Tuesday, May 31, 2005

European constitution; France's referendum


Jonathan Steele, 31 May 2005 in the Guardian, suggested that "people power" was victorious in France's referendum on the constitution.

"It was a shout of defiance at intellectual Stalinism", wrote Steele.

Many of the 'no' voters wanted:

"a more 'social' Europe in which the forces of international competition would not create a race to the bottom and a Europe of the lowest common denominator, in which the social rights won during a century of political struggle would be whittled away."

Steele referred to the problems of:

1. globalisation
2. capital flight
3. outsourcing.
4. privatisation of services
5. low wages
6. long hours
7. rising inequality.



Letter to the Guardian:

"At a meeting in Le Havre, attended by 500 people, a speaker was loudly cheered when he said: 'I'm not against the Polish plumber, but I am against the the underpaid and exploited Polish plumber.'"

The people who voted 'no' "were in tune with the millions around the world - in the anti-globalisation movement and the end-poverty and anti-war campaigns - who are disaffected from the encrusted political elites and their corporate policies."

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