Saturday, June 25, 2016


A friend wrote: ''Do you think the fearful northern worker is right to be against the immigrant worker? I don't. ' She was alluding to the alleged racism of the UK population in the Northern part of England who voted BREXIT June 23, 2016.

Here are the facts:
The higher your income was the more you were likely to be a Remainer.  The main concern among Leavers was that immigrants were undercutting local labor costs and overburdening social services.  The shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, wrote that the government had ignored calls to strengthen existing legislation that could stop employers undercutting British employees' wages by recruiting cheaper staff from overseas. The London School of Economics blames the 2008 recession for the lowering of wages, not immigrants. 
The Leave vote was a working class vote perceived as the only way it could voice its discontent, and of course, no one blames how the international capitalist system always drives wages to the bottom.. But should the Leave vote  be overturned l by insisting only the middle classes and MPs know what's best?  Or that rushing back into the arms of the EU is going to solve the after effects of the 2008 crisis? The EU is a corporate led behemoth which was used to undercut labor costs and strip state assets in a war by the richer countries against the poorer Eastern and Southern European countries. 

Yes, the debate got hijacked by flag waving right wingers, mainly because the Blairite Labor Party didn't adhere to its original LEXIT position, but that shouldn't obfuscate class divisions and underlying structural crisis.

The sovereignty issue has played a big part in making up people's minds as well. The  left wing of the Labor Party has been anti EU.. and about half the trade unions....even Jeremy Corbyn at one point....was that a factor in the Leave vote? Was racism really the main reason for BREXIT or did people worked out the issues for themselves despite the fear-mongering from the political elite.

What about the human rights the European Union espouses?  my friend countered.

There are two sets of human rights, political and economic.  Economic public rights are  the obligations of the state to shelter, provide health care, ...etc...none of which can happen when a country is in economic free fall as Greece is, thanks to the EU and IMF debts.  The European Central Bank bailouts to Greece were done under the condition of  higher taxes, cuts to government pensions and a liquidation of 50 plus billion pounds of  Greek  state assets (which affect social services).  So, while in the UK you have some good decisions about public housing, thanks to the European Court of Human Rights, countries like Greece have been punished heavily by the EU. The sovereignty issue is about political rights, because the EU is undemocratic. European Parliament members can't introduce or repeal laws and have very limited veto power. For example, defense policy imposed by the European Commission unelected members can't be vetoed.

. I was surprised how many of my Remain friends seem to think I was some kind of Nazi. I even got trolled on Facebook.  There was a principled socialist principle advocating Lexit which got overwhelmed by the right wing Leave campaign.  This was mainly because the Blairite Labor Party gave up its principled Lexit position.

There has been an uptick of racist incidents in the UK, but Farage and Boris, Leave campaigners, have left positions of power. Fears promulgated by Remain elites have caused a downswing on the pound. Time will tell about how all this will play out.

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