The next few paragraphs will discuss the issues that I, and the political liason for the Green Left Andy Hewitt feel about the newly formed NO2EU-Yes to Democracy slate which has been put forward as the Left alternative in the upcoming Euro elections…..
Climate change is the biggest threat to the international working class yet the no2eu platform singularly fails to formulate any policy to tackle this. No2EU only mention environmental issues when claiming that migrant workers are bad for the environment. This in itself highlights the nationalist tone of the no2eu platform contradictory to any claim they may have to be representative of international workers solidarity. The nationalistic tone of the literature and the policy platform is quite vulgar, and although it may be argued that this is to divert votes from the BNP, to borrow straight from the BNP copybook in stirring up nationalistic sentiment is giving the BNP agenda recognition and kudos. The no2eu strap line is “it’s a Black and White Issue” is loaded with racial overtones.
By standing candidates in a rushed and ill-prepared manner could be damaging to the work done by the UAF and the anti-fascist movement, and by taking potential votes from other parties in direct competition with BNP for seats could allow the fascists to win in the PR system.Organisations which have decided to support No2EU have done so with a number of reservations about the nature of the platform, including the nationalistic element of its policies.
The claim to be a democratic organisation is confounded by the apparent lack of democratic process in organising and in selecting candidates. As they don’t exist in a party format there is no accountability to any membership, instead all decisions appear to be taken by a small self selected committee, indeed there appears to have been an absolute lack of consultation with RMT branches and grass roots members in entering into this arrangement, and little in the way of democratic decision making involving the RMT membership. However, at least £45,000 of their political fund has been used to fund the campaign.There is a legitimate case to be made for criticising the democratic deficit in the European Parliament, however it is also worth considering that 90% of British Environmental legislation comes from Europe, for which our Green MEPs have worked long and hard, and 50-60% of domestic legislation comes from Europe.
The British Government continues to opt out of legislation which is existent to protect and benefit the working class, for example opting out of the Working Time Directive allowing capitalist exploitation of its workers for the benefit of business. This is an example of a piece of legislation from Europe which is of benefit to workers across Europe, but ignored by various Governments who only seek to enforce the neoliberal aspects of social and economic policy. By not taking up their seats if they were elected, and not fighting for change and enacting NO2EU candidates are singularly failing to represent the interests of the working class whom they claim to champion in ensuring that their interests are fought for when legislation is drawn up.
The original Green Party Trade Union motion endorsed by Green Left:
GPTU is disappointed by the decision of the RMT to stand candidates in the forthcoming Euro elections. We had hoped for RMT support for a coherent environmental plan, including an ecologically sustainable public and publicly owned transport system. We fear that the current RMT electoral platform does not offer this within the context of a sensible political program and may have damaging consequences such as splitting votes and allowing the election of far right racist candidates, or endangering the seats of green Euro MPs who have a very good record of promoting workers’ rights in Europe.In spite of this GPTU will continue to actively support the RMT’s legitimate Trade Union activities and it’s campaigning for an ecologically sustainable public and publicly owned transport system, but we cannot currently advise a vote for RMT candidates, which would currently be a wasted and dangerous vote.