Brexit: A Workers’ Response to Oligarchs, Bankers, Flunkies and Scabs

by James Petras, July 14, 2016
Introduction: The European Union is controlled by an oligarchy, which dictates socio-economic and political decisions according to the interests of bankers and multi-national business. The central organs of power, the European Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have systematically imposed austerity programs that have degraded working conditions, welfare programs, and wages and salaries.

EU policies demanding the free immigration of non-unionized workers to compete with native workers have undermined wage and workplace protections, union membership and class solidarity. EU financial policies have enhanced the power of finance capital and eroded public ownership of strategic economic sectors.
The European Union has imposed fiscal policies set by non-elected oligarchs over and against the will and interests of the democratic electorate. As a result of EU dictates, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland have suffered double-digit unemployment rates, as well as massive reductions of pensions, health and educational budgets. A huge transfer of wealth and concentration of decision-making has occurred in Europe.
Rule by EU fiat is the epitome of oligarchical rule.
Despite the EU’s reactionary structure and policies, it is supported by Conservatives, Liberals, Social Democrats, Greens and numerous Leftist academics, who back elite interests in exchange for marginal economic rewards.
Arguments for the EU and their Critics
The pro-EU power elite base their arguments on concrete socio-economic interests, thinly disguised by fraudulent ideological claims.
The ideological arguments backing the EU follow several lines of deception.
They claim that ‘countries’ benefit because of large-scale transfers of EU payments. They omit mentioning that the EU elite secures the privatization and denationalization of strategic industries, banks, mass media and other lucrative national assets. They further omit to mention that the EU elite gains control of domestic markets and low wage labor.
The EU argues that it provides ‘free movements’ of capital, technology and labor – omitting the fact that the flows and returns of capital exclusively benefit the powerful imperial centers to the detriment of less advanced countries and that technology is controlled and designed by the dominant elites which also monopolize the profits. Furthermore, the ‘free flow of labor’ prejudices skilled productive sectors in less developed countries while reducing salaries, wages and benefits among skilled workers in the imperial centers.
The EU : A Self-Elected Dictatorship of Empire Builders
‘Integration into the EU’ is not a union of democratic participants; the decision-making structure is tightly controlled by non-elected elites who pursue policies that maximize profits, by relocating enterprises in low tax, low wage, non- unionized regions.
European integration is an integral part of ‘globalization’, which is a euphemism for the unimpeded acquisition of wealth, assets and financial resources by the top 1%, shared, in part, with their supporters among the top 25%.
The EU promotes the concentration of capital through the merger and acquisition of multi-national firms which bankrupt local and national, medium and small scale industries.
Political and Academic Satraps of the EU Elites
The European Union’s oligarchy has organized a small army of highly paid politicians, functionaries, advisers, experts and researchers who support the European Union in a manner not unlike NGO workers in the developing world – answerable only to their ‘foreign’ paymasters.
Numerous Social Democrats draw stipends, travel expenses, lucrative fees and salaries as members of commissions and serve on impotent ‘legislative’ assemblies.
Academics advise, consent —and draw duplicate salaries from membership in the EU bureaucracy. Journalists and academics ‘front’ for the EU oligarchy by playing a leading propaganda role. For example, they have been busy slandering British pro-democracy, anti-EU voters by (1) calling for a new referendum and (2) questioning the right of the working class electorate to vote on issues like the recent EU referendum.
The leading financial press adopts a demagogic pose accusing the pro-democracy voters of being ‘racists’, ‘nativists’, or worse, for ‘opposing Eastern European immigration’.
In fact, the vast majority of workers do not oppose immigrants in general, but especially those who have taken once-unionized jobs at wages far below the going rates for established workers, on terms dictated by employers and with no ties or commitment to the community and society. For decades British workers accepted immigrant labor from Ireland because they joined unions at wage rates negotiated by union leaders, won by long workers struggle and voted with the majority of English workers. Under the EU, Britain was flooded with Eastern European workers who acted as ’scabs’ displacing skilled British workers who were told it was ‘progress’. This acted to destroy the prospects of their own children entering a stable, skilled labor market.
The financial press’s lurid descriptions of the British workers’ anti-EU ‘racism’ against Polish immigrant labor ignores the long history of Warsaw’s virulent hostility to immigrants–namely the refugees from the wars in the Middle East. The Polish government and population exhibit the most furious opposition to sheltering the thousands of Middle East and African war refugees, while claiming that they are not ‘Christians’ or might pose cultural or even terrorist threats against the ethnically pure Polish population.
