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The EU treaty is a disaster for the left

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T_i_B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 10:48 AM
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The EU treaty is a disaster for the left
http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2011/12/...

Stop your crowing about Cameron leaving Britain marginalised, lefties. The proposed EU treaty is perhaps the biggest catastrophe to befall the European left since the Second World War.

Sounds like semi-deranged hyperbole? Consider this: as Paul Mason has written, "by enshrining in national and international law the need for balanced budgets and near-zero structural deficits, the eurozone has outlawed expansionary fiscal policy".

Read that last bit carefully. Left-wing governments of all hues will, in effect, be banned by this treaty. If the French or the German left returns to power in the near future (and both are in a good position to do so), it will be illegal for them to respond to the global economic catastrophe with anything but austerity. An economic stimulus is forbidden because the treaty has buried Keynesianism.

After this stitch-up, the left really needs to have a long, hard think about its attitude to the EU as it is currently constructed. There's still a sense that any criticism of the EU puts you in the same box as swivel-eyed Ukip-ers who rant about gypsies in shire inns. But there's a powerful left critique that needs to be made.
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tabatha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 10:50 AM
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1. I think the UK should get out of that shit.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 11:06 AM
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2. Recommend
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saras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 12:00 PM
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3. The EU and the euro have ALWAYS been about corporate control of Europe. No other purpose exists.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 12:47 PM
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4. They are catching onto the tails of Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman
just as the rest of the world is rejecting them. I suspect their people will not be happy. Any happier that the rest of the nations that are now looking toward socialism as an alternative.
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jaybeat Donating Member (729 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 12:53 PM
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5. THANK YOU!!!
YES! This was the point I was trying to make in another thread.

It strikes me as the death of democracy that maintaining balanced budgets, solely to appease the whims of bondholders (aka "the market") becomes the ultimate requirement that trumps ALL other objectives in the public sphere. ANYTHING a democratically elected government of an EU country wants to do is fine, AS LONG AS it does not contravene this sacred principle.

Which, of course, means that there is precious little the PEOPLE of an EU country can actually DO to respond to problems, changes, needs and aspirations of their people. "Austerity" (for the public sector--continued luxury for the ruling elites is assumed, of course) becomes a one-size-fits-all prescription, effectively neutering ANY nation from taking ANY action that the all-powerful "markets" don't like.

They just might as well hand the keys to the commons over to the banksters and go home, because, effectively, that's what this will do.
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Fantastic Anarchist Donating Member (953 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 01:48 PM
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6. Has this treaty been ratified? Is it in effect?
If so, what is the solution by the Left?
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Prometheus Bound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 03:19 PM
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7. The UK-US bankers are upset that the EU doesn't worship the financial industry.
If they can possibly ramp up the propaganda any more, they will.
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bhikkhu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 03:27 PM
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8. Does the left require "expansionary fiscal policy"?
If not, then its not a disaster. Perhaps it isn't anyway, but the shift towards stable economies and stable populations is farther along in Europe than it is here, or in the east.

If you look at climate issues and the near perfect correlation between GDP and carbon emissions, then a non-expansionary fiscal policy begins to look like a better thing, particularly in areas that already enjoy decent levels of economic equality.
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GliderGuider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 10:47 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. +1 Economists and politicians always ignore the underlying foundation of economics.
Edited on Sat Dec-10-11 10:54 PM by GliderGuider
The foundation of every human activity is in the natural world, where we find both the resource sources and waste sinks required for civilization. When those sources and sinks ratchet closed, as they are doing now, austerity (aka "living within our natural means") is the only road open. Mother Nature doesn't have a left or right wing, just impartial, impersonal limits.
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fedsron2us Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 02:42 PM
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10. I am glad that some people in the Labour movement are starting to get it
Edited on Sun Dec-11-11 02:52 PM by fedsron2us
rather than continuing the happy clapping of the EU that so typified the Blair years.

My personal view of Camerons behaviour at the recent summit was that he did the entirely the right thing for enitrely the wrong reasons. His sole concern was his chums in the City of London not the British public or European citizens as a whole. Nonetheless, I think that the attacks made on his performance by Milliband and certain sections of the Labour movement are entirely specious and dishonest. I see no point in a 'seat at a table' where the meal is going to be poisoned for working people and the poor across the continent of Europe.

As a member of the British left and a life long critic of the current European project my beef with the EU is its huge democratic deficit which has become nakedly obvious in the curent crisis

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/economics-blog/2011 /...

Any US readers interested in the history of Britains relationship with Europe need to be aware that 30 years ago it was members of the Labour Party that led the opposition to the UKs membership of the EEC and its successors. Most of the Conservative Party including the supposedly Eurosceptic Mrs Margaret Hilda Thatcher lobbied for the Yes vote in the European Referendum of 1975 as part of a campaign bankrolled by big business

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_European_Co ...

The old Labour view point is best set out on Peter Shore's magisterial book 'Separate Ways' which is probably the best critique of the EU and its predecessors ever written

http://www.junepress.com/reviewpic.asp?BID=635

You can also see it articulated in this interview with Tony Benn on the Lisbon Treaty

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=da8ZuF2LSGU



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