Posted by Compass Youth Group on 20 Jan 2008
Europeans and the UK Conservatives
The UK Conservative Party is quite distinctive in its free market outlook and its insistence on the role of the individual in contrast to society and broader social models at large. On the basis of these underlying principles, it sits quite to the right of other European conservative parties. Consequently, there is a fair chance that even fairly conservative immigrants will find the Conservatives too far right in comparison with the conservative programmes they are used to in their countries of origin.
Also, there are examples from countries such as Poland, whose descendants are seen as rather religious and conservative in values. However, due to past Conservative criticism of Polish immigration in general and arguments about the need to control it, there is only a small likelihood that the majority of this group can be persuaded to vote Conservative. The British context of religion in politics is also different, in that while the Catholic Church is associated with conservative politics in Poland (and other countries), most British Catholics are of Irish origin and supportive of the political left in Britain.
The same will be true for different groups, for similar reasons.
Europeans and the Social Model of Labour
Most European countries are unified in a general understanding of the positive role of the European welfare-state and overall social model (although this looks different in different countries). However, it comes together in having a common understanding of the ground-rules and responsibilities within societies, which has a much closer fit with a social model propagated by labour policies, locally and nationally, rather than with the individualist mantra of the conservative party.
This is why Labour has a prime opportunity to engage a majority of EU-citizens in the political process on its side, and should not miss the opportunity to engage with all possible voter groups.
Europeans and the Trade Unions
The UK trade union movement has recognised the needs of migrant workers, and the fact that they are often – at least initially – in a vulnerable position in the UK labour market. Successful trade union organisation among EU foreigners in Britain enables new channels of communication to be opened with them, and further integrates them into labour movement values.
• Acknowledge the existence of the EU-citizens in the UK
• Aim to register them onto the electoral register in their local communities.
• Develop an electoral strategy to capture their imagination
• Set this strategy in the framework of the wider Labour campaign. Policy areas such as transportation, housing and jobs are feasible connection points
Let's go for it!
If you want to get involved, email email@example.com