Greece, the Euro and all that….

The continuing economic turmoil in Greece is rapidly becoming a giant black hole that is threatening to suck the entire Eurozone into oblivion. Labour should oppose the bail-out, in fact, it should have started opposing them a long  ago because they are not meant to genuinely help the people of Greece but in fact, are aimed purely at servicing the manic austerity drive of the Greek government. It is therefore the complete opposite of solidarity for Labour to suggest spending a single penny on bailing out Greek capitalism.

However, when it comes to the fate of the wider Eurozone I am less indifferent. Jon Lansman argues:

The only rational solution left is the orderly dismantling of the eurozone. It is not sufficient, either for Greece or the rest of us, for Greece to leave the Euro. What is needed is for Germany and the Benelux (and perhaps a very small number of others) to abandon the Euro, create a new common currency which is allowed to revalue whilst the Euro devalues, and, in time, allow residual eurozone members either to adopt their own currencies or perhaps, in a very small number of cases, to rejoin Germany at a somewhat more favourable exchange rate.

I’ll try and ignore the fact that Britain can’t leave something it isn’t a member of and focus on questioning how this is the ‘most rational solution’. It may well be if you happen to be a German capitalist. In fact, i’m pretty darn sure they would love the idea – not only would they no longer have to deal with Greece’s many problems but they would get rid of the flotsam and jetsam that make up some of the weaker Eurozone economies. Dismantling the Euro is unquestionably what German capitalism wants but I fail to see how that benefits the working class.

Notably in Greece and Spain, the European working class is on the move, it is on the front-line fighting against austerity so, why now should Britain’s left wants to shrink back into its nationalist shell and take our class away from those in the vanguard of a bitter struggle. How many times comrades? Socialism is international or it is nothing. Yet when it comes to the European Union, our left wants to grasp to the coat-tails of Nigel Farage and every other tin-pot nationalist out there. The European Union, for all its many flaws, is the germ of a new society, our society in the old. A society that crosses and destroys national boundaries and consigns nationalism to the dustbin of history.

Yes it’s imperfect, yes it’s neo-liberal, but when will we accept the fact that neo-liberal capitalism, in breaking down national barriers, is playing a *progressive* role, in paving the way for the end of the nation state. Monetary union is the first step towards political union; a process that capitalism has started and socialism should finish. Calling for the destruction of the Euro is thus  implicitly to call for the break-up of the EU because the Euro is an important glue that binds the countries within it closer together and brings political union closer. Socialists want European unity, we want a European Union that is democratic and socialistic – we do not win that by calling for its break-up, for campaigning with UKIP, the BNP and the Conservative right, an axis of reaction if ever there was one, we win that by fighting for democratic reform and an EU (with a common currency) that is truly democratic in character. This is what Labour should be calling for and arguing for in socialist parties across the EU, a programme of unity and democracy based on social solidarity – not  knee-jerk, fundamentally myopic Euroscepticism.


About darrellgoodliffe


20 responses to “Greece, the Euro and all that….”

  1. Paul Perrin says :

    You really do sum up my main objection to the EU – its whole ‘one size fits no one’ ideal.

    I like diversity, it gives choice – if you like a particular style of society you can go and seek it out – you ideal life is out their waiting for you to find it.

    But you support the homogenization of EU nations into a grey goo of socialist uniformity – which would probably most closely resemble east germany before the wall came down.

    Libertarians want people to be free to find their own ideal, while socialism seeks to force everyone in to its own narrow, blinkered vision of ‘ideal’ by cutting off all exits and removing all diversity and choice.


  2. gillig says :

    Without the support of the British people, shown by referendum. Your opinions are a waste of time.
    You have said in the past that Labour should not offer a referendum, so stop bleating on about a Democratic European Union.
    You have never come up with a credible reason for remaining in the EU, apart from some vague notion that because it is big, it must be a step nearer to World Government.
    Remaining in the EU suits only the politicians. The people don’t want it, but when has that ever bothered the loony left . Get out there and ask people if you don’t believe me.


  3. darrellgoodliffe says :


    You obviously didn’t read what I said – democracy kind-of implies the diversity and respect for it that you crave. Libertarians want what amounts to anarchy – because that is what they are, anarchists. Having said that, that’s not democracy, its the democracy of who shouts the loudest wins and the law of the jungle.


