Saturday, 16 May 2009

Message to New Labour: What A Social Democratic Platform for the Euro Elections Might Look Like

For [insert name of social democratic party], people always come first. We believe in a Europe which offers everyone the opportunity to travel and work in other countries as long as their rights are protected and respected. We will continue to work to end discrimination and worker exploitation through the adoption of stricter laws and improved workers’ rights throughout Europe. If it’s easier and cheaper for companies to sack workers in [insert name of home country] than in other countries, that’s exactly what will happen. We are committed to stronger European legislation to prevent this.

We supported the European directive on temporary workers’ rights which the Labour government blocked for so long and we are committed to protecting workers rights when companies are taken over – unlike Labour, who voted against this. We have fought hard for the right to proper information and consultation of workers by companies, which could have prevented so many major redundancies. We supported the Working Time Directive which protects people from having to work excessive hours.

In 2009, UK trades union members have fewer rights to take industrial action than in 1906. We will support better protection against the dismissal or victimisation of workers taking part in lawful action; we will also support action to prevent the use of agency workers replacing striking workers.

[insert name of social democratic party] believes in equal working conditions for economic migrants: we are committed to an increase in the minimum wage and improved support, guidance and resources for local authorities working with immigrant communities. At present the Gangmasters Licensing Authority has no real presence in [insert name of home country]: we call for both a widened remit and a permanent [insert name of home country] office to ensure that the exploitation of workers is tackled on the ground.

We believe in a Europe where wages and jobs are protected; a Europe where conditions are equal all over the continent. We believe in a Europe of harmonised working conditions, where employers cannot drive down pay by exploiting cheap labour in another country. To ensure that companies are prevented from Undercutting local pay rates and exploiting workers, we support an urgent revision of the Posted Workers Directive.

We do not believe in a market-run Europe which values profit over people. The current global financial crisis proves that a Europe which promotes privatisation and deregulation is a Europe in which our banking services collapse in a flurry of irresponsible lending, our post offices close and our communities wither. We want a European-wide minimum state guarantee on savings of €150,000. If the banks are going to gamble with our money, there must be safety measures in place to ensure that we, the ordinary savers, do not suffer from their recklessness.

[insert name of social democratic party] also believes that it is high time that the banks give something back to the people for whom they work. To this end, we call for a Europe-wide tax on international banking transactions which would raise billions for meeting global challenges such as international development and climate change. Every time currency is traded across European borders by bankers, this Tobin tax would help to stabilise the volatile money markets, encourage accountability and promote responsibility in the banking sector.

Lightly adapted from here (via). Unfortunately not a voting option in England.


  1. Unfortunately my real options in the Eastern Region are: vote Labour, vote Green (no way they will win and their record in Norwich as the 2nd largest party shows how feeble they are, all loft insulation and banning foie gras from council receptions), vote No2EU (who? oh, them...), don't vote.

    I will vote Labour.

  2. ..& my real options are Labour or Jean Lambert, who is a really solid left wing Green MEP. She's got my first choice vote.

    But, as a Londoner, I wouldn't mind my own little left social democratic regionalist movement to vote for - Plaid Cockney perhaps?