When studying politics, it is interesting how different political positions link. Usually it is pretty logical, like someone who wants more police is likely to also want longer prison sentances, they are taking an overall conservative stance on law and order.
However, I think we have one major issue where the link isn't logical- the link between being on the right and being eurosceptic. I am in a fairly small group in that I would class myself as a liberal eurosceptic. Here are the reasons I believe this is a logical position, and why I don't accept euroscepticism should be inherently right wing.
Perhaps the most persuasive argument is that most countries aren't like us. Cameron had to form another EU voting group because the Tories were in a europhile group. Why? Because they are free market conservatives! Most free market conservatives like Europe. Europe is inherently capitalist, with the free movement of workers and money.
This is also reflected in our own history, just a couple of decades ago it was the Tories getting us further into Europe (yes, even Maggie was pro-Europe, she only turned towards the end of her leadership). It was Labour who had more eurosceptics in their party.
Obviously, there are some some naturally right wing arguments against Europe- sovereignty, immigration, ect. But the focus is skewed towards pretty irrelevant things, what is on a passport, blah blah. I believe this is to the serious detriment of the aims of euroscepticism. Labour and Lib Dem voters hear UKIP picking on immigrants, and instinctively jump towards beng pro-Europe. If things were spelt out in a rational, more popular way, I really think we'd already be out.
Obviously the biggest issue is the economic ineffeciency of the EU. I'm sure everyone has heard the figures of how much it costs us to be in Europe. It's staggering. One of the worst offenders is the Common Agricultural Policy. Now this is something that should appeal particularly to those who identify as leftists. It is a socialist programme guarenteeing incomes, but to the serious detriment of third world countries, for whom farming is often a major industry. We help France at the expense of North Africa, I know who I'd rather we assisted. It also drives up food prices, a major problem for the poorest in our societies.
On immigration, not having to let in as many Europeans as we like doesn't mean we have to become right wing ********s about it, it just gives us control over our borders.
It's well established that the EU is not truly democratic, that unelected officials make many decisions. This should concern everyone across the political spectrum. There's so much smoke and mirrors.
My favourite argument is more based in theory though. It is a very well established principle that a political entity is founded to have power over a united people's. This is trying to do the opposite. This is taking a group of people who are massively diverse, and trying to force them together. This has seen some pretty ugly scenes from both sides when Germany surrended a lot of money to bail out Greece. The German people were outraged. Because they do not consider themselves "Europeans". They consider themselves Germans. This is an extremely fundamental problem with the whole concept of Europe.
I don't want to go on forever, but it was a very well established phrase not long ago by those in favour of the Union that "you can't have political unity without financial unity". In other words, if we don't all join the Euro, the system cannot work. Money, to a great extent, is power. You have to get off the fence on this one. We either should be in the Euro, or we should leave the EU and join the European trading block.
The tide is turning in this country, but we might not win. If the rhetoric is dominated by muslim haters, flag wavers and people offended by banana straighteners, we will lose an argument that we have the right of.
To summarise- if you are a leftist europhile, ignore UKIP and look at the facts, the intrinsic problems with the institution. If you are a rightist eurosceptic, stop focusing on things that only your minority group really care about, and start looking at things that everyone can agree on.
Liberal Euroscepticism watch
- Thread Starter
- 06-04-2013 21:21