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Ever since the referendum, we have all known that Brexit was going to be a train wreck. The only question being : which side will the train fall? Soft or hard?

There would be a certain amount of satisfaction in watching Boris take over to serve a Full English Dog's Brexit, then lose an election and disappear into the dustbin of history with David Cameron (remember him?). Then the next government can come begging :

Or May might survive and serve a soft-boiled Brexit, with full costs, taking rules and not making them, and no added value. Then the next government can ...

... turn the message around :

When I say Norway Plus - what is the plus? Well, people including some of my comrades in this country and in this party, say to me that the problem with the Norway solution and the difficulty the Labour Party has in supporting it, is because it turns Britain into an EU rules-taker.

This of course is correct  - this is the price you have to pay for being inside a transnational market. But it doesn't have to be that way. Britain does not have to be an EU rule-taker if it strikes a Norway-style agreement.

Allow me to be very specific in three areas here. One is labour market standards and protections for wage labour. Secondly, environmental standards and the protection of the environment. Thirdly, financial regulation. Nothing stops Britain in a Norway-style agreement from setting for itself and for any company working within the United Kingdom, higher regulatory standards for the City of London, higher environmental standards, higher minimum wages and higher standards for defending wage labour.

So instead of thinking of the EU single market rules as the ceilings: think of them as the floors! And think of Labour as the party that will campaign out there for improving the environmental standards, labour standards and financial regulation standards of Brussels and Frankfurt.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Jul 10th, 2018 at 02:38:56 PM EST
yea, because obviously the EU was a dead weight on the tory free marketeers preventing them from introducing higher standards.

You only have to look at who the brexiteers are to recognise where this project will go, who will benefit and who will end up paying the price for it

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jul 10th, 2018 at 03:55:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, the tories won't because they don't want to.

But the article is correct that being outside the EU, also lets countries move ahead in a faster pace. For example, Sweden's chemical regulations had to be weakened after joining the EU (free market in stuff that is bad for you), and that lasted until REACH. The greens here spend half the time thinking up clever ways to get local government to buy more locally and organic produce, without running afoul of EU regulations. And freedom of movement and enterprise has repeatedly been used as a bludgeon to lower standards of employment, and so on.

So yeah, the tories won't. But Corbyn could.

by fjallstrom on Wed Jul 11th, 2018 at 02:10:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's an encouraging take, euro green.  I resonated with that.
As regarsd the EU in its totality, I guess it's, I've everything difficult and challenging, first you do it wrong, so that then you can do it right knowing the traps second time around.
The main tension to resolve from where I stand is between the intention behind the whole project and how it was marketed to Europeans. So many positives we saw in the 90'same, Erasmus, Schengen being the main attractors.
But were these just the honey in thee trap?
Was the secret intention all along to homogenise Europeans so their identification with the project outstripped their own nationalistic tendencies (so far, so good) to the point that with the growing sense of unity and freedom from weird anomalies that were part of national identities (and all the tariffs that slowed trade) and collaborate on a superstate that would take the best from all the individual nations and weld it together for the good of all, or was it just marketing and the intention was to yoke all national financial enterprise to the diktat of an all-powerful central bank, and thus enrich the already wealthy at the cost of austerity for the poor. A giant ruse in other words in order to suscitate unity while further driving inequality, turbo capitalism, the financialisation of everything, neoliberalism, neoconservative adventures, trickle down theory and all the toxic rest of it.
If that was the pig, now the lipstick is coming off and we are moving towards a Macronesque new Europe, less workers' rights, more plutocracy, more police state, all still dressed in fluffy, exceptionalist rhetoric.
The truth will out.  

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Jul 10th, 2018 at 08:26:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Aargh spellchecker, my bad for not previewing :(

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Jul 10th, 2018 at 08:28:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We all know the Tories hate the EU because it isn't neo-liberal enough for them. There are still vestiges of the social market, public healthcare, consumer standards, regional funds, social funds etc. despite the emergence of hard right governments in several member states.

But what's Corbyn's problem? Could he not have argued, as Yanis Varoufakis says, for higher labour standards, greater environmental controls, stricter financial regulation? Did he even try to make the case or present an alternative negotiating position? Beyond fudged attitudes to the Customs Union and Single market, what is it he actually wants from the EU?

If his problems are increasing inequality, austerity, centralisation, lack of accountability, excessive migration - could he not have presented an alternative set of reforms which would make the EU more acceptable to him? Then, if the EU rejects his proposals, he has a rational basis for leaving. If they negotiate an agreed set of reforms, he has an alternative (to Brexit) proposal to put the the British people.

But right now he has contributed nothing, except perhaps an even more ambiguous "me too" to Theresa May's already vague ideas. No wonder neither the Remain nor the Leave side see him as an alternative to May.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jul 10th, 2018 at 09:47:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think Corbyn's a bit of an old-timer, and he analyses, correctly, that the UE in its current form is an obstacle to socialising the means of production :).

Specifically, state aid etc.
So, socialism in one country...


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Jul 11th, 2018 at 09:06:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, and clearly that is what the British people have voted for...</snark>

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 11th, 2018 at 09:26:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He did campaign for staying in the EU, arguing for reform from the inside.
So what do you expect him to contribute at this point? Magically organise a majority in parliament so Brexit goes away and the right can continue as before? There is no good solution and the least damaging will still involve painful concessions toward European capital.

