As we go to the polls to vote in the EU referendum most of the debate has been dominated by the civil war in the Tory party and the barrage of statistics on both sides that has confused and turned off most voters.
We believe that if the real issues had had more airtime the whole debate could have been much clearer (and less poisonous). Here are a few glimpses of what the debate could have been, where TUSC supporters managed to briefly get onto the mainstream media:
The EU has been leading the race to the bottom in wages and living standards with the posted workers directive (making it legal for foreign workers to be employed across the EU on the same pay, terms and conditions they would have had in their home country instead of, for example, being paid the minimum wage).
Most of the rights we are told were given to us by the EU were in fact won by trade union struggle — and are under threat from the Tory onslaught whether we leave or stay. The only people that we can depend on to defend workers’ rights are workers, and our organisations the trade unions!
The sight of Mayor Sadiq Khan sharing a Remain platform with David “Trade Union Bill” Cameron with five pledges including “protect workers rights” sums up the hypocrisy of the leaders of Remain.
Ryanair, one of the big business supporters of Remain, is one of the prime movers behind trying to get the EU to support scabbing for a traffic controllers:
The EU already supports most of the worst attacks on workers’ rights carried out by right-wing governments at the moment. As French workers strike and demonstrate to stop the government forcing through a new labour law which would allow employers to disregard all the workers rights won by struggle in the past, EU Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis welcomed the labour law which he said responds directly to the analysis of the EU in Brussels that the French labour market is too “rigid”!
“Thatcherism on a continental scale”
The EU has forced austerity on Greece, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and has encouraged governments in other countries to force it on their citizens. If a left Labour government led by Corbyn was elected and tried to renationalise the railways, the utilities and the Royal mail, the EU would forbid it.
Obviously any government determined to reverse austerity would launch a campaign against these undemocratic rules and refuse to abide by them, but why vote to keep these barriers to any left government putting its programme into practice?
Migrants rights? Fortress Europe!
The EU has a terrible record on migrants rights. Just look at the way the EU has treated refugees from Syria and the other wars our government (Tony Blair, David Cameron) played a big part in creating across the Middle East and North Africa. Many many thousands have drowned in the Mediterranean; many others are forced into huge camps in the poorest countries in Europe while the heads of the EU try to deport them all back to Turkey, taking no notice of the fact that this breaks their own laws.
The horrific racist propaganda pushed by Nigel Farage and the right-wing of the leave campaign has fed fears that migrants from across the EU and others could be immediately expelled on 24 June or shortly after.
This is entirely understandable given the extreme languages and images used, however there is absolutely no way they could get away with anything approaching this. Even if they were so politically shortsighted that they thought that wouldn’t provoke a mass movement which could drive them out of power, their big business supporters, many of whom rely on migrants from the EU and other countries as workers, would not allow them to wreck their profits.
The reality is migrants’ rights are under attack from the EU on a massive scale, and what is needed to stop this is a movement built from the ground up, not relying on the politicians or bureaucrats who see it as their job to implement austerity to defend rights they are trying to destroy by the back door.
Bring down the Tories!
Whatever the result the Tories have been tearing each other apart and will be massively weakened and divided. However the stronger the Leave vote, the deeper these divisions are likely to go.
Already we have been told to Cameron will be gone in 30 seconds if Leave has a majority. Just last week when Osborne threatened a massive emergency austerity budget if we voted to leave, around 60 Tory backbenchers said they would vote against and that Osborne’s position as Chancellor would be untenable. Tory backbenchers are also calling for a general election as soon as possible.
Jeremy Corbyn has said that Labour is ready to fight a snap election if there is a vote for Brexit tomorrow:
A Corbyn led Labour party could win a majority – especially if it stood on the policies he was elected on as Labour leader rather than the watered down Tory policies they stood on that lost them the 2015 election.
This would be a major victory for all the victims of austerity in Britain, the working class and the 99%. Even if we will still have to fight to hold a Corbyn led government to any anti-austerity policies, that would be easier than campaigning against Cameron and Osborne.
The TUSC response to the horrific murder of Jo Cox MP can be read here: http://www.tusc.org.uk/17287/20-06-2016/tusc-press-statement-asks-who-is-responsible-for-the-climate-of-hate