Some of the British workers’ hostility toward Polish workers has a recognized historical basis. They have not forgotten that Polish strike breakers took the side of ‘Iron Lady’ Thatcher’s militarized assault against unionized UK miners during the great coal strikes and even offered to export coal to aid the Conservative government in breaking the strike. As such, EU-Polish immigrant workers are not likely to integrate into the militant British working class culture.
The Polish regime’s aggressive promotion of the economic sanctions against Russia has further undermined English jobs linked to that large and growing market.
The financial press ignores the fact that Polish immigrants ’scab’ on unionized British workers in the construction industry, undercutting long-established UK plumbers, electrical workers, carpenters and laborers – who have multiple generational ties to their communities and work. The EU elites use the importation of Polish workers to strengthen the reactionary labor policies of the employers
After the fall of Communism, Polish workers backed a succession of right-wing regimes in Warsaw, which privatized and denationalized industries and eroded their welfare system leading to their own impoverishment. Poles, instead of fighting against these neo-liberal regimes at home, headed for England and have been helping the British bosses ever since in their own anti-labor campaigns to reduce wages and decrease worker access to decent, affordable housing, public services, education and medical care.
The Eastern Europeans became the willing recruits of the EU reserve army of labor to raise profits for industrial and finance capital thus further concentrating wealth and power into the hands of the British oligarchs.
To label British workers’ antipathy to these EU policies over the free entry of cheap immigrant labor, as ‘racist’, is a blatant case of blaming workers for opposing naked capitalist profiteering. It is not hard to imagine how the Poles would react if skilled Syrian electricians were taking their jobs!
The pro-EU prostitute press claims that the pro-democracy voters are ‘anti-globalization’ and a threat to England’s living standards and financial stability.
In fact, labor votes in favor of trade but against the relocation of English industry overseas. Labor votes for for greater investment in the UK and greater regional diversity of productive, job-creating sectors, as opposed to the concentration of capital and wealth in the parasitic finance, insurance and real estate sectors concentrated in the City of London.
The EU-City of London-financial oligarchy have priced labor out of the housing market by promoting the massive construction of high-end luxury condos for ‘their kind of immigrant’, i.e. the millionaire and billionaire Chinese, Russian, Indian, Eastern European and US plutocrats who flock to London’s famous tax-evasion and money-laundering expertise.
The scribes of the EU-City oligarchy who claim that exit from the EU will lead to a cataclysmic breakdown are blatantly scaremongering. In fact, the stock and bond market, which declined for less than a week, rebounded sharply, as trade, production and demand were scarcely affected by the vote.
The hysteria-peddlers among the financial press resounded . . . in the minds and pockets of the City of London speculators. They rightly feared that their own lucrative financial operations could relocate overseas.
Conclusion
If and when the EU – City end their oligarchical control over the British economy, workers will gain an opportunity to debate and elect freely their own representatives and have a say in their own government. Leaving the EU is just the first step. The next move will be to change the rules for immigrant labor to accord with the standards of wages and conditions set by UK trade union organizations.
The following steps would include subordinating the banks to the needs of industry, investment in public housing for workers and the development of local technology for domestic producers.
The cleavage between productive labor and the EU parasites and their political hangers-on requires a new political leadership with a democratic foreign policy, which precludes overseas wars and imperial alliances.
The break with the EU logically and persuasively argues for a break with NATO and an opening toward free trade with Russia, China and the new dynamic global markets. The end of the EU can help weaken the strategic partnership between the European and City of London oligarchs. No doubt, the latter will not go without a class war of unprecedented ferocity, involving financial lockouts, manufactured fiscal crises, street mobs and parliamentary coups at the top of their agenda.
Only if the democratic electoral majority becomes a cohesive and combative class movement, in and out of Parliament, can they convert the referendum from a temporary electoral win to a stable basis for structural transformation.
Only a democratic majority can implement a fair and equitable immigration policy that strengthens labor and welfare policies and which would be based on the traditional values of British trade unionism and not on some criteria parroted by the ‘house servants’ for the lords of the EU-London ‘Downton Abbey’.
 

