"No2EU": No to free movement of labour?

Submitted by martin on 22 April, 2009 - 11:04 Author: An RMT member

The expanded platform published on the website of the No2EU campaign for the 4 June Euro-elections denounces “the so-called ‘free movement’ of labour” in the EU and “the social dumping of exploited foreign workers in Britain”.

The campaign is supported by the Socialist Party, by Bob Crow and the leadership of the RMT rail union, and by Tommy Sheridan in Scotland, none of whom are racists. But how can the words in the platform be read as anything other than a “left” version of the chauvinist cry: “Kick out the Poles and other migrant workers”? As anything other than a recycling of the nationalist demagogy which No2EU’s prime mover — the Communist Party of Britain (Morning Star), the rump of the old Moscow-line movement — used shamelessly in its Stalinist heyday?

As anything other than poison in today’s crisis, when protectionist and nationalist pressures are increased, and workers’ unity is paramount?

As a macabre addition, the No2EU website has as its masthead, above all such policies: “It’s a black and white issue”. You have to assume that this is bungling tin-earedness rather than racism, but it is bungling tin-earedness of an exceptional order.

The other questions that arise are: how, where, and by whom was this expanded platform decided? Who is paying for the campaign? And will it be a real campaign, reaching the doorsteps, or just a few press releases and public rallies?

The RMT Executive has voted £45,000 to the campaign, but does little more than cover the deposits for the six Euro-regions (out of 12) which No2EU says it will contest. The RMT Exec has done nothing to try to mobilise any broad layer of RMT activists into the campaign — still less those RMT members who are cleaners and migrant workers(!) on the London Underground. For most RMT activists, the campaign is strictly something going on above their heads — nor given RMT branches any saying in shaping the campaign.

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