Am I still happy about my Brexit vote?

First of all, what could happen that would make me regret my vote? 

If the Tories recover from Brexit and go on to dominate British politics for the coming decade, somehow managing to win the next election and thwart Scottish Independence, then I would have to turn over my Brexit vote to Captain Hindsight.

I predict they won’t and I predicted they wouldn’t if Brexit happened.  I also contend that they could well have done without Brexit:

What would have happened if England/the UK had scraped a Remain victory1?

  1. Cameron would have been lauded as a hero by the Tories, EU top-brass and even high profile Labour and the lib-dem figures.  As would have Blair, Brown, May, and various other despicable people.  Instead Cameron has been ridiculed and castrated; forced to live the rest of his sorry existence outside of Westminster.
  2. Johnson would able to play the gallant loser and ‘whip-up the Tory base’. Instead he’s been exposed as a liar and positioned, by May, to take the blame for a lot of the Brexit mess.  (He could still be Mayor of London right now, but thankfully we have a Labour Mayor, albeit a Blairite.)
  3. Farage and UKIP would still be plastered all over the MSM. I’m still disgusted about how much coverage they get, but thankfully they have been shattered as an electoral force. (For the record I consider them a ploy by the establishment to dress up a load of Tories as anti-establishment and thus a) poach disenfranchised Labour voters (many of whom would never vote ‘Tory’) and b) make the Tory party look ‘less racist’.)
  4. All the dirty lies that the Leave campaign told wouldn’t have come out. £350 million/week etc.
  5. The chicken coup wouldn’t have happened; whilst the Blairite scum would have surely got the knives out for Corbyn at some point, they could not have made more of a mess of it than they did. (Arrgh!)
  6. The Scottish Parliament would not have passed a bill for an INDE II. (Something that may well have been an important factor in May’s decision to hold an election.)
  7. The Tories would be about to hold a leadership contest, one which May and Johnson could compete in, which would include a large dose of hypothetical Brexit, and which would look reasonably respectable. Instead the one they tried holding was so excruciatingly embarrassing they called it off and crowned May, thus demonstrating to everyone their utter contempt for democracy and debate, as well as their lack of individuals with talent/competency.

(And their new front-runner is now best known for believing rape victims should be denied the option of abortion.)

 

Conversely, I think the case can already be made that important victories have been won by the Left in England and the Independence Movement in Scotland, and these have happened very much in the context of Brexit.

What has happened that wouldn’t have?

  1. May might not have been PM at all, and certainly wouldn’t have been there as long. Personally think May has been a terrible PM in all respects, notably PM question time where she has been repeatedly trounced by Corbyn.  She has absolutely fuck all charisma.  She doesn’t inspire loyalty, or run a good team.  I don’t think anyone could have done much worse for the Tories, hence I’m happy the stupid bitch is there fucking it up for them.
  2. The Tory’s wouldn’t have lost their majority. Let’s face it, they made the classic error of empire: they believed their own lies.  They actually convinced themselves that Corbyn was weak, and that they could crush the left for a decade or more.
  3. The coalition with the DUP wouldn’t have happened. People didn’t even really know who they were, then all of a sudden these bigoted arseholes are getting billions for backing up May, who lost by her own definition, and had told a nurse using a food bank that there ‘is no magic money tree’.  Way to publically drag the whole establishment through the mud; coalition of chaos eat-your-heart-out.
  4. There were two things that were going to have to happen once the general election was called: the back-stabbing of Corbyn by ‘the left’ would have to quieten down, and the focus would have to shift to policies. Corbyn’s unpopularity was due to continuous reporting of the back-stabbing and a black-out on all actual polices; once that was minimised the polls swung dramatically.  That would not have happened in the absence of a general election, and hence Brexit.
  5. Labour would not have won its biggest share of the vote since 1997 and the biggest swing ever. Completely trashing the entirety of the MSM and a whole load of so called ‘experts’ in the process. There was also a boost in Labour Party membership, and considerable energy at the grassroots.
  6. The Labour Manifesto would not have been released, which is in itself an important document and significant victory, one which demonstrates how much the terms of debate have shifted since Corbyn was elected leader.

 

The above are all things that represent the elite control being significantly eroded.

If May / the Tories do cling to power for another five years it will be because of the bone-chilling fear the establishment has of PM Corbyn.  They will lurch from farce to farce and people will be so gagging for change by then that a Labour government will be delightfully likely and decisive.

As for the SNP, they are still the dominant force in Scottish politics and the time will come for INDE II; a couple of years of Brexit mess should be enough to see opinion swing finally in favour of ‘better off alone’.  After that it’s a question of timing; in all likelihood before the next general election meaning that the Tories will be fighting a campaign with their recent presidence over the disintegration of UK fresh in the electorate’s mind.

 

So what could have made me regret my Brexit vote?

