Monday, 6 June 2016

Videos: Another Europe Is Possible - the Radical Case for Remain

In the last month or so of the European referendum debate in the UK, we have been treated, if that is the word, to a contest of rumour, complaint, exaggeration and pettiness between two male gangs of Hooray Henry Old Etonians. Prime Minister David Cameron has gone head to head with his old Bullingdon Club mate, former London Mayor and would-be Tory PM Boris Johnson, in a reprise of their old party game of smashing everything up - except that this time, its' not Boris setting the toilets on fire in a jolly rich arsed jape, but our country and its' future that are at stake.

The Eurotunnel at Manchester
So it has been refreshingly positive this last week to witness the Another Europe Is Possible campaign swinging fully into action. This grouping of Greens, Labour, Left Unity, trade unions, artists and other progressives of a left-wing viewpoint has been powerfully articulating why we need to stay in Europe to work hard for a better, fairer and more sustainable social Europe. To leave, they argue, would be a fatal error on the part of the country and especially any left wingers contemplating supporting Brexit.

In theory the UK could elect a socialist government and seek to create a socialist society, but the reality on 24 May should we vote to leave is that it will not be socialists who will be ascendant, but the hard right of Farage, Johnson, Patel and Gove. These are all people who have spent their political careers destroying the public NHS, seeking to reduce workplace rights, opposing EU action on stopping tax evasion by the rich and longing to withdraw us from the European Court of Human Rights. With President Putin of Russia, would-be President Trump of the USA and Rupert Murdoch of global capitalism all lining up with them, any progressive hoping Brexit would mean a blow to neoliberalism would be sorely disappointed.

Owen Jones: TTIP is dead
 So Another Europe offers a different path - one of working together to create a more progressive European Union. It is not as some would claim a bosses club - it is for now a vehicle proposing austerity purely because the majority of Governments in the EU, including our own, support austrity platforms which, in turn, they have been elected to implement. The challenge for the left is to change national governments, not leave the EU.

There has been a marked success already - the loathsome TransAtlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) looks dead in the water after mass protests by left wingers across Europe, culminating in the French Government making clear it will veto it if it is pursued in its current form. Ironically - or perhaps deviously - many of the Brexit leaders, when representing the British Government, have been the most enthusiastic proponents of TTIP, which they now claim to be a major EU-created threat to the UK.

So, here are a few speeches from the Another Europe  rally at the Peoples' History Museum in Manchester yesterday afternoon. The videos start with perhaps the most powerful contribution - from Pablo Bustinduy, an MP of the Spanish radical Podemos Movement, which has shaken the very foundations of his country's political system - but which continues to want to remain in the European Union and very much hopes that British socialists and progressives will remain as well to work in genuine international solidarity.





YANIS VAROUFAKIS (DIEM25 - Democracy In Europe Movement 2025)


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