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"This NON is a setback for neo-liberal politics throughout the EU"

category national | eu | feature author Wednesday June 01, 2005 10:02author by Brendan Young - Campaign Against EU Constitutionauthor email euconstitution at eircom dot net Report this post to the editors

French NON is first step to Europe of social and environmental priorities

Campaign Against the EU Constitution Press Statement

The decisive NON to the EU Constitution in the French referendum is the first step towards a new direction for Europe. The ordinary people of France have voted NON to the privatisation of public services, to the profit motive of the market dominating all aspects of life, and to further centralisation of decision-making in the hands of the EU elite. They have rejected a European Constitution that enshrines competition above solidarity - a Constitution that makes people in work compete for their jobs and wages against the unemployed and makes the poor compete against the very poor for scarce resources.

The French NON is a demand for a different Europe to the free-market politics of the EU Constitution - which would set in stone the same neo-liberal policies being imposed by the French government, and supported by many other European governments and the European Commission. This NON is a setback for neo-liberal politics throughout the EU. It is the first step towards an alternative direction for Europe, where the needs of ordinary people come first.

The leaders of other European countries and the European Commission must accept the French vote. There must be no campaign for a re-run of the French referendum and no anti-democratic back-room deals. The EU Constitution cannot now come into force and must be abandoned.

There should now begin a Europe-wide discussion on an alternative direction for Europe, with the NON campaign in France as its starting point. It should be public, open and inclusive - involving all parts of society and not based only upon the views of 'experts' or elected representatives.

The NON campaign in France has brought together a wide range of people - including public sector workers, the French radical Left, environmentalists, and those who seek an alternative to the global rule of the market - in a united movement against the politics of the EU Constitution. The movement in France is mirrored in other European countries, including Ireland. We look forward to the French movement continuing to campaign against neo-liberalism and militarism - and likewise the movement in other countries. For it is this movement that can begin to provide an alternative to the failed politics of the right and to the failed leaders of the traditional social-democratic parties.

Related Indymedia Ireland Stories
Non Merci, M. Chirac
Letter from Paris
Two False Statements on EU Constitution in Irish Times
Irish Times Letters Section Debate on Constitution

author by Tompublication date Tue May 31, 2005 18:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

of course its great that the french have voted non, but can the french left claim credit for the no vote? Is it primarilty a vote against all the things listed above?

Or a vote against Chirac or the multiple reasons left and right not included in progressive anti-capitalist demands?

author by Kwakpublication date Tue May 31, 2005 23:52author address Dublinauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Hang on folks, before we congratulate ourselves at having given the elite a bloody nose...

Read the papers. What are they saying? They are saying how 'shattering' how 'deafening' how 'massive' the no vote was. Now, since when has 55% ever been shattering? The papers are pushing this very heavily (I cannot comment on TV as I am free of it). Given what we know about the complicity of the media in perpuating mass illusion, it is rather odd that they are so gleeful over this one.

That dis-ease of an English man, TB, is crowing about 'reflection' and slipping out 'we won't go to the polls when the Dutch vote no' rather too happily. Consider that this guy is GLAD the French voted no!

So, now we've reacted to the problem, what is the solution going to be? Who is going to implement it? We the people or our servants who forget themselves so quickly?

We've been duped. Again. Let us recognise this and transform it in to positive action.

author by Jumbopublication date Wed Jun 01, 2005 04:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'The NON campaign in France has brought together a wide range of people - including public sector workers, the French radical Left, environmentalists, and those who seek an alternative to the global rule of the market - in a united movement against the politics of the EU Constitution.'

Let us not forget that the largest single party supported by those that voted no were FN voters. Surely they must also be mentioned in the alliance against the EU constitution.

author by hmmmmmpublication date Wed Jun 01, 2005 10:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Don't make the mistake of lapping it all up, and thinking its a victory for you and your mates. The left in France is now split, as Eoin (in paris) told us. And today's no vote in the Netherlands will be attributed to the work of Geert Wilders, a former friend of Theo Van Gogh, who has campaigned on sovreignty issues wearing the orange tie, and complaining about the "cost". His "florin first" anti-islam approach, has worked with the dutch left, as the FN "franc and no turk" approach worked with the french left.
Please, don't think this is a wonderful victory. If Spain had rejected the constitution, or if a poorer state rejects the constitution rather than just do what they're told and ratify it, then you may talk of a "new direction for the left", but I for one as european activists do not consider a vote which sees extreme right fascism and left trotskism together serve the advancement of our goals.
Which if i remember properly were not only opposition to neo-liberal globalisation, but freedom of movement and equal worker rights for all regardless of ethnicity, creed or gender.
With the xenophobes declaring a victory with as much relish as you are, I don't feel very optimistic for migrants- do you?