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Anon
Reader
Anon

I’m strongly socialist, and despise the betrayal of the working class by failing to balance the free movement of people, goods and capital with a strong welfare state, reconciliation of class antagonism and free education. The leftist argument for Brexit is often overlooked in the narrative, but it’s flawed as it places the ills of domestic policy and neo-liberalism entirely in the EU’s jurisdiction, ignoring the national and legacy dimension to it. But the ugly bigotry against foreign ‘scabs’ who the left fails to appeal to and the nostalgic invoking of the strike breakers of the 80s (the swan song… Read more »

binra
Reader

Working class had a function. ‘Useless eater’ has none. As workers are replaced with more easily conformed and cheaper ‘units’ and with automated robotics, they are discarded and ‘encouraged’ to self-destruct – whilst providing revenue stream via tax and NI. Whereas aristocracy operated a paternalism of managing the farm, a globalist cartel of corporatocracy bleeds ‘profit’ from disinformation, sickness, death and destruction and no matter what political ‘face’ it wears, operates a very different pharming of mindshare – or indeed mind-control. Reclaiming our lives is a matter of questioning the terms and vocabularies we ‘think’ in – for identity-politics is… Read more »

Doug Colwell
Reader
Doug Colwell

Aside from tax avoidance I expect many of these foundations and other charity organizations are used to promote an ideology. Soros comes to mind of course, but others as well. Gates’ promotion of GMOs is unlike to be without self interest. Colour revolutions get funded for a reason.

carinaragno
Reader

Reblogged this on Dogma and Geopolitics.

Adam Price
Reader
Adam Price

WHAT DO BREXITEERS NOT GET ABOUT THESE STRAIGHTFORWARD FACTS? Obviously, the UK WILL BE CUT OFF AS TO ALL THE PRIVILEGES IT NOW HOLDS AS A MEMBER OF THE EUROPEAN UNION ONCE IT EXISTS THE EUROPEAN UNION. You apparently have little to no comprehension at all based on your comments as to what the EU even is. The EU is a COUNTRY CLUB literally formed by a club of 28 (soon to be only 27) member countries who get very substantial privileges by being a member of that club. Once a country withdraws such as the UK now voted to… Read more »

Jen
Reader
Jen

Dear Adam, In case you hadn’t noticed, Scotland held an independence referendum in 2014, the result of which was that most Scots opted to remain part of the United Kingdom. A major part of the reason for doing so is that Scotland is highly dependent on subsidies from London to the tune of 9 billion pounds annually. If Scotland were independent, it would have to rely on decreasing supplies of North Sea Oil and the income from that wouldn’t cover what the country needs to maintain its infrastructure and social welfare institutions. If the country were to apply for EU… Read more »

binra
Reader

A corporate protectionist cartel serving its own interests at expense of yours – but presented in deceits of extended power and protection from threat. EU’ve been had. But nor is the nation state able to serve a representative willingness for Life on Earth unless we truly embrace and live such willingness. From a basis of a sense of wholeness – we can open and join in relationships with others. But you must know that our ‘representatives’ are at best trying to make the best of a bad job – for our corporately driven influence abroad is not ‘internationalism’ excepting a… Read more »

CS
Reader

That is the most unpalatable load of rubbish I’ve read for some time and i do read, so well done for that!!
Put down the Mail and look at the reality of our situation rather than spouting other heathens, ill informed, regurgitated opinions into one and calling it your own.
You don’t know what your taking about, and if you honestly think anyone on here can tell you answers your more convoluted than your post.

