EU referendum – The position of communists with a new introduction analysing the result

EU referendum

‘Independence Day’?

At 4am on 24 June, Nigel Farage, UKIP leader, could contain himself no longer, naming 23 June ‘Independence Day’, he issued a victory speech in advance of the result being declared that the British electorate had voted to leave the EU. ‘This is for the real people, for the ordinary people, for the decent people’, he claimed. Apart from insulting the 48% of voters who had opted to remain in the EU, nothing could have been further from the truth. The ordinary people in Britain, whether voting to remain in the EU or leave it, will gain nothing from the result. For the ranks of working class people whose living conditions have worsened under successive governments, they will continue to face relentless attacks on every aspect of their lives, from health, education and housing, to employment conditions and job security. This referendum was not about ameliorating the lives of working class Britons; it was exclusively driven by divisions in the ruling class on how to protect their wealth and power in the face of capitalist crisis and to defend the parasitic interests of the City of London, the financial arm of British imperialism, from European oversight and control. In or out of the EU, the working class in Britain and across Europe will continue to pay the price.

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Panama Papers: When cheating becomes necessary

panama papers

How fitting that London and the British Prime Minister David Cameron should host the world anti-corruption summit on 12 May 2016. Presumably in the 1920s no one told Al Capone that he should hold a conference in Chicago on combatting organised crime. The Panama Papers confirm what we already know from a string of scandals: that the City of London is at the heart of the world’s biggest network of tax avoidance, money laundering and market rigging. These are the means by which capitalists retain their profits. Pension funds, insurance companies and stock markets are all beneficiaries. If the intention of publishing the Panama Papers was to embarrass the Russian and Chinese governments, British ruling class divisions over European Union membership, combined with resentment at banking profligacy and growing inequality in the midst of enforced austerity, quickly deflected attention on to Cameron himself. Trevor Rayne reports.

Profit increasingly takes a parasitic form: interest, currency exchange deals and the manipulation of financial assets. Fraud is an extension of these methods of securing a share of surplus value and is invaluable to the British ruling class. When Cameron proclaimed, ‘I’m determined that the UK must not become a safe haven for corrupt money from around the world,’ we knew it already is.

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