Labour’s newfound Euroscepticism?

December 6, 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 Polling Clacton polling: What does it say for Labour?

    Clacton polling: What does it say for Labour?

    The date for the by-election in Clacton was confirmed this morning as Thursday, October 9th – not only the day after the Lib Dem conference finishes but also David Cameron’s birthday. The two polls so far in the constituency do not point to many happy returns for the Prime Minister, as the result appears to be a foregone conclusion. At the weekend, a Survation poll in the Mail on Sunday gave UKIP a 44% lead over the second place Tories. […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Does Labour have a problem with black men?

    Does Labour have a problem with black men?

    Now that may seem a strange question for a Party that has both Chuka Umunna and Sadiq Khan in its Shadow Cabinet but something troubling is emerging from the current round of Parliamentary selections. Of the 100 constituencies where Labour hopes to make gains or when Labour MPs have announced their retirement/parliamentary by-elections since 2010 so far just three have selected a BME male candidate. And this is from a section of society which is immensely loyal to the Labour […]

    Read more →
  • Featured Why are you Labour?

    Why are you Labour?

    Why are you a member of the Labour Party? I’d been a member for years when someone first asked me that question. On some level I guess I knew the answer, but no-one at any Constituency Labour Party meeting, canvassing session, conference – or even in the pub  –  had ever outright asked me the question. It was Arnie Graf – an American, rather than someone steeped in the party their whole life – who asked me. It was an obvious […]

    Read more →
  • News Eddie Izzard commits to running for “Parliament or Mayor” by 2020

    Eddie Izzard commits to running for “Parliament or Mayor” by 2020

    Comic and actor Eddie Izzard has reaffirmed his longstanding commitment to entering electoral politics by 2020, by going for a Labour parliamentary selection or London Mayor. Izzard is a lifelong Labour supporter (and Londoner) and has spoken in the past of his desire to become London Mayor. However, the recent announcement that Boris Johnson does not intend to stand for a third term has raised the chances of Labour winning the mayoralty in 2016, and thus there being a Labour incumbent in […]

    Read more →
  • News Jowell takes on new London-based role before potential mayoral bid

    Jowell takes on new London-based role before potential mayoral bid

    Tessa Jowell has taken on a new role lecturing at the London School of Economics (LSE), which should give her the time to concentrate on a likely campaign to be Labour’s candidate for London Mayor. Jowell, who is standing down as an MP next year, has started her post as Professor of Practice with the LSE Cities and in the Department of Government part-time. Jowell is currently considered one of the front-runners in the race for Labour’s candidacy, but all […]

    Read more →