Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

RMT to Resurrect ‘Vanity Politics’ of No2EU?

with 2 comments

Bob Crow looks to Publish His NO2EU Manifesto.

One upon a time there was vanity publishing.

Now we have Blogs.

These are unfortunately subject to the cruel competition of site statistics and the tender mercy of comments boxes.

Nevertheless, there remains a promising avenue for those big-headed enough to assume the figure of nationally important figures with no heed paid to naysayers: vanity politics.

Apparently this can withstand anything.

So (Saturday’s Morning Star),

Britain’s Communists are set to meet RMT general secretary Bob Crow to discuss a joint left and labour movement approach to the 2014 European Union elections.

The Communist Party of Britain’s political committee decided this week to accept an invitation from the rail union leader, noting the EU’s role in attacks on the state pension age and welfare budgets across Europe.

“It beggars belief that any intelligent trade unionist can still believe in the great ‘social Europe’ myth,” argued the party’s trade union organiser Anita Halpin.

International secretary John Foster explained that, unlike non-EU states, Britain and other members were hamstrung by treaties that enshrine monetarism, privatisation and the market power of the capitalist monopolies at the core of the bloc.

He suggested: “The labour movement’s slogan here should be ‘No to the anti-social European Union’, for an exit with socialist policies.”

The party backed the Portuguese Communist Party’s call for “an exit from the eurozone with socialist policies” and reaffirmed their support for a referendum and Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.

In the 2009 European elections, No2 EU,

No2EU – Yes to Democracy was initiated by the national Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) to . In n addition to the RMT, the coalition included:

It also received support from some members of RESPECT and of the Socialist Workers Party.” Wikipedia

“No2EU received 153,236 votes or 1% of the national vote failing to win a seat at the European parliament and finishing in 11th place, behind Arthur Scargill”s Socialist Labour Party. “

The Independent Socialist Network gives some background to this latest vanity project,

European Elections 2014 – The May meeting heard the RMT have called a meeting of the original No2EU partners – SP, CPB, AGS, RMT – and TUSC– to discuss 2014.  If it stands, TUSC was floating possible electoral titles including ‘Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts-No2EUNo to Austerity’.  It was confirmed use of a veto would prevent TUSC participation in these elections.  It was again agreed to ask the CPB to join the SC

Concerns were raised about the racism likely to be engendered during the Euro Elections, and this should influence our campaign and electoral title.  The RMT suggested we make clear our socialist objections to the EU.  There was a danger of being seen as being in agreement with UKIP with a ‘No2EU’ label.


Too right!

The Portuguese Communist Party, (7-8% of the national vote)  opposes the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union and the revised Treaty on the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

They believe, wrongly in our opinion, that “the European Union cannot be reformed. The other Europe that will spring from the struggle will be built, as reality is already showing, upon the ruins of the European Union. “(Here)

But, other Communists, and much of the European left, call for radical change within the EU. For a radical ‘People’s European Union’, a ‘social Europe’.

The French Communist Party, and its partners in Front de Gauche, by contrast,  stand for this,

Nous voulons une Europe affranchie du traité de Lisbonne qui respecte la souveraineté des peuples et qui soutienne des politiques de développement social et écologique.

We want a Europe freed from the Lisbon Treaty, one  that respects the sovereignty of peoples and supports European wide policies of social and ecological development.

They offer a wider programme which begins from this idea,

La France prendra l’initiative d’Etats généraux de la refondation européenne en faisant appel à toutes les forces politiques et sociales disponibles en Europe.

France will take the initiative to call for a General Assembly to Reconstruct Europe appealing to  all the available political and social forces in Europe.

This is, to say the least, ambitious,

But it’s a programme of hope, of unity between the peoples.

Unlike Bob Crow and his mates, who claim to believe in an “exit (from the EU) with socialist policies.”

The ‘socialist policies’ on offer in these conditions will be hard to find.

A withdrawal from the EU will lead to a carnival of reaction.

If this conceited enterprise has any effect it will help stoke the rightward fires of the anti-European UK lobby.

It will be: No2EU Yes to UKIP .

2 Responses

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  1. Case not proven, Andrew – although it’s a witty sign-off slogan. You don’t seem to articulate how reform within the EU can even begin to unpick and then rebuild up to a ‘people’s Euorpean Union’ – not least given the entrenchment of the free market provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon in law across all 27 nation states, sanctioned in case after case by the ECJ.

    On the subject of the 2014 Euro elections, how should that part of the electorate that sees the EU as unreformable and as a bosses’ club but has complete antipathy to the nationalism of UKIP vote? Surely not Labour? Hence, the territory being colonised by Bob Crow et al. 1% was a start in a year when there was a massive swing in popular sentiment to the right. 2014 may be a little different. Best wishes Paul

    Paul Simon

    May 30, 2013 at 11:01 am

    • Well you can be sure that Sandy will be standing on a reform the EU line on the Labour Euro list Paul, so I expect you won’t be calling for backing him!

      Andrew Coates

      May 30, 2013 at 1:01 pm

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