Labour-Tory jingos wage beef war

In their desperation to cling to office, the Tories are shamelessly using the ‘beef war’ to whip up nationalism and play the anti-Europe card

The Tories are getting increasingly desperate, as all the old tricks are just not working anymore. All their favourite targets - law and order, single mothers, loony left councils, etc - no longer automatically gather support for the Tory Party. Worst of all, the Tory Party has lost its monopoly over rank prejudice. 

After all, there are no ‘left’ councils (plenty of loony ones perhaps) any more and the Labour Party hates single mothers just as much as the Tories these days. As for ‘law and order’ issues, new Labour makes the Tories look a bit flabby and liberal. There is not even a lovely war on the horizon.

... Or perhaps there is. The escalating ‘beef war’ is becoming a near last-ditch attempt by the Tories and its media to outgun the Labour Party by mobilising support on the grounds of patriotism. All because the European Union had the nerve to ban British beef. It does not matter that more than half the British population thinks it may be unsafe - just as many parents are deeply anxious about the wisdom of feeding their babies formula milk.            

OK, it may not be World War II all over again, or even the Falklands - you cannot have everything. But by bashing the Hun and doing battle over ‘our’ semen, tallow and gelatin the Tories can be great again (and win the next election).

John Redwood, recently back from a Churchillian tour of the West Country, is egging on John Major’s policy on ‘noncooperation’ with the EU. He wrote in The Times of the need to “reassert the supremacy of Acts of Parliament over judge-made law from Europe” (May 24). Predictable, of course, as the Europhobes have been spoiling for a scrap for ages. Now that Major has unleashed the cows of war the right wing sees a chance to go on the rampage.

The stench of jingoism is the Daily Express, which has already demanded: “Please speak up, Mr Blair. Are you backing Britain or Brussels?”

Communists must stand resolutely against this sudden tidal wave of jingoism and national chauvinism. We will not be “backing Britain”, nor do we believe that the interests of British and German workers are “markedly different”. European workers have a common interest in smashing capitalism - whatever the nation or state.

By putting our needs before the bosses’ profit we can ensure that beef (and baby food) really is safe.

Eddie Ford