Now that doesn't mean that I have any confidence in his ability to handle the negotiations if the task would end up on his desk. And I find Labour HQ's economic messaging to be pretty weak. If you still believe taxes fund spending.....
However, Varoufakis had pretty good economics and it didn't help at all.

by generic on Wed Jul 11th, 2018 at 11:17:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"So what do you expect him to contribute at this point?"

He needs to differentiate his approach more from May's. Both seem to want a soft Brexit involving a close relationship with the Customs Union and (most of) the single market. I doubt most voters can understand the difference in their positions...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 11th, 2018 at 08:01:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If there were elections now they wouldn't be about Brexit. At the moment only the far right really cares so they can be relied to rally to the banners against anything that remotely looks like a workable compromise. And there is no counterbalancing enthusiasm on the other side of this issue. Rallying around the status quo is not something you'd expect after a decade of austerity. So having a workable Brexit plan would be an electoral liability now. And if the elections are held at the regular time, the EU - UK relation would already have to be settled.

Doesn't mean there shouldn't be a sensible plan, but I can't really think of any likely scenario where having one will be of any use.

by generic on Thu Jul 12th, 2018 at 08:35:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What I don't get about Labour right now is that they seem to have lost track of the whole idea of international socialism. Seems to me that the EU enables you to have (roughly) equivalent worker rights and standards across a larger population, which should be good.

What is the socialist theory that supports it working better in an isolated country?

by asdf on Wed Jul 11th, 2018 at 06:05:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Little Englanderism"
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jul 12th, 2018 at 07:30:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Stalin proposed the theory of Socialism in one country in 1924 in opposition to Leon Trotsky's theory of permanent revolution. .

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jul 12th, 2018 at 09:21:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think we all kinda lost track of that in 1914. If anyone has an idea how to bring it back...
by generic on Thu Jul 12th, 2018 at 09:48:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In theory, socialism is international. In practice, every time a socialist party has got into or even close to power, the practicalities of ruling turns it into a party focused on a particular country.

Sure, one can cite Stalin, but the same can be seen in the rest of Europe. Already during world war one, the socialist parties turned towards supporting their particular state. This was quite a turn as they earlier had stopped an outbreak of war by threatening with general strike in all the involved countries. You have some splitters, but in the main the big parties supported their state. The split later turned into the reformist/revolutionary or social democratic/communist divide, but the lines go back to the war and internationalism.

by fjallstrom on Thu Jul 12th, 2018 at 10:02:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed you could argue that war and nationalism have been the primary devices used by capitalism to keep the global dispossessed divided - and Brexit is a form of war by other means... All the more reason for Corbyn to support EU reform rather than EU schism.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jul 12th, 2018 at 10:51:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
War is the highest form of struggle for resolving contradictions, when they have developed to a certain stage, between classes, nations, states, or political groups, and it has existed ever since the emergence of private property and of classes.

"War is the continuation of politics." In this sense, war is politics and war itself is a political action; since ancient times there has never been a war that did not have a political character.... However, war has its own particular characteristics and in this sense, it cannot be equated with politics in general. "War is the continuation of politics by other . . . means."

typically, bribery, also known as pandering and block grants, to induce cooperation from competitors for exclusive use of wtf.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Jul 12th, 2018 at 11:50:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I really want to read up about the French revolution once I find the time. From the little I know that was the first time the European elite went all in on nationalism to head off human progress. And keep their heads attached.
by generic on Fri Jul 13th, 2018 at 08:43:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If I may make a recommendation, begin with Louis XIV and his right-hand man Jean-Baptiste Colbert. Their project to pacify the ambitions of two"estates" created a lucrative professional political economy, dividing the third, in the Estates General. Within a couple generations this faction got quite out of hand. In the National Assembly.

That is the impression my daughter's International Baccalaureate (IB) textbook history left with me.

possibly related reference
émigré(e), Fr., n., exile; "a person who has left their own country in order to settle in another, usually for political reasons"; idiom. asylum seeker, asylee, syn. refugee

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Jul 13th, 2018 at 03:59:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Suppliants

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Jul 13th, 2018 at 04:07:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Louis XIV pre-dated the Revolution by at least 120 years. His reign arguably represented the apogee of the French monarchy: France was the most powerful and most populous country at that time. Louis cemented his absolute power over the French institutions (the word absolutism was coined then) and waged war all over Europe: Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain...

The French Revolution did happen at the end of the following century and was preceded by weakened kings (Louis XV & Louis XVI, descendants of Louis XIV) and new Enlightenment ideas about freedom and equality (plus that thing that happened over, in the Americas). Another contributing factor reportedly was a series of famines in the countryside, following the eruption of a volcano in Iceland in 1783.

by Bernard on Fri Jul 13th, 2018 at 08:05:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Then the World Wars showed the plutocrats how disruptive modern war had become, so they established transnational regimes that would keep the wars limited, thus keeping trade flowing while still providing for war profiteering.
by rifek on Sat Jul 14th, 2018 at 02:10:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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