“Some say better Brussels runs our affairs than the Tories,” a speaker at the London May Day rally of the CPBML. “But if you are worried about what the Conservative government might do, why vote for what it wants?”
In a blistering attack on the European Union, the speaker also dealt with the argument that if we left, the government would seize the chance to destroy workers’ rights: “If we voted to stay in, we would give Cameron the green light to destroy us – and the EU would, as ever, do nothing to stop him.”
‘The key workers’ right is the right to work.’
On the subject of rights, the speaker noted that the key workers’ right is the right to work. “Ask the Greeks, ask young Spaniards, young Portuguese, what the EU has done to protect their right to work…The EU causes mass unemployment. The EU is not the solution, it is the problem.”
The EU is unreformable, he said. “We can’t influence the EU from the inside – governments have tried and failed, or perhaps just talked and failed. Before we even joined the EEC, Harold Macmillan talked of reforming it. Thirty years ago, Neil Kinnock talked of reforming it. Cameron’s recent failure to get a deal proved yet again that we have no influence and that the EU cannot change and will not change.”
After attacking the EU’s agricultural policies for impoverishing African farmers, causing, famine, disease, war and mass migration, he turned to TTIP. “A vote to stay in the EU would bring TTIP closer. President Obama tells us that leaving the EU means no TTIP for us. Thank you, Mr President!”
The same doomsayers predicting disaster for Britain after a no vote were around in Norway before its vote in 1994 on whether to join the EU. The government there said that the economy would tank if Norwegians voted no. They voted no, and – as a Norwegian paper noted – “growth has increased, the budget deficit has evaporated and investments are rocketing sky high.”
See the full speech here.
Scottish TUC failure
Earlier, another speaker had detailed the failure of the Scottish TUC to recognise the reality of what the European Union means for workers. In a wide-ranging review of politics and the unions in Scotland, he linked the campaign for Scottish independence with the European Union’s drive to break up nation states through separatism and regionalism.
Many individual delegates were clearly opposed to the European Union, but were dragooned at the Scottish TUC to voting in line with instructions from their out-of-touch executive councils.
Further evidence of the increasing gap between the Scottish TUC and the needs of workers came with a vote ignoring the plea from GMB workers to preserve the highly skilled workforce engaged in marine and naval shipbuilding along the Clyde, including at the Faslane naval base. Instead the conference ploughed ahead with a utopian motion sacrificing these skilled workers on the altar of an unworkable plan for “turning swords into ploughshares”.
An independent Britain needs its own defence industry, said the speaker, and not one controlled by the US.