Wednesday, 18 May 2016

'Brexit and the Wars of the Roses'‏

by Les May
IN five weeks time I am going to be asked to vote in a referendum which I did not want and have about as much enthusiasm for as a medieval peasant must have had for the Wars of the Roses.  But on this occasion it isn't the Plantagenets that have fallen out but another bunch who reckon they have a God given right to run the country for their own benefit, the Tory party.  It's not Yorkist and Lancastrian branches of the Plantagenets, but the Nasty and the Very Nasty wings of the Tory party.
Just as the battle of Bosworth was the end of the line for the Plantagenets, June 23rd could prove to be the end of the line for the Tory party as we know it.  UKIP has already suggested that if the result is in favour of staying in the EU, but not decisively so, we should be made to carry on voting until UKIP gets the 'leave' result it wants.
I am one of the 33% of people who voted to leave the European Economic Community (EEC) in the 1975 referendum.  So why have I changed my mind and joined the 'Remain' camp?
I am a Socialist.  That means I want to see a more equitable, less hierarchical, society and I want less income inequality. I don't want to see things like health and education monetised and traded as commodities.  I'm 'Green' enough to know that the pursuit of never ending economic growth is a futile quest and we have got to find a different way.
But whichever way I vote, when I wake up on the 24th of June I am not going to see any of those things.  I am not going to see even the tiniest step on the way to these things. Voting for Brexit on the grounds that the EU is a 'capitalist conspiracy' is just gesture politics or as I am inclined to call it, 'Resolutionary Socialism'.  It might make me feel better, but it will change nothing of consequence.
So far as I am concerned you'd struggle to insert a fag paper between the Cameron camp and the Boris camp in terms of their overall politics. But that fag paper of difference is the EU.
The Brexit camp go on about, 'setting Britain free' and 'getting rid of Red Tape'. But my 'Red Tape' is your protection against an excessively long working week.  It's your protection against your nearest river being polluted because it's cheaper to dump stuff in the nearest watercourse, rather than treat it properly before disposal.
Because in the end that is what the EU is about.  It's about creating a 'level playing field' and making sure that no country can gain an advantage by 'a race to the bottom'.  You may not like the game that is being played in the EU, but if it offers a bit of protection from rapacious employers why not take it?
In spite of their liberal pretensions the printed media like to stereotype old folk like me as being particularly ill at ease with immigration and so more likely to be in the Brexit camp.  Whilst the Brexit people have not actually promised an end to immigration they have done little or nothing to dispel the notion that such a scenario is on the cards.
But just because we are old doesn't mean we can't see through this particular ruse.  We were having our kids in the sixties when the birth rate was high averaging about 17 per 1000 for the ten years after 1960. In the 1980s it was about 13.3 per 1000 and since 1994 it has been about 12.3 per 1000.  Our kids will become pensioners themselves in the years after 2030.  There will be a lot of pensioners being supported by a smaller proportion of workers who were born here.  Raising the pension age still further may offset some of the problems but would not be popular or practicable.  It's fine if you are an office worker but not much good if you work on a building site.
So how to square that particular circle?  By immigration of course.  Let in lots of young able bodied workers and let their taxes pay the pensions bill.
In other words if you are thinking of voting for Brexit because you don't like all these foreigners taking 'our' jobs, forget it.  All governments are committed to immigration to make sure the sums add up, even if they don't want to tell you so.



CD said...

Les, what are you wittering on about? Is this the same EU we are talking about or just some fantasy fairy-godmother entity of your imagination?

Instead of responding to my argued and evidenced denunciation of the EU you have simply conjured up some international social welfare federation that doesn't exist! You claim the EU protects us from rapacious employers. The EU IS rapacious employers incorporated - did you not google-in "ERT VISION" and read it for yourself?

"A level playing field" yes, but you failed to realise the game is FREE TRADE FOR CORPORATIONS. If there was a level playing field for workers why do you think over a million Polish workers left their homes to seek employment in Britain. The EU wants workers on wheels moved around as easily as capital.

You claim to be GREEN yet fail to appreciate that means self-sustaining communities producing for need not for commodification and free trade.

You say you don't want social services treated as commodities, have you actually read any of the documents of EU policy? Why do you think the EU is signing us up to TTIP?

You claim you want equality and oppose hierarchy and yet support yet another layer of [politicians and bureaucrats on top of our national parasites. READ the published salaries and expenses of the 28 unelected Commissioners at the top of the EU heap and explain how that promotes equality (to save readers the trouble; it's around £400,000 a year each).

Sadly Les litters his piece with utterly spurious names (Boris, Cameron, UKIP etc) to divert attention from the paucity of his argument. When disinterested observers actually interrogate the evidence it is not difficult to identify what's driving the EU project, Unfortunately it's easier to rely on prejudice and supposition.

Tragically, Les attempts to associate LEAVE with racism although post-war European cooperation began not with the EU but with with European Council. The European Council promotes international cooperation without compulsion and again a little research would enlighten anyone who thinks its either the EU or International conflict. As I pointed out elsewhere, the EU bankers' imposition of the single currency is itself stoking up racist reaction to the perceived power of "German Bankers".

Think globally, act locally. I support the right and importance of all people's everywhere to build and control their own economies and to resist the commodification of their lives. The EU is designed to batter down all local resistance to international free trade by big corporations. If Les and Co can't see that he'd better get himself a new pair of NHS specs before it's sold off to AMAZON, courtesy of the new EU-TTIP trade agreement.

Peace & Love
Christopher Draper, Llandudno

Tameside said...

So,to pay for the pensions of the British elderly we import foreign labour. What if they want to stay at the end of their working lives and draw the pension as well? And what is the difference between importing foreign labour to work cheaply and colonialism where foreign labour overseas is low paid?

Les May said...

I have no intention of responding to Chris Draper. When people find it necessary to introduce terms like 'racism' (or nazi, sexist, mysoginist, homophobic, bi-phobic, trans-phobic, ageist, ableist, etc, etc) I take it to mean that by expressing their opinion about something that has been said or written using a pejorative term like this, which by its nature cannot be refuted, they are trying to close down any further discussion and emerge the winner.

I will respond to 'Tameside' in another article at a later date.

Naturalist said...

It is a complete myth that the EU protects workers rights or the environment. Just look at the state of the working class throughout the EU and the high levels of unemployment and low wages. It might help those who already have some clout because they are in unions, in which case it is the unions who are the key not a paternaistic super-state. As for the environment - look what the CAP has done, look at the over fishing, the shooting of migratory birds. Directives to protect the environment don't compensate for the damage that the EUs drive to promote global capitalism has done and is doing to the planet.