Arthur Scargill’s statements on the betrayal of Brexit by the Labour Party and Takis Fotopoulos’ response – (18.01.2019)
17.01.2019 – Arthur Scargill’s * statement on Jeremy Corbyn’s betrayal of Brexit
“Jeremy Corbyn’s statement that any discussions with the government will only take place provided that ‘no deal’ is taken off the table is not only deplorable but an act of betrayal of both socialist principle and a betrayal of the democratic vote of the British people and the 60 per cent of Labour constituencies who voted to leave the European Union including its corrupt Customs Union, it’s rigged Single Market and it’s unacceptable Free Movement of workers and Capital. His appalling abandonment of his previous position would have been condemned by the late Tony Benn; Michael Foot and is condemned by me who for over 40 years regarded him as a comrade and friend. No More.”
18.01.2019 – Takis Fotopoulos’s ** response
I just heard Arthur Scargill’s statement on the disgusting (though far from unexpected) siding of Corbyn with those in the Labour Party and the Establishment at large, who desperately strive to rule out “no deal”, i.e. the only outcome of the deliberately created Brexit crisis that really frightens them. I fully agree that Corbyn’s stand is an act of betrayal of both socialist principle and of the democratic vote of the British people who voted for Brexit. I would add that it is also a betrayal of the struggle for social liberation going on all over Europe at the moment, as it is particularly shown by the gilets jaunes (yellow vests) movement in France, which faces today the same brutal state repression as the miners’ movement in the 1980’s that led to the collapse of the working class movement and of the Left in general. The aim of the elites today is similar: to crush the movements for national sovereignty as a precondition for social liberation, which, starting with Brexit, have flourished all over Europe and beyond, inspiring the victims of globalization everywhere!
Previous Scargill’s statements
01.04.2016 | Vote “NO” to EU says Scargill ― The Socialist Case for Leaving the European Union
Socialist Labour Party Leader Arthur Scargill, speaking in South Yorkshire, outlined the case from the left for British withdrawal.
“Britain’s membership of the EU had virtually destroyed our major industries ― the latest victim being British Steel ― while devastating the NHS, starving education and virtually eliminating council housing. The policy and austerity measures of EU directives have destroyed jobs and communities, spreading hardship and poverty ever wider yet the banks received a multi-billion pound bailout. Britain’s loss of sovereignty is such that unless we leave the European Union the crisis, both economic and social, will get worse”.
Mr Scargill lambasted the free movement of both labour and capital, which have resulted in the destruction of British Industry, zero-hours contracts, unemployment, homelessness and poverty not seen in Britain since the 1930s. He said: “What is needed is a policy in line with the economic principles that prevailed for a short period after 1945: we need import controls and subsidies to stop imports including goods produced in intolerable conditions by slave and child labour”.
He continued: “Immigrants, particularly from former British colonies, and asylumseekers in need of refuge are not the cause of the economic crisis and the massive population increase in Britain. Last year, for example, the number of immigrants and asylum seekers entering Britain was only 250,000 whilst 350,000 British citizens emigrated ― in other words a net outflow of 100,000. However in the same year, the free movement of labour ― a fundamental principle enshrined in Article 45 of the EU Treaty ― resulted in over 550,000 citizens from amongst the 30 countries permitted to do so by the EU entering the UK ‘freely’. It is this free movement of labour which has created a crisis both economic and social ― and political.
He slammed the Labour Party leadership, both past and present, for its policy of remaining in the EU and working for “improvements”. “The current Labour Party leadership’s policy is a betrayal of socialist principle and a betrayal of all those in the Labour and Trades Union Movement who campaigned in 1975 for a ‘No’ vote. I was centrally involved, along with Tony Benn, in that campaign”.
“In the forthcoming referendum, the people of Britain are going to have to decide whether we continue to surrender our sovereignty and become part of a United States of Europe ― or whether we get out of this European Union hell and get back into the world.
I call upon everyone on 23 June to vote ‘NO’ and restore Britain to the British people.”
24.06.2016 | Socialist Labour Party welcomes Britain’s vote to leave the EU. It will strengthen the struggle for a better world
Socialists have good cause to celebrate the British people’s decision to come out of the European Union and get back into the world. The Socialist Labour Party’s policy and reasons for leaving the European Union ― very different from those of Tories or of UKIP ― have been vindicated by the outcome of the Referendum.
