The TUC tried its usual facing all directions but the stark reality that David Cameron is now proposing a renegotiation that will strip away employment protection rules made textual acrobatics harder than ever.
The rot set in as Greece saw its sovereignty overturned, when forces in Britain that had previously been – and in many cases still are – wedded to the fiction that the EU is a machine that could be bent towards progressive policies began to be aware of the instability of their position. It may not have even been the fact that this was the first time the EU has driven elected governments from office. The Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP), negotiated in secret has been a serious problem for the pro-EU camp, and this now to be followed by a similar treaty with Canada. Other treaties and directives enforce free market policies based on privatisation and marketisation of our public services and utilities.
As is now blindingly evident – but once was hard to argue – the needs of German exports have forged a currency that prevents other EU countries getting an edge. Whilst Britain now no longer has a separate seat in EU negotiations at the World Trade Organisation but must sit as part of an EU delegation. Those British manufacturing trades unionists who miscalculate that EU membership safeguards EU exports have been just as blinded by their employers’ hopes as they were when they clamoured for the UK to join the Euro. We need more briefing material focused on this issue.
The aerospace industry is much quoted as a sector likely to lose thousands of jobs if we leave the EU. But that’s already happened. In 1990, there were over 200 companies in 1990 in the sector employing more than 100,000 people, producing £25 billion worth of manufactured goods each year. Less than a quarter of them remain a quarter of a century later as independent British businesses with foreign ownership almost tripling. It’s the USA that is dominating the global market. Short-term profit now always trumps not jobs, as the UK majors in technology light and poor productivity. Low corporation tax makes buying ready-made, pre-assembled technology most attractive. But these are not the jobs that currently remaining defence workers will have in a decade or two’s time, if any.
The EU can now been seen to be part of a larger strategy of the allied ruling classes of many nations. Their response to the period of militancy seen in the early 1970s was the `dollarisation’ of the globe. This fuelled a relentless growth of trans-national monopolies, amidst the proletarianisation of the so-called middle class, as work became automated and increasingly driven by information-based activity. This labour-hostile, micro-chip driven renovation of capital has been based only upon the delivery of a profoundly anti-democratic surge; what one might call the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.