WITH the Labour right-wing openly organising at the party conference in Brighton this week to bind the party firmly to a campaign to remain in the EU, that same EU is collapsing with traditional bourgeois parties that have dominated for decades being shredded by the working class.
he latest is the German federal elections held last Sunday, a mere formality a few months ago with Angela Merkel and her conservative CDU party emerging victorious followed by the equally right-wing social democratic SPD.
Merkel would then be free to continue the role as supreme leader of Europe’s most powerful economy able to impose austerity on the entire working class of Europe. But on Sunday all the old political certainties were once again destroyed as Merkel recorded the worst result for the CDU since 1949 while the SPD saw its vote collapse.
Both these parties have dominated German politics since the end of the war and are virtually indistinguishable in their policies making the German working class pay for capitalism’s crisis through poverty level wages.
Since 2000, low paid German workers have seen wages increase by 6% while the cost of consumer goods and food has risen by a staggering 24% resulting in an extreme rise in poverty and homelessness.
It was against this backdrop that the extreme right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party made big gains in the election. The AfD with its anti-immigration and eurosceptic policies won over 13% of the vote to become the first far-right party to enter the German parliament since the 1950s.
With both the CDU and SPD adopting similar anti-immigrant sentiments to the AfD during the election, it was the anti-EU position of the AfD that secured it the protest vote against Merkel. German workers demonstrated that they were not going to passively accept poverty and are prepared to rise up against the EU.
Merkel is now in a huge crisis and is desperate to carry on by forming coalition with the small Green Party and liberal Free Democrats party. The rapid descent of German capitalism into political and economic crisis has smashed the grand plans for ‘re-shaping’ Europe that Merkel hatched with the French President Emmanuel Macron – a plan to dominate the EU and lead a massive austerity onslaught on the workers of Europe to save the collapsing manufacturing and banking industries.
Central to this plan was that Macron would smash the employment rights of French workers, allowing France to become a country where employers could hire and fire at will transforming it into a low wage, gig economy paradise for capitalism.
In response the French working class has launched a mass campaign of strikes. Last week, 4,000 stoppages were recorded across the country with pressure for a general strike to defeat Macron building up.
With the two largest economies in Europe convulsed by political and economic meltdown, the EU is on the point of collapse as the crisis has revolutionised the working class across the continent. In Spain, the right-wing minority government led by Mariano Rajoy is facing defeat after left opposition parties called for a motion of no confidence following the government’s decision to send para-military police to the province of Catalan to physically prevent a referendum on Catalonian independence.
This follows last week’s arrest by para-military forces of judges and other officials in the province, accused of organising the referendum which has been rule illegal by Spanish courts. Outraged this attack, with its reminder of the years of fascism under Franco, the Spanish working class is set to bring down Rajoy and deliver yet another mortal blow to the bosses and bankers EU.
This is the EU that the Labour Party right-wing and TUC leaders are desperate to stay in. The working class in Britain must now intervene decisively by forcing the TUC to call a general strike to kick out the Tories and advance to a workers government that will expropriate the bosses and bankers and break with the EU.
A workers government will join with the revolutionary working class of Europe to put an end to the capitalist EU and replace it with the United Socialist States of Europe. This is the way forward.