Greenwashing the European Union

The Ecology Party originated in Coventry in 1973 with four people involved in the ‘survivalist’ movement, not exactly a bastion of left-wing thought for ‘watermelons’.  This group put up candidates under the title of ‘PEOPLE’ at the two general elections in 1974, picking up about four and a half thousand votes the first time and just under two thousand the second time, between the candidates which they fielded.  The name change to the Ecology Party came shortly afterwards and although it had marginal levels of support nationally, it still had enough to entitle it to a party political broadcast in advance of the 1979 and 1983 general elections.

Where, when and why the Ecology Party originated hasn’t really been examined that much.  With hindsight it might seem odd that a city whose economy was dominated by the motor industry should give birth to a political party opposing it, but then it could be seen as a reaction to that (although the same city had the world’s first bicycle factory).  It should have been obvious that none of the mainstream parties locally would accommodate any opposition to domination by large employers.  The Labour Party had run Coventry as a one-party state since prior to the Second World War, the Tories were not going to do anything against big business whilst the Liberals locally were as they continued to be, virtually non-existent.

The Ecology Party’s ‘small is beautiful’ ideology might seem the embodiment of parochial parish-pump politics, but its ethos was that of opposing large corporations, state-owned (eg British Leyland) or privately-owned (Chrysler, GEC), the big state and the trade union bloc vote.  It is important to remember that the Ecology Party was not a socialist party, if anything it leant more towards promoting individual initiative.  So why didn’t these ecologists become involved in the Liberal Party, which in the 1950’s / 1960’s could have accommodated their views?

What was significant about 1973 was that the UK joined the EEC, at the time something believed by most of the electorate to be merely a trading bloc.  That it was a Tory government (with a few dissenters) which did this was not surprising, as big business was always going to be the major beneficiary.  Not surprisingly also at the time was that most opposition came from within the Labour Party and the trade union movement, as they foresaw what came to pass, an enlarged labour market leading to downward pressure on living standards.  The Liberal Party was heavily in favour of the EEC and that is why it could not accommodate the views of those who formed the Ecology Party, as the latter were honourably opposed to the EEC.

Globally, the most significant political event of 1973 was the Arab-Israeli war which led to the Arab oil embargo and the creation of OPEC.  This more than anything focused public opinion on the importance of long-term alternatives to oil, hence the time was opportune for a political party singularly dedicated to ecology to be started.  If the ecologists were ‘hippies’ as some claimed and still do, then the Ecology Party would have been started five or six years earlier, but by 1973 the hippy ‘movement’, if it can be called that, was discredited.  Handing out flowers did not defeat Richard Nixon.

So how did the Ecology Party change?  With a rebranding exercise in 1985, to follow the success of Die Grünen, who themselves had started out of the protests against US nuclear weapons being sited in West Germany.  The assimilation of left-wing views into the Green Party came with the crossover in the membership of CND with those of the left and the co-operation between any organisations which were considered to be ‘anti-Tory’.  Where the assimilation of left-wing views into the Green Party might be considered as ‘infiltration’ came following the collapse of the Soviet Union, when ‘socialism’ became a hard brand to sell.  ‘Green-Left’ crossover groups developed but these in themselves do not explain the Green Party’s current love affair with what became the European Union (EU) as the genuine (classical) left was and still is opposed to it.

The answer is more rooted in the structure of the EU ‘parliament’ into ‘groupings’, such that nationally-based political parties fighting on issues important for their respective electorates become redundant.  The Green Party has become ‘Europeanised’.  Some may say that this is just adapting to new conditions, but in doing so it has betrayed its Ecology Party origins by supporting the very continental superstate which it ought to oppose.  There are of course other reasons.  Most politicians are driven by personal ambition and those in the Green Party leadership have found the European stage difficult to resist.  They have become part of the political establishment, supportive of supranational dictatorship where it suits their ends.  So in order to get certain ‘green’ directives issued by the European Commission, the Green Party and the others in its ‘grouping’ turn a blind eye to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) which the Green Party has always claimed to oppose; but which fundamentally it cannot oppose whilst it supports the EU, because the CAP is one of the foundation stones upon which the EU is built.

