Great Britain — the pioneer of modern social reforms
A model lesson on the magic formula for how to use wages and the social welfare budget as weapons in global competition
With their common market, the European states have removed tariffs and trade barriers to set down the same conditions for competition for capital based in Europe. But they didn’t come to an agreement concerning the working class. For the treatment of labour, the member states have reserved special rights for themselves so that they can use all elements of the proletarian standard of living as instruments in their competition against each other. Great Britain has even refused to sign the European Social Charter, however limited it is, and is adamant that no regulations imposed by the European Union should come in the way of national self-assertion. Today, “pro-European” Blair is just as determined to defend the British right to “opt out” against Brussels as “Euro-sceptic” Thatcher was in her time. He, too, insists that only reckless treatment of the working population ensures the nation’s competitive edge, his prime objective. And he sees himself corroborated by the course of events.