THE DEBATE over Britain joining the euro currency is tearing New Labour apart. The government’s deep splits have been reopened in the run-up to the announcement on the euro on 9 June. Gordon Brown and Tony Blair are set to haul in cabinet ministers one by one to try to hammer home a line.
The row over Europe is not about what will benefit the lives of ordinary people in Britain. It is about the best way for business to screw even more profit out of us. In the pro-euro camp are whole swathes of big business figures and those such as disgraced former New Labour minister Peter Mandelson.
In the anti-euro camp are a different section of big business, much of the right wing press and the Tories. The same right wing tabloids who praised Blair for his fawning support of George Bush and his war on Iraq are now claiming ‘British sovereignty’ is at stake if Britain joins the euro.
It is tempting to say if the Sun and Mail are against something, socialists should be arguing for it. But joining the euro is about relinquishing even more power to unaccountable bankers and big businessmen who want to drive through more deregulation and privatisation.
This doesn’t mean socialists ignore the debate over the euro. There is a different kind of Europe that we want to be part of. The strikes and protests in France, Austria and Germany last week over pension rights show how the slogan of ‘A social Europe not a bosses’ Europe’ can be a reality.
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