The most disturbing trend within the Green Party and which has now become dominant within it, is that of control.   This is where the influence of the hard (regressive) left has been felt and this is where the Green Party’s enthusiasm for the EU has come from.  Genuine ecologists recognise that local people are usually the best custodians of their local environment; not always but they ought to be consulted, not ordered about.  Genuine ecologists also recognise that ecology is best managed from the bottom up, not dictated to from the top down.  Genuine ecologists support international co-operation, not supranational dictatorship.  The Green Party, like all the ‘green’ NGO’s financed by the EU, supports supranational dictatorship, where every aspect of every individual’s life must be controlled, from car usage to what light bulbs one is permitted to buy.

The Green Party, even after it had been rebranded from the Ecology Party continued to support the principal of national sovereignty, indeed the Scottish Green Party supported genuine independence (not the SNP’s oxymoronic ‘independence within the EU’).  However the Green Party has now betrayed its principals by opposing national sovereignty.  Whereas a genuine Ecology Party, if one still existed, would recognise that environmental legislation should be the responsibility of national parliamentary democracies; and these, responsive to their respective electorates, negotiate international agreements.  But the Green Party’s love for the EU is because it wants ‘environmental’ legislation to be imposed, not negotiated.

Moreover, the Green Party’s anti-democratic polity is perfectly in keeping with that of the EU.  A genuine Ecology Party, if one still existed, would recognise the right of every nation state to manage immigration to a level that is environmentally sustainable.  The less space and fewer resources per head of population that the country has, the more stringent its immigration restrictions need to be.  There are a few within the Green Party who recognise this and who more importantly recognise that a country – any country – has the democratic right, responsive to its electorate, to set appropriate immigration legislation, changing this according to circumstances.

But the majority view within the Green Party is anti-ecology as well as anti-democratic, unwilling to allow immigration policy to be decided by voters who are justifiably concerned by high immigration driven population growth (currently running at an annual level roughly equivalent to a city the size of Coventry) and the loss of green space due to inevitable urban expansion.  The Green Party is thus anti-green.  This is without getting into any of the economic and cultural issues; suffice to say with regard to the former that the Green Party’s ‘left-wing’ credentials are also spurious, as it supports the unlimited supply of cheap disposable migrant labour for unscrupulous employers and let’s not even talk about how ‘sustainable’ it is supporting mass economic migration.  The cultural issues of immigration are only pertinent to ecology if the high birth rate among women in certain immigrant groups is a consequence of their being forbidden the use of contraception should they wish to, but as the Green Party claims to support women’s rights then it should be fully aware of this, as it should be aware of the right of all women not to be raped in a game of ‘Taharrush’.

But the central issue in this referendum is governance, the supremacy of national parliamentary democracy, of which immigration legislation is only a part.  By supporting the EU and thus advocating ‘Remain’, the Green Party has shown its true colours as a reactionary anti-independence movement doing the dirty work of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund in moving towards One World Government with only a veneer of ‘democracy’ and nothing more.

Footnote:

The origins of the Ecology Party are detailed in Dominic Sandbrook’s history book, State of Emergency, The Way We Were; Britain 1970 – 1974, pp 218-219.  Tony Whittaker, one of the four founders, was a former Tory activist, whilst Teddy Goldsmith (uncle of Tory MP Zac) united his ‘Movement for Survival’ with the group started by the four.

This is my last blog post before Thursday’s referendum.  It was never my intention for this to be a strictly political blog, let alone a ‘Brexit’ one, but we bloggers have fought back against the lies peddled by Project Fear.  We are part of broader movement to restore parliamentary democracy and can only make what contribution we can.  Thanks to everyone who has read and shared these posts.

Advertisements

The Brexit Sideshow

If you are bored witless with how long this issue has been dragging out, you are not the only one.  It has only taken twenty-four years and six general elections to have a referendum on British membership of the European Union; and even then it was seventeen years since the one and only referendum on British membership of the European Economic Community, which at the time was known to most people as the ‘Common Market’.  Hardly a resounding endorsement of British democracy, is it?