Of utmost importance to the future of this country are the two fronts of resistance to the neo-liberal/austerity agenda of the British State:

  1. A Left-wing Labour Party.
  2. The Scottish Independence Movement.

So if May, Johnson, Davis and the EU were happily hashing out the terms of a horrific Tory Brexit with minimal detrimental economic repercussions and thus doing reasonably well in the polls even as Scottish Independence was somehow defeated for a generation and the Labour Party unable to come up with a decent leader then, yes, I would be seriously lamenting my Brexit vote right now.

But how is/was any of that conceivable? Given that:

  • Severing ties with our main trading partners, ones which we have deep and complex integration with, was always going to be messy and expensive. An expensive Tory mess in other words.
  • Brexit was always going strengthen Scottish Independence, directly through providing a “material change in circumstances” and indirectly through destabilising Ireland. (Whilst also high-lighting the biggest difference between English and Scottish public opinion.)
  • Brexit was never Corbyn’s fault, if anything Corbyn is Brexit’s fault2. All Corbyn has done is fight against neo-liberalism and austerity, which is more than you can say for EU by the way.  (In fact the only conflict Corbyn has ever had with the EU its imposition of neo-liberalism and austerity.)

So what could, conceivably, have happened?

  • Markets and business being less spooked by Brexit due to reassurances that it’s going to be both soft and pro-business, and a fair bit more competence coming from May including clarity about how Brexit is going to work, and when, along with a less antagonistic negotiations with the EU27, and less court cases being brought against them and won. (Meaning that the Tories were looking fairly solid electorally, instead of the complete shamble-farce that they are currently.)
  • The SNP being outmanoeuvred somehow on the INDE II issue (as they have been to an extent by the recent general election, on the grounds of electorate fatigue).
  • Corbyn dropping down dead and being replaced by some pro-Remain centrist that manages to get everyone excited about opposing Brexit whilst distracting them from opposing austerity.

 

With a compromised Labour Party, May and Labour would have played a nice little game of cat-and-mouse on the Brexit battle-ground; instead Corbyn has made it about opposing austerity and neo-liberalism throughout.

What frustrates me is that instead of appreciating that the terms of debate, and the overall prevailing forces, have shifted dramatically in favour of genuinely reforming society, people are distraught that the little cat-and-mouse game isn’t on.

All these petitions and polls and parties aimed at trying to Remain, completely miss the point: we need these bigoted filthy-rich arseholes out of office.  That includes Blair and Brown and any of their supposedly centrist ilk.  We need Corbyn and MacDonnell in no. 10 and 11; we need a complete U-turn on all policies right across the board; no to war, no to nukes, investment in housing, education, NHS, public transport and the green economy.

I wrote last summer that:

“the danger in all of this [Brexit], is to lose sight of what’s of vital importance: reverse austerity, stop paying for war.  This is what Jeremy Corbyn has devoted his life to, and seeing such a man gain the high office of an important country is a nightmare scenario for the ruling class… their current ploys is to discredit his ability to campaign for a worthy cause.  To believe this, to believe Corbyn is incapable of running and effective general election campaign, is to fall into a trap.  Every person who believes this, if it means they withhold even a little bit of support for Corbyn, weakens the prospects of seeing a genuinely anti-austerity and anti-war Prime Minister.” (http://mxmagpie.uk/main-danger-brexit/)

Now, post general election 2017, the ruling class can no longer maintain the myth that Corbyn is incompetent, weak or whatever.  However, the establishment are now using Brexit as a stick to beat Corbyn with, and are to some extent succeeding.

 

Despite this, Corbyn’s alternative seems more and more plausible, he has grown as a speaker and a leader, and so has the competence, credentials and loyalty of his front bench.  Labour is ahead in the polls, winning by-elections en mass, and Corbyn is favourite to be PM after the next General Election.  Reforming the Labour Party.  Redefining the terms of debate.  Forcing u-turn after u-turn on the government.  Offering a genuine alternative.  Could this have been the case if Brexit had been defeated?  Id like to hear how.

 

  1. This could either have happened through England being so close than Scotland and N. Ireland ‘took England out against its will’ or that England itself scraped a Remain victory.

 

  1. The nomination of Corbyn was the result of the perceived massive need for soul searching within the Labour Party after the unexpected crushing defeat by Cameron in 2015 after promising an EU referendum.

 

  1. (This is the nature of referendums. They divide, they polarize.  The losers feel disenfranchised.  The winners feel vindicated, and hence gain a feeling of entitlement which can lead to disappointment and frustration.  If the campaigns have been ran in the gutter, like Brexit, or with the odds stacked against one side, like the Scottish Independence vote these negatives are emphasised.)

