European Union and the British Left
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WolfySmith



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:44 pm    Post subject: European Union and the British Left  Reply with quote
Dose it serve any purpose to continue to oppose the European Union, should socialists continue to be anti-Europe or should they unite with the European Left against the current neo-liberal agenda of the EU in the same way they oppose the neo-liberal agenda of the Tory/Liberal coalition. Should the Alliance for Green Socialism, Communist Party of Britain and Socialist Party affiliate to the European Left or stay separate in the battle against the neo-liberal/neo-conservative agenda of the EU, IMF, WTO and World Bank. What are the options for the British Left when Britain is a member state of the EU, World Bank, World Trade Organization and International Monetary Fund?
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WolfySmith



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
EU is a capitalist institution established as the EEC in 1957. Having said that when Jacques Delors President of the EC became the champion of the Keynesian model of welfare capitalism in the battle against Maggie Thatcher’s neo-liberal model of capitalism in Britain. Jacques Delors Charter of Fundamental Social Rights which became part of the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 as the Social Chapter the Social Chapter provided protection for European workers although the Troy government as we know negotiated ‘‘opt-out’’ clauses for Britain. Now however since the Lisbon Treaty the EU has abandoned the Keynesian model of European welfare capitalism which it essential kept to throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s but has been steadily adopting a more neo-liberal position and now its progressing towards the neo-conservative imperialist position of the USA and Britain in world politics supporting military interventions in Afghanistan and Libya. So how do the Left parties in Britain respond to this, what should communists, socialists, social-democrats and the green-left’s strategy be? Do we call for total withdrawal from the European Union, a policy we have no chance of implementing or do we join forces with the Left parties in other EU member states. Unite the union has made agreements with IG Metall the German metalworkers union as well as the United Steelworkers in the USA and Canada, this surely is the way forward, to quote Karl Marx, ''Workers of the World unite''.
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Dugsie



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
We ought to have much more connection with European trade unions and the Left generally, this could include expressing our concerns about the trajectory of the EU.
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WolfySmith



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
This is I believe the only viable way forward, this doesn’t have to be contradictory with a British road to socialism or Left Alternative and as internationalist it follows that we should be working with communists, socialists, left-greens and social-democrats within the European Union for a socially progressive alternative to the right-wing agenda of the Lisbon Treaty. This is the question that the Alliance  for Green Socialism, Communist Party of Britain and Socialist Party have to address as well as perusing strategies to oppose the Tory/Liberal coalition government of Britain they have to confront the European state apparatus of Strasburg and Brussels if there is to be any real opposition to the neo-liberal/neo-conservative agenda of the capitalist classes of Britain and globally.  

Can the broad left in Britain do this effectively if it chooses not to be a part of the EuropeanLEFT with the Communist Party of Austria, Communist Party of Belgium, Czech Party of Democratic Socialism, Estonian United Left Party, French Communist Party, German Left Die Linke, Greek Coalition of the Left of Movements and Ecology, The Hungarian Communist Workers' Party, Italian Communist Refoundation Party, The Left Luxembourg, French: La Gauche, Left Bloc Portugal, Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova, Romanian Socialist Alliance Party, Sammarinese Communist Refoundation, United Left Spain, Communist Party of Spain, United and Alternative Left Catalonia and Spain, Swiss Party of Labour, Communist Party of Rumania?  

http://www.european-left.org/english/home/home/
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WolfySmith



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
No2EU-Austerity

http://www.european-left.org/nc/e...an-left-on-the-eu-summit-meeting/
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Johnnywas



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
yes, we should be seen to be critical of the European Institutions where they promote injustice without being seen to be 'anti european'.  

and there is much greater scope for organising on a European wide basis than the left has so far acknowledged.
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WolfySmith



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Johnnywas, I think this has to be the way forward if we are to defeat the neo-liberal/neo-conservative agenda of the British government, the Lisbon Treaty, International Monetary Fund, World Bank and World Trade Organization. This surely is the internationalist approach that the broad left needs to take if we are to take on British, European and global capitalism. I don’t see any other option that is viable if we are serious about democracy, equality, justice and liberty in Britain, Europe and the world.
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Jon Teunon



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I think there is a general consensus here that the left needs to organise far more effectively on an international level which of course includes across the EU (I completely agree with Wolfy that choosing to ignore the left grouping that cooperate in the European Parliament is counter productive).

So I think it is worth considering how such pan Europena alliance would function in practice. Lobbying by coporate and pro business interests groups have clearly been very effective in securing EU legislation which serves their purposes (what may people who post here would refer to as by campaigning for 'neo-liberal' reforms). But could a united left/labour movement replicate this approach by lobbying for reforms and laws which served the interests of the majority of Europeans etc? What is the best way for international left cooperation to operate effectively if it is to move beyond merely being a symbolic show of solidarity positive though this is?
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WolfySmith



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Jon, I think the initiative has to come from the small ‘‘Left’’ parties initially, unfortunately of the three who formed the No2EU group only the Alliance for Green Socialism takes a positive position on Europe. The Socialist Party is very anti-EU and so is the Communist Party. Although the Communist Party has obvious links with other European communist parties, when we were approached by the Greek and Portuguese communist parties with regard to standing under the umbrella of the European Left the vote went for the No2EU option. Hopefully in the light of recent struggles across Europe and the TUC March for the alternative, which was attended by the president of the European TUC maybe the position may alter. As I have pointed out on other threads there is ‘‘history’’ between the group of communists who were Euro-communists and Marxism Today magazine in the 1980’s and the trade union group centred around the Morning Star newspaper. The European Left form a considerable group within the European parliament, it would make sense for the British TUC to lobby this political group and even consider them as an alternative to Labour Party MEP’s. Disaffiliated unions such as RMT and FBU could support AGS,CPB and SP candidates under the European Left ticket in the general election and future EU elections. In this way they could build an alternative grouping to the three main parties which would then be ready to take advantage of any future change from FPTP to a proportional system of voting such as STV. With examples of cooperation such as No2EU and Left Unity in Leicester maybe such an idea will become more feasible by the time of the next EU elections if not a general election.
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Jon Teunon



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
You make a lot of sense Wolfy. Perhaps unions within the EU will merge across national borders in order to maximise their influence and impact.


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