Article from the May 2004 edition, Socialist Voice

European Elections 11 June

Vote Joe Higgins TD

The Socialist Party is standing Joe Higgins T.D. in the Dublin consituency for the European Elections on 11 June. Joe Higgins has been the real opposition to Fianna Fail and the PDs. He lives on a workers's wage and showed how different he is to all other elected politicians when he went to jail fighting the bin charges.

Joe has pledged that if elected he will donate all of his MEP's salary to the fight to change society. Compare this to the attitude of all other MEPs whose main purpose for getting elected is to jump onto the EU "gravy train" taking their huge salary and doubling it with expenses.

Joe Higgins T.D. explains the issues that the Socialist Party will be campaigning on in the European Election.

Halt the Privatisation Juggernaut

Privatisation goes against the interests of working people. Decisions on what aspects of our services the Irish Government is willing to put up for grabs at international trade negotiations are taken behind closed doors without democratic accountability. We will use the European Election campaign to adamantly oppose the privatisation agenda and call for high quality public services that meet the needs of people rather than the profit margins of multinationals, with proper wages and conditions for the workers.

Defend Workers' Rights

In Europe today, the pressure is to extend people's working lives and cut pensions. At the European Competitiveness Council held last April, European bosses met with Mary Harney to discuss how to create a more "flexible" workforce- flexibility for the bosses that is. Harney agreed that the E.U. should "legislate for the floor not the ceiling". It is obvious that the Government is prepared to enter a "race to the bottom" with the wages and conditions of all E.U. workers converging towards those in the poorest of the new E.U. States rather than raising standards everywhere.

We back the millions of E.U. workers who have mobilised against these attacks, on pension rights in particular.

Oppose Militarisation of the EU

There is a relentless drive to create an armed superpower to protect the economic and political interests of the major powers in the EU. Already 60 billion a year is wasted on weapons production in the EU. The Socialist Party is very clear that an EU army capable of throwing its weight around on the world stage on an equal footing to the US will no more create a world free from conflict than invasion of Iraq created democracy and stability for the Iraqi people. Conflict will only be eliminated when the poverty and repression that give rise to it are eliminated.

For a socialist Europe

Over the coming weeks, the Socialist Party and myself will be putting forward the alternative to a big business dominated EU - a democratic, socialist Europe. This means production for the needs of humanity, rather than the profits of big business. It means the creation of genuine democratic structures, which put real economic and social power in the hands of ordinary people rather than in the hands of political parties, which are in the pockets of big business. Under these conditions, it would be entirely possible to meet the economic and social needs of all the people of Europe.

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