And there can and could be no
mistake about the capitalist nature of the
European Union and its forebear
; These are
its four “freedoms” upon which it declares itself
to be built; the free movement of capital; the free
movement of goods; the free movement of
services; the free movement of labour; all the
conditions necessary to ensure maximum profits
for big business and the banks.

 The nearest analogy is how the cartel of private
banks in America formed up together and called
themselves the Federal Reserve, giving an
impression which lasts to this day, of being an
arm of the state, whereas they are in fact a
private organisation. But the EU has gone way
beyond that.

The result is that now we have an organisation
devoted solely to free market principles and no
other, which has replaced with its largely
undemocratic processes, the several democracies
of Europe. With their eclipse goes the chance of
the peoples of Europe to have a voice, any
chance to oppose or even mitigate the direction of
economic and social life decreed by capitalism.  
That is the price the left had to pay in their deal
with the devil.
The day the left sold its soul
for a scattering of employment regulations.

The chief impression the average left wing middle
class voter has of the European Union is that
created by precisely this deal; a vague notion of
progressive measures in areas of welfare in work,
such as maternity leave, and health and safety.
This impression isn't regulated by any very
precise comparison with what was already
available in our domestic laws, and any
evaluation of how much these peripheral benefits
if such they be,  are worth.
People don't ask if these paltry measures
are worth exchanging democracy for
because they don't know that is what they
are being asked to do; they don't know
because they are unaware of this one simple
fact; the European elections do not decide
the government of the EU. That is an
appointed body; there are no MEPS in that
government and never have been.
When we vote for the MEPS, we are voting for,
at best, a rubber stamp with a right of scrutiny;
The EU government is appointed. But its laws
take precedence over our own.
Ignorance about how the  European Union
actually works accounts for a large percentage of
our acquiescence to its demands upon us.
Working Class
Why Isn't The
Left Against The

 Aside from this is perhaps something else,
something deeper and even more pervasive
than ignorance itself; a cynicism about
democracy that is born of disappointment and
frustration with its failure to deliver certain
important overdue improvements, namely to
end the gross inequalities that still degrade our
society, and condemn 11million to lives of
grinding poverty for generation after generation.
 This is no small failing, and it would be no
surprise if the 11 million poor would feel
cynical about a system that claims to allow for
the interests of the whole population to be
considered, and yet ignores the sore plight of so
many. But it would still not explain why they
would instead give their support to a body
whose express intention is to remove their
democratic rights and uphold the four principle
requirements of free trade capitalism, the very
system that put them where they are.
But it is not anyway, as far as the polls
have so far shown, these 11 million worst
off who will be voting in favour of the EU
in one years time. Instead it is the same
middle class left who have shared in the
re-shaping of the Labour Party into one of
non-conservative capitalist managers.
 But if you ask the average middle class left
winger about the EU, apart from displaying
their ignorance of its undemocratic nature, its
unelected government, they will say that they
believe it to be vaguely left wing, they perceive
it as being on the whole more left wing than the
average British parliament, even perhaps that it
has the welfare of the people more at heart
than the British parliament (remember the
powerful executive of the EU is not from the
European Parliament, but is the appointed
Commission). They might also say that the EU
is in favour of immigration, while its opponents
are against it. All this despite the fact that the
EU is anti-democratic, and persistently anti
union (for example ruling against and heavily
fining a Swedish Union that tried to secure
union rates for migrant workers), and as far as
welfare of  the people is concerned, is
predicated solely upon capitalist economic
principles and has no other concerns; and
despite the fact that the European Union
superstate has strict border controls against
non-EU immigration, whereas the British
parliament has welcomed immigrants from
outside Europe for hundreds of years, and it is
only now, when under pressure from the EU
migrant system that the immigration that has
made us who we are today is finally at risk of
being reduced.
 He might also say that the EU is an ideal
above petty nationalisms and parochial
priorities, the antidote to the perceived 'Little
Englander'; this despite the fact that the EU is
at best nothing more than another state, only
this time a superstate of 450 million born solely
out of economic imperatives, with hard borders
against non-EU immigrants, and an inward
looking Eurocentric view of the world, not least
of trade, whose endless restrictions and
regulations actually hamper trade with the
world at large.  
The EU is a superstate with the largest
unelected regime outside China. A superstate
with where a coup d'etat has put back in power
the administrative elite whose grip on power
democracy has struggled to loosen.  To invest
your idealism in a worse, more backward
version of what you profess yourself dissatisfied
with is no idealism at all, and more like an
impatient resort to totalitarianism to settle
intractable problems.
 He might say the EU preserves peace, when
we know that the last time they abolished
democracy in Europe 20 million people died.
 He might say the EU is good for trade when
80% of potential markets are outside Europe.
(Gordon Brown said that the old policies of
trade bloc Europe were not just “out of date but
counter productive for the global era.")

 There was a time when the left were
democrats; but there has always been a strain
of leftwingism that was impatient of
democracy, and wanted to get what they
wanted by other means.
But there has not
until now been a left who have abandoned
democracy in favour of a capitalist junta;

that is a really peculiar development, and one
which hopefully will be dispelled as people grow
more informed about the EU over the coming
 Perhaps somewhere, those who have decided
not to bother fighting any more for equality, are
content to see the means of that struggle,
democracy and politics, removed by a group of
administrators who know better what is good
for us. Maybe throwing over the old fashioned
establishment for one who seem more modern
gives them all the satisfaction they can ever
hope to get, no matter how complete an
overturning of left wing values it represents.
Perhaps there is a loss of faith in the freedom to
decide, or an unwillingness to carry the burden
of choice and the burden of blame
 But if anyone on the left thinks that something
remains to be won, such as equality of wealth,
pay, better housing conditions, in Britain, then
they had better make sure that we preserve the
right to chose and dismiss our governments; if
anyone thinks that at some point they might
want to elect a government that wants to right
the wrongs of our society and that has the
power to do so, then we had better make sure
that the political will is not dissolved amongst
that of 400 million others with other ideas, and
that our elected parliament has the power to
make laws that are not overruled by the EU
laws made to serve the needs of big business.

For further information about the EU go to
Thanks to the EU, Corporate Capitalism was
now enthroned, not just as our economic system,
but now as our political one too; as the free trade
club in a spectacular and ingenious move, went
beyond its natural realm of economics and
sought to place itself in the political sphere, like a
giant cuckoo, to replace its potential rivals to its
by making itself the government. Not
even the giant corporations have gone so far in
their audacity as to replace democracy rather
than simply try to undermine it.
Ignorance about how the  European Union
actually works accounts for a large percentage
of our acquiescence to its demands upon us.
And it is the middle classes who are ignorant
about it
Historically the left were instrumental in
gaining democratic rights for the people. Now
it seems their inheritors are on the verge of
giving it away on little more than a whim, or
from being ill-informed. We should beware of
giving away what we cannot take back.
April 2015