 

UK General Election 2017

 A rapid succession of electoral events in the UK has led to an early and polarizing General Election; whilst May risks all for a ‘hard-Brexit’ mandate, Labour promise to “rip up the tory-Brexit white paper”.  North of The Wall1 the SNP-Government has had INDY22 approved by the Scottish Parliament in order to pursue its own relationship with Europe, once the terms of Brexit become clear.

May’s gamble seems to be either an attempt to prevent a collapse of her majority due to fraud convictions or a belief in the utter weakness of her main opponent, Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party.  However, now that the consistent media reports of Labour Party infighting has been replaced with Labour Party policies, polls have swung dramatically.

Both the UK’s participation in the post-war Franco-German driven Union known as ‘the EU’ and the 300-year-old Union of England and Scotland are jeopardized by a Tory Majority, even as Irish Unification is back on the agenda and the future of the Labour Party itself very much up in the air.

The Tories can still presumably count on the complicity of the Lib Dem Party (as in 2015) as well as an exodus of potentially one hundred Blairite MPs from the Labour Party in their efforts to form a new government, although given the terrible campaign May has ran and the plunge in her favorability it now looks like she will be replaced should she not increase her majority.

 

UK Electoral Events 2014-17:

  1. Summer 2014: Scottish Independence Referendum (45% Yes v 55% No).
  2. Summer 2015: General Election (Tories secure small Majority).
  3. Autumn 2015: Labour Leadership Contest (Corbyn wins with historic 59%).
  4. May 2016: Election Combo: Local, Mayoral, Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly (Labour win key mayoralties and do well in local elections, but are beaten to second place by the Tories in the Scottish Parliament).
  5. June 2016: Brexit (52% Leave v 48% Remain UK-wide but N. lreland and Scotland back Remain convincingly).
  6. Autumn 2016: Another Labour Leadership contest (Corbyn wins with 62% and another huge boost to membership, as well as finance).
  7. May 5th 2017: Local and Mayoral Elections England, and Local in Wales, Scotland (In Scotland the SNP gain Glasgow and several other cities whilst the Tories beat Labour to second place; in Wales Labour remain the dominant force; in England the Tories win at the expense of UKIP and Labour).
  8. June 8th 2017: UK General Election.

 

In September of 2014 the Scottish Independence Referendum was held: INDY lost but gained a respectable 45%, and immediately provoked a surge in membership applications to the SNP, as well as the Scottish Greens (both pro-INDY), which made the SNP comfortably the third biggest party in the UK, despite contesting constituencies making up less than 10% of the population.

During the referendum campaign, Labour had visibly shared a platform with the Tories for a solid 18 months; whilst at the UK level the Lib. Dems. had been partners to the Tories oppressive austerity for 5 years.  The Tories won the 2015 General Election through a collapse in Lib. Dem. support (helped by well-targeted fraudulent spending) against a Labour Party running on a platform of ‘austerity-lite’.  North of The Wall, The SNP won historic 56/59 Scottish Westminster seats.

Milliband promptly resigned, triggering a Labour leadership contest which Jeremy Corbyn won resoundingly, amidst a surge in Labour Party membership.  Meanwhile the SNP took up the privileged Westminster offices formerly occupied by the Lib. Dems.

Then, on May 5th 2016, there was a combination of various elections including local and mayoral, in which Labour performed well across the board (South of The Wall).  This denied Corbyn’s opponents within the Labour Party a pretext for a leadership challenge, so they waited.

Three weeks later, the infamous Brexit referendum was held; despite lack of clear rationale the loss of the Remain vote was blamed on Corbyn and the abortive ‘chicken coup’ was launched.  Corbyn easily defeated his leadership challengers and swelled the ranks and coffers of the Labour Party in the process.  (He then brought new blood to the front benches, and promoted those already there that backed him throughout.)

In the recent local elections of May 2017, Labour lost less council seats than the conservatives and won mayoral elections in the only major urban areas contested (Liverpool and Manchester) and thus it was far from the rout the media predicted like always).  Furthermore, most Tory gains were to a UKIP wipeout and the lib. dem. comeback failed to materialize, making a mockery of their absurd claim that they were the “only ones who could prevent a tory Brexit”.

 

May’s Rationale

If there is one thing the Conservatives do well its cling to power, and forgoing three years at the helm reeks of desperation, especially when you consider the boundary review will give them a 20-MP boost after 2018.  However, since taking power, in the aftermath of the Brexit Referendum, May has been sinking deeper and deeper in a constitution crisis; caught as she is between negotiations with the EU27 and the Brexit implications for both Scottish and Irish membership of the UK.

If May’s rationale was first and foremost to win a ‘fraud-proof majority’ the recent dropping of said allegations leaves this whole election looking a little unnecessary.  In their absence, it seems that this election is an attempt to undo Corbyn before he manages to secure his position and reform the Labour Party, as well as somehow prevent INDY2 happening hard on the heels of an unpopular Brexit.

