Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Guardian - Paul Mason -  The leftwing case for Brexit (one day)

The leftwing case for Brexit is strategic and clear. The EU is not - and cannot become - a democracy. Instead, it provides the most hospitable ecosystem in the developed world for rentier monopoly corporations, tax-dodging elites and organised crime. It has an executive so powerful it could crush the leftwing government of Greece; a legislature so weak that it cannot effectively determine laws or control its own civil service. A judiciary that, in the Laval and Viking judgments, subordinated workers' right to strike to an employer's right do business freely.

Its central bank is committed, by treaty, to favour deflation and stagnation over growth. State aid to stricken industries is prohibited. The austerity we deride in Britain as a political choice is, in fact, written into the EU treaty as a non-negotiable obligation. So are the economic principles of the Thatcher era. A Corbyn-led Labour government would have to implement its manifesto in defiance of EU law.
A closer look at the leftwing case for Brexit
Letters: A truly leftwing agenda would be one based on cross-national cooperation and solidarity
Read more

And the situation is getting worse. Europe's leaders still do not know whether they will let Greece go bankrupt in June; they still have no workable plan to distribute the refugees Germany accepted last summer, and having signed a morally bankrupt deal with Turkey to return the refugees, there is now the prospect of that deal's collapse. That means, if thereported demand by an unnamed Belgian minister to "push back or sink" migrant boats in the Aegean is activated, the hands of every citizen of the EU will be metaphorically on the tiller of the ship that does it. You may argue that Britain treats migrants just as badly. The difference is that in Britain I can replace the government, whereas in the EU, I cannot.

That's the principled leftwing case for Brexit.

Now here's the practical reason to ignore it. In two words: Boris Johnson.

He neatly summarizes all of my reservations about how the European project has evolved from a social europe into a Thatcherite one. But his idea that, one day, when Britain reliably vote in leftish governments, we can leave to create a socialist utopia of our own, is simply the warmed over fantasies of Tony Benn from the 70s.

The world is too inter-connected now, for good and ill. Longing for isolationism is, to use Mason's slur late in the article, politically immature. I would rather fix the world we have and we'd best do it togeher

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed May 18th, 2016 at 08:23:54 AM EST
I have to say I tire of Britain lecturing the EU for its democratic deficit. Whitehall has more power than "Brussels Bureaucrats" ever had. The EP has so little power because Britain led the charge to cede as few powers as possible to it. The EC is no more or less democratic than any EU government - all the Commissioners are appointed by the respective elected Prime Ministers of their countries, as are cabinet ministers in those countries.  Name me the EU  country that has an elected judiciary.

When most Britons complain about not being able to change the EU Government, their complaint is that THEY and THEY alone can't change it.  Which is as it should be. The EU Government, such as it is, is the consequence of numerous national elections, which, unfortunately for us, have been trending conservative for years, and are becoming even more hard line nationalist and conservative.  We may not like the trend, but it has been, in part, driven by the UK and is a consequence of the democracy we have in Member States.

Meanwhile English nationalists give the Permanent Government in Whitehall a free pass.  Rage at Brussels is no more than xenophobic chauvinism, narcissistic demagoguery, and imperialistic arrogance. It provides an outlet for class tensions within the UK bypassing the UK elite. The rest of the EU ends up having to deal with that shit. Economically it makes no sense at all, but perhaps politically, it has become necessary to save the EU.  The UK as we know it, meanwhile, will disintegrate.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 05:17:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mason deals with that in the first paragraph. And yes, one of the reason I have been so in favour of the EU is that it acted as a counter to Whitehall.

But what many in the rest of europe do not realise are the resentments stirred up by Whitehall which are blamed on Brussels. On so many occasions we hear the bleats of the "patriots" complaining about some multi-volume set of mandatory regulations and procedures "imposed by Europe", that are in fact a Whitehall interpretation of short guidance note.

then the "patriots" complain that "they just ignore this in France and Italy, it's not fair". To which you could point out that, of course they ignore it in France and Italy, because it's a guidance note. But tbh, facts don't have much force against the emotive head of steam.

These people are British libertarian tea party types, all the prejudice but with no shred of ideology.

Really, they don't like any government at all. Europe, UK, even local council. They'll put up with UK conservatives who, to some extent share the same prejudices. But they're not in favour.

So, you'll always have people moaning about Brussels and making up stories about their controlling bureaucracy, because they made the same complaint when it was just the UK govt. But it was Whitehall then and it's Whitehall now.

And that's not to really talk about those who just don't like non-white non-English people having anything to do with running England. The people who didn't even like it when the last Labour Cabinet was largely composed of Scots.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 06:46:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let alone at the end of WW1, when they had a Prime Minister whose first language wasn't even English.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 06:47:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It was Welch -- (gasp)!

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 11:53:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Admittedly, an elected judiciary has not worked out all that well in the US states and municipalities which have tried it.  Much the opposite.
by Zwackus on Mon May 23rd, 2016 at 08:35:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I imagine, I think the concept is absurd. You want the best and brightest, not the most agreeable

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon May 23rd, 2016 at 10:56:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now if we could only find a way to get appointed judges to be of high integrity and high qualifications. One popularly elected Arkansas Supreme Court Justice failed in her quest to be elected Chief Justice of the Supreme Court when it was revealed that hundreds of thousands in campaign contributions from her new husband, head of his own prosperous law firm, received a controversial decision for which is new wife was the deciding justice which benefited his client by millions. She was just a Republican young mother campaigning on family values and trying to do right by her children. Surely.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon May 23rd, 2016 at 04:44:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Call it Southern Gothic gender equality.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon May 23rd, 2016 at 04:45:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And as the Federal court system proves an appointed judiciary doesn't work all that well in the US.  


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Mon May 23rd, 2016 at 11:47:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Federal works better than the states, but that's damning with faint praise.
by rifek on Thu May 26th, 2016 at 10:56:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yet it may be necessary to virtually refound the EU in order to obtain a union that will work for all. A structurally right wing union will lead to constant crisis and repeated disaster until it collapses or dissolves.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed May 25th, 2016 at 09:43:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No "may" about it.  It either ends, or it reboots.
by rifek on Thu May 26th, 2016 at 11:00:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series