A chance to hit capitalism

by Daphne Liddle

TWO FRENCH Navy admirals last week declared their support for the Leave campaign in the run-up to Britain’s referendum because Britain leaving the European Union (EU) would put an immediate halt to plans forming in Brussels to create a “dangerous” EU army made from the 28-member bloc.

In a letter to the Telegraph condemning the union, Vice Admiral Michel Debray and Rear Admiral Claude Gaucherand said that Britain’s neighbours would continue to cooperate with the UK on “close and friendly terms” in the event of a Brexit because of Britain’s military and economic power.

They say that EU army plans are being “kept secret” from British voters until after the Brexit referendum.


There has been a lot of scaremongering from the right-wing of both sides of the issue, so claims like this need to be examined closely.

But the EU has changed its nature considerably from when it was the Common Market, a simple trading bloc of six countries (France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg). But even then its main purpose was to benefit capitalism within those countries at the expense of other trading nations and of the workforce within those nations.

Its energy policy required the closure of the entire coal mining industry in Britain in the 1980s, giving our Tory government an opportunity to wipe out one of its oldest and most successful enemies — the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

From there it was easy for the Thatcher government to introduce swingeing restrictions on the role of trade unions. These breached human rights legislation but the unelected commissioners of the EU were quite happy and looked on with envy, hoping to shaft their own workforces in the same way before long.

We are seeing the results now as French workers are taking to the streets to battle against anti-union laws.

A recent poll by the Pew Research Centre, which polled 10,000 people across Europe, found that anti-EU sentiment is spreading fast.

Although one of the founding members of the club, the French people are now desperate to leave, with just 38 per cent supporting the bloc. By contrast, British support stands at 44 per cent. Support for the bloc is at its lowest in Greece, with just 27 percent of Greeks surveyed having a favourable opinion of the EU.

The EU has been throwing its weight about in political and military arenas since the fall of the Soviet Union — invariably acting as a sidekick to United States imperialism.

The EU played a big role in the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, stirring ethnic tensions that had become dormant under the unifying effects of a socialist government.


Now nearly all the former socialist states of eastern Europe — including those that were part of the Soviet Union — have become seething cauldrons of ethnic and religious factions trying to tear each other apart and redefine boundaries.

This has led to the rise of extreme right-wing and neo-Nazi movements in these countries — the worst affected being Ukraine where blatant Nazis are now part of the government.

And it was in part EU leaders coveting the coal of the Donbass and wheat-rich plains of Ukraine that led them to play a full role in US efforts to break the backbone of the Russian state and reduce it to the same bloody chaos that now prevails in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

The hawks of the Pentagon know that the US is in decline, politically, economically and militarily, as the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are rising. They feel they have to move sooner rather than later because the power balance is shifting. And they are prepared to risk a third world war.

There is no doubt that these Pentagon Hawks look to the EU as a much-needed crutch, especially in their aims to attack Russia. And the British government is their strongest ally within the EU.

Take Britain out and the rest of the EU’s attachment to the US becomes much weaker. Already there are massive demonstrations against the massive NATO exercises now happening in eastern Europe, all along the Russian border.

Most Europeans do not want to be involved in another world war. Last weekend more than 5,000 Germans surrounded a US base in Ramstein, West Germany, to protest against the use of drones in warfare.

If Britain leaves the EU it could start to fall apart but certainly it will be a much weaker tool for US imperialism.