Thursday, 24 September 2015

Feeding the Monster at Home and in Europe - Part 2 Europe

Written by Charles Gate

The EU is on the agenda of this week’s GP conference.

Some on this list will trail through many green websites etc everyday in search of good copy for our various social media activities. Every day I go to the European Green Party and the Greens/EFA web sites. Quite often some of the more innovative stories and projects can be found there but so too can some of the worse. IMO the worse are those on the Greek crisis where upper-mind is that first comes maintaining the unity of the EU with the add-on of debt forgiveness, but the main thrust of the piece is invariably EU unity over and above whatever the consequences are for the ordinary people of Greece.

I have no doubt, that the preservation of the EU at all costs is driven by German Greens and the long shadow of WW2 and the Nazis, but it’s time for the new generations of Germans to get over their grand-parents past (it isn’t the new generations fault and they bare no responsibility for it), just as we Brits of today bare no responsibility for the past horrors of the British Empire and some of those horrors are much more recent than WW2. (It is noticeable that the guilt shared by many modern day Germans still lead to the mistaken defence and support of Israeli atrocities against Palestinians).

The defence of the EU project by German and other European Greens though doesn’t explain why many UK Greens support this failed and miserable project. A project 60 years in the making seems to get worse all the time rather than better. 

At some stage you have to say it has failed and we need to look for a new Europe with a totally different approach and way forward. Most of us anti-EU Greens (but we are not anti-Europe Greens) generally site the dual problems of how, firstly, the EU has treated Greece and other heavily debt laden EU countries (the debt of course all belonging to the 1% but paid for by the 99%) and, secondly, the push by the EU representatives of the 1% for TTIP. I think now we can add a significant third, the treatment of the migrant issue. An issue created by the war actions of Blair and Bush and their followers in the EU and carried on by their successors. 

The greater migrations yet to come, due to climate change, will of course have stemmed from the actions/inactions of the capitalist west. The EU has and will continue to fail to deal with the root causes (us, our western 1%) and will fail more and more to treat migrants in a humane manner. This in itself should be enough for UK Greens to ditch the EU project as a fail, but we get the mantra of, well the EU has given us certain good environmental laws and worker rights which we otherwise wouldn’t have had.

What is this deference to EU bureaucratic law makers? Have a certain section of our Green leadership so little regard for the democratic choices of the British people and the potential in the organised UK working class that we must look to action from bureaucrats in Brussels rather than to our own rather more local actions and activity. 

These Greens prefer a top down Europe it seems. We must be allowed to make our own choices democratically, good or otherwise, and not even have good law imposed from afar, because as we see with Greece and TTIP these bureaucrats (reps of the 1%) can very easily and swiftly make matters worse – the EU parliament is hardly a democratic counter weight and is presently centre right anyway, with a great fear that in future years a more virulent right wing will replace it, invariably due to the EU failure of producing the goods that we would like to see put into place.

As Greens we need to give voice to a New Europe, a Green Europe, free from the grip of EU bureaucrats and the 1%. To that end WE MUST SAY the Europe of the EU has failed, we need to go back to the drawing board and the EU needs to be dismantled. 

Yes this won’t happen overnight but we need to make a start with it. This doesn’t mean we will tell our MEPs to leave the EU, on the contrary I want more UK Green MEPs in the EU as presently formed, but arguing for an end to the present EU (actually forthrightly arguing for a dissolution of the current EU to be replaced by a new organisation based on a democratic run assembly rather than a bureaucratically and council of ministers led EU – I leave the finer details to others – I think most of it is already in our European policy). The point that we must make constantly is that the EU is a failed model for Europe and this is our vision for its replacement. At the moment we are part of the problem and not the solution to Europe’s many major problems. 

Perhaps had we been seen as more anti-EU at the last EU elections we would have returned 10 MEPs instead of the 3 we have after many years of PR elections, which were supposed to have been the gateway to greater Green success. PR doesn’t guarantee anything if you have the wrong message. Greens need to be seen as part of the solution for a new Europe not as an apologetic sop for its current form.

Charles Gate is a member of Calderdale Green Party and a Green Left supporter

Part 1 Home is here

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