The working people and youth of Britain:-

23 May 2019: a People’s Boycott

2018_05_ycl_Badge_trace_no_bgThe Communist Party and the Young Communist League are calling for a People’s Boycott of Britain’s EU Parliamentary elections on 23 May 2019.

Our reasons for this are clear. We are fighting to protect what little democracy we have under Britain’s rigged system. We are also fighting to fix broken Britain and deliver real gains for working people who have suffered too long under Tory austerity.

YCL Boycott Poster A3The people of Britain are being forced to participate in these elections to the European Union’s Parliament. This is despite the fact that, on the basis of clear referendum result in 2016, the country was supposed to have left months ago. The Tories and the EU present this as a technicality but the reality is much more sinister.

In the immediate term, any strong turnout will be used by the government, the EU and its hangers-on to argue Britain wants to Remain in the EU.

Going forward they are seeking to lay the groundwork to keep Britain in the EU and withdraw Article 50.

Having British MEPs and our continued involvement in the corrupt institutions of the EU strengthens their positions. EU President Donald Tusk has been very open about this, stating that it is important Britain participates in these elections so that Brexit can be smoothly cancelled at a later date.

Britain’s Communists are clear on the danger of the present situation. Democracy is in jeopardy.

Whereas delivering a full Brexit and a break with the right-wing EU would open the space for left-wing policies and progressive change. Cancelling Brexit will cement the power of the unelected EU Commission over the peoples of Britain and the rest of Europe for decades to come.

Brexit has been a blow to the head for both British and European capitalists. Under the framework of the EU and bureaucrats in Brussels, they have worked hand in hand for decades creating the “most efficient” and “well regulated” conditions for exploiting workers and young people throughout the continent.

Here in Britain, where UKIP had collapsed after the vote in 2016, the far right including the Brexit Party are already gaining from the situation and will benefit massively if Brexit is cancelled.

We are calling on all democrats, socialists and trade unionists to back a People’s Boycott on 23 May 2019. Reject the fundamentally anti-working class Brexit Party as well. A vote for anyone is a vote for the legitimacy of these EU elections and against democracy. Don’t vote – join the millions who already boycott these sham elections and, most importantly, join the fight for a People’s Brexit.

Some people say that the Communists are a threat to democracy. In this election, we are the only ones standing for it.

Here’s why we’re calling for a People’s Boycott on 23 May.

The European Union: anti-worker, anti-democratic, anti-socialist

The Communist Party acknowledges that the EU is and always has been an anti-worker and imperialist project. It was designed to help big business dominate Europe. It does this by taking power away from national governments who might try to implement socialist or progressive change which would threaten the interests of bosses. Instead power is placed in the hands of the unelected EU Commission.

Who are the Commissioners? Almost without fail, former bankers, businessmen and right-wing diplomats. The European Court of Justice can be trusted to strike down left laws from national governments and interpret EU law just so. The so called European Parliament itself is the biggest joke. It is a fake parliament. It is a toothless institution designed to rubber stamp decisions of the Commission and provide a cloak of democracy. It was never intended to be anything else.

So how does the EU exert this control? Central to its economic policy are complex rules on public ownership, state aid for industry and public procurement. These rules prevent the government from building an economy which works for working people.

We are prevented from investing in productive industry to create skilled jobs and strong communities. We are prevented from nationalising key industries and public utilities to provide high quality and cheap public services. Instead we are forced to award contracts to shoddy and extortionate privateers like Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. The privatisation of Royal Mail a few years ago was based in EU directives.

The EU makes privatisation and free market economics into law. In Britain we’ve also had the added danger of New Labour and Tory governments eager to enforce these policies.

Far from guaranteeing peace in Europe, the EU is aggressive and militaristic. It played a key role in coordinating the interventions in Libya and Syria. Just recently was the 20th Anniversary of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, a violent and unprovoked act. The EU’s ‘ever closer union’ includes the creation of an EU army which will be closely intertwined with NATO. Even since the Brexit vote, increasingly bold steps are being taken by the EU bureaucracy to achieve this. The two organisations have 22 members in common. The EU promotes the interests of European arms manufacturers selling advanced weaponry to dictatorships around the world such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

One of the other biggest lies told about the EU is that it is somehow anti-racist or internationalist. Journalists and political figures in this country and abroad claim that Britain only voted for Brexit because of anti-immigrant racists and xenophobes. The reality is that if you want to see a truly racist immigration policy – look no further than Brussels! The EU has allowed tens of thousands to drown in the Mediterranean. The EU’s common immigration policy explicitly discriminates against immigration from majority non-white non-European third countries.

These same politicians even have the audacity to claim the EU protects us from far-right populism. Totally ignoring that fact that the policies enforced by the EU, which have led to mass unemployment, poverty and disillusionment, are the reason far right and fascist movements are on the rise across Europe. By contrast in Britain we have seen the support for UKIP totally collapse following a Leave vote in the referendum. What has the EU done to oppose the rise of far-right, anti-democratic governments in Hungary and Poland? Absolutely nothing.

