10 April, 2016

Socialists against BREXIT

Who shouts loudest for BREXIT? It is the most right-wing Tories and UKIP!

WHY do they want it, exactly? They don't want alliance.

HOW do they put their case? They want to be rid of European "red tape" - by which they mean legislation that defends worker's rights. They want free rein to do as they like as they used to! They want to beat their international competitors by foul means if necessary.

What would an even more right-wing Tory Britain be like?

Two groups are arguing loud and long about the forthcoming Referendum. Both groups are essentially lead by Tories who are only really concerned with profit.

Neither side of this argument is remotely concerned about you. They don't care about the state of the Working Class after 8 long years of depression and cuts. If anything they want to turn the screw even harder. Something is holding them back. 

So why should we support either group of Tories? We shouldn't of course! Many voices on the left are calling for a boycott of the EU Referendum. A plague on both their houses!

Yet, we must defend our class.

WHY are the most right-wing, anti-worker, racist, nationalist groups for BREXIT? They want to Leave to end EU laws which protect the worker, which have slowly been won by left-leaning politicians in the European Union. They see the easiest way to exploit the working class is to leave Europe and set their own laws.

Such laws would almost certainly be PRO-employer, PRO-capitalist and ANTI-worker, ANTI-human rights, with a new far-right Tory-lead cabal in charge, post-referendum. Do you doubt it?

But staying in the EU won't make any difference either. It won't mean the end of capitalism! No indeed! But it will allow Europe-wide alliances of Workers to oppose austerity, to oppose ever-more attacks on their jobs and living standards.

Do you really believe that an newly independent Britain, run by unleashed right-wing politicians will be better for working people in this country? It will be considerably WORSE.

Workers must vote NO to leaving the EU. It shouldn't be seen as a vote for the capitalist EU and all of the things we agree are wrong with it, but a vote against the right, a vote against even worse situations for British workers, isolated from hundreds of millions of potential comrades, with the very same problems across the continent. 

Many socialists, including myself, were against the Common Market when joining it was first suggested - for all the right, pro-working class reasons. But that isn't what this vote is really about.

The worst elements of the Tory Party are manoeuvring to bring even more repressive laws against ordinary people. They reckon they could do whatever they wanted unshackled from EU regulation. And maybe they could.

That is the pressing issue we face at the ballot box.

Please don't misunderstand my position: the EU is no friend of the working class, I am fully aware of this. They have done terrible things recently in Greece. But its parliament does make laws which protect people. Occasional majorities of left-of-centre parties have allowed protective laws to get onto the statute book which the Tories cannot currently get around or overthrow. 

Have you noticed the increase in socialist parties in Europe recently, in Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal? In a crisis of Capitalism (which this certainly is) we will need to be able to ally with fellow anti-capitalists all over Europe. Freedom of movement is vital. We need to unite the working class across Europe, not isolate ourselves under perpetual Tory rule! 

This capitalist European Union is not OUR Europe, granted. But a United Socialist States of Europe could be! And we need strength to fight capitalism, we need to be in the best position we can be. That isn't on our own.

Many bigger fights are on the horizon. We will need the freedom to unite to win those fights. 



PS. I wrote this piece as a response to increasing socialist voices calling for Brexit. I think this is a mistake. I also think people on the left are confused about this question, and what it might mean for working people. I hope this elucidates on some of the issues. 

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