Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The Left is mobilising against the next EU Treaty ... but the BBC won't admit it

by Marc Glendening

In Britain any media story about disquiet and resistance to a new transfer of powers to the EU inevitably focuses obsessively on the Tory Eurosceptics.

The BBC, of course, always attempts to explain away opposition to a prospective Brussels power grab as being almost exclusively a 'right-wing' phenomenon.

This is in part a consequence of journalistic laziness, in part a cyncial campaign to try and culturally marginalise those who question EU power.

For many years the Democracy Movement has drawn attention to the nasty McCarthyite flavour of the campaign many on the New Labour left, people such as Denis MacShane and Peter Hain, have run against their opponents on the European issue.

The propaganda fantasy offensive being waged the Euro-McCarthyites will soon be hard to maintain. The real story now emerging is how many on the left across Europe are mobilising against the latest move being driven by Merkel and Sarkozy to give Brussels control over the Greek and other Eurozone economies.

As Ian Traynor of The Guardian commented on January 26 in his front page story: "The treaty would enshrine the German model of fiscal and monetarist rigour as binding on the eurozone, in a move that would, in effect, outlaw Keynesian economics."

Late last year, writing in the New Statesman magazine, the influential left-wing commentator Owen Jones, author of the excellent Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class, wrote similarly: "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....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 burried Keynesianism."

It is not only in Britain that the left is waking up to the fact that the top-down EU one-size-fits-all power system means the death of democracy in the member countries.

Francois Hollande, the French socialist candidate for president who is the clear favourite in his race against Sarkozy, has promised to re-negotiate the treaty as it makes it impossible for him to deliver on his promises as things stand.

This is why democrats across Europe, regardless of their broader political differences, should hope that the Gallic left do indeeed triumph over the EU-fanatical centre-right.

If Hollande does indeed become president and does deliver on his promise to challenge the undemocratic nature of the treaty, it will be interesting to see if the BBC harp on about the French being 'marginalised' as a consequence and the whole ensuing row being the product of 'right-wing' Little Gallicism.

written by Marc Glendening