Willie
Reader

Open up trade with Russian. Gladly let Scotland have their independence, Wales too. They too will exit the EU when their streets are filled with Muddle East breathers. Tie your currency to something tangible , and piss on having a important say -so with the rest of Europe. They are BROKE … Lose the oligarchs and their cheap, slow death of western culture and people. Stop selling yourself and your on Mother down the river..

Adam Price
Reader
Adam Price

Brexit is already costing the UK massive amounts of money and sending the UK into the political, economic, and financially abyss where it will just become an irrelevant little foggy island off the coast of Europe totally isolated from the prosperous UK if Brexit proceeds. The abysmal stupidity of the low class zero information voters in the UK is beyond mind boggling. Most of those dolts didn’t even know what the EU (European Union) is and that the entire prosperity of the UK over the past 43 years of membership is the very basis for their lowly little existences which… Read more »

binra
Reader

I get it – you did not get ‘your own way’. Excepting your still insist on seeing everything ‘your own way’ and see everything different in very negative terms – and calling on very negative outcomes. I voted leave because I feel for a shared humanity worthy of more – so much more – than a corporately contrived and controlled technocracy. But out of the frying pan is not yet clear of the fire. Collectivism operates the sacrifice of individual sovereignty, and a false or corrupted individualism operates an exclusive elitism to which also true or free willingness is sacrificed.… Read more »

CS
Reader

Another one!! Please see above…
Really what do you men do for numeration!? Taxi drivers? The local barman? When you have read all the treaty’s and understood them I’m sure your attitude will change!! Oh wait someone will have to read them first and tell you all about it.

Adam Price
Reader
Adam Price

LONDON WANTS OUT OF THE UK…
Perhaps the Brexiteers can find an old pig farm somewhere in what is left of the UK to house the swines in the new government as they certainly aren’t welcome in London.
Scotland and Ireland will soon vote to leave the UK and join the EU which will bring EU membership back up to 29 and leave the UK with a collapsing economy and little left but a bunch of disgruntled fools dragging the UK into utter poverty, desolation, and isolation.

Catte
Reader

You’re clearly very angry, but instead of Tourette’s style abuse why not list specific aspects of EU membership that have benefitted the ordinary people of the UK (as opposed to the financial and business sectors).

CS
Reader

He simply can’t list anything unless he’s watched ANOTHER YouTube video!!
Asking that question was a shot in the dark.

Johnny Hacket
Reader
Johnny Hacket

Yet another article with blatant nationalistic bollocks in regard to workers who happen to be polish, some times I think I have wandered on to some right wing populist website , it wasn’t so long ago we had the Strain refugees are criminals article , this rather Adolf inspired thoughts on the polish worker is so far off to the right wing I had to have a shower after reading it.

Vaska
Editor

“the workers who happen to be Polish”: that’s an odd way of putting it, isn’t it? They don’t simply happen to be Polish: they are the citizens of Poland, not the UK. While their country was receiving some 200 billion euros in subsidies, transfer payments, etc., British workers were getting exactly what from the EU that should have endeared it to them?

Johnny Hacket
Reader
Johnny Hacket

strain refugees =syrian refugees.

flybow
Reader
flybow

In the UK, the EU did not force austerity, and privatisation on us. The new labour/tory government and cameron et al did it all by themselves.

binra
Reader

How far back behind the puppets and fronting organisations do you need to go to find a globalist agenda that operates destructively under the aegis of creating a new world order – as if hate can be used to serve as a means for a goal that is not hateful. For it is a hateful cold rationalism that operates as the ‘thinking’ of the few imposed upon the many. Indeed the fewer they get the sooner will the ‘one’ seek to claim its ‘place’. There is no satisfying the addictive identity of power because the Place of First cannot be… Read more »

headrush69
Reader

But it is EU policy nonetheless. Just because our politicians followed the same line (coincidence?) doesn’t absolve the EU.

mohandeer
Reader

Reblogged this on Worldtruth.

joekano76
Reader

Reblogged this on TheFlippinTruth.

