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John Palmer

Where now for the Euro left?

(December 1988)

From Socialist Worker Review, No. 115, December 1988, pp. 34–35.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

WHILE grateful for the review you devoted to my two recent books on European issues (Sept SWR), I fear Loreen Woodcock approached the books with some distorting and erroneous preconceptions.

Nowhere do I say that the EEC – as an embryo European state, or existing national states – can be used “as solutions to capitalism’s ills”. To the contrary, the last chapter of Europe Without America makes it clear that this is not possible.

There are reform demands which should be made on EEC institutions – notably the European Parliament – as they should be on comparable national bodies. Would the SWP disagree with this? The point I was making was that – in a United Socialist States of Europe – some decisions would be appropriate at the level of the reconstructed national state and some at the European level.

The SWP has every right to criticise that the demands and policies I suggest might form part of a new transitional politics for the European left. In which case, what is the SWP’s alternative? Or does the SWP believe that trade union agitation and ultimatist political propaganda is sufficient to build a credible alternative to Thatcherism and Euro-Thatcherism in the 1990s?


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