The RMT transport union has initiated a challenge in June’s European elections, to oppose the dominant neoliberal policies of the European Union.
No to EU–Yes to Democracy candidates will stand in at least six of Britain’s Euro constituencies.
They will stand on a platform which stresses opposition to the Lisbon Treaty – the repackaged EU constitution thrown out by Irish, French and Dutch voters that aims to increase privatisation of services across Europe and to dilute workers rights.
No to EU also takes a clear stand against the fascist BNP.
The fact that a major union is prepared to back an election challenge to New Labour and the Tories is to be welcomed.
But there are some concerns that the campaign nods too far in support of arguments that led to the slogan “British jobs for British workers,” by attacking free movement of labour.
Yet in the coming months European trade unions are launching co-ordinated protest action over the recession.
If “No to EU–Yes to Dem-ocracy” can link with this Europe-wide resistance it can provide a welcome break with a debate in Britain over the EU, which centres solely on preserving “our” sovereignty and “our” pound.
The National Steering Committee (NSC) of Solidarity, Scotland’s Socialist Movement, decided last Saturday to “support and participate” in the No to EU–Yes to Democracy campaign.
The Solidarity statement described the initiative as an “historic and courageous attempt by a union… to offer a working class alternative”.
Concern was voiced by some delegates about aspects of some of the policies of No to EU.
The Solidarity NSC expreressed a worry that the campaign has stated that, if elected, it would not take up any seats because they “will not board the notorious EU gravy train”.
Although the organisation has been put together very quickly, with little chance for extensive debate, Solidarity has agreed to put forward candidates, including Tommy Sheridan, for the Scottish No to EU list.