Why Brexit.

Many people have asked me why, of all people, am I voting Brexit.  So here it is.

Fundamentally, I just cant see the Tories managing to deal with Brexit, continue austerity, and win the next general election.  Even with all the corporate and press backing, even with a divided Labour which isn’t able to take back Scotland.

Meaning Corbyn will end up Prime Minister!  This in itself is far more important than whether the best way to rein in the tory cuts/ bonfire of rights is in or out, or whether a better EU is possible or anything else.

Picture it:

  1. If the result is 52-55% remain in England, and high 50s/60s/70s in Scotland, N. Ireland, Wales, England will have voted to take it and the Celtic Nations out of the EU, against their will.
  2. Never-the-less a large majority of MPs across the house are against leaving the EU.
  3. David Cameron will have to step down. (Question is how soon? Will he preside over the leaving negotiations a while? Get them going? If so he’ll have to be seen to be putting his back in to it; a transition to Boris is inevitable.)
  4. Boris Johnson will have a tricky situation to deal with: he needs to somehow at least be seen to be making progress getting an Act through Parliament to leave the EU, in the face of insurmountable cross-party opposition to it, including his own party of course.
  5. With one eye on elections in 2020, and another on avoiding elections before then, Boris will have to contend with an angry and impatient public and press on the one hand (whipped up by Farage and a load of his own MPs), and two adversaries with a proven track record in record-breaking land-slides: Jeremy Corbyn and Nicola Sturgeon/The SNP (both of whom campaigned against Brexit but whose political fortunes could be made by it).
  6. Whilst Corbyn continues his extremely effective anti-austerity real-world barbs against the Tories and their cuts, day-by-day his authority as leader of the opposition grows, and the nonsense the media spews against him loses its credibility.
  7. (Labour have increased their vote in all by elections so far, won mayoralties in London, Liverpool, Bristol and elsewhere, and did much better than expected in local elections. Whilst they have been decimated in Scotland that merely means the SNP, which shares the vast majority of Labours values and policies, is in direct conflict with the Tories in Holyrood.)
  8. Meanwhile, The SNP has a valid ‘change of circumstances’ to hold INDE II and will be keeping a very close eye on Scottish inde. Polling: if they see support for independence creeping above 55% they are going to be very tempted to hold another referendum and if they call it, they will win it this time. This all will happen much more quickly than the first time, with the precedent already set. (Also, any rises in oil prices will favour this, and I expect that before long.)
  9. That then clearly makes Boris Johnson responsible for the break-up of the Union, something that virtually all Tories are going to be very upset about, right in the run-up to the next general election.
  10. Brexit anyone? Or do you want to spend 900 billion on the next generation of Nuclear Weapons? Invade some more middle-eastern countries? Close down more schools and privatise more hospitals? Cause Corbyn would be spending that money on schools and hospitals and a load of stuff we actually need. And re-joining the EU with some pretty excellent demands for reform and real leverage.  (Forget TTIP for example.)

Moreover…

Two very real existential problems confront humanity:

1)  climate change is biting and is blatantly going to get a lot worse with each passing year whilst

2) nuclear war is now a greater threat than at any point in my life time, arguably ever.

What does this have to do with Breixt?

Staying in the EU = status quo = neoliberalism and militarism.  Increasing inequality, selling-off everything profitable, devastating wars on middle-eastern countries and ‘nuclear sabre rattling’ with Russia, the only nuclear power with a full deterrent.  We don’t have time for this.  With all haste we need to:

  1. Reverse Austerity and bring back growth through a Green Marshall plan (i.e. investing in energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable food) funded with money saved from slashing boondoggle military spending.
  2. Build a New Europe of Regions resistant to US attempts to impose corporate control and militarism (epitomized by TTIP and NATO) and friendly towards Russia (our main source of low-carbon energy, gas).
  3. Respect for International Law and Cooperation: Stabilize the Middle East and North Africa with Russia, China and Iran and various other local parties in a reasonable fashion.

Institutions opposed to this kind of thing by their very nature include:

US, NATO, EU, IMF, WB, UK, The Tory Party, The GOP and The Democrat Party plus all large corporations and all mainstream media.

We (the majority, the people, the 99%) need these institutions to cease to be the all-powerful racket they are, and they are extremely well-resourced and entrenched so it will take series of defeats and set-backs for this to happen.

Brexit?

Brexit:

  1. Threatens the survival of the EU: already in crisis, major economy leaving certain to make situation worse. Could set precedent.
  2. Threatens the survival of the UK: In Scotland, if polls start to climb above 50% in favour of Independence after Brexit the SNP/Greens could declare and win second referendum.
  3. Threatens to decimate the Tory Party, at least in the short-term. (Don’t you just love it?)
  4. Threatens US control over Europe (through the weakening of the EU and the UK, the most powerful instruments of control over Europe the US has).
  5. Threatens NATO: France and Germany have elections in 2017 and all this turmoil could see an anti-establishment party capable of unilateral withdrawal from NATO come to power.
  6. Could see an Independent Scotland withdraw from NATO (with the UK’s nuclear weapons!).
  7. Propel Corbyn to power in 2020 as the Union with Scotland breaks and the Tories scratch each other’s eyes out. (Maybes even before!)
  8. Brexit!!!!!! Brexit!!!!!!     Brexit!!!!!!

