Nick Wrack, Southwark Respect member and No2EU candidate in London, writes on the Southwark branch website about why they are backing No2EU:
Southwark Respect has decided to support to No2EU in the Euro Elections in London. Other branches of Respect have also voted to back it.
The NO2EU list in the capital is headed by Bob Crow, leader of the rail workers union, the RMT and the most militant union in the country.
Other candidates in London include Kevin Nolan, convener of the Visteon workers in Enfield.
NO2EU is an important initiative that that seeks to pose an alternative for working class people to vote for across the country. It is backed by the RMT, many other trade unionists, the CPB and the Socialist Party.
The European Union is a bosses club. Its purpose is to create a Europe in which there are no barriers to big business and to allow the free rule of the market.
It is the EU that has been the greatest force for deregulation and privatisation across the continent in recent years.
Laws passed by the European parliament and the decisions of the European Court have undermined workers’ rights. The posted workers directive, which was at the centre of the Lindsey dispute, is only the best-known example in this country.
The neo-liberal Europe being pushed by the EU must be opposed.
Up until now in this country the arguments against the EU have mostly come from the right.
They create fear that it is scheming foreigners who want to undermine our way of life and whip up feeling against migrant workers.
Yet it has been British governments, whether Labour or Tory, that have pushed most enthusiastically for privatisation and deregulation in the EU.
No2EU stands for international workers solidarity. It is an opportunity to undermine the racist lies of the right.
Mainstream politics is dominated by a deadening consensus. Despite the economy sliding into the greatest crisis since in fifty years the differences between the major parties are miniscule.
Rather than reject the economic policies that have led to this crisis Gordon Brown’s government is giving us more of the same. Rather than taking the failed banking system into full state control and using it for the good of ordinary people they have thrown billions to the bankers.
And we will be paying for this for a generation to come. Whoever forms the next government they will push for massive cuts in public spending and services.
New Labour has betrayed the working class and accepted the bosses’ agenda lock stock and barrel.
They have betrayed the hopes that millions put in them in 1997. This has created conditions for the growth of the BNP and other parties of the right.
To resist the shift to the right, and to defend working class people against the crisis and the inevitable attacks on jobs, wages and conditions that it will bring, the working class needs a political alternative that can gain mass support. The working class needs a new party to represent it. That is the reason why Respect was formed five years ago.
In 1901 the RMT (the NUR as it then was) became one of the founding members of the Labour party because it realised the labour movement needed its own political voice. In 2004 it was expelled from that same party.
The fact that it is now one of the main moving forces behind No2EU is of massive importance. It is a sure sign that many in the labour movement now see the necessity to pose an electoral alternative to the neo-liberal consensus.
NO2EU is a temporary platform for the European elections, not a new party. Mistakes will be made, but lessons will also be learnt. But that is why we welcome this and support every step taken by the labour movement to find its own political voce again. That is why in these elections we will be campaigning for No2EU.