Corbyn: Enemy No. 1

A bloody nose for the Labour Party is sure to provoke a challenge to Corbyn’s leadership but it’s an open question whether this would prove effective; Corbyn has emerged unscathed or stronger from every electoral challenge faced so far.  But, by calling a snap election May has denied Corbyn and the Labour Party the time needed to deselect the ‘Blairite-scum’, meaning Corbyn fights this general election without the backing of many of his own MPs (whether explicit or otherwise), including his Deputy Leader, Tom Watson, and the leader of the Scottish Branch, Kezia Dugdale.

Furthermore, many reforms currently in the pipeline for the Labour Party have not yet been implemented, most importantly the one to allow far-left candidates on ballots for future leadership contests by lowering the nomination bar.  Once this is changed, McDonnell or any other of his Shadow Cabinet could replace Corbyn should ‘anything happen to him’.  By striking now, the threat Corbyn poses to the establishment may be eliminated, through bringing the Labour Party to heel once more.  This seems increasingly unlikely however.

Labour’s share in the general election is sure to be higher the recent (May 2017) council elections considering the massive registration of voters, especially younger voters, which has taken place.  His new policies are popular, his reception around the country arousing and Labour closed up to 10% points in the polls after a week of campaigning for the upcoming General Election, and have now closed it to 5-6% points, down from 21% when the election was called.  Current Polls and predictions are beginning to show a reduced Tory majority and even a hung parliament, something which should force the Queen to accept Corbyn as the next PM, due to passive support of the SNP being a given

However, it is unfortunately conceivable that Blairite MPs would leave the Party en mass as described below in order to prevent this happening.  Furthermore, it’s highly unlikely that the Lib. Dems. will act in any way that would help Corbyn become PM. 

 

Scottish Independence: Enemy No. 2

Sturgeon and the INDY2 cause already have a triple mandate for INDY2, although you’re not likely to hear that in the MSM.  (Firstly because the SNP won 56/59 Westminster seats in 2015 with the explicit intention of holding a second referendum “if there was a significant material change in circumstances”, which there has now been, secondly because Holyrood’s two pro-INDY parties together represent on outright majority of ballots cast in the Holyrood Elections of May 2016 and thirdly because an outright majority of MSPs are from the two pro-INDY2 parties which is of course why Nicola Sturgeon sought and received permission from the Scottish Parliament to hold INDY2.)

Nevertheless, eating into the SNP’s utter dominance of the Scotland’s Westminster seats is likely due primarily to Corbyn.  If the SNP’s percentage share of vote or number of MPs falls, it will be used to attack the mandate for INDY2 (albeit disingenuously).

 

Post-election Establishment ‘ploys’:  the Blairite Rats & the Yellow Tories.

Tories, as the establishment party, have two important post-election ‘ploys’ at their disposal, whether they win, lose or draw:

  1. An exodus of ‘Blairite rats’ from a Corbyn-lead Labour at a moment designed to inflict maximum damage on Corbyn and make the Tories seem relatively ‘strong and stable’.
  2. The complicity of the Lib. Dems. who will ostensibly form a coalition with the Tories in order to ‘restrain’ them, but will in practice be shoring up the establishment party and making them look relatively ‘strong and stable’.

Ploy A would mean that the current battle for control of the Labour Party has been won by the membership; that reforms will be carried out to improve internal democracy of the party, and that the MPs remaining will be largely loyal to Corbyn and the members.  It is therefore expected that the establishment will not trigger this exodus lightly, preferring instead to hold it in reserve.

Ploy B is probable (whether it be the Lib. Dems. or a new centrist party) should May fail: we have seen it in the recent past, paltry concessions enabling Tory rule.  A likely ‘paltry concession’ is an ‘A50 referendum’ which has two obvious (establishment) advantages 1) potentially enabling the Tories to weasel out of ‘no deal’ Brexit or shirk responsibility for its consequences and 2) complicate the holding of INDY2 in Scotland (which is effectively a UK-Brexit v EU-Scotland referendum).

A combination of these ploys would involve the Blairite Rats swelling the ranks of the Lib Dems (or/and another party) who will then make a show of ‘negotiating’ to ‘retrain’ a hard-tory Brexit, and put together a ‘unity government’ which will pledge to hold a UK referendum on the outcome of the A50 negotiations.  This scenario would have the added bonus (for the establishment) that the SNP are kicked out of their privileged third-party offices in Westminster.

 

Scenarios: 2020 2017.

Now that the Scottish INDY2 referendum will not take place until after the next general election, and bearing in mind that Corbyn is a genuine threat to the establishment and thus ploys described above are possible, we have various scenarios to contemplate.

