The No2EU press release reads:
NO2EU BACKS WORKERS PROTESTS OVER “RACE TO THE BOTTOM” ON WAGES AND SLAMS SUGGESTIONS OF BNP INVOLVEMENT
No2EU-Yes to Democracy, the left coalition running candidates in the Euro elections on June 4th, today pledged full support for workers protesting across the country in the “race to the bottom” on wages and the exploitation of overseas workers as a tool to drive down pay and conditions.
No2EU has objected strongly to press reports that the protests, which have hit construction sites across the UK, are playing into the hands of the BNP.
Owen Morris, No2EU election candidate and a key figure in the rank and file construction workers movement, said:
“This is not a xenophobic issue. It is the employers who are at fault not the employees. This is all about the race to the bottom on wages. This is another form of social dumping on wages and the employers should be forced to be socially responsible to all employees.”
Bob Crow, No2EU Convenor and RMT general secretary, said:
“These workers have no option but to stand up to exploitation wherever it comes from. RMT and No2EU will always support workers who are prepared to fight for jobs, pay, working conditions and union rights.”
Leaders of the Lindsey oil refinery workers are the number one candidates on the No2EU lists both in the East Mindlands and in Yorkshire & The Humber.
It is notable that this latest round of protests began in Pembrokeshire before spreading to Lincolnshire as well as to the Vale of Glamorgan. British workers, indeed.
This on the same day that Charles Kennedy on The Daily Politics dampened the constitutional reforming zeal of Ben Bradshaw and Eric Pickles by becoming the latest Lib Dem MP from the North of Scotland to talk about “deep disillusionment” with devolution. Like Danny Alexander, and like others more privately (as yet), he is turning into a latter-day Brian Wilson.
At their best, the Lib Dems are local communitarian populists, and battlers for otherwise neglected causes. The party label is a sort of franchise, and of course source of funds, in order to get them elected, but not really anything more than that. The federalist and other theoretical side of Liberalism is of little or no interest to them. It is notable that this garners them so many votes in rural areas, where turnout is considerably higher than in urban areas. If each were offered his pet local project by either Labour or the Tories in a hung Parliament, then the Lib Dem MPs from the Highlands, Islands and Borders would come on board as surely as would those from anywhere else, including Mid-Wales.
And if the delivery of any such project required that Westminster enact legislation over a Scottish (or Welsh) domestic matter, overriding any enactment of a devolved body as the devolution legislation itself specifies would be the case, then that would be just fine and dandy from those MPs’ point of view, just so long as the thing itself got done. The SNP, Plaid Cymru or anyone else who didn’t like it would have to explain why they didn’t want it, since the devolved body would obviously be showing no inclination to make it happen.
Let no one forget that the No vote to devolution was high in the areas where the Lib Dems do well, at least relatively so in Scotland, and rather more so than that in Wales. Nor let anyone forget that the SDP (whence came Kennedy) carried over much of the Old Labour Right’s profound reservation about devolution, including the very person of George Cunningham, who is still alive.
Neither Kennedy, nor Andrew Neil, nor anyone else queried Nick Robinson’s suggestion that Michael Martin might sit as an Independent until the next General Election, the easier to hand over his seat to his son, who is the sitting MSP for the area. So, no doubt there which is the real Parliament and which isn’t. For that matter, how many SNP candidates next year will be sitting MSPs? Rather a lot, one suspects.