Thatcher Europe 2

The ruling elites and professional middle-classes have always supported the removal of not just trade barriers, but immigration restrictions, because they know that increased competition for jobs and housing increases the disparities of wealth between themselves and the lumpen proletariat.  It should be no surprise therefore that a Tory government, that of Edward Heath – in which Margaret Thatcher was Secretary of State for Education – took Britain into the EEC in 1973, without a referendum.  Nor should it be surprising that the principle opposition came from within the Labour Party, whose electoral base was predominantly working-class and highly unionised.  Only when a Labour government was elected in 1974 was a referendum promised and held the following year.

As you can see from the picture above, the spin in 1975 was as it is today with ‘Europe’ being used as a shorthand way of referring, not to a geographical entity, but to a political project, the endgame of which was always the creation of a continental superstate.  At the time there was no way of knowing that in a decade and a half the Iron Curtain would have fallen and Germany been re-unified, but stealthily moving towards a Western European superstate was on the agenda, even though it was deliberately obscured from the voting public.  In 1975, Britain was held to be ‘the sick man of Europe’, the legacy of Heath’s terrible government which created an inflationary credit boom – so much for fiscal conservatism – when the global economy was already suffering the inflationary effects in commodity prices caused by the Nixon Administration’s dropping the gold standard in 1971.  The outcome was numerous strikes with trade unions demanding and getting inflation-busting pay rises, something which continued when Labour took over.

It was Margaret Thatcher’s successor as Prime Minister, John Major, whose government refused to hold a referendum on British membership of the EU and whose government later suffered the humiliation of the pound crashing out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, the forerunner to monetary union.  The deep rift within the Conservative Party caused by this refusal to hold a referendum still exists today.  The real change has come within the Labour Party and the trade unions, who have bought into the ‘Social Europe’ propaganda with the price being paid by working-class Britons in the form of increased competition for jobs and housing.  For middle-class Guardian readers and even more privileged Labour MP’s this is a price worth paying.  For Labour’s natural electoral base it isn’t, which is why Labour’s support among working-class Britons continues to dwindle.  The Green Party, formerly known as the Ecology Party, whose electoral base is among those who follow E. F. Schumacher’s ‘Small is Beautiful’ world-view, has also gone arse-about-face by supporting the EU.

So what hope is there of opposition, of democracy returning to the people?  Forget the EU-worshipping Lib Dumbs, they are worse than useless.  There are ‘dissenters’ within Labour and the Greens who haven’t whored themselves to the EU and whom we should all support to promote the ‘Left Leave’ view, particularly those of us who were brought up in ‘Old’ Labour voting households, who do consequently feel some sense of patriotism.  Hope however, appears to be coming in what ought to be the blindingly obvious, namely that a political union of more than two dozen countries, many with no common language, culture or history, simply cannot be held together, even by dictatorship.  This has become evident in the resurgent nationalism taking hold throughout Europe.  This in itself is not something to celebrate, but it is a natural reaction to the centralisation of political power in Brussels, including the EU’s demands upon countries that they take quotas of economic migrants from as far away as Afghanistan and Somalia, whose cultures are totally incompatible with those of the respective host nations.

Even a common language, culture and history are not enough to successfully hold a political union together, but having at least one of these is a minimum requirement.  The UK itself is under strain from Scottish separatists, who are ironically pro-EU, as they genuinely believe that Scotland, with one per cent of the EU’s population, can influence how it is run.   This weekend the Irish commemorate the ‘Easter Rising’ (led by a Scottish socialist) against British rule.  That the Irish ended up being dominated by the Catholic Church, ultra-conservative governments and more recently the European Central Bank are all separate issues.  They understand, from bitter experience, that if a referendum yields the ‘wrong’ result, they have to hold it again until the result is ‘correct’.

Notes

I shall be lazy in not putting comprehensive references, but if you haven’t read Dominic Sandbrook’s excellent popular history books of the 1970’s, State of Emergency and Seasons in the Sun, I have to recommend that you do.  The former details British entry into the EEC and the latter the 1975 referendum.