  1. Tory ‘Fraud-proof majority’= Hard Tory Brexit + Scottish INY2
  2. Tories Biggest Party: Tory-lib ‘unity coalition’= A50 Referendum.
  • Labour Biggest Party: Blairite Rats leave Labour for Lib. Dems.4 and then form a ‘Tory-Lib. Unity Coalition’= A50 Referendum.
  1. Corbyn Victory= ‘Lite & Fluffy Brexit’ + Scottish Devo-Max + full-spectrum sabotage from all establishment factions.

Notice the absence of anything resembling a ‘strong and stable’ government in the above anticipated scenarios.  It therefore seems probable that the next government will not last its full term, for one reason or another.

I: A fraud-proof Majority for May, would mean ‘hard-tory Brexit’, with another 5 years of austerity at least, despite it having added to UK debt so far.  This would play into the hands of the INDY movement in Scotland, and almost certainly precipitate a final dissolution of the UK.  (N. Ireland would also be likely to hold a referendum of its own in this scenario.)

II: Tory – Lib. Dem. ‘Unity Coalition’

The Lib. Dems. shoring up the Tories once again, being complicit in both austerity at home and an unethical foreign policy, whilst demanding paltry concessions is highly likely should May fail to increase her majority.  A possible goal of such a coalition is the holding of an ‘A50 referendum’ which would complicate INDY2 and conceivably give the Tories room to wiggle out of a Brexit ‘no deal’ situation. (What makes this scenario less and less likely, however, is the plummet in the favorability of May personally due to the appalling campaign she has ran; it now looks like she will have to resign in such a scenario, meaning the Tories would have to hold a leadership contest sharpish.)

III: Tory – Lib. Dem. ‘Unity Coalition’+ Blairite Rats

As II above, but with an even stronger polarization of English politics as Labour throw-off the millstone of entrenched Blairism and truly become (part of) an anti-establishment movement behind Corbyn, organizing demonstrations that challenge Tory rule whilst raising the battered shield in key Labour controlled urban areas such as London, Manchester, and Liverpool.  (Again, a Conservative leadership contest would complicate this scenario.)

IV:  PM Corbyn= ‘Lite and Fluffy Brexit’ + Devo. Max

How the “Remain and Reform” agenda could meet with the (non-binding) Brexit plebiscite and the legalities of A50 clause activation is an open question.  What is certain is Corbyn as PM turns the Brexit game on its head: his objectives are diametrically opposed to May’s.  Unlike any Tory Prime Minister, Corbyn is under little pressure (from his own MPs at least) to severely limit immigration and therefore has a much freer hand in negotiating continued membership of the common market.  Whilst May was a wrecker for the EU, Corbyn is an agitator; he is likely to seek allies amongst the left across Europe and challenge the lack of democracy at all levels as well as the subservience to US, and corporate, interests.

A diversity of possibilities are imaginable from EU27 v Corbyn negotiations, but the point being the things Corbyn would want to opt out of, if possible, are things like forced privatization of services, imperialist interference in our ‘near abroad’ (e.g. Ukraine, Libya, Syria, Israel/Palestine) and the bloated and harmful agricultural subsidies.

 

With several ongoing crises and the recent nose-dive in German – US relations, you’d think the EU27 would be open to salvaging what they can of UK-EU relations by cutting Corbyn a deal on market access.  This is especially so if the Scottish Independence can be postponed (which is a potential nightmare for EU countries with strong secessionist movements like Spain) and Corbyn as PM could foreclose INDY2, simply because what the SNP and the independence movement are trying to achieve doesn’t significantly differ from Corbyn’s Labour whether you look at domestic policies (Keynesian investment in place of austerity), foreign policies (nuclear disarmament and no more illegal wars), further devolution for Scotland (Tories and big business having everything to lose, unlike Corbyn’s Labour) or even Brexit (which both would like to see watered down quite drastically, whilst remaining committed to workers’ rights, environmental commitments, ECJ, etc.).

 

Conclusion

Two steadily strengthening fronts of resistance against the British establishment in general and May’s Premiership specifically are apparent:

  • Corbyn and a Membership-lead Labour Party.
  • The SNP, and the Scottish Independence Movement behind it.

The nature of the snap election prevented the Labour Party from deselecting any anti-Corbyn MPs, however if May hoped to wrong-foot Corbyn on matters of policy she must be seriously disappointed.

If May thinks she can have her hard-Brexit cake and eat INDY2 she is mistaken; it seems, ironically, that the only thing capable of stopping INDY2 at this point is Jeremy Corbyn as PM.  However, the holding ‘A50 referendum’3 would complicate the holding of INDY2 in Scotland, undermine its legitimacy, or could even win it for the unionists.

It seemed that the main purpose of this snap election was to neutralize the pending fraud charges against 20 Tory MPs, and then get on with a Brexit of May’s own design without a string of awkward by-elections.  However, given that these investigations have born little fruit so far, it seems that May either misjudged their seriousness or was convinced of her ability to convincingly win this election regardless.  Whether she still holds this belief is a matter of speculation.

