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 as
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 the last throes of democracy 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
Why, at this point in our history are we perhaps about to voluntarily give up our
sovereignty, and give up our democratic rights 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 (while ignorance and being unfit
to decide is their justification for excluding the working classes from decision
making). Despite not knowing even the basics of the EU workings, 50% of us are
willing to surrender to it, 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,
several hundred years, in terms of political development, and democratic rights?
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 begun 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 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 hoovering trawlers, not just in EU
waters but around the world. Are they not troubled 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 concerns.
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 so 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 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 because they would otherwise put an end to the supply of
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 whence 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.
|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”