The 2016 Brexit Referendum

Britain’s Communists make no apologies for our principled opposition to the EU project ever since it was first hatched by Europe’s ruling classes. We aren’t racists or xenophobes. We know the people of Britain aren’t either. We have a proud history of anti-fascism. So do Britain’s working class.

We’re not opposed to international cooperation. Far from it. Solidarity and internationalism are a cornerstone of Communist policy. What we will always oppose is a fake organisation designed to make Europeans bend to the will of British, French and German bankers.

We are proud to be the force on the left, joining Communists and trade unionists across Europe, fighting to break the EU bosses club. Dislodging Britain can be the beginning of the end for whole neoliberal project.

We will never apologise for stating that the youth and working class of Britain deserve a future worth living for.

This was the basis on which the Communist Party and the Young Communist League campaigned for a People’s Brexit in 2016.

The referendum produced a clear majority in favour of leaving the EU. The result was the biggest democratic expression of the peoples of Britain to date. British Parliaments have always respected and implemented the result of national referendums.

A lot has been said about the referendum campaign and the vote itself. Lies were told by both of the mainstream campaigns and big money was involved in both. Rupert Murdoch and the other media barons tried to make the debate about immigration. The Communists absolutely oppose all these aspects of Britain’s corrupt democracy. But is this different in any way to any election in our lifetimes or in the last century? No. It is simply another desperate attempt to undermine the legitimacy of the vote.

There has also been an anti-democratic and anti-working class smear campaign ran by politicians and parts of the media since the vote. They argue that working people are too stupid to understand ‘complex’ political questions such as this and can only vote on the basis of closet racism. They are even bold enough to argue that questions of this ‘importance’ should never be decided by working class voters in the first place and should be left to MPs – who of course know better.

The Communists utterly reject this. As part of the working class we know that we fully grasp the nature of this government and the politics of the EU and are perfectly able to decide our own future.

The anti-working class, anti-democratic and anti-socialist nature of the EU is clear as day to anyone who wants to see it.

Failure to deliver Brexit will set a very dangerous precedent for what little democracy we have under Britain’s crooked system. It will open the door to the far right and fascist forces to make substantial gains across the country.

People’s Boycott

So where do we go from here, nearly three years on?

The government and the media have managed to create a bizarre situation where Leave voters and democrats are made to feel they are the unreasonable ones for expecting the referendum result to be honoured. How did this happen? It’s been an impressive trick – and so far they’re pulling it off.

Somehow the Lib Dems and EU-fanatic Tory and Labour MPs in the so-called ‘People’s Vote’ campaign have been able to dress themselves in democracy’s clothing. Reality couldn’t be further from the truth. This campaign has been the most cynical and duplicitous trick so far.

They present the argument that a second referendum couldn’t possibly be undemocratic. Surely another vote on the same terms as the first would be equally valid? They are deliberately concealing the long running abuse of referendum processes by the EU.

Where a referendum produces a problematic result, the EU will simply either re-run the vote or ignore it. Just ask the voters of Denmark, Ireland, France and the Netherlands where they pulled this trick before. They want to pull the biggest trick yet in Britain.

Look at who is backing this campaign. Do they care about democracy or working people? Big money from across Europe and the world? The devil for his own. Lib Dems? We remember tuition fees. Tories and Blairite Labour MPs? All our generation have known is broken promises and the scrapheap.

There have also been calls for a second Scottish independence referendum. The matter is simple. The Scottish people have a right to national self-determination. Should the people democratically opt to, we may assert ourselves as an independent nation. In the 2014 referendum the Scottish people chose to remain part of Britain. This wasn’t on the condition we remain in the EU. In a multi-ethnic democracy, certain regions and nations very often vote differently to the ultimate outcome but accept the result. It doesn’t call the whole country into question.

The SNP are determined to achieve separation at all costs. Ironically the full integration into the EU which they desperately want would remove a great deal of power and independence from the Scottish Parliament. Scottish accession to the EU would mean EU enforced austerity measures even harsher than in Greece from day one. But the right wing SNP are perfectly happy to sacrifice the Scottish people on the altar of the EU.

The Communists know that the only path which can deliver for working people in Britain is a People’s Brexit.

Delivering on the referendum is the only way we can protect democracy and halt the far right in its tracks.

Equally importantly, a break with the EU will be a new opportunity and open ground for Britain’s left and the working class. We can fight for an economy that works for working people, based on public ownership and nationalisation of key industries. An economy based on full employment which offers public housing and free healthcare and education. All of this is will be impossible within the confines of the right-wing European Union.

So, on 23 May, regardless of which way you voted in 2016, don’t cast your vote for their fake parliament. Don’t take part in their circus. They’re plotting a coup and this is a key part of it. Don’t be fooled. But don’t stay at home.

They want apathy. They don’t want Britain’s workers to be politically active or aware. That’s why the government, the EU and their hired hands in the media have made the process as boring, confusing and depressing as possible. They don’t want you paying attention for when they finally make their move.

MeWe say:

Join the fight for democracy and a People’s Brexit.

Join the struggle for a general election now for a left led government which can deliver it.

Join the Communists – the party the rich can’t buy!

Johnnie Hunter
General Secretary
Young Communist League