It should be expected that the establishment has two ‘ploys’ ready to implement should May fail to achieve her coveted fraud-proof majority, or indeed if Labour do manage to win a majority of their own, against the odds; the Blairite Rats and Lib. Dem. complicity in a ‘unity government’.

Whatever the result of the election, Corbyn will come under attack from within his own party, either for losing the election or some other pretext.  If he wins all establishment factions will begin a concerted effort to thwart his government, and the Blairite Rats will choose their moment to leave Labour and set up an alternative party.  Popular mobilizations will be necessary to defend his Premiership should he win, or his Leadership should he lose.

 

Notes.

1 The Wall= Hadrian’s Wall, a wall that divides the fundamentally divides the UK into two political spaces.

2 INDY2= A second Scottish independence referendum

3 A50 Referendum= a possible second Brexit referendum, this time on the results of negotiations with the EU27.

4 A new party could be formed by the Blairite Rats, especially if the lib dems have next to no MPs.  This does not alter the fundamental nature of either of these ploys.

 

Previous commentary by the author:

Division of UK politics post-Brexit (July 29th 2016)

http://thesaker.is/uk-politics-2016-everything-to-play-for/

A succession of victories for Corbyn (July 14th 2016)

http://thesaker.is/brexit-sitrep-looking-down-from-northern-england/

Brexit and Corbyn: establishment setbacks (July 9th 2016)

http://thesaker.is/uk-sitrep-the-brexit-farce-and-the-headless-chicken-coup/

Original Publication:

UK General Election 2017 – Featuring Blairite Rats and Yellow Tories

 

 

The Least Bad, The Bad, and The Lesser Bad.

Ever since I became a reasonably radical person, it’s been fairly straightforward who the bad guys were, and other people seemed to get it too.  I mean some people got confused about Cuba and Israel, and of course the Balkan wars of the 90s, but loosely within my twenties-life people knew what was going on.

But these days, fucking hell.

Scottish Independence was the first thing.  That’s got everyone split down the middle. (Other than the Geordie Street!)  Then Putin.  Then Brexit.  Then Corbyn.  Then Clinton.  Also Le Pen.  Now it’s fucking mad.

Do people really want the super-rich spending Scotland’s oil wealth on weapons and wars? And Yeltsin back in charge so they can spend Russia’s resources as well, and get away with bombing small countries where they want their own resources for themselves?

Do you hark back to the good old days of Milliband?  When we had leader of the opposition that was ‘electable’, to quote Lord Kinnock.   Or is it Blair that brings that fuzzy feeling?

Is Clinton the one you want to sort out problems in Honduras, Ukraine, Libya, the Sudan, Yemen and Syria?  Everyone deserves a second chance kind-of-thing?

Macron/Fillon will save the Republic!

Seriously?

You know people say to me sometimes ‘you’re not actually doing anything though are you Jack?’, ‘other than reading about it all’.  And I think, well, ‘if more people actually spent a little time reading about the world from crowd-funded sources using journalists, analysts, and technicians who actually cared about enabling you to get past this elite-controlled media, everyone wouldn’t be swallowing this Orwellian shite like foie gras duck.’

 ’And we wouldn’t be here in this situation, where I’m the crazy one.’  ‘We wouldn’t be voting for something that Blair and Cameron and Brown and May and the IMF and NATO and the WB and the President of the United States told you to vote for.’   *

And we wouldn’t be blaming those who recognise those fuckers**  (the tory party, the new labour party, IMF/WB/NATO/ POTUS) as enemies for all the problems that those very fuckwits** are directly responsible for. 

 I mean friends have told me “we can’t be friends anymore!” Because ‘Brexit was my fault’. 

Make sure you don’t tell Teresa that!  I managed to pin it on Bozo.

Next thing that’s my fault is Trump obviously, but what after that? Surely Hitler is too obvious. But since the time scale isn’t an issue anyways, how about King Leopold’s brutal reign over the Congo Basin?

I mean what the fuck?  I’m the bad guy now?

Ah! Im naïve.  Im a hypocrite.  Glad you straightened me out on that one.

So… because of a couple of  well-dressed clowns, loads of horrific flags and an even more cringey quotes, interviews and headlines across the board ad nauseum, you go running into the arms of those neo-liberal war-mongering fuckers? **

Stop reading that shit man, all of it, because the BBC and the guardian are as much part of this as any of it.*** 

{Did I slip into a coma? (Given my penchant for geopolitics and my track record of highly frustrating nightmares where I nearly win and then it all goes horribly wrong, I probably would dream this if I was.  And that would be a much better explanation for this string of ridiculous events and other world craziness than them actually happening, seemingly.  I didn’t wake up upon realising that, so maybes nuclear holocaust will bring me out of it?)}

*Obama threatened us for fuck’s sake!

