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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 May 2009

No2EU - yes to democracy

Below is a letter by European election No2EU candidate for the West Midlands, Dave Nellist. It was published in the Birmingham Post.

Ruthless EU is Thatcherism writ large

Birmingham Post 18 May 2009
Dear Sir,

While being grateful for the mention in your report (MEP candidates face Q&A session in Birmingham, Birmingham Post, May 11), I think I may have been misheard.

It is not normally like me to "slam the EU as 'toothless"' as the report claims, more likely the word I used was ruthless. I do believe the EU has a ruthless agenda to expand privatisation into wider areas of our public services; the current plans for selling off part of the Royal Mail could well be followed by pressure for greater private involvement in health and education. I also believe that the export of jobs and factories, and the use of exploited labour, are ruthless aspects of the EU's 'Thatcherism writ large'.

However, it was correct for your report to say that, should I be elected as an MEP for the No2EU campaign, I would not be taking the exorbitant salary and expenses of an MEP.

In fact - as was the case for the nine years that I was an MP in the 1980s - I would limit my take-home pay to that received by a skilled factory worker in our region and any wages received above that would go towards campaigning on behalf of working people and to other donations.

Any No2EU candidate elected would also have complete transparency regarding expenses. I have now written to all other 11 parties contesting the June election challenging them to clean up politics and promise that if elected they would publish their expenses in total every three months so that the people of the West Midlands can see exactly what they are paying for.

Councillor Dave Nellist
European Election Candidate

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