author by iosafpublication date Wed Jun 01, 2005 10:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

links to Dutch indymedia NO vote campaign.
lots of photos, in engurlish so you can read and understand them, they are of people doing pretty much the same as we all do in Utrecht.
http://indymedia.nl/nl/2005/06/28097.shtml
It would be great to decide what we could say "yes" to.
Then we would be moving.

author by Johnpublication date Wed Jun 01, 2005 11:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is all somewhat hypocritical. Those advocating a 'no' vote in France did so on the grounds that it was wrong to impose the low-tax Anglo-Saxon economic model across the EU as a whole. Fine. If they don't want it, they shouldn't have it. But, the same people are now calling for Europe-wide discussions with a view to formulating a different EU Constitution that will impose the high-tax 'social' economic model across the EU as a whole, including countries like Ireland and Britain which don't want it and are doing perfectly well without it. In other words, they are not against the concept of an EU Constitution, merely this particular one. If they could devise an EU Constitution that enshrined high taxes, state control of most industries and services, tariffs against free trade along with military neutrality and anti-Americanism, then they'd be all for imposing an EU Constitution across the EU as a whole. The French referendum result may be a turning-point in the direction of a more 'social' economy for France, but its of no significance for Ireland. We should go our own way and continue to pursue the policies that have been so successful in the past 15 years. Let the French have 12-hour weeks, 6 months holidays a year, 90 per cent tax rates and stick their tongues out at George Bush as much as they want. The only result will be the continued ruination of their economy and 50 per cent youth unemployment a few years from now (they allready have 25 per cent youth unemployment), while in prosperous Ireland the economy will go from strength to strength. Given the way the Irish and French economies are going, it should be possible within a few years for even the working-class in Ireland to be able to hire very attractive French maids and au pairs at dirt cheap rates. I can hardly wait.

author by Johnpublication date Wed Jun 01, 2005 11:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is all somewhat hypocritical. Those advocating a 'no' vote in France did so on the grounds that it was wrong to impose the low-tax Anglo-Saxon economic model across the EU as a whole. Fine. If they don't want it, they shouldn't have it. But, the same people are now calling for Europe-wide discussions with a view to formulating a different EU Constitution that will impose the high-tax 'social' economic model across the EU as a whole, including countries like Ireland and Britain which don't want it and are doing perfectly well without it. In other words, they are not against the concept of an EU Constitution, merely this particular one. If they could devise an EU Constitution that enshrined high taxes, state control of most industries and services, tariffs against free trade along with military neutrality and anti-Americanism, then they'd be all for imposing an EU Constitution across the EU as a whole. The French referendum result may be a turning-point in the direction of a more 'social' economy for France, but its of no significance for Ireland. We should go our own way and continue to pursue the policies that have been so successful in the past 15 years. Let the French have 12-hour weeks, 6 months holidays a year, 90 per cent tax rates and stick their tongues out at George Bush as much as they want. The only result will be the continued ruination of their economy and 50 per cent youth unemployment a few years from now (they allready have 25 per cent youth unemployment), while in prosperous Ireland the economy will go from strength to strength. Given the way the Irish and French economies are going, it should be possible within a few years for even the working-class in Ireland to be able to hire very attractive French maids and au pairs at dirt cheap rates. I can hardly wait.

author by spikpublication date Wed Jun 01, 2005 12:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"And today's no vote in the Netherlands will be attributed to the work of Geert Wilders, a former friend of Theo Van Gogh, who has campaigned on sovreignty issues wearing the orange tie, and complaining about the "cost". His "florin first" anti-islam approach, has worked with the dutch left, as the FN "franc and no turk" approach worked with the french left."

This is maybe how the media will spin it, but it's far from reality.

Geert Wilders is a rascist idiot and except for a few procent of the population the Dutch know this. Most people hate this extreme rightwinger, who's opinions and provocations in the direction of immigrants are extremely harmfull to our society. Nobody on the left worked with Wilders. Wilders is on his own and only a small factor in the No vote. Don't let the big mouths of the extreme right fool you.