**’Them fuckers’ i.e. the tory party, the new labour party, the IMF/WB/NATO/ POTUS, etc.

***They told you that: the only reason people wanted Brexit was because of xenophobia and idiocy.  Their proof? All the horrific right-wing media.  Their platform? All the supposedly non-horrific centre/left media.  Who owns all this media? Could it be the same horrific people? The ones that know the Prime Minister personally?

PS: The BBC? You’re kidding me.

 

OK, rant over.   So what is actually going on?

The shit hit the fan, man! 

Trump has made the aggressive neocon move they wanted him to; bombing Assad, using the chemical flase flag attack as a pretext.  So, from this point, it would be nothing short of miraculous if Trump managed to salvage his Presidency and achieve anything worthwhile.  (And God only know if he ever intended to.)  If he tries he’ll likely go down in flames.  Otherwise he’s now the neocon’s bitch.

No, this does not mean Hillary Clinton would have been better than Trump, it means we had a few months to live and hope that the US wouldn’t ‘hit the ground running’ and bomb the Syrian Arab Army, i.e. those on the front line fighting and dying at the hands of Al Qaeda and ISIS, and Israel and Turkey for that matter. 

(What it might mean is all the ‘changing of the guards’ was just a show carried out to divide and confuse us.  If so, it worked, but then the price was high; the US has embarrassed itself immensely on the world stage, and thus greatly damaged its interests.)

What has been achieved during the interlude from this most important of window dressings? 

Time has been bought, events have moved on. There are new ‘facts on the ground’.

I recommend you review them in places like the following:

http://thesaker.is/

http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/author/bhadrakumaranrediffmailcom/

https://southfront.org/

http://theduran.com/

http://www.strategic-culture.org/

http://russia-insider.com/en

https://www.rt.com/on-air/

etc.

and cross reference it with everything you already know, triangulate that with pretty much the opposite of what the MSM tells you,  and think about it for a while until you can make as much sense out if it as possible. Then try and write it down.

Which is, however, what I’m about to do, so if you can’t be arsed doing so, read part II.

Jack.

xxx.

UK Politics 2016: Everything to Play For

Originally published here, with a nice diagram:

UK Politics 2016: Everything to Play For

War and austerity serve the interests of the British establishment, and are contrary to the vast majority of the UK population.  If we define ‘war’ as the bombing and invading of other countries plus the threat of annihilation through nuclear arms and ‘austerity’ as the roll-back of the welfare state we can divide the political forces of the UK into establishment and anti-establishment.

Establishment Forces

  • Tory Party
  • UKIP
  • Lib Dems
  • The Blairites

Anti-Establishment Forces

  • ‘Real Labour’ i.e. Jeremy Corbyn backed by a growing number of MPs and MSPs.
  • The SNP
  • The various Green Parties
  • Plaid Cymru and Sinn Fein

Both sides are further divided by:

  • Europe
  • Scottish Independence

Membership of the EU divides the establishment forces: UKIP and various Tories are against being part of the EU whilst most Tories plus the Blairites and Lib Dems are in favour.  All of them are very much against Scottish Independence.

In contrast, Jeremy Corbyn and ’Real Labour’ are against Scottish Independence, whilst the SNP and various other nationalist and Green parties are in favour.  All these anti-establishment parties and politicians backed Remain.

However, Corbyn is a life-long euro-sceptic (for reasons entirely contrary to Johnson and Farage) who was forced to side with Remain in order to maintain party unity (which was already threatened, and has since been broken).  Meanwhile, the SNP, as a pro-independence party could hardly have sided with Brexit, given that EU membership was highly popular in Scotland and hence presented them with their best opportunity for independence yet.  So, in very different ways, the Remain stance of the anti-establishment forces (i.e. Corbyn and the SNP) was never optional in practice.

(Moreover, no opposition party is likely to favour handing more power to their opponents, even if they have various valid reasons to view of EU membership as a hindrance should they be in government.)

What looks likely in terms of timing is that article 50 will be activated early in 2017 (see link 1) and that INDE. II will happen in the subsequent 2-year period (see link 4).

What is of great interest is how Real Labour, after Jeremy Corbyn wins a second leadership contest, will go about:

  1. Appealing to the 52% of English and Welsh voters who voted for Brexit (including 1/3 of Labour voters) whilst maintaining support of the 2/3s of Labour voters who voted Remain. (The former is key to winning over the long-term disenfranchised Labour voters at risk of voting UKIP, whilst the latter is key to preventing/reversing desertion to the Lib Dems/ Greens/ Blairites (if they form a new Party).)
  2. Opposing Scottish Independence: Jeremy Corbyn will be expected to play a leading role in opposing it, even though in many ways it will play into ‘Real Labour’s’ hands by a) dealing a fatal blow to the Trident Nuclear Weapons, which is the issue the Blairites have chosen to distinguish themselves from Real Labour, and b) dealing a grievous blow to the Tories (due Scottish INDE. being a direct result of them holding the Brexit referendum), all in the run-up to 2020.