Population, Migration & Sustainability

border_2393232b

Comparative population figures and growth forecasts for different EU member-states are available from the the Eurostat website.  The high growth figures for the UK (or post-UK as it may well be) should be of alarm to all ecologists.  The Office for National Statistics has its own forecasts for up to 2035, thus, broken down into the four constituent parts of the UK. These indicate that within fifteen years, England, with a land mass of slightly more than fifty thousand square miles, will have an official population level of just over sixty million people.  The Eurostat data also forecast that Poland, Romania and Bulgaria will experience significant population decreases by 2040.  In the case of Poland, this is hardly surprising as it has already lost part of a generation to children born in the UK to Polish parents.  This is because the UK, along with the Republic of Ireland and Sweden permitted unrestricted immigration from the eight former Eastern Bloc countries from their date of joining the EU on 1st of May, 2004.  Germany, France and the other ten incumbent EU members blocked immigration from the accession countries for seven years, something to bear in mind given the German media’s criticism of the UK on the matter of immigration; and similar criticisms of the UK from the comparatively sparsely populated USA.

The UK and the RoI have long shared a Common Travel Area, along with shared residency, working and voting rights, reflecting the fact that all of Ireland used to be part of the UK, with the future status of Northern Ireland within the UK still ambiguous.  In pre-EEC terms there has long been a pattern of economic migration from Ireland to Britain, particularly to England’s major towns and cities. Unskilled and semi-skilled Irish labourers were used to fill labour shortages in Britain, the ‘navvies’ who dug the canals being obvious examples. Until the post-war ‘baby boomers’ started to come of age during the mid-1960’s, Britain had labour shortages, with Ireland being the principal source to fill these.  Writing in 1995, Fintan O’Toole quoted the level of migration as approximately fifty thousand people per year during the 1950’s and early 1960’s.  These Irish workers were automatically ‘settled’ and given the same status as British workers.  This state of affairs still exists and is likely to in any post-UK, non-EU arrangement between England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.  For a generation, the Catholic Church in England benefitted from the high level of Irish immigration in terms of bums on pews, more money in the collection tin on Sundays and the increased demand for Catholic schools, but assimilation into the host society took place quickly.

Although the presence of Polish and other Eastern European immigrants from 2004 on might seem no different to that of the Irish mentioned above, the significant difference is that there are no labour shortages to fill. The British economy has a surplus of unskilled and semi-skilled labour, so much so that wage levels can and are being suppressed to such a level by unscrupulous employers that the employees depend on tax credits and in some cases housing benefit just to survive, so slumlords are the other beneficiaries, courtesy of the exchequer.  Although the Poles, like the Irish, are predominantly Catholic, the benefit to Catholic churches and schools of their presence is somewhat counteracted by the need to employ additional priests and teachers who speak Polish.  Because the Poles have retained their own language then assimilation may take more than a generation.  The Polish immigrants themselves are now finding that their livelihoods are being undercut by Bulgarians and Romanians, who have been allowed to live and work in the UK since the 1st of January 2014.  The net effect for British people is a continued chase to the bottom with increased demand for jobs and housing putting downward pressure on living standards, all supported by those bastions of political correctness, The Guardian and the BBC.

Flick through the careers section in The Guardian and you’ll see that it is skewed towards well-salaried positions in the public sector; those which have so far not experienced the full effects of the Single European Market, which have affected the private sector.  It is therefore easy for The Guardian and so many of its hard left ‘liberal’ readership to have a pro-EU bias.  Just as the private sector has moved manufacturing jobs to east of the former Iron Curtain so that it can cut costs, then the public sector could do likewise with all PC-based back-office jobs.  I wonder how the public sector unions would react to that!  UNISON for example pro-actively supports Eastern Europeans being employed in the public sector in Britain, but why not employ them to do those British public sector roles in Eastern Europe?  If the roles are not be relocated then the salary for a public sector role, with the same skill-set and experience, should not vary between EU member-states.  Why should a health service manager, a chief executive for a local authority or a reporter for the state broadcaster be paid more in Britain than in Bulgaria?  Why not apply consistency of salary levels to EU public sector professionals and see how they like it?  What is good enough for the lower orders, in the chase to the bottom, should be good enough for them!