The anti-muslim and Turkish sentiments are mostly being fed by the Christian rightwing, and the liberals, and their corrupt friends in the media: the supporters of the ultra-liberal constitution, the Iraq war, and partners in the so called coalition of the willing.

The NO vote is because many lost trust in 'our' leaders and their strategies. 'They' lied to us too many times, together with their friends in the media. They lost the convidence of an ever faster growing group of people. Only if the heads will role, appoligies are publicly made can the trust be restored.

Many want an union of the people of Europe, not the a union of the banks, corporations and the corrupt politicians. Many people don't believe in ultra liberal policies and oppose this being part of our constitution. We Europeans want to work together to build a strong Europe that can compete against the Asians, but refuse to adopt to ultra liberral policies that have proved to be destructive so many times. We succesfully compete in the world market we need a good strategy and constitution that has the support of the people. Together we can do it, but only together and not as slaves of the globalists and the corporations.

If Europe is unable to draw up a descent constitution there's is no way we will be competitive again in the future what will make our average living standards drop on the long run. You cannot build a good house on a weak fundament. The house may look pretty but will collapse in a few years. So it's better to tear it down and built it up from scratch.

author by Danpublication date Wed Jun 01, 2005 14:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/article.php3?id_article=801

This is a good short account of who voted "no" in France and why, showing clearly that the FN were a marginal force in the no camp

author by spikpublication date Wed Jun 01, 2005 21:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

NEE: 63%
JA: : 37%

author by :-) - praetorian gardas.publication date Wed Jun 01, 2005 21:09author address http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Praetorian_Guards#Relationships_between_emperors_and_their_Guardauthor phone Report this post to the editors

and half the free market media workers of the free world know that.
But lots don't.
the Nederlanders have made a feature compling all their No vote stuff:-
go to http://indymedia.nl
or here
http://indymedia.nl/nl/2005/06/28124.shtml

Now, kids, and auld fellahs in the bell bottoms reaching for their guitars and planning the walk of the free to Edinburgh with flowers in your hair -
WE HAVE WON OUR EU CONSTITUTION BATTLE.
& its no surprise we were going to win it, we are europe.
but we now have another task, and that starts as the containment of the extreme right, and tactically playing the parties of the "centre right entities" who rule the following countries as they do their best to contain their own jingoist, nationalist, sovreignty types (& they are indeed best qualified to do so)-
France, Ireland, Netherlands, Italy, and "coming to summer time grasps" with the possible return of the CDU in germany. Jayzhus if the cardinals had only voted in a proper black pope, we wouldn't have this shite now. So if you're living in France, get used to "hola presidente!" anthem and all ;-) and if you're in Ireland, well when are we going to have a referendum? eh? when? What does Bertie have to say to the lovely letter he got today?
well done everyone. Now let's finish off the fash.
http://indymedia.nl/nl/2005/06/28124.shtml

author by Jumbopublication date Thu Jun 02, 2005 04:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dan suggests that the article he gives a link to is ‘a good short account of who voted "no" and why, showing clearly that the FN were a marginal force in the no camp’.

This statement is wrong on many counts. The arguments concerning the far right contained in this account are deeply flawed. It relies on one single sweeping statement followed by a lot of bile about how this is a anti-liberal victory that is a starting point for the great mass movement of the future.

It states 'If we put the far Right at 15 per cent of the electorate, that means that the other 40 per cent for the "No" came from supporters of the Left and the non-aligned''. However if we assume that the FN preserved it’s total from the recent presidential election, 5,525,906, then this would account for approximately 21% of the total referendum vote. This does not seem hard to believe as FN voters tend to be highly motivated, succinctly demonstrated by their vote in the second round of the presidential election despite a wall of opposition from every other part of French society, and vociferously anti-EU. I believe that the parties with the highest percentage of their supporters turning out to vote no were those parties who ran the hardest line, the FN and the minuscule parties of the hard-left.

Furthermore the above statement asserts that every one of the other voters voted because of good left wing or non-aligned reasons. Would it not seem reasonable to assume that the swing voters broke down more or less evenly, making the total percentage of those voting ‘Non’ for right wing reasons more like 30%? This would make them the largest voting bloc and the majority group on the no side.

