6 November 2009

The Lisbon Treaty: a mountain out of a molehill

Let us put the Treaty of Lisbon into perspective because blaming it for the sins of capitalism as too many on the left do, misses the point.

New Labour has facilitated the highest level of social inequality in Britain since 1945 and Britain is the most socially unequal country in the EU. (Cameron’s policies will accelerate inequality)

New Labour has created a police surveillance state in Britain with diminished civil and personal liberties. Britain has the highest level of state surveillance in the EU. (Cameron will not reverse this.)

New Labour has, though lies, involved Britain in the imperial wars of United States in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most European states avoided wholly or in part these wars. (The Tories supported the war mongering.)

The key problems of Britain are not caused by the EU; they were made in Britain. The Treaty of Lisbon is a bureaucratic tidying-up exercise which has been made a whipping boy for the pain of capitalism by the perpetrators of those sins. Britain would gain, not lose, by becoming more like its immediate continental neighbours in the EU, nor does Britain need strings of opt-outs.

Those things which are wrong in the EU need to be corrected through joint struggle across Europe by the left. The solution is not to get into bed with market fundamentalist Tories, whose so-called patriotic nationalism (like New Labour’s) is nothing more than the surrender of Britain to the unbridled capitalist market and US imperial power.

The weakening or break-up of the EU would not only see the re-emergence of national antagonisms in Europe, but it would see European state becoming satellites of the US, as Cameron and UKIP would no doubt like. The EU is the last hope for retaining the social market economy.

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