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Star Comment: EU – vote No from the left

A WAVE of apathy will sweep across Britain tomorrow, as no more than one in three electors go to the polls to vote in the European Parliament election.

This is understandable and almost commendable. 

Most people sense that the itinerant “parliament” is a charade, the pseudo-democratic gloss on a European Union that is fundamentally anti-democratic and anti-working class.

It has no powers to initiate legislation or new taxation and its amendments can be batted back and forth until they are rendered ineffective. The talking shop’s only real power — to sack the entire EU Commission — is a “nuclear” option which brings the whole EU gravy train to a halt, gravy-splattered MEPs and all.

Real power in the EU lies with member state ministers in the European Council, with the unelected commissioners and with the unaccountable European Central Bank and misnamed European Court of Justice (ECJ).

With the average MEP in Britain purporting to represent more than three quarters of a million people, elective democracy on this scale is too big for any meaningful, organic link to exist between the electors and the elected.

There is nothing accidental about this set-up. 

It has been designed to ensure that the neoliberal economic philosophy of the EU and its basic treaties and institutions cannot be overturned by the democratic will of Europe’s peoples. 

The capitalist monopolies of Europe must be free to move capital, labour, goods and services across the continent in order to maximise profit.

Spearheaded by Baroness Ashton, the High Representative for EU Foreign Affairs who rose to the position without a trace and has never been elected by anyone to anything, the EU strives to impose its neoliberal doctrine on the rest of the world. 

She it was who joined US warmongers in whipping up the Kiev protesters to overthrow the elected government of Ukraine, knowing that nationalist and fascist elements would lead the charge.

And the response of Britain’s main political parties to an EU which stands so clearly for austerity, privatisation and a military drive eastwards as part of the US strategic “pivot” to Asia? Silence. 

Nothing about the misery inflicted on millions of workers and their families from Spain and Portugal to Greece and Cyprus.

Nothing about the ECJ judgments in the Viking, Ruffert, Laval and Luxembourg cases which undermine trade union and employment rights in all member states. 

Nothing about the militarisation of the EU, as its military structures collaborate ever more closely with those of the US and Nato. 

Instead, all we’ve had from Labour, the Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru and the SNP is a pile of Euro-guff that might as well have been drafted in Brussels. 

The Tories have been more ambiguous because, like Ukip, they favour neoliberalism but want to protect the spivs and speculators of the City of London from any EU regulation.

This leaves only one progressive choice for electors in Scotland, Wales, London and the Yorkshire & Humber, North West, West Midlands and Eastern constituencies of England tomorrow if they want to vote against EU militarism, austerity and privatisation. 

A vote for No2EU — Yes to Workers’ Rights is a vote from the left against the EU, big business and the right. 

In the other constituencies, every vote which counts against the Tories, Lib Dems, Ukip and fascists will be valuable.

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