The SLP has always recognised the EU as an engine of free-market globalised capitalism. Membership of the EU has inflicted horrendous economic, social and political damage to all working people trapped within it. As for Britain, 90% of our manufacturing and key industries have been wiped out with our health, education and welfare provision steadily wiped out. We see the damage everywhere around us in the need for food banks and campaigns to protect homeless families and hundreds of individuals sleeping rough, whilst high-cost sky-scrapers shoot up to house billionaires and blight our cities.
The decision by the British people to ‘come out’ of the unelected and unaccountable bastion of the European Union allows us to renew the fight to restore all the industries and services privatised by Tory and Labour Governments to public ownership ― but this time we must campaign for true common and social ownership and control: in our badly damaged National Health Service; our social services including care for our elderly and children; in our education system; and we must demand the restoration of council housing, owned and controlled by local authorities.
The vote to leave the European Union is a challenge to Britain’s trade union leaders to reflect the views of their members on issues such the abolition of Trident and opposition to nuclear power and fracking, alongside job protection, wages, zero-hours contracts, agency working and privatisation. The Socialist Labour Party has consistently pointed out that EU membership has eroded ― not protected ― workers’ rights.
European Union directives and European Court of Justice decisions have robbed us of hard-won free collective bargaining, the right to strike, and attacked our pension rights. We must now all join a fight to overturn these injustices ― and Britain’s trade unions must give a lead in recovering the rights our forebears fought hard to achieve.
The Socialist Labour Party has consistently made clear the fundamental difference between immigration and people seeking asylum, on the one hand, and the massive inflow of ‘migrant labour’ from EU countries under the ‘free movement of labour’. Both before and after the Lisbon Treaty in 2009 the number of immigrants/asylum-seekers entering Britain averaged 250,000 a year whilst the number of people emigrating from Britain averaged 350,000 a year.
On the other hand, in 2014/2015 whilst official figures recorded the numbers of ‘migrant workers’ entering Britain from EU countries as 480,000, during that same period the Government issued 1,222,000 National Insurance numbers ― to migrant workers. This clearly shows that over 1.2 million EU ‘migrant workers’ entered Britain in 2014/2015.
The massive increase in the numbers entering Britain are a direct result of the European Union’s central policy of free movement of labour and capital ― in other words, a free-market philosophy. The free movement of capital has seen the destruction of key industries such as our automotive industry and heavy and light engineering, whilst all our key utilities such as electricity, gas and water are owned privately by foreign companies (not to mention the sell-off of our railways!). Our coal and steel industries have been or are being eliminated ― yet Britain is importing – at an enormous cost ― both steel and coal, produced elsewhere through subsidies and/or by slave (including child) labour.
The Socialist Labour Party has always argued that Britain’s economy will thrive when it leaves the European Union and gets ‘back into the world’. EU membership has left us with a trade deficit of between £60 and £100 billion each year, whilst trade with countries outside the EU has led to a trade surplus of between £30 and £50 billion per year.
We should extend our trading arrangements not only with the 53 Commonwealth countries but with the 100 plus other countries outside the European Union while maintaining trade on a fair basis ― not a free-market basis ― with the 27 countries inside the EU.
In the Referendum campaign we have witnessed the majority of Tory MPs desperate to remain within the European Union monolith, which is incidentally on the brink of settling an iniquitous free trade agreement ― TTIP ― with the United States. The Referendum campaign has exposed the collaborationist philosophy of the Labour Party with a majority of its Members of Parliament and its Leader shown to be completely out of touch with the problems facing their constituents.
Statements by Jeremy Corbyn (long admired as a Socialist campaigner/politician) that he is now in favour of a ‘mixed economy’ show an abandonment of principle and a betrayal of those Socialists who gave birth to the Labour Party in 1918. It is beyond dispute that the present day Labour Party and its Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, are pursuing the same collaborationist policies as other social democratic parties in Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Greece.
The result of the Referendum and the Socialist Labour Party’s campaigning should persuade people to join our party and its fight for a Socialist future, for our children and our grand-children.
23.09.2017 | Brexit: Scargill Calls on May to Resign!
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement that the government will seek to maintain Britain’s membership of the single market until 2021, SLP Leader Arthur Scargill says he believes the political establishment is preparing to betray the democratically expressed will of the British people. He called upon Mrs May to resign.
The full text of Arthur’s statement:
“Theresa May’s announcement that the Government is prepared to keep Britain in the European Union for a further four years is a betrayal on a par with Chamberlain’s sell out to Hitler in 1938.
It is the ‘Will of the People’ expressed in 2016 to get out of the EU and back into the world which has been betrayed so shamelessly.
The Prime Minister’s announcement means that for at least another four years the UK is saddled with ‘Free Movement’, the Customs Union, Single Market and continuing political control exercised by an unelected body in Brussels.