The article also fails to mention the various reasons given for voting no many of them xenophobic and deeply right wing.

author by Eoinpublication date Thu Jun 02, 2005 12:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Chirac, Sarkozy, and the business class got exactly what they wanted: The destruction of the French Socialist Party. The Referendum was a resounding victory for the right.

author by professor-ratpublication date Thu Jun 02, 2005 12:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This outcome does seem to show some promise of an anti-statist coalition of the willing , even one world wide.
Minarchists and anarchists unite!
The super-states look to be or are falling over so on to the next level - death to the small state's too; (later for capitalism.) This could be a global revolutionary development - its up to all of us to ' make our own luck'. Fortune favours the brave. On to victory!

author by Danpublication date Thu Jun 02, 2005 16:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's time people on the centre left who support the constitution stopped deluding themselves and insulting the French people. As the article I posted showed, a clear majority of left-wing voters opposed the constitution. The CP and Trotskyist supporters were close to 99% "no", but the Socialist and Green voters also voted "no" by a substantial majority. The only parties whose supporters voted "yes" were the centre-right (overwhelmingly so). The sociological breakdown tells the same story - the have-nots voted no, the haves voted yes, as every media outlet has acknowledged.

The FN were marginalised in the public debate. The key battleground was within the Socialist electorate. The leadership of their party told them to vote "yes"; forces to the left of the PS, and dissident leaders like Laurent Fabius, urged them to vote "no". They answered the latter call, and that is why the constitution was defeated. The left made all the running on the "no" side of the debate.

When people on the centre left even acknowledge the existence of a progressive "no" camp, they attribute it solely to "extreme Trotskyists", and talk of a "de facto alliance" between the far left and far right. In fact this is nonsense. First of all, the French radical left is not "miniscule" by any means; support for the PCF and the two main Trotskyist organisations is bigger than the vote for Sinn Fein or the Greens in this country (and almost as high as support for the Irish Labour party).

Secondly, the argument that the new constitution enshrined neoliberalism was not just raised by Marxists; it was also put forward by Socialist politicians like Fabius, who is hardly a radical. It would be far more accurate to talk of a de facto alliance between the radical left and the centre left against neoliberalism, with the FN trailing behind and making up the numbers.

People can argue, if they like, that the left-wing electorate voted against the treaty because they had a short-sighted desire to punish Chirac, or because they were misinformed about its nature. This is misleading, but at least it acknowledges the plain fact that the referendum was defeated because of the way left-leaning voters came down on polling day.

For all those people on the left who believe that the EU is a bulwark of social democracy, the writing is on the wall. It's time for them to shed their parochial attitudes and accept that, on the continent, opposition to the EU is not articulated by Tory Euroskeptics and their ilk, but by people on the left. This is the message of the French referendum, and anyone who denies it is kidding themselves.

author by iosafpublication date Sun Jun 05, 2005 11:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

included the former number 2 of the French Socialist Party Laurent Fabius, deputy for Seine Maritime, and one time prime minister of France (19/7/84 - 20/3/86).

In the December 1 2004 vote by the French socialists (centre left) on whether or not to support the draft EU constitution fabius led the Non! faction.

As of this morning he is no longer a member of the French socialist party. He and several others have been expelled from the party.

as of yet there is no statement on this at either his personal or official website, but here are the links for the archivists amongst you, (like me) who sort of like the threads to lead off into the dim pre-internet past, when history was easier.

personal-
http://www.laurent-fabius.net/
official-
http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/12/tribun/fiches_id/1268.asp

author by :-)publication date Mon Jun 06, 2005 13:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Jack Straw, (the man who gets to make the statements and sign the documents for the New Labour govurnmunt of you know where [ always causing us problems ]) will go this afternoon to the house, ribbid ribbid, and declare the draft consitution of
Valerie Gsicard d'Estaing, ".:.brother not brudah = Boooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!"
"over -dead - done - shelved - ended"
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/4612021.stm

The centre-left of Europe must now regroup, and most probably will take on more of the concerns of what is sometimes termed the "microleft". And as such characters suh as Mr Fabius in the comment above are important, and the progress of Mr DeV's 100 emergency solution days.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4600099.stm

the 1975 referendum-
http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/june/6/newsid_2499000/2499297.stm

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