The anti-worker nature of the EU

The argument surrounding British involvement in the EU is fast becoming a main political topic in British politics, only behind the Coalition government's austerity plan and the debate surrounding Scottish Independence on the political agenda. However, the extent to which the EU plays in the government's austerity plans and what involvement it may have in an independent Scotland, also links into the debate on the EU and it's growing political and economic power. Short of the extreme step of withdrawal from the European Union, Britain can do little to counter the neo-liberal agenda of the EU.

This, however, is not an option for Britain in it's current form as it is dependent on the capital and trade from the EU, meaning that there is little option but to accept EU control and rate settings, which it must organise it's political and economic policies around accordingly. This article will look at how decisions are constrained by the EU and it's institutions and how the democratic rights of citizens in Britain and throughout the EU have been abused to force through a single military and economic policy, as well as analysing what this means for the construction of a 'United States of Europe'. When Britain joined the European Economic Community, the ability for it to influence the world through it's foreign policy and economic superiority had long since become extinct. The rise of the United States of America as world power and diminishing of empire had seen Britain become marginalised more and more since the end of the Second World War. The onset of economic crisis in 1973 saw deep entrenched cracks in the British economy expand. For British state-capital, the glory days of the empire was over, joining the EEC was the only option for the British state. However, by joining the EEC, British state government and parliament gave up it's sovereign right over it's economy to the council of ministers and the European commission. For the Labour government in charge at the time, this meant that it could not implement it's policies of state intervention, ownership and investment in industry because, as Tony Benn recalls: “Every key decision in the fields of industrial and regional policy would be subject to supervision, control and a possible veto by the commission,” (Tony Benn, 1980).

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Tory Party Conference 2013 and the proposed benefit cuts to under 25s

The Conservative Party Conference passed in typical right-wing fashion with talk of tougher welfare cuts and privatisation, and tax cuts for big business. However, one particularly nasty proposition made by David Cameron in his closing speech has caught the attention of many. This is the pledge that if the Conservatives are elected to government in the next general election they will seek to pass legislation meaning that those under 25 would lose their right to access Jobseeker’s Allowance and Housing Benefit if they are not in work, education or training (NEETs). The Tories are dressing this up as a workable solution for the high level of youth unemployment, arguing that they want an end to a generation of young people who apparently claim dole as a lifestyle choice. The patronising phrase Cameron used was “nagging” the long term unemployed back to work, telling us that that young people need to “earn or learn”.

Obviously the Tories’ analysis doesn’t match the reality of life for the 1.09 million NEETs by any stretch of the imagination, with up to 20 people chasing every vacancy in certain parts of the UK according to research published by Unison, it is clear that these jobs are just not there. Since 2010 the Tories have worked hard to ensure that further and higher education is an unaffordable option for many young people. They have made significant cuts to the education budget, raised the cap on tuition fees to a staggering £9000 and abolished the <a class="zem_slink" title="Education Maintenance Allowance" href="/" target="_blank" rel="wikipedia">Education Maintenance Allowance</a> (EMA) which provided regular financial support to students from lower income families who wished to continue their studies after secondary school.

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YCL London Venezuela Film Screening and Discussion

YCL London will be hosting a special screening of the film "War on Democracy" by John Pilger with a special Venezuelan guest speaker, followed by discussion and drinks and snacks. The topic is the role of U.S. imperialism, intervention and counter-revolutionary movements in Venezuela and Latin America as a whole, where for many years popular left-wing governments have been fighting for social progress, against the dominance of capitalism. This is a great opportunity to hear firsthand about the experiences of that struggle and what we can learn from it today

. We are holding this event at the Marx Memorial Library, located at 37A Clerkenwell Green, London, EC1R 0DU. The nearest tube station is Farringdon. It is also close to Barbican and Angel Islington. For more info see: You can join our Facebook event here. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or the YCL Facebook page.