Socialist Worker

What's behind the row about George Soros and the EU?

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2591

George Soros gave money to the Best for Britain campaign

George Soros gave money to the Best for Britain campaign (Pic: Niccolò Caranti/WikiCommons)


Right wingers were shocked to find out that a billionaire financier is using his money to influence politics in favour of the rich.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper revealed this week that US banker George Soros has given the Best for Britain campaign £400,000 since June. It will be used for a major national billboard campaign to “wake the country up and assert that Brexit is not a done deal”.

The document was leaked by former No 10 strategist Nick Timothy, who was behind Theresa May’s disastrous general election campaign. It’s another sign of manoeuvres within the Tory party that’s tearing itself apart over Brexit.

Some Tories hypocritically bleated about democracy. They lauded Soros when he was funding campaigns to push through free market shock therapy in eastern Europe.

Others rushed to support Best for Britain.

Blairite Lord Adonis, who said he wants to “sabotage Brexit”, hailed that “George Soros has all the right enemies”. “Trump, assorted East European autocrats, now Nigel Farage, Jacob Rees-Mogg and the Daily Telegraph,” he said.

“All he needs now is a Daily Mail expose and he merits a knighthood.”

Soros definitely has vile enemies.

Pushed

He is a scapegoat for the antisemites in the US “alt right” and Hungary’s right wing government. And the Sun newspaper pushed racism by playing up that Best for Britain founder Gina Miller is black.

Both the Telegraph and Mail have also used dog whistle politics about Soros being Jewish.

The Telegraph talked of “secret plots” and used the Hungarian government’s antisemitic smear campaign as evidence that he’s up to no good. And the Mail told Soros to “keep your tainted money”.

All of this has to be utterly rejected.

But it’s not antisemitic to be against Soros backing a campaign set up by bankers to keep Britain in the European Union (EU) bosses’ club. Of course socialists should be against the rich using their wealth to meddle in politics.

It’s clear what the agenda from the people who support it, such as the Margaret Thatcher- loving swindler WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell.

They support remaining in the EU single market because it protects bosses’ profits and stops governments implementing left wing policies. Its rules on opening up public services to “competition” block full nationalisation and planning. 

And workers have been stopped from going on strike because it hinders profit-making.

The central division among workers should not be between Leave and Remain. It’s between those of us who want to fight to defend workers and migrants’ rights—and those who want to further attack them.

Some principled anti-racists and socialists want to stop Brexit because they want to defend freedom of movement.

But many in the block Brexit crowd are not anti-racists, as was shown by the Labour Campaign for the Single Market’s Myths of Lexit pamphlet. Alongside defending the neoliberal single market, it supported a clampdown on migrants’ rights.

And nor is the EU on the side of migrants and refugees.

The brutal Fortress Europe policy has turned the Mediterranean Sea into a mass grave of refugees.

Lining up with the motley crew of Blairites, bankers and “moderate” Tories behind Better for Britain would be a disaster for the left. We have to fight for a socialist, anti-racist Brexit—that means dumping the single market and defending and further extending freedom of movement. 


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