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Anyone else baffled by this portrayal of the EU as progressive and liberal

(278 Posts)
Roonerspism Sat 02-Jul-16 22:47:10

It struck me today watching the march that the EU is now being protrayed as this liberal force across European states promoting fair standards for all.

From the moment I knew I no longer believed in the EU, about five years ago, it was because I saw it as the exact opposite.

And it was this that underpinned my vote to Leave.

I'm essentially left leaning and feel increasingly lost in this sea of protests!

The EU has never meant "Europe" to me and is rather the desire for a distant superstate with power in the most powerful few countries. Indeed, the current austerity placed on the Southern European countries, to the benefit of the north seems to go unnoticed to the devastated UK youth who seem not to consider the hugely unemployed youth in south Europe.

This is a capitalist project and not a humanitarian one. The reason for free movement of people as a core concept is not because it's nice to travel but solely to ensure corporations have access to a mobile and cheap workforce this encouraging greater integration. Never mind if this decimates the country of origin.

The misery of the infliction of a single currency on countries as disparate as Germany and Greece and the subsequent power held by Germany will cause untold suffering for at least a generation.

The talks to promote TTIP have largely been held in secret and further underlines the utterly undemocratic nature of this regime.

Yet here we all are. Waving our EU flags.

I'm utterly bemused. Am I mad?!?!?!

OTheHugeManatee Sat 02-Jul-16 22:51:47

I don't think you're mad. I've been a bit baffled today by all the liberal young things out protesting for less democracy and the impoverishment of the Southern Med.

Just5minswithDacre Sat 02-Jul-16 23:10:48

If you're mad, I'll have to join you in your padded suite for a small sherry.

seagreengirl Sat 02-Jul-16 23:15:33

This is a capitalist project and not a humanitarian one

I agree, I must be mad too.

Roonerspism Sat 02-Jul-16 23:17:26

<raises glass> (French cognac, natch)

Just5minswithDacre Sat 02-Jul-16 23:18:47

Don't mind if I do wine Cheers.

Thefuturecouldbebright Sat 02-Jul-16 23:19:01

Yes, yes and yes. And hallel fucking lujah for saying it....

Thefuturecouldbebright Sat 02-Jul-16 23:20:47

OMG to find others who think the EU is madness.... The relief.

Chunterbust Sat 02-Jul-16 23:21:20


OjosCansados Sat 02-Jul-16 23:23:39

Yes, I agree. After a lot of dithering, I voted to remain but I will put my hands up and admit that my final decision was borne out of fear of change and desire for security even if it meant impingement of progress. Some of the more enlightened people I know voted to leave because they see the EU as undemocratic and a stranglehold on business enterprise.

SnowBells Sat 02-Jul-16 23:25:45


Just because they all share the same currency does not mean that some countries can just wave away responsibility. When Greece entered the EU, they suddenly had access to cheap debt (you can look at interest rates for Greece before joining the single currency and after). The country and its people spent, spent, spent. There were people there who suddenly had cars that wouldn't look out of place in Chelsea... without actually having the income to back it up.

Germany made the mistake of thinking all countries were rational savers like them. In Germany, people save like it's an Olympic sport. I had friends there who at the age of 20 were sitting on quite a lot of money for 'when it was needed'. I never saw many people that age in England do the same - they'd spend it. The average household in the UK is in debt. The average household in Germany has savings.

I don't want our government to go further to the right. EU laws allow more rights to employees, etc. - I am pretty sure the Tories would just want us to work to the ground, not have maternity leave, as much holiday, etc.

I am very worried we are going to let a right-wing government remove all these things from us.

mrsvilliers Sat 02-Jul-16 23:26:05

Hear hear. Although I you'll find we're all racist swivelled eyed loons...

RoseDeGambrinus Sat 02-Jul-16 23:27:12

But leaving the EU now, with the government we have is no respite from neoliberalism in the UK. We will have our own UK-US version of TTIP which will be quite probably worse than the original since our government will be desperate to put new deals in place.

mrsvilliers Sat 02-Jul-16 23:29:03

Hear to op. Cross posts with Snowbells who makes an excellent point re Germany and Greece. Differences between countries will again flare up I think when Hungary almost certainly votes to reject migrant quotas in the autumn.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 02-Jul-16 23:31:04

It's an interesting argument but how can independence bring socialism?

ExitPursuedByABear Sat 02-Jul-16 23:33:43

Settles down.

Roonerspism Sat 02-Jul-16 23:34:14

rose I think your concerns are valid.

The crux for me is what the EU represents now. At least in the UK, to an extent, there is a democratically elected government. Which is voted in every four years. That makes sense to me. I get that, even if I didn't vote the Tories in!

But the EU - it makes no sense to me. It baffles my fundamental principles of the constitution of a country and its people.

As a trading block - yes - absolutely

As a collective of utterly diverse nations, brought ever closer by an undemocratic elite and against whom we can yield no change? What madness is this?!?!

I scratch my head in wonder and have done for years. I know I'm unusual as when I explain this to people they look at me in a bewildered fashion and tell me how lovely it is to be able to live in France, if one was so inclined.

<waves again to like minded souls>

SnowBells Sat 02-Jul-16 23:36:40


You vote the MEPs in... what's the difference?

BelfastBloke Sat 02-Jul-16 23:38:29

As ever, it comes down to what you think is the least-worst choice.

I respect and agree with some of the views of the OP and your supporters. But if you are indeed left-leaning, turning the country over to the tories, permanently, doesn't seem like such a good idea.

EU is responsible for many progressive innovations, when compared to other places on the planet.

ExitPursuedByABear Sat 02-Jul-16 23:40:25

As far as I am aware the MEPs are not the decision makers.

SnowBells Sat 02-Jul-16 23:40:35

Agree with BelfastBloke. No one is saying the EU is perfect. But I wouldn't want to trust the country to the Tories or Labour right now.

Only sane party seems to be LibDems right now.

OjosCansados Sat 02-Jul-16 23:42:45

Belfast - am genuinely interested - but how was voting to leave a case of turning the country over to the tories?

SnowBells Sat 02-Jul-16 23:47:07


One example: EU laws protected us from a too right-wing government. EU law is much more on the side of the employee.

What side is the Tory party on normally?

I find it horrendous that a Leaver once replied that he voted OUT because he wasn't happy with the zero contract hours. Which has NOTHING to do with the EU, and in fact, the UK got a bit of a telling off for it. The EU was working towards improved rights for workers in that situation.

Just one example.

OjosCansados Sat 02-Jul-16 23:52:46

Ok, but as we live in our own democracy, we have free choice to vote for whomever we choose, non? We voted the tories in when we were part of the eu. So how do eu laws prevent us from having a too-right govt? Would it stop us from having a too-left govt too?

MangoMoon Sat 02-Jul-16 23:54:07

I don't think you're mad, because you sound exactly like the voices in my head wink

I agree completely!

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