Call from Jan Marijnissen to all SP members

29 May 2005

Call from Jan Marijnissen to all SP members

Jan MarijnissenDear Fellow Members of the Socialist Party,

On Wednesday the polling booths will be open for our first ever national referendum. The subject is of great importance: the future of the Netherlands in Europe.

The European Constitution signed by Prime Minister Balkenende would give a very specific direction to that future.

It opts for a Europe with a future as a single great unified neoliberal free market based on competition, a Europe to which the acquisition of money would be central, a Europe guided by liberalisation and privatisation and the rolling back of the public sector.

Wouldn't we, however, rather have a Europe where people and not euros come first? I am sure that that is the case, and according both to our own enquiries and independent opinion polls virtually all SP members and voters agree.

This also goes for vast numbers of our fellow citizens. It goes for everyone who wants more cooperation between Europe's countries, but not cooperation directed according to an agenda which is increasingly determined by big countries and big corporations, with their thousands of Brussels-based lobbyists.

Most people don't want to see the distance between the bureaucratic Brussels executive and the citizens of Europe's countries grow still wider. It is absurd that Brussels can ban the payment of subsidies to Artis, make life ever more difficult for housing corporations and stick its nose into our health insurance system.

It's time, therefore, to call a halt – and the majority of our population agrees.

Yet the government is determined both to frighten people and to make them feel guilty. If you vote NO on Wednesday, you'll be responsible for everything that has gone wrong in our country since they came to power! Don't even think about daring to do it!

I don't believe that we should be afraid. I think rather that we should give a helping hand to those who are busily pulling the rug our from under this campaign, one which is paid for out of your taxes and mine, thousands of euro's worth of dishonesty.

Saying NO will give us the chance and indeed the duty to continue the debate, which has only now begun, over the future of the Netherlands in Europe. A YES would close this discussion just as it's getting going, setting that future in concrete. That's why we really need a NO on the 1st of June.

A NO will give us the chance in the Netherlands to look together at what we want to do in and with Europe, to pose the question of how this European cooperation can be given a more social, less pretentious, more intelligent, more transparent and above all more democratic character.

As the SP we have hammered away for years at the message that European cooperation must be based on trust in the citizens. You cannot impose trust – it has to be built. Through discussion, through involvement, through consultation. On the 1st of June we can open the way to this kind of cooperation. If the majority dares to say NO, the government will have to listen.

I hope that you are all doing whatever you can to persuade people that this is the case. If any of you still have questions, our website at www.sp.nl is full of accurate and useful information.

You can also let your friends, acquaintances and colleagues know about the unique service that we'll be offering on Tuesday 31st May. Anyone who still wants to pose a question or make a suggestion can phone our reaction team in parliament for free on 0800 0225005. Tell people about it, and use it yourself if there's anything you want to know.

Good luck on the way to this historic day: June the 1st.

Voting NO will help – staying at home won't.
Jan Marijnissen

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