Friday, 10 June 2016

Why I'll be holding my nose and and voting for Remain

I really don't like the EU. In simple terms the EU is a neoliberal stitch-up, a club for the corporations. The fiscal waterboarding handed out to Greece, following on from the imposition of a 'technocratic' premier in Italy was just about the last straw for me. The punishment of Greece was essential pour encourager les autres, to prevent Portugal and Spain and any other Eurozone countries trying to break free from the iron grip of neoliberal austerity. These events made it clear to me that the EU as it stands has no respect for democracy - period. 

Whatever the Remain campaign say about the environment and workers' rights I have no doubt that there will be more pressure to water down the relevant European directives in the future. That is inevitable unless the whole direction of travel of the EU can be changed. Neither am I confident that protests in the EU will be able to stop TTIP. I'm also very pissed off with the pitiful campaigning of the Remain groups, including those of my own party the Greens, because it's relentlessly negative. Has-been politicians like Tony Blair and John Major and 'experts' are constantly wheeled out of their cupboards to warn us of the impending armageddon if we leave. Where are the positive reasons for remaining? Can't they think of any?
Clive Lewis, Labour MP at Another Europe is Possible on 4 June Manchester
I'm also with Suzanne Moore in that I think that the almost unanimous support for remain from the establishment is proving a huge turn off for many. I her excellent article today in the Guardian she says:
"But I sense that, for many, a strange game is being played out whereby voting leave is not seen as such an enormous gamble. Much of England is ready to roll that dice; this part of England, so often despised, demonised and disrespected by those who claim to represent it, does need to be spoken for. This England will not do as it is told."
I agree with her, I too suspect that many people will simply stick up two fingers to the establishment and the EU and take that leap in the dark. 

So why am I voting for Remain on June 23rd? Its because I'm a socialist and socialists are internationalists, because I want to build solidarity with the left and oppressed groups across Europe, because it's the best way to deal with climate change and the refugee crisis and because I'm willing to join Diem25 and have one last shot at making the EU democratically accountable to the people.

If we do come out of the EU there will undoubtedly be a crisis but crises are the stock-in-trade of neoliberal capitalism, we lurch from crisis to crisis anyway. Will I lose much sleep over it? - no I won't because the fight for social, economic and environmental justice will go on just as it always has done.

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