Brian Harry, Australia
Reader
Brian Harry, Australia

“The European Union is controlled by an Oligarchy, which dictates socio-economic and political decisions in the interest of Bankers and Multi-National business”.
“Who controls money, controls the World.” Henry Kissinger.
“Whosoever controls the volume of money in any country, is absolute master of all industry and commerce” President James Garfield 1881.
“Capitalism and Altruism are incompatible; they are philosophical opposites; They cannot co-exist in the same man or in the same country”…….Ayn Rand

Peter Austin
Reader

Would people such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and other wealthy and philanthropic capitalists be valid exceptions to Ayn Rand’s above statement?

Willie
Reader

Using my head for something else than a hat rack. I would ponder they probably save enormous amounts of income via large tax break$ there in the US and feel all gooey inside in the process. Spend a $1.00 save .50.

Seamus Padraig
Reader
Seamus Padraig

“Would people such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and other wealthy and philanthropic capitalists be valid exceptions to Ayn Rand’s above statement?” In general, no. Most of these oligarchs operate their charities as loss-leaders intended to benefit their core businesses, such as when Gates gives away free computers to schools. This is just a ploy to expand the use of his (crappy) platform and put those schools on the hook for future software purchases. And there are also oligarchs such as George Soros, whose NGOs are obviously tools for spreading the oligarchy’s power over society and the world. Then there’s… Read more »

binra
Reader

If someone – including the State – offers you something, it is up to you to feel if there are strings attached – and be aware of what you are getting into. If something is truly given – then there are no strings attached. Any centralized control mechanism is open to being corrupted by political and indeed corporate power. Any attempt to organize a cultural and communitarian solidarity has been undermined, subverted and denied by the power class – regardless their political ‘face’. There is little or no representation for human community. “Socialism” has been co-opted to serve as a… Read more »

headrush69
Reader

Well either they’re not true capitalists or they’re not truly altruistic. Guess which one my money’s on?

reinertorheit
Reader
reinertorheit

Ayn Rand’s above statement

And who gives one shit what a failed CIA-sponsored novelist once said?

Brian Harry, Australia
Reader
Brian Harry, Australia

I was just quoting Rand. I have no respect for her at all, or adherents. She apparently ended her life receiving welfare……………

binra
Reader

That’s a cop out Brian! If you felt to quote what she is ascribed to have said – you must have some sense of what she meant as meaningful to you – regardless of where she apparently ended her life. And who gives a shit for the habit of shitting on others posts by taking the time to publicize derision – as if to grandstand above the humiliated and invalidated scapegoat? If blame establishes validity – then all you have to do to be ‘right’ is get blame associated with others so as to seem to have none or significantly… Read more »

binra
Reader

No – for they give to get. You can use the internet to uncover more than PR. But just because Ayn Rand said it – does that make it true? What is altruism? Service to other? She saw it that way but I disagree. What is capitalism? Service to self? If no self is celebrated free to discover and share in – where is joy in life? In sacrifice to an ‘idea’ of the ‘good’ of ‘others’? Serving self and serving others can and often does hide under the mask of the other and operate a mutually exclusive polarisation in… Read more »

Brian Harry, Australia
Reader
Brian Harry, Australia

I have no idea. Who knows what the actual set up of these “philanthropic trusts” are. From what I’ve read, about the Facebook billionaire, he has “given away” about 50 Billion dollars, but still “owns” and retains complete control over the funds.
Sounds like a “tax dodge” to me. Maybe someone can clarify how it all works……….

binra
Reader

Fronting trusts, organisations and institutions can be and are used as proxies to ‘astroturf’ a larger hidden agenda. Especially when the Media lacks the capacity or the willingness to expose such deceits – and becomes a tool for their operation on the gullible and cynical who like to believe they are sceptical – but are actually captured minds – or part of Branded Mindshare.PLC