In the lead up to ‘Brexit’, it is worth considering what it was that it’s instigators had in mind for a post-brexit UK. And when I say it’s instigators I don’t mean those carefully sampled and then edited members of the general public that are now the staple of ‘unbiased’ and ‘democratic’ reporting. I mean the sub-group of the political and economic ruling class that were keeping time for the ‘journalists’ from the early days of the referendum campaign. Those so called ‘defenders’ of the people, and self-styled ‘champions’ of the masses, may not have had quite so much in common with the rest of us as they professed. I would go further, I get the impression based on their voting records that some of them, at least behind closed doors, may well still see the rest of us as the ‘lumpen proletariat’.
So, who were the big players publicly driving the ‘vote leave’ campaign. In addition to the usual suspects of Eton and Oxford educated Boris Johnson, and Oxford educated Michael Gove MP, there was also Gisela Stuart MP, who first came to prominence in the first two Blair administrations, and who voted for the Iraq War and then against investigating it; Michael Forsyth, who served under John Major, and in addition to now sitting in the House of Lords, has previously worked for among others Hyperion Insurance Group, JP Morgan, Evercore Partners and the Secure Trust Bank. Adam Werritty’s travel buddy, Liam Fox, who as well as opposing same sex marriage, supporting the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, calling for the bombing of Syria, and pushing for the Guardian to be prosecuted after the Snowden release, has also called for increased restrictions on abortion. I could go on, but frankly it is far too depressing to see the actual behavior and opinions of the people who pretend to speak for the 99% of the UK. If you are in any doubt, check for yourself. Here are links to the voting records of Chris Grayling, Nigel Lawson, Andrea Leadsom, David Owen, Priti Patel, Dominic Raab, and Theresa Villiers, to name but a few. If you are still not convinced I strongly suggest ‘favouriting’ theyworkforyou.com, and then spend a few tea breaks perusing their records.
As for what a post-brexit UK will look like, there are two things worth considering. Firstly, based on the behavior patterns of the key ‘leave’ campaigners, what are the possible outcomes that they envisioned in the first place. Based on their donors, backgrounds, peer groups, and socio-economic statuses, it was unlikely to be the interests of the bottom 90% of the country. After all, that has clearly never troubled or motivated them previously. And secondly, what possible impact could this have, on the now very real possibility of a socialist Labour Party winning the popular vote in a general election.
So firstly, I would argue that for the ‘billionaire’s boys club’ it was never about disconnecting from a European ruling bureaucrat-class in order to establish a representative democratic system of government in the UK. One possibility, that I would argue is more likely if looked at in the context of a wider and longer term perspective, is that a post-brexit UK would be more accommodating to the sort of trans-Atlantic NAFTA/TTIP/MAI agreement that has been at the top of the wish list for the supra-national plutocracy and their political goon squad in the USA for over two decades now. As alluded to by Corbyn in his speech to conference.
Without knowing for sure, my guess would be that the idea was that the post-brexit UK would sit somewhere along an axis ranging between Turkey and Chile. It would most probably have the outward appearance of an autonomous democracy, but on a day-to-day basis would be something quite different. This isn’t as fantastical idea as it first sounds. Similar quasi-political/economic annexations are occurring across the entire planet. Think Greece, Italy, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Mexico, and the ongoing campaign to do something similar in Venezuela.
In reality, it is already quite easy to make a highly plausible case that since WWII, the role of the UK government on the global stage has been two-fold. Firstly as a subservient client-state to the Pax Americana, and secondly as a puppet of a supra-national neo-liberal plutocracy. Neither of which is likely to change with the UK either inside or outside of Europe.
However what does change according to the relationship between the UK Government and the European single-market is the UK’s importance within the global imperialist and economic systems of power. For instance, the restrictions and legal frameworks in which we relate to the rest of the world are very much defined by the political and economic ‘gang’ that we are in. And of course, for a period of time, we would be in no gang. Arguably, the shock of crashing out could easily be used as the cover for a closer alignment to … the dollar for instance, in perhaps a trans-Atlantic trade partnership! But that would only be in relation to to the official UK economy, as opposed to the UK protectorates that are already acting as tax havens and secrecy jurisdictions outside of Europe.
Which brings me to my second point. The very real threat of a Socialist Labour party winning the popular vote in a general election. I chose my words carefully. Because, as my Great-Grandfather used to say, or so I am told, there is many a slip ‘twixt the cup and the lip. Or to put it another way, winning the vote does not necessarily mean you get to become the government, at least not in the UK. There have been arguments made that the referendum was called for many reasons, one of which was to add pressure to stress fractures already existing in a Labour Party moving towards the Socialist Left. However, that has clearly not worked. So now we are faced with the possibility that a post-brexit UK may vote in to power a Socialist government. Of course, for those who think this summer’s smear campaign was the last act of a desperate ruling class, it is worth keeping it in context.
The reason I bring this up is because a socialist government within Europe would have to defer on a great many areas of legislation to the EU bureaucrats and/or the Bankers in the supra-national plutocracy, as part of it’s EU membership. That may well not now be the case. For the establishment figures that wanted us to become more closely aligned with Wall Street, what they have effectively done is untethered the UK ruling elite from the security of their peers in the European ruling elite. Which adds even greater pressure on the UK ruling elite to avoid a socialist government by any means necessary. The greater the possibility of Socialist Labour party victory, the more obvious and anti-democratic the measures taken by the 1% will have to be to ensure their privilege continues.
By pushing for the referendum, the ruling elite have built a petard which is about to explode in their own faces. In a post-brexit UK, there is now the real possibility that the majority of the population are embracing socialism. And the more the ruling elite try to defame, denigrate and destroy socialism, the more anti-democratic they appear, which inevitably leads to more people recognising socialism as the only democratic option left to them. As food prices go up, as wages stagnate, as public services are carpet-bagged by offshore hedge-funds and the ruling elite continue to publicly revel in their opulence while defaming and smearing anyone that questions their entitlement, what possible outcomes are left to the rest of us?
And in completely unrelated news I thought it was about time I put up another review. So this one is the review that I did of Margaret Atwood’s Hag-Seed. A reworking/retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. It was first published in the Morning Star on Tuesday 18th October 2016. To read the unedited version here or to download a .txt version please click through to the page.