The UK and Europe – May 27th 2019

Monday, May 27, 2019 at 3:14 pm

As predicted, the wretched Brexit Party has cleaned up at the 2019 EU elections.  28 seats out of 73.

I am told by my wife that the Labour Party will never get her vote because they do not come out strongly enough against Brexit.

She says she really wants to join the Lib Dems and – had she not been denied her vote, she would have voted either for the Lib Dems or for the Green Party.

I have every sympathy for her position, but my position is far more conflicted.

I know I am an out and out Remainer.

I want the UK to be a member of the EU and to be fully integrated into the Europe and the EU.

I want the European Parliament to be the parliament that speaks on my behalf regarding the decisions taken in the other institutions of the European Union and I believe this is an entirely legitimate democratic function to be carried out in parallel with the sovereign parliaments of the member states.

I do not believe this arrangement constitutes evidence of any democratic deficit across the European Union.  I do, however, believe that the democratic institutions of the UK leave a lot to be desired and holding them up as examples of a model democratic process in a gross misunderstanding of the reality.

Nevertheless, what I will not do is use this position to criticise the leadership of the Labour Party, because the Labour Party is not able to reduce its position to the simple slogans of the Brexit Party or for that matter the Lib Dems or the Greens.

I am heartily disappointed that the Labour Party finds itself unable to move wholeheartedly in the direction of a Remain position.  Other Remainers also seem to be convinced that by holding a so called “People’s Vote”, the question will be resolved to their satisfaction.

Of this I am likewise unconvinced.  I am not in favour of people’s votes, plebiscites or referenda of any sort, which I consider are a corruption and a weapon that damages the democratic process – the complete opposite of the notion that is being promoted by the majority of Leavers and Remainers alike.

So where does that leave me in the Labour Party?

I don’t believe that a political party should simply adopt policies that will gain favour with as many voters as possible.  I do not believe that power is everything.

That was what Kinnock wanted for Labour and I left the Party when he became the leader.  I certainly don’t think that the Labour Party under Blair and even Brown was the Labour Party that I wanted to rejoin.   This was the government that initiated student loans, this was the government that colluded with business in bringing the forces of the market into the health service, education and elsewhere and created the Private Finance Initiatives that have become such a burden on the state sector services now.

This was the government that started us off on the educational road towards Academy hell.  Privatisation of schools in all but name.

I abhor the notion that a successful left wing party has to suck up to big business in order to ingratiate itself with the power in the country.  The Brexit vote has shown that this is not the case.  If it were the case, then Brexit would not be happening, because it is clear that business does not want it.

But the Labour Party is now my party.

I could not bring myself to vote for the Lib Dems.  I’ve done it a couple of times in the past at the behest of my family and every time I’ve kicked myself for being a gullible fool.

Whatever they say, Lib Dems will always collude with Tories, because that is what they are.

So many people seem to think that their MPs are nice people who seem so genuine on Television when talking about Europe – but they forget that Liberal Democrats are at heart free marketeers who want competition and free trade to be at the heart of all decision making.  Their economic policies direct them in precisely the same direction as the Tories and they are Tories, merely Tories of a different hue.

The only other party is the Green Party and many of my views are congruent with their policies, but I don’t hear Greens talking enough about workers, or Trade Union Rights.  I know that there will be few job opportunities in a dead planet, and it is arguable that the Green agenda is the most important global agenda.

I think, though, that the Labour Party is the party to deliver that agenda.  A green agenda that will be planned by people, by workers and for people,  for working people and for people who have worked all their lives and who now need the social security and care services that a caring and sharing society should provide – not services that are provided only by insurance companies making profits for their shareholders.

Now that so many voters have fallen for the nonsense about the four freedoms and the single market, we are left with a bunch of right wing nationalists whose narrow insular prejudices are likely to drive us into the hands of the German AfD and the Dutch PVV.

Not only am I happy with the democratic processes of the EU, but I am very happy with the idea of complete freedom of movement, which seems to be the main concern of the nationalists.   All I want the Labour Party to do is to start persuading the voters and stop pandering to them.

Categories: Europe, Politics, the EU, UK

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