first thoughts - ditching britain
WORKERS, MAY 2004 ISSUE
When it comes to ditching Britain Labour has been creative in its tactics. Blair is doing the splits. One foot is in the United States and one in Europe. The two are pulling further apart and the nation of Britain is about to be torn apart. He has made the country beholden one minute to the war-mongering rantings of the United States, the next gripped by the privatising feeding frenzy of the EU.
There are three elements to Blair's attempt to remove Britain's sovereignty into the European Union superstate. Firstly there was the euro. Consistent campaigning against this, particularly in the trade union movement, which moved from gung ho to sceptical in its attitude, led the Chancellor to shelve the matter for a good few years.
Immediately Blair switched to the other two arms of the holy trinity of European tactics. Firstly he tried to push through the European constitution without a referendum. The overwhelming demand for a referendum has stopped this — no thanks this time to the trade unions. And on his second front, he has accelerated work to break Britain into regions.
Confusion within the TUC has been the key to this European Trojan horse, although Brown has had to concede that no break up of national collective bargaining is intended.
At a time of intense debate about the future of trade unionism one thing is for sure — if trade unions are identified with regionali-sation and the constitution as the government wants them to be, they will continue to decline. Workers want the trade unions to fight for a united, independent Britain and government for this country: and they will have to make the unions take up the fight.