The EU, a middle class coup against democracy
Tony Benn called the EU “a derogation of our historic
democratic right to select and remove our governments”
When the middle classes hear that the EU lacks democracy
they first tend to think it isn't true, then they say it doesn't matter.
The facts about it are readily available, no-one could argue
that the EU is a proper democracy and no-one can, or does, refute
that its government, The Commission, is unelected, and cannot be
removed by elections. The Euro elections have no bearing on the
appointment of EU government and there are no MEPs in the
government. Anyone supporting the EU has to set aside these facts
The EU's founding principles are the four principles of
capitalism; the free movement of goods, services, labour and
capital. Its purpose, more or less clearly stated, is to rule in the
interests of the smooth running of a capitalist economy, without
regard to an electorate.
Jose Barosso, president of the EU Commission made it very
clear; “the EU is an antidote to democratic government”.
When democracy in its last throes gets in the way of the
unelected EU Commission's policies, then they start talking of
banning it. It is already mooted, in an autocratic outburst by senior
Eurocrats, that referendums should be “banned” (Fraser Cameron,
EU policy unit, EU Commission).
It is reasonable to wonder why the 'left wing' middle classes
support this project to do away with democratic government and
make capitalism sovereign instead of the people.
Why, at this point in our history, are we perhaps about to
voluntarily give up our sovereignty and our democratic right to
chose our government? For the first time since we rejected the
power of the papacy, we are to voluntarily make ourselves part of
a superstate. We do so in a condition of such ignorance that even
the EU has remarked that we are not fit to decide. Despite not
knowing even the basics workings of the EU, 50% of us are willing
to surrender to it, in an act of such blind faith, that it might as well
be a religion.
What is behind that faith, and what is behind the contempt for
our own democracy and sovereignty, that makes us willing to take
a giant step backwards, in terms of political development, and
Since the EU's purpose is to liberate economic policy from the
encumbrance of misguided electorates, Eurocrats tend to have an
irascible, autocratic belief in their rightness. So do their
supporters, the middle class left, whose guardianship of morality
that began in the 19th century, continues today in the form of their
usurped custody of left wing thinking. The same qualities of
hypocrisy and impostership apply now as then.
But is this belief in their own rightness, that they have in
common, enough to explain why the middle class that thinks of
itself as left wing, can support an organisation so blatantly
capitalist and hostile to democracy?
Are they not troubled by the EU's negotiation of the notorious
TTIP, the go ahead to USA corporations to sue governments for
loss of profits, to enforce the privatisation of the NHS, to impose
GM foods despite British bans on it, to make it impossible to
regulate against harmful chemicals. Are they not troubled by the
notorious EU record on environmental damage, especially the
destruction of the marine environment by its aggressive sea-bed
hovering trawlers, not just in EU waters but around the world. Are
they not troubled by the EU creating the biggest pool of migrant
labour since 1930s America, in the days of classical economics?
Are their left wing principles not affronted by the EU being the
enthronement of capitalism as not just our economic but now our
political system as well and, one step worse than that, actually an
attempt, so far successful, to remove democracy itself? Not much,
surely, could be more right wing than the EU?
And yet the middle classes left, so far, support it.
They persist in pretending the EU is a benevolent dictator,
magically more liberal than elected governments. Why?
Well, that section of the middle class which is now happy to
align itself with big business and the whole of the political
establishment, may consider itself to be left wing, but their self
identity as radicals has always been perversely, or perhaps
revealingly, contradicted by a mistrust and dislike of the working
classes. Their version of “socialism” centres around issues that
promote their self identity and pointedly does not involve
improved, let alone equal, pay and conditions for the working
classes, or any other aspect of working class interests. Least of all
does it bring with it any obligation to listen to their opinions or
On the contrary, being 'left wing' for them involves a rejection
of working class opinion. And the EU vision of the future is
distinctly that of the middle class beneficiaries of capitalism. How
do the working classes of Europe feature in it? As a vast sea of
cheap migrant labour.
The main reason, however, is a simple and obvious one; the
middle classes are the chief beneficiaries of capitalism and, as long
as they continue to be, they will support it, as a priority. They will
even create a morality to fit that requirement. It is morally wrong
to complain of cheap labour pushing wages down. It was morally
wrong in Victorian times, and it is now.
Democracy, on the other hand, is an agent of change,
obviously. Without it there is not much hope for change or
improvement. The middle classes like the status quo, they do not
want or need change. They do not want, or think they need,
The project of which the EU is a large and leading part, is the
final strategic defeat of the working classes across Europe and in
Britain, the triumph of the middle classes in a decades long
struggle, albeit an uneven one, against the working classes. It
involves keeping them poor, and confirming the supremacy of
middle class values and ideas. It also has meant, in Britain, the
abandonment of manufacture. In Britain this supremacy was
mainly achieved by the colonisation of the Labour Party, where
the middle classes identify themselves as the real left, not the
working classes, who must be silenced and removed from the
decision-making process. They have to be silenced otherwise they
would put an end to the supply of cheap labour.
If the EU were a democracy then the middle class left wouldn't
support it. They do not see themselves as being part of a giant,
unwieldy democracy including 28 diverse nations and peoples,
each with their unpredictable and 'misguided' voting patterns. No,
they see themselves as living securely in a superstate in which the
popular vote has been banished and silenced and decisions are
made discretely by experts of their own class and (covert)
persuasion. The spectre of the popular vote rising across Europe is
not part of the attraction, nor the purpose.
It is hard to imagine EU leaders either, enjoying an election if
it meant an EU government would be removed and another
selected by it, and that parties would have to put manifestos before
the electorate of 450 million. That is what an EU democracy would
have to be. And, if it was that, then the middle classes would be
campaigning to leave.
Let's hear once again what Jose Barosso, President of the EU
Commission said, “the EU is an antidote to democratic
governments”. This is its purpose.
But if being left wing now means supporting a middle class
coup d'etat that ends democracy and promotes the four principles
of capitalism, then we need a new left. And we need to start by
opposing the EU. Before its too late.