The British people voted against continuing to pay £10 billion a year to the EU and maintaining a trade deficit of £60 billion.
May should resign. The British People will never forgive an act of such treachery”.
19.10.2017 | Scargill: Labour’s Shameful EU Betrayal
Britain should have left the European Union on Friday 24th June 2016. All that was required was to invoke Article 50 (1) in accordance with Britain’s own constitution.
Immediately, Britain would have (a) ceased paying the £10 billion annual membership fee to the EU and (b) saved the £60 billion trade deficit Britain incurs each year.
I am appalled by Jeremy Corbyn’s u turn on this fundamental issue. I together with Jeremy Corbyn and Tony Benn campaigned against Britain’s membership of the EU and against every Treaty and Directive for over sixty years.
Get out of the EU NOW without any agreement with an unelected bureaucratic bunch of ‘blackmailers’.
02.03.2018 | No Customs Union! No Single Market!
Jeremy Corbyn and Keir Starmer ask how we protect jobs in Britain without being members of a customs union and a single market. The answer is simple.
Introduce import controls in the same way that the 1945-1951 Labour Government did, and ironically the same way as the United States is now doing. Import controls help build a manufacturing base which was 80% of Britain’s GDP. It worked then and it would work now to protect British jobs.
The implementation of import controls is a Socialist answer to anyone who is arguing for a Capitalist customs union or single European market.
23.09.2018 | Second Referendum: Scargill Condemns Betrayal!
The statement by the Labour Party Leadership that they would support a second referendum is an act of treachery for which they will never be forgiven.
The ruling class have used and will continue to use every means including a media which has sought to overturn the decision of the British people in the 2016 Referendum.
Tony Benn warned that membership of the European Union would mean that Britain would be governed by a Constitution which is committed to Capitalism.
The ruling class and the EU will demand another referendum and another until they get the result they want.
As a socialist I call for all those who call themselves socialists to condemn this act of treachery by the Labour Party Leaders and campaign for withdrawal from this bastion of Capitalism.
10.01.2019 | Labour: The Betrayal Goes On!
The Labour Party MPs and the Labour Party leaders who voted yesterday to oppose a ‘NO DEAL’ are guilty of betraying the British people and betraying comrades such as Tony Benn and Michael Foot who warned that membership of the EEC and later the European Union would destroy our economy and hand over our sovereignty to an unelected body.
It would take decisions and adopt laws which are binding on all member states, and more important membership would bind Britain to an EU which has a constitution which commits all member states to a Capitalist system.
I congratulate Ronnie Campbell (a mining MP) Graham Stringer and Kate Hoey who were the only three to keep the faith. The Labour Party leadership should lead the fight for a (NO DEAL) exit from this rotten bureaucratic EU.
* Arthur Scargill is the historical President of UK’s National Union of Miners (NUM) (1982 – 2002), who led an unofficial strike in 1969 and played a key organizing role during the strikes of 1972 and 1974, which were crucial in the downfall of the Conservative Government led by Ted Heath. In the early 1980’s, as soon as Margaret Thatcher took over with the mission to lead the first, effectively, government of the New World Order (NWO) of neoliberal globalization, it was clear to the British and transnational elites that such a government would have no chance of survival unless the British Trade union movement in general and the most militant part of it, the NUM, in particular, was smashed. An elaborate plan for this outcome was elaborated by the elites, so that the Ted Heath fiasco will not be repeated and the miners’ strike that they provoked in 1984-85 would be defeated. Following fierce battles with the security services, reminiscent of today’s repression of the gilets jaunes (yellow vests) movement in France, the miners were defeated and, since then , decimated, following the closure of most mines. The historical significance of this first battle was that it opened the road for the NWO which has now become dominant, with the EU playing a crucial role in this. Arthur Scargill is now the party leader of the Socialist Labour Party (SLP), which he founded in 1996.
** Takis Fotopoulos is a political philosopher and economist who founded the Inclusive Democracy movement, aiming at a synthesis of classical democracy with libertarian socialism and the radical currents in the new social movements. He was an academic, teaching political economy for 20 years at the then University of North London and has written many books and thousands of articles which have been published in British, American and Greek theoretical journals, magazines and newspapers, several of which have been translated into over twenty languages. He is the editor of The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy (which succeeded Democracy & Nature) and is the author of Towards An Inclusive Democracy (1997) in which the foundations of the Inclusive Democracy project were set. His latest book is The New World Order in Action: Volume 1: Globalization, the Brexit Revolution and the “Left”- Towards a Democratic Community of Sovereign Nations (Second edition-December 2016).