Although a political party preaching environmental sustainability should advocate stringent immigration restrictions (with only in very exceptional circumstances immigration being permitted), this is not the case with the Green Party, its standpoint is quite the opposite.  The way that the ‘Greens’ reconcile this is by claiming that our ‘First World’ lifestyles are themselves unsustainable and that if we were all to adopt a subsistence-level standard of living, then Britain – or even just England – could accommodate and support many millions more people.  Aside from the difficulty of trying to convince any of the electorate to think likewise, I have yet to met any ‘Greens’ who are themselves willing to make such sacrifices.  If they were, they wouldn’t be blogging about it on the net, as they wouldn’t have the hardware, let alone the power supply to go on-line.  Only those who have never experienced such subsistence-level living would consider it to be desirable.  I have experienced it only once when visiting the west of Ireland, forty years ago, where I was surprised to learn that some people still lived in cottages without an electricity supply or hot water, depending as they did on turf for fuel.  Nowadays, turf would have to be replaced by solar panels and a wind turbine, if the household surviving at subsistence-level could afford to buy them.

Michael O’Leary, a man not given to modesty as CEO of Ryanair, once claimed that he and Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the founder of Easyjet, had done more than any of the politicians in the EU to enable ‘European integration’.  O’Leary may like to believe his own publicity, but this is not quite true, as it was the politicians and Eurocrats who made the relevant decisions; Ryanair, Easyjet and the other budget airlines have simply facilitated the mass migration of people from East to West, in which they have a Polish competitor, Wizzair. These airlines have allowed Polish and other Eastern European immigrants to Britain and Ireland to permanently settle, whilst still being able to visit their respective home countries regularly, cheaply and with minimal travelling time.  Not all migrate by aeroplane, some do so by car, as is obvious from the number of Polish and now Romanian and Bulgarian, registered vehicles on British roads.  This places ‘Greens’ in a predicament as they regularly preach against these modes of transport.  The Green Party, whilst supporting the rights of Eastern Europeans to live and work in Britain, prefers not to comment about their preferred methods of migration.  To be fair, some migrate by long-distance coach, but this still means a large volume of vehicular traffic that didn’t exist prior to their countries’ EU accession.

The obnoxious hard left support unrestricted immigration, not out of any altruistic concern for the immigrants, as they would like you to believe, but because they want those immigrants – or at least some of them – to be a destabilising influence on society. It is for the same reason that the hard left support the segregationist ideology of multiculturalism, not out of any love for other cultures.  Their ideology is one of Negative Nationalism, such as George Orwell described seventy years ago as ‘Anglophobia’.  But it is not a fear of England or Englishness that motivates them, it is a hatred of Britain and all things British.  The irony when they describe themselves as ‘anti-racists’ is that they themselves are the biggest bunch of racists and in-breds of all; their racism being directed towards the great mass of the British people, whilst they themselves are an insular community virtually unchanged since Orwell wrote about them.  They complain about ‘Fortress Britain’ as it there is something wrong with living on an island that has not experienced a military invasion for centuries. (The last one was led by King Billy and he was invited in by Parliament).  Because they see themselves as ‘revolutionaries’, then living in a stable society doesn’t do their street cred any good.  After all, how can they claim to be ‘oppressed’ when they aren’t?

When anyone in Britain, or just England, expresses concern about unsustainably high levels of immigration, there is a school of thought that goes you Brits colonised half the world so suck it up. This supposes that every British person alive today is responsible for the British Empire, when the reality is that hardly anyone alive today is.  Such views are from people who are always anti-British, Sinn Feiners and their American supporters for example, so they are not even worth a moment’s consideration, they are Negative Nationalists as above.  Even David Cameron bears no responsibility for the British Empire, though some of his landed gentry forebears may have done.  With reference to Syria, under the terms of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, it became an area of French influence, which doesn’t mean that the French should have to bear responsibility for it nearly a century later.  Ultimately, tribal conflicts between different groups of Arabs are issues for the Arab nations themselves to sort out.  That the ‘rebels’ in Syria and in Libya were abetted by the interfering hand of NATO means that it should be those within NATO who made those decisions who are held responsible and no-one else.  It does not mean that the indigenous populations of the NATO countries should be burdened with thousands of migrants from Syria or elsewhere.

