As Europe is locked into permanent austerity, and democracy subverted, Labour’s MEP’s remain shamefully compliant
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In the coming months Keynesianism is to be made illegal across much of the continent. Angela Merkel, the president Europe’s great creditor nation has got her way. Europe’s leaders haver agreed in principal to fiscal union. Under the terms of the accord, budget deficits shall not exceed 0.5% of GDP, while any nation that breaches the 3% limit shall be automatically fined.
Public finances, of course, automatically move into deficit during a downturn – as tax revenues fall and the social security bill rises. The result, as Richard Murphy points out, is that under the terms of fiscal union, govenrments will be compelled not merely to refrain from stimulus packages, but to actually make cuts during a downturn. And those who have to live with the consequences will not be able to vote for an alternative. Government’s of all stripes will be left absolutely toothless in dealing with cyclical unemployment.
As I have said before, fiscal union, along-side the ejection of elected governments in Europe’s debtor nations, represents the biggest diminution of democratic power in Europe since the 1930s. Meanwhile, the politics of unemployment – of protecting the most vulnerable from the impact of boom and slump – has been fundamental to Labour since its inception – and it is exactly this politics that is to be made ultra vires.
Thus, one could be forgiven for expecting a bit of noise of noise over the last few weeks from those elected to represent Labour in Europe. Yes Britain will not be directly affeced, but these people, in theory are there as representatives of the entire European demos. Shamefully, Labour’s MEP have remained silent and acquiescent.
While Merkel leads the charge against European democracy, our girl Mary Honeyball MEP continues to suck up to the woman she says is the “Euro Saviour”. She has told us in dry, technocratic, terms that “The new measures will enforce greater fiscal prudence as it is now clear that those currently used are not sufficient”. No mention of the enormous fettters these represent both to democracy and to social democracy. And last night she was on the radio, batting for fiscal union yet again. Meanwhile the other labour MEP’s remain equally uncritical or remain silent.
So long as this new accord remains in place, millions of Europeans will be condemned, at every future downturn, to mass unemployment, and with no recourse to the ballot box.. When a right-winger like Farage can call out this great attack on democracy for what it is, it is shameful to see Labour MEP’s skipping so merrily along.
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