The farcical European elections take place next week but in Britain hardly anyone knows who their MEPs are or what they do. In fact they do next to nothing apart from draw their colossal wages and expenses for taking part in a charade that is paid for by the workers of Europe.
In this election Labour and the two major opposition parties are united, in differing degrees, in support of European integration – the building of a European capitalist super-state revolving around British and Franco-German imperialism. The anti-EU opposition ranges from fringe left parties to the neo-nazi BNP, all scrabbling after the juicy perks that a seat in the EU parliament provides. The most successful is the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), a rabid independent Tory front that is defending its nine British seats and has high hopes of gaining more from the backlash over the Commons expenses scandal. UKIP claims to fight to get Britain out of the EU. But what have UKIP’s nine MEPs achieved over the years? Absolutely nothing apart from drawing their Euros.
In Britain there is indifference and often outright hostility to the undemocratic institutions of the European Union. This was shown by the conscious decision of the vast majority of the electorate to boycott the 2004 European Parliament elections. Little more than a third of the electorate bothered to vote despite the blandishments of the media, the appeal of proportional representation to minority parties and the cajoling of the bourgeois parties. In many working class areas the turnout was even lower.
The European Parliament, like the Commission, has become a byword for undemocratic practices, corruption, nepotism and waste and fraud on a massive scale. The elections themselves are nothing more than a bogus public relations exercise for a body that possesses no meaningful executive powers at all. They don’t deserve the credibility of a vote at all. Boycott the EU elections in June!