Wednesday, April 26, 2017

We want Capexit

The draft of the speech given by our candidate, Adam Buick, at the local election hustings

First, I'd like to thank Guildford in Europe for organising – daring to organise – a hustings on an international issue during a local election. We are doing the same in our election campaign in Guildford West and are getting some stick for not promising to fill in more potholes. So, well done.

Local issues such as the cruel scandal of cutting back on care for the elderly and vulnerable and turning off street lights (a front-line service if ever there was one) are linked to the state of the world economy. Following on from the Great Crash of 2008 came the Great Recession which required governments to cut their spending to reduce taxes on profits (which are what make the capitalist system go round). As most local council money comes from central government, these cuts have trickled down to the local level.

But, to turn to the specific subject of this evening's hustings, the EU is not much more than it was intended to be by the Treaty of Rome of sixty years ago – a “European Economic Community”, an intergovernmental agreement to establish a common trading bloc with a common external tariff, a single frictionless market, and a common currency, and institutions to bring this about. This arrangement has suited the big capitalist corporations in the Member States very well. It has opened up a vast internal market for their goods. And it has given them extra clout as a united bloc when it comes to bargaining over both bilateral and multilateral trading arrangements.

Now, due to a freak referendum result, Britain PLC is committed to withdrawing from the EU. If I was a capitalist (apart from the dodgy financiers who funded the No campaign to avoid their activities being regulated by the EU) I'd be very annoyed, since Brexit is bound to mean access to the single market on less favourable terms than before, and British capitalism on its own will have less bargaining power over trading arrangements than as part of a larger bloc.

But that's their problem. As far as most people – the vast majority who depend for a living on working for a wage or a salary – are concerned, the only markets they are involved in are the labour market on which they sell their working skills and the supermarket where they buy their weekly necessaries. Whether Britain is in or out of the EU this will continue to be the situation. In either case, capitalism will continue to exist and so, therefore, will the problems it causes and which politicians are always promising to solve but can't – because the very nature of the capitalist system requires profits to come people across the board in all fields.

This was why, during the referendum, we didn't take sides and why we produced this leaflet – “The EU Referendum: An Irrelevant Sideshow”. We regarded it as a false choice, between capitalism inside the EU and capitalism outside the EU and we are opposed to capitalism in all its forms.

We want to see world capitalism replaced by world socialism, where the natural and industrial resources of the Earth will have become the common heritage of all Humanity to be used, under democratic control, to turn out what people need, not to make a profit, and where distribution will be on the basis of “From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs”.

What we want to exit is capitalism. Capexit, if you like.


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