Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/576/7182
NUT fringe meeting
No2EU - yes to democracy
Reflecting the interest this electoral initiative has sparked, over 70 people packed into a meeting room to hear the case for the No2EU - yes to democracy campaign.
The first speaker was Rob Griffiths, Communist Party of Britain general secretary. Rob described the undemocratic nature of the EU. He argued that the EU is fundamentally undemocratic and anti-working class and that the European Parliament has the least powers of any democratically elected body, other than the Welsh Assembly.
Socialist Party councillor Dave Nellist also spoke. He underlined the importance of the decision to stand at this time - at the start of a serious recession, the crippling implications of which are still working their way through to the lives of working-class people.
Dave emphasised the huge significance of a major trade union, whose forerunner was a key founder of the Labour Party, taking the decision to stand.
During the discussion a few questions about the anti-EU stance of the campaign came up. Concerns about whether this initiative was anti-European workers were addressed when Dave Nellist pointed out that the demand for international workers' solidarity is written into the programme of No2EU - Yes to Democracy.
Dave also pointed out that it is not only the EU that is pushing a neo-liberal agenda. Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson have been to the forefront of attacks on workers' rights and conditions and privatisation. This poses the need for an electoral alternative for the Westminster and local elections as well as the Euro elections.
But from an international point of view the EU plays a key role for the bosses. Its laws and directives make it more difficult to reverse attacks on workers. The EU is pushing for one European labour market where bosses can move workers around to maximise exploitation.
One NUT delegate spoke to say how he had come to the meeting with scepticism about the No2EU project, but his concerns were largely answered by the discussion in the meeting.
In The Socialist 22 April 2009:
Environment and socialism
Socialist Party election campaign
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party campaigns
International socialist news and analysis
Marxist analysis: history
Socialist Party workplace news