Al Jazeera, the state broadcaster for Qatar, an absolute monarchy, peddles propaganda to the effect that the mass migration of Syrians, via Turkey, is ‘Europe’s crisis’.  Never does it explain why neither Qatar nor any of the other oil-rich Arab Gulf States are willing to take in any migrants from Syria.  Turkey, a member of NATO, but not the EU, has taken in approximately 1.8 million according to CNN.  Looking at the pattern of migration from Turkey into Europe, it is clear that it is primarily economic.  Those who arrive in Greece quickly seek to move on as it is well-known worldwide that the Greek economy is screwed. Slovakia will take a limited number and only if they are Christian, not Muslim, whilst Hungary has turned them away altogether.  Few have headed for Bulgaria or Romania, despite the former’s proximity to Greece and none are heading to Poland. Ever the Eurosceptic, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, writing in the Torygraph, believes that Jean-Claude Junker’s attempt to force EU member-states to accept quotas of migrants, will cause an East – West split, as if those countries which benefit from billions of Euros worth of structural funds will bite the hand that feeds them.  For the Polish government to refuse to take any immigrants, should it be asked to, would be hypocritical to say the least.

Angela Merkel announced that eight hundred thousand of these migrants would be permitted entry to Germany.  That the German government was willing to do so without even verifying the backgrounds of them, meant that it took that risk and its incumbent population lives with the consequences.  Sweden, which has a history of eugenics, is also taking thousands as its government’s latest experiment in social engineering; it has a recent history of accepting ‘asylum seekers’ who have gone on to commit rape, something that Swedish feminists and their political representatives try to pretend hasn’t happened.  It is hardly surprising that the governments of Eastern European countries do not want to take the risk; they have seen the effects of multiculturalism in Western European countries and have decided that they don’t want the same, but they should accept that those Western European countries, notably the UK, have to right to refuse entry to their nationals or even to repatriate them.  David Cameron announced that, over the next five years, the UK would take twenty thousand Syrian migrants from refugee camps in the Middle East.  Critics may see this as a token gesture, overlooking the high rate of immigration that the UK has already experienced since 2004 and how much money the UK already gives in foreign aid.

To summarise all of the above, there is nothing wrong with economic migration per se, but it has to be at a level that is economically and environmentally sustainable for the host nation.  The immigration policies of the host nation should be discriminatory, allowing it to choose only immigrants with skills and experience in areas where the host nation has a shortfall.  A meritocratic points-based immigration system, such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand have, which also requires that the prospective immigrant prove that he or she can be economically self-supporting, is the fairest method.  Equally, if the prospective immigrant has a criminal record and/or holds ideological views that are a threat to secular Western democracy then that person should be excluded.  All claims for ‘political asylum’ should be thoroughly scrutinised; those who just wish to use it as a fast-track to economic migration should have their claims rejected and be told to use the same due process that applies to everyone else.  British people have become justifiably weary and suspicious of ‘asylum seekers’ who are nothing of the sort.  Compassion is a virtue, but it should be applied to the deserving, not to those who have paid criminal gangs of human traffickers in order to get smuggled into the country.

Notes

For Fintan O’Toole’s figures on Irish emigration, see Meanwhile Back at the Ranch, Vantage Books, 1995, p18.

For Negative Nationalism, see Orwell’s Notes on Nationalism, written in 1945, published in Decline of the English Murder and Other Essays, Penguin Books, 1965, pp 155-179, with specific reference to p 173.

There is also within the hard left a strong strain of misogyny, which came to light following the attempted cover up of a rape allegation within the Socialist Workers Party (SWP).  Google ‘SWP rape’ and you’ll find several links which will provide further details.  The SWP’s alliance with the Muslim Association of Britain to form the ‘Respect’ coalition goes some way to explain why the SWP and the rest of the hard left have condoned by their silence the activities of the various ‘grooming’ gangs, which have raped hundreds of girls throughout England.

I originally published all of the above in September 2015, before the terrorist attacks in Paris and the numerous sexual assaults in Cologne and other German cities.  Angela Merkel’s grandstanding as self-appointed Leader of Europe, inviting anyone into the EU, is having disastrous consequences; all to fulfil the greed of European capitalists for an unlimited supply of cheap disposable migrant labour, greed supported by the ‘anti-capitalist’ hard left, who also attempt to make excuses for the rapists and terrorists.  Still, those young men are enjoying their rape and pillage of Europe and it would be ‘racist’ to stop them.

migrants selfies