I spoke in a debate at the Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group alongside a speaker from Labour (Remain) and the SWP (Leave). I presented a republican perspective on the issue. Below were some specific questions asked and my answers.
How would a “Workers Europe” assist those out of work?
We need a Democratic Europe, and a European Democratic revolution to achieve that. Since the working class is by far the largest class in Europe, then real democracy would enable the working class to put social justice and the welfare of the people top of the agenda. Working people would have the power to decide what solutions they wanted – including jobs, pay and hours of work.
What does British capitalism REALLY want?
British capitalism, like the Tories, is divided over the EU – the most powerful sections of banks and big business are for remain – but sections of the City, such as the Hedge funds, and the large small business sector are more towards leaving the EU. Divisions in the Tory Party reflect this.
Do we vote with Cameron and Corbyn who BOTH Say YES, or do we end up voting with IDS and Farage who say NO?
No, we should oppose both options. Both are reactionary tending to take the country backwards. Working class people should not be bullied or frightened into voting for one set of Tories or the other. With a sixty percent turn out on polling day then 18.4 million people will not vote for either option.
If the turnout is 40%, this will be a bad result for both the Cameron and Johnson Tories. The new Tory anti-union laws demand a 50% turnout before action is considered legal. So a 49% turnout will undermine the outcome. [At least we can have a good laugh with the Tories hoist by the own petard.]
So let’s go out and fight for a low turnout. Let’s persuade as many people as possible to oppose both reactionary anti-migrant options and ensure a low turnout which will demonstrate that Cameron has failed to persuade people to back him. If Scotland and Northern Ireland vote to remain, as they are likely to do, then even if there is small majority in England for exit the whole process will hit the buffers. If UKIP try to push the organised workers out of the EU then the battle must continue after the referendum.
Former Bermondsey candidate for Republican Socialism.