    I knew you wouldn’t disappoint me 😉

    I believe there has already been a referendum, I see another one as being pointless because the EU is an established fact and all that happens if we pull out is the question will be asked again and again until we are back in.

    Maybe they don’t but im going to have to fundamentally disagree with the people here and say they are wrong.


  4. gillig says :

    That is a pathetic lightweight point .We have had two referendums neither on the European Union.
    Explain your version of democracy where the wish of the majority is wrong and your minority extreme opinion is of more value.
    You clearly don’t understand the most basic meaning of the word democracy, let alone how it should be applied in the real world. Your path is already leading to civil disorder, and you are running out of people and things to blame it on.


  5. darrellgoodliffe says :


    But since when has the form of governance been subject to constant referendum? I was prepared to support a referendum on Lisbon but not the actual issue of being in the EU.

    Democracy actually enshrines both majority will and protection for the minority as it happens but hey ho.

    Errrr how is it?


  6. gillig says :

    If you deny the people a vote on who rules them, you will get public disorder, is that what you want?


  7. Paul Perrin says :

    You say I “obviously didn’t read what [you] said” — well, you are wrong I did read it — I can only guess that you have not read it and have forgotten what you wrote.

    Suggest you re-read your post, my comment and try again…


  8. darrellgoodliffe says :


    I am fully in favour of people getting a vote on who rules them, this is why, for example, I support the European President being elected by everybody in the EU and a whole range of democratic reforms to the EU and all institutions it comprises of….


    It seems you don’t understand democracy then which is from the linear and monolithic thing you paint it as in your first comment…


  9. Paul Perrin says :

    Our parliament at Westminster is more representative than any EU level organisation – no EU organisation is qualified to overrule them. – the EU damages our democracy.


  10. gillig says :

    As the world continues to focus on the Greek economy and the future of the Euro, the European Union has proposed several key pieces of legislation which will have a significant impact on life in the UK.

    The details, sent to European leaders ahead of their meeting in Brussels later this week, provide a useful smokescreen to the ongoing events in Greece, while having potentially devastating consequences for the UK in terms of industry, commerce and asylum if approved.

    Later this week, the European Council will be discussing the following proposals:

    * A financial transaction tax which will allow the EU to raise its own tax, even set its own tax rates, without democratic oversight. This money will be disproportionally raised in the City of London and will cripple London’s place as one of the world’s financial leaders.

    * Finalisation of the EU’s takeover of Britain’s asylum rules. This means that Britain will not be able to set its own asylum policy.

    * The economic governance package. This sees the EU having oversight of the UK’s treasury decision. It demands budget approval ahead of the government presenting its Budget to the British people.

    * Endorsement of EU Treaty change to allow for future economic bailouts of other EU countries. This would see Britain liable for massive unknown future costs running into billions.

    * Informal agreement of Croatia joining the EU. This would see another four and half million people given access to the UK.

    UKIP Leader Nigel Farage said: “A number of significant proposals will be discussed at this meeting, all of which could have devastating consequences for the UK.

    “All of this will be discussed while Greece burns. It is our belief that this blizzard of potential legislation has been created in order to remove the focus away from Greece.

    “David Cameron had better have his wits about him or otherwise he could find that Britain has lost the right to set its own taxes, budgets and asylum policy.”

    The European Union is an expensive albeit doomed project. Communism ultimately collapsed but the die-hard communists hard at work within the EU are too stupid or too greedy to accept the inevitable.
    On 1st November 2014 the following areas of competence will switch from requiring unanimous approval of all member states to qualified majority voting:

    Initiatives of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Administrative co-operation – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Asylum – Nice: QMV; Lisbon: QMV
    Border controls – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Citizens’ initiative regulations – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Civil protection – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Committee of the Regions – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Common defence policy – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Crime prevention incentives – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Criminal judicial co-operation – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Criminal law – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Culture – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Diplomatic & Consular protection – Nice: Unanimity Lisbon: QMV
    Economic & Social Committee – Nice: QMV Lisbon: QMV
    Emergency international aid – Nice: Unanimity Lisbon: QMV
    Energy – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    EU budget – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Eurojust – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    European Central Bank – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    European Court of Justice – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Europol – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Eurozone external representation – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Foreign Affairs High Representative election – Lisbon: QMV
    Freedom of movement for workers – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Freedom to establish a business – Nice: Unanimity Lisbon QMV
    Freedom, security, justice, co-operation & evaluation – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Funding the Common Foreign & Security Policy – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    General economic interest services – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Humanitarian aid – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Immigration – Nice: QMV; Lisbon: QMV
    Intellectual property – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Organisation of the Council of the EU – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Police co-operation – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    President of the European Council election – Lisbon: QMV
    Response to natural disasters & terrorism – Lisbon: QMV
    Rules concerning the Armaments Agency – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Self-employment access rights – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Social Security Unanimity – Nice: QMV; Lisbon: QMV
    Space – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Sport – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Structural & Cohension Funds – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Tourism – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Transport – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Withdrawal of a member state – Lisbon: QMV

    Not only that, but tptb have come up with a great wheeze to make it more difficult to vote down any proposal; there now has to be a “blocking minority” which represents “at least three quarters of EU citizens” or “at least three quarters of member states”. Even then, the Council undertakes only to “discuss the issue”.

    Let Cameron tell us again how we are “in Europe but not ruled by Europe”. He’s a lying weasel – and he knows it.
    Reform that loy democratically Darrell


  11. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Presume your including the totally unelected House of Lords in that comment…which is absurd btw…..


    I’m not gonna write out a manifesto for democratising the EU here and now, suffice it to say, it is possible and I support it….


  12. gillig says :

    Just tell us what you have managed so far.


  13. darrellgoodliffe says :

    Elected European President….lawmaking powers for a fully elected European Parliament, pretty much an abolition of the entire bureaucracy….an end to QMV……


  14. Paul Perrin says :

    An EU president to preside over the of UK, Germany, Greece, maybe and maybe Turkey etc?


    Each country can elected their own governments and those governments can decide what is best for each country without ‘help’ from strangers…

    Countries can cooperate, trade etc with out a single mega ‘one size fits no-one’ government.

    I like diversity, I don’t want to force other countries to be the same as mine, and I don’t want mine to be forced to be like others.


  15. gillig says :

    “.Elected European President….lawmaking powers for a fully elected European Parliament, pretty much an abolition of the entire bureaucracy….an end to QMV……” And the joke is, you seriously think you can do it!
    Gordon secretly spent all our money on a time machine?


  16. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Because the EU is the future and its the democratic thing to do….democracy will bring the EU together….


    Errr yes and no….


  17. Paul Perrin says :

    And I can say the EU and the Euro and European empires are the past – but just saying that doesn’t get us anywhere.

    If you think the EU is the ‘future’ – explain your reasoning.

    There are riots across the EU caused by the EU ‘project’ and the Euro – the EU commission is calling on national governments to ‘be strong’ and ignore their people – worse, calling on government s to sacrifice their people to support the Euro project!. The ‘real democracy now’ movement is growing all over the EU, and you arguing *against* them supposedly in the name of ‘democracy’!


  18. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Well your certainly wrong to say the riots are directed at the EU though I don’t deny EU policy is at fault. Having said that you have to prove how the policy of independent nation states is substantively different and better – it isn’t and its only a matter of time before the riots start here, where will your argument be then?

    It’s the future because nation states are the obsolete past….


  19. Paul Perrin says :

    @darrell ‘eu the future, nation states obsolete past’ etc just saying it still doesn’t make it so.

    The EU-crats aren’t stupid – they are good at makings sure they never interact directly with the people – this is what gives them so much power, and so little accountability – that peoples problems are caused by the EU, but that they don’t usually get the blame condemns them in itself.

    EU taxes that don’t directly appear on anyones tax bill, EU directives that get hidden in domestic legislation, EU corruption that no citizen can challenge in court, EU/Euro austerity measures that get blamed on national governments. When all roads lead power to Brussels it will appear as if that is the only way it could be – but it isn’t.

    European nation states never failed – there is no case against them to answer.

    Some senior politicians just thought a single EU superstate would be better – they are being proved wrong.

    Experiment over, back to normality – indpendent nations.


  20. darrellgoodliffe says :

    Well it is….its called globalisation and its slowly but surely wiping the nation state off the map and making it obsolete…and a jolly good thing too….


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