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The Left Vote
Greens take on the Europe debate

There was a time when the left was unremittingly anti-EU. Both the dear departed Bob Crow and Tony Benn were vociferous opponents of the European Union, may they rest in peace. Indeed the Communist Party of Britain is still in there, trying to raise £10,000 to make sure No2EU is on the Euro-ballot paper this May.

However it’s possible there’s been a sea change as many have started to wonder whether fighting racism and immigration controls might be more of a priority than keeping our cucumbers unregulated.

The recent Left Unity conference passed an unrepentantly pro-EU policy that starts out “Left Unity opposes all programmes and demands for a British withdrawal from the European Union” before descending into words I don’t understand and points I’m not sure I care about.

This is very different to the Socialist Alliance (a similar, previous formation) whose special conference on Europe in October 2002 declared a very firm anti-EU line, although to be fair people thought the main danger was entering the Euro rather than exiting the EU itself.

Regardless, while Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage battle it out with hammers on the BBC the Greens have decided to intervene with their own comic video, that “Europe doesn’t have to be a shouting match”. It’s rather fun.

I suspect the lighter, more thoughtful touch has more chance of getting a hearing than the crashing behemoths of opposing public school boys or the grinding of axes that pretend the EU invented privatisation.

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