Wednesday 26th April 2017
I fail to understand how you can call Macron a “progressive” (Front page, 25 April). His thin policy programme, though it claims to want to remake France’s political system, proposes the same failed policies of reducing labour rights, cutting business taxes and shrinking the public sector. In terms of Europe, he wants more federalism allied to support for the calamitous euro. Such policies helped lead to a collapse of support for the traditional right and left parties. Continue reading
Is this the beginning of the end for neoliberalism?
Friday 14 April 2017
Your editorial on the French elections (11 April), with its encouraging mention of the rise of the higher tax and spend candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, failed to mention possibly his biggest electoral draw: the fact that he is a leftwing protectionist. Prior to the 2012 election, polls showed that over 80% of French Continue reading
Green Party Report Calls for Progressive Protectionism
Green MEP Molly Scott Cato this week launched a report by Victor Anderson and Rupert Read entitled ‘Brexit and Trade Moving from Globalisation to Self-reliance’
Its Executive Summary states that: This report puts onto the political agenda an option for Brexit which goes with the grain of widespread worries about globalisation, and argues for greater local, regional, and national self-sufficiency, reducing international trade and boosting import substitution.
The importance of this document is in its title since as far as I am aware it is the first time a report from a politician isn’t clamouring to retain membership of the open border Single Market. Instead it details the need for an environmentally sustainable future Continue reading
Brexit and article 50: it’s not over till it’s over
Thursday 30th March 2017
Andrew McWilliam (Letters, 29 March) interprets Theresa May’s claim that “No deal is better than a bad deal” as meaning, literally, “no deal”, therefore we revert to staying in the EU. The president of the European council, Donald Tusk, put this option more pithily when he said the choice was between hard Brexit or no Brexit. Remainers should cheer up. It is likely that Brexit will be reversed as two trends emerge during the article 50 negotiations.
First, the full complexity, costs and downsides of leaving the EU will become ever more apparent. Second, changing attitudes to the free movement of people by political leaders across Europe will address the major reason the UK voted to leave. This rethink will doubtless be accelerated when Marine Le Pen does far better than people imagine against Emmanuel Macron, a former investment banker pushing neoliberal policies, in the French presidentiual election. The result of all this must be a growing campaign to stay in a reformed EU, allowing controls on internal migration. Let’s hope opposition MPs, unions and NGOs wake up and spearhead that campaign.
Author, Progressive Protectionism Continue reading
For Immediate ReleaseMarch 25th is the 60th Anniversary of Treaty of Rome – a chance for the EU to reverse Brexit and save Europe through a transition to a Treaty of ‘Home’
Welcome as it was that Geert Wilders was beaten into second place in the Dutch elections, the public concerns that have forced the other two leading parties to become evermore right wing have not gone away. A report Reversing Brexit with a Treaty of ‘Home’ published today by Colin Hines author of Progressive Protectionism calls for a radical rethink of the future direction of Europe when the leaders of the EU27 meet this Saturday March 25th in Rome for the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Treaty of Rome. The report is available here
To see off the rise of the extreme right and reverse Brexit will require a rewrite of the Treaty of Rome to convert it to a ‘Treaty of Home Europe-wide’. (The changes required are detailed in the report.) This will involve the reintroduction of border controls to people, goods, capital and services to allow local economies to be protected and nurtured continent wide. Cross border issues like responding to non European migration, climate change, pollution, crime and military security would still require intra European cooperation. These measures could build a sense of hope and support for this more cohesive European future and so halt the EU’s present descent into potentially terminal unpopularity. Continue reading
‘US Democrats need to consider a progressive form of protectionism that will benefit all countries,’ writes Colin Hines.
Published in the Guardian
Wednesday 15 March 2017
It’s reassuring to hear that Bernie Sanders is campaigning again (Journal, 11 March), but the examples given of his fightback are hardly likely to keep the light-sleeping President Trump awake at night. The usual emphasis on ever-more protests will soon meet Continue reading
Published in the Financial Times
March 3rd 2017
Sir, It should come as no surprise that an “America First” Trump administration is likely to override the free market strictures of the World Trade Organisation (“Trump prepared to ignore WTO rulings”, March 2). What is more disturbing from a UK perspective is how trade secretary Liam Fox’s head is still stuck in the sands of pre-2008 neoliberalism (“Fox warns of EU-UK trade barriers danger”, March 2). This means he is unable to grasp that it was the opposition to open borders to goods and capital as well as people that fuelled the Brexit result, Donald Trump’s election and the continued rise of Marine Le Pen in the French polls.
Published in the Guardian
Saturday 24 February 2017
The only way the Tories will ever be defeated and the demise of Ukip ensured is for all the other Westminster parties to unite behind a programme of progressive economic nationalism. Steve Bannon (Report, 24 February) and Marine Le Pen have their fingers on the pulse of voters far more than most elected politicians in the UK. The latter still mostly beat the drum of free movement of people within the European Union and open borders to capital and goods.
Published in the Guardian
Tuesday 31 January 2017
To temper Trump and to reverse the rise of the extreme right in Europe will not just require the “popular resistance” demanded by Owen Jones (Opinion, 31 January), but also a popular economic alternative. Donald Trump and the likes of Marine Le Pen know exactly what they and the majority want: less immigration and more protection of domestic jobs. Indeed, Trump is correct in his view that “Free trade’s no good” for the US. What most leaders fail to yet understand is that the same is true for all countries.
Published in The Ecologist
13th January 2016
The green movement’s squeamish social liberalism has left it to the political right to exploit public concerns about population and immigration, writes Colin Hines. We must make the progressive case for controlling our borders, and Continue reading