After yesterday’s poor start I’m hoping that today’s contestants, No2EU, will turn down the crazy.
Not bad actually. Pretty static but it contains links to twitter, their facebook page and a nice little video that summarises their position. Where they fall down is that it’s hard to find out anything substantive about the individual candidates.
After this positive start I discover that the front-man for No2EU is none other than Bob “Tube Strike” Crow of the RMT. Like a lot of people who have had the pleasure of commuting to work on the Tube I would much rather punch Bob Crow in the face than vote for him.
Also the lead candidate in Wales is the head of the Welsh Communist Party. I don’t find that terribly appealing.
As you may have guessed from the name No2EU are not big fans of the European Union. They marshal their arguments into several main themes. The first is that the EU’s commitment to free-trade and free movement of labour will lead to poorer wages and working conditions.
The Single European Market, created by the Tory government with the Single European Act in 1987, creates a pool of working people to be exploited and treated no better than a commodity like a tin of beans. These EU rules allow employers to escape from national collective bargaining and employment legislation and impose lower wages and worse working conditions, creating a â€œrace to the bottomâ€.
Now I’m quite a big fan of free markets. I believe that liberalising trade and labour are generally more helpful than harmful. So this argument doesn’t really sway me.
After this they try to convince you that the Lisbon Treaty will outlaw the NHS. No really.
NEW EU HEALTH DIRECTIVE WILL PAVE THE WAY FOR PRIVATISATION OF NHS
See, the thing is that the EU is made up of countries that are almost entirely wedded to the idea of socialised healthcare
free at the point of delivery. Can you really see the French buying into that? Or the Swedes? It’s just scaremongering. The real directive as far as I can tell is actually about allowing people to get treatment in other member states than the one they are resident in. The directive can be found here along with a slightly friendlier summary.
One of their other main points (which the articulate well in their video but not on their website) is that the EU Commission (the bit of the EU that proposes legislation) is completely unelected. Now I happen to agree that this is one of the least attractive parts of the EU. I would be much happier with legislation being proposed by an elected body.
Which brings me to “vote for us or the BNP might get in”. I hate it when political parties do this. If you have to bring the BNP into this to get me to vote for you then haven’t done a good enough job of selling your ideas to me.
No shortage of EU-specific policies as we have seen.
I disagree with their view of Economics, but they are clearly not crazy.
Their characterisation of the EU Cross-Border Healthcare Directive skates pretty close to being an outright Lie. And while I sympathise with their dislike of some of the less democratic elements of the current EU structure that isn’t enough to make me want to vote for a Communist.
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The French healthcare system is not free at the point of delivery. You pay upfront and are then reimbursed later. In fact, it is privatised. The public medical insurance scheme is state-run.