 

‘Optimism or Bust’ (Part I)

Several key democratic events are happening in the US and the UK in coming period: the UK and US establishments (which usually back both sides) could actually lose several key contests in a short period of time.

Local Elections, Regional Elections and London Mayoral Elections will happen on May 7th. Brexit will happen on the 23rd of June. These are being billed as defining events in UK politics for the decade, and have options on the ballot uncomfortable to the British State (‘Corbyn’, ‘SNP’ and ‘Leave’).

Meanwhile, both establishment parties in the US are being challenged by non-establishment candidates. Bernie is an amazing opportunity, Trump threatens the status of the GOP.

The combination of all, or most, of them turning out well for progressive forces may be remote, but does seem feasible. And between climate change and nuclear war, I think now is the time for some optimism.

At any rate, I consider the following individually all highly likely in the UK this summer:

  • Local Elections Win for Corbyn’s Labour in England (and Wales), taking seats from all other parties especially the Tories, Lib Dems and UKIP.
  • The SNP consolidate their dominance of Scotland, but with a twist of other pro-INDE parties (RISE) added to Holyrood.
  • Labour wins the London Mayoral contest.
  • Leave win Brexit by low-turnout Euro-sceptic
  • England carrying the high-turnout pro-EU Celtic nations just over the 50% margin.
    Because:

Corbyn has returned increased majorities in all electoral contests so far, is riding high in the polls, and the Tories are in disarray.
The SNP are plain sailing, with RISE threatening to take at least some seats due to the voting system and the recent grass-roots inde campaign.
Sadiq Khan is winning and it’s looking like London might be Labour for the foreseeable future (but him losing London it doesn’t necessarily derail the rest anyways).
Its 4 which is crucial here, and we pretty much know the Celtic nations are going to vote to remain, so it’s mostly a case of ‘how much England really wants to stick it to both the EU and David Cameron’. My hunch is they really do.

The implications of this all being that Corbyn’s role as leader of the Labour Party is consolidated, whilst Scottish Independence is back on the agenda: Sturgeon/SNP have said there will be no second referendum until ‘a clear majority want it’ or ‘there is some kind of constitutional change’: Brexit may well deliver both in the event of England taking the Celtic Nations out of the EU ‘on Tory terms’.

If the above happens, the Tories will have a messy divorce from Europe to preside over as the Union with Scotland is again gravely threatened. They will probably have to hold a leadership contest at a time of intense division over Europe. And then they will have to fend-off calls for a general election in which they fear Corbyn might actually win a landslide in the face of their own problems, especially if Bernie Sanders has won the White House…

Meanwhile, across the Pond:

Trump threatens the GOP: as candidate or as independent.
Bernie threatens to take over the Democratic Party.
Either could win the White House, both are likely to run one way or another.
US Politics has already been and can only be more irreversibly changed.
Even if Hillary, the only establishment candidate, does win the DP nomination she could be charged with criminal offences and thus not reach the white house.
What seems increasingly possible is that Bernie will actually win the democratic nomination and then the White House. If so, come January, with Bernie Sanders taking up residence in the White House in the UK, the SNP will be looking at polls for support of independence and facing the choice between 3.5 more years of Tory rule followed by an election that they can only hope for a few ministerial positions at best (in coalition with Labour) or to take their chances with a second referendum; stick it to the Tories and leave the UK with Corbyn about to win an election.”

Scottish independence means nuclear disarmament; the main issue which Corbyn is opposed by the PLP (absurdly).
Whichever Tory’s watch the Union ends on will surely struggle to win a general election.
Corbyn could be the beneficiary of a sequence of elections and referenda each of which more detrimental to the British establishment than the last, culminating in his election as Prime Minister, whilst Scotland writes a constitution, and Bernie Sanders sits in the White House.

All of which would provoke serious crisis with regards to the nuclear status quo, NATO, the EU and TTIP. It really could be a triple-whammy within Anglo world; Washington, London and Edinburgh taken over by Social Democrat Leaders and Parties, with grass-roots movements behind them and popular support; the unholy alliance of US-UK in a state of flux as the establishment billionaires circle the wagons against populists in the halls of government.

Bernie, Corbyn and Sturgeon with democratic mandates would surely be a force to be reckoned with. Corbyn reversing everything since Thatcher, Scotland writing a constitution (What does the Queen do again exactly?), Bernie challenging Wall Street and tackling climate change.

Three very important programs seem plausible under these conditions:

  1. Reversing Austerity through a Green Marshall plan funded with money saved from slashing boon-doggle military spending, and as a Western response to OBOR/AIIB.
  2. Building a New Europe of Regions resistant to US attempts to impose corporate control, epitomized by TTIP, and friendly towards Russia (our main source of low-carbon energy, gas).
  3. Respect for International Law and Cooperation: Stabilizing the Middle East and North Africa with Russia, China and Iran and various other local parties in a reasonable fashion. (Palestine and all.)
    Check out the Polls: http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/

Coming soon: Part (II) ‘Empire Strikes Back’: What could be the establishment response to the above series of defeats?