Labour’s newfound Euroscepticism?

6th December, 2011 7:25 pm

A few weeks ago, in response to an apparent change of tone in Labour’s approach to Europe, I argued that Labour had never been that fussed with Europe:

“The pro-European clothes never quite fitted snugly. There was always a bit of chafing here and there – the result perhaps of being a party that craved popularity in a somewhat Eurosceptic country.”

“Crucially though, Labour always realised that Europe didn’t really matter electorally, unlike the Tories for whom it was – and is – an obsession. Want to run an election based largely around “saving the pound”? Knock yourselves out. Not because the British people love sterling (although a sizeable proportion do), but because the notion that Labour would switch currencies was always laughable”

Today Ed Balls stood up in the house and said:

“there’s no possibility anytime in my lifetime of a British government joining the euro”

Eurosceptic? Euro-realist? Either way, few in the party have batted an eyelid. And that says all you need to know about the current Labour Party’s attitude to Europe…

20111206-192300.jpg

  • Ian

    good to hear, I am not a euro sceptic, I would vote to stay in but joining the Euro will never happen, so why worry about ?

    If it upsets Blair and his dwindling band of followers, then tough

  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    This doesn’t seem very democratic:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/dec/06/eurozone-shakeup-voting-rights-confidential-paper

    In fact, it seems fairly dictatorial, and is drafted and circulated by an entirely unelected figure.  I would hope that every party in Britain would unanimously vote in Parliament against any such measure.  No need for a referendum, just a simple message to Brussels that 649 of Britain’s elected representatives (Speaker abstaining) say “No”.

    If the price of democracy is a return to 27 national currencies, which didn’t seem to work too badly* for the last hundred years, then so be it.

    * ie no one nation brought an entire continent to the knees.  Nations had calamities due to stupid policies, but the effects were not systemic across a continent.  Example:  Switzerland’s GDP grew during the Weimar years by an annualised 5.2% (mostly in railroads and goods warehousing / distribution, although of course many Germanic businessmen switched production to Switzerland as well).  By contrast, most countries in South America had the currencies pegged to the US dollar during the 1930s, and despite good trade and not being affected by the Wall Street crisis, they were dragged in by the dollar peg and defaulted.  From memory, only Uruguay did not have a dollar peg, and did not default.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

    A single currency needs fiscal unity – and I don’t see many of the current members hurrying to leave!

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      Simple.  Get rid of the single currency.  Its’ benefits have always been massively over-stated.  Then no need for fiscal unity, and thankfully political unity is far more difficult to achieve for those eurocrats who continue to believe that there is an appetite for such an outcome.

      Let’s go back to being a trading block, with currencies floating against each other.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

        But isn’t that up to the members of the single currency and their governments? 

        It doesn’t appear that they want to ‘get rid’ of it, and Europe will need to be a protectionist bloc in the future – trade and the so-called free market won’t work with countries with huge populations wishing to be consumers not producers. Much more localised production which will be much easier with a single currency

        • Hugh

          ” But isn’t that up to the members of the single currency and their governments? ”

          Yes, but the members and their governments aren’t always the same thing.

          “Europe will need to be a protectionist bloc in the future”

          Why? Did China cause the Euro crisis?

          “Much more localised production which will be much easier with a single currency.”

          How so?

    • Anonymous

      Fiscal and political unity is what the eurorealists / sceptics were saying years ago and have continued to say. But they were shouted down, called xenophobic little englanders and derided.

      Now we see that they were right all along and the EU is using the economic crisis as its own Enabling Act to bring in fiscal and polical centralisation and control without any of that pesky democracy that the plebs moan about.

      Current memebrs don’t want to leave because then they would lose out on the German economic and financial backing (and cash) and would lose access to EU funds.  It would be worse to leave but being essentially forced to stay in is not a real choice either.

      ‘Stay in and be told what to do by the Franco-German alliance or leave and be torn to pieces by the Franco-German alliance and others’.

  • Tugsandtost

    I don’t get it.  What does it say about current Labour Party’s attitude to Europe?

  • Anonymous

    I am a Tory Troll. Therefore everything I say is RUBBISH, Comrades.

    Still there?

    OK. 

    83 MPs are determined (I guess) to revolt when the referendum is finally canned and when Mr Cameron is outwitted into coming back from Europe at the end of the week waving a scrap of paper like his (Tory) predecessor.

    So why don’t you lot vote against the government? You could so easily bring it down and then face an election. With the Conservative-Liberal-Eurosceptic vote split three ways, you would walk it.

    Remember Mr Wilson and Heath…….

  • Anonymous

    That the party doesn’t really care…

  • Pingback: Appeasement | Councillor Bob Piper()

Latest

  • Comment Victory is what we owe to the people we represent

    Victory is what we owe to the people we represent

    In 1963 JFK prepared (but never got to deliver) a speech attacking ‘voices preaching doctrines which apparently assume that … vituperation is as good as victory.’ Reading that last phrase recently I knew immediately what he meant. Years ago, after the 1980 local elections in the wake of Thatcher’s victory, there was a view in some quarters that, even when we won control locally, we should remain in opposition to ‘teach the electorate a lesson’. The idea was that if […]

    Read more →
  • Comment How well does Labour know its own members?

    How well does Labour know its own members?

    Reading an article on ConservativeHome provided a clear demonstration of how the Conservatives have embraced technology and have left Labour behind.  Without a clear signal of intent and without significant investment in tech, the Party will be hobbled at future elections. Fundamentally, the Party does not appear to have the level of information and detail required about its own members, let alone its voters and potential voters.  Without this it cannot motivate anyone.  The ability to tailor a pitch, an […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Corbyn promises to welcome “great talents” from all parts of the Labour party into his shadow cabinet

    Corbyn promises to welcome “great talents” from all parts of the Labour party into his shadow cabinet

    Jeremy Corbyn has said he would welcome “great talents” from all parts of the Labour party – including the Blairite wing – into his shadow cabinet if he becomes leader. In an interview with the Observer, the MP for Islington North says that he wants to have a “big tent”, including so-called Blairites and Brownites in his team. “Of course there are differences of opinion and I have to be big enough to accommodate those differences of opinion and I […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Neil Kinnock endorses Andy Burnham for Labour leader

    Neil Kinnock endorses Andy Burnham for Labour leader

    Neil Kinnock has endorsed Andy Burnham to be Labour’s next leader. The former Labour leader has written an article in the Guardian in which he argues that Burnham has “the radical values” “the experience as a campaigner and a cabinet minister” and “the credible policies” to be Labour leader. In a veiled jibe directed at Jeremy Corbyn, Kinnock also tells Labour members and supporters that the party “are not choosing the chair of a discussion group who can preside over […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Is Blue Labour the answer to Labour’s woes?

    Is Blue Labour the answer to Labour’s woes?

    What can the much-derided Blue Labour offer the party? It is a question worth asking, because the leadership contest has so far largely eschewed big ideas. Surely, losing so badly in England and being flat-out destroyed in Scotland calls for a thorough reckoning with the party’s downward trajectory from 2005 to the present – a soul-searching process which asks: what is Labour now for? Jeremy Corbyn is excelling and inspiring partly because he is the only candidate with a clear […]

    Read more →
Share with your friends










Submit