With regards to A I believe that Corbyn’s ‘sceptical Remain’ was the right thing to do and puts him in a position to reach out to both Brexit and Remain voters once the ChickenCoup has finally flopped, although it is certainly no easy task.

With Regards to B, I believe Corbyn will somehow find the right stance again, based more on opposing austerity and raising living standards etc. than on the constitutional matter as such, although I do fear that Smith has a point (see link 6) in that Corbyn perhaps underestimates or misunderstands the progressive nationalism of the Scottish Yes Movement.   (I’m glad Smith has raised this actually.)  The weight of Corbyn’s intervention is a big question as it might be enough to actually prevent Independence: his anti-Iraq anti-trident stance carries a lot of weight in Scotland.

Best case scenario: Scotland goes about writing a progressive constitution circa 2019 and Corbyn goes onto to win 2020: happy progressive neighbours going about reforming Britain, and perhaps the EU.  Worst case, Scotland remains in the UK and Corbyn loses 2020, or is deposed beforehand: status quo austerity and war.  If Scotland doesn’t get INDE. and Corbyn wins the next election then all is well enough:

It’s all certainly to play for.

Looking down from Northern England

 

Back in 2015 we were all moving to Scotland. Ed Milliband had just suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of polish-faced Cameron. After years of austerity actually driving the deficit up, the British people voted for more of the same; the combined vote of blue, yellow and purple tories topped 50%, so even proportional representation would not have fundamentally changed the outcome.

Sorry, did I say British? I meant English; there was silver lining to the dark cloud that day; the SNP’s historic landslide North of the border, taking 56 of 59 seats, up from 6. In Scotland they actually had an opposition, an anti-austerity-anti-war party, and one with a track record to prove it. In Scotland, New Labour had been abandoned by the working class due to the Iraq war and ‘austerity-lite’. In Scotland, UKIP had made no inroads, and the Tories were seen as the sick joke they are.

“But if we emigrate, what kind of country will we have as a neighbour?” we wondered.

That depended very much on Labour: Milliband stepped down and a leadership election was triggered, and he was such an abject failure the new leader would have to be significantly different. Would they continue their march to the Right or tack Left? Would they continue chasing the marginals down South or would they secure the heartlands that, in an absence of anything resembling a program to defend majority interests, were being eroded by Tories, UKIP and worse? The former would surely be the end of any kind of hope for a decent future of the country (rUK), but the latter seemed so implausible, being as it was that the Candidate of the few remaining Left-wing Labour MPs were perennially denied their chance in Leadership contests (because the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) had drifted so far to the Right and was able to deny a truly progressive candidate’s nomination).

And then, the implausible happened: Jeremy Corbyn got the 35MPs needed to put his name on the ballot. Corbyn, and Labour Members, have been on a roll ever since:

  1. Corbyn didn’t just win, he won in all categories, he won in all demographics, and he won so convincingly, all his opponents were written off..
  2. There was a surge in Labour Party membership both before and after his election; more than the entire Tory Party.
  3. This surge was accompanied by a surge in participation at the grass-roots.
  4. Corbyn has forced repeated U-turns of the government, both making a difference on the ground and discrediting the Tories as a Government. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/jeremy-corbyns-first-100-days-7044930
  5. Labour has won all by-elections with increased majorities, by swings big enough to win a general election.
  6. Labour lost no councils in the local elections, and gained mayoralties of several major cities, including London.
  7. Corbyn has increased his support amongst the PLP from 20-25 to 40-50. (At least 10 of the original 35 that nominated him came out against him afterwards, whilst some abstained or weren’t present to vote in the recent motion of no confidence.)
  8. Has replaced his ‘broad-church’ Shadow Cabinet (i.e. ridden with Blairites) with a much more progressive, young, female, and (presumably) loyal one.
  9. He has garnered praise and support from both the SNP and the Greens for his performance as part of the Remain campaign, a campaign where leading Tories on both sides were very publicly guilty of fear-mongering and lying out-right (both of them have very quickly been removed from public view [UPDATE: Boris is back, but the ridicule says it all] ).
  10. Corbyn received the backing of a majority of MSPs (whilst the Blairite leader of the Scottish Branch has lost face due to her opposition to him).
  11. Jeremy is now being reported favourably in at least some of the MSM (the Independent: “looking like a Prime Minister”).
  12. Labour has had another surge in Membership (again more than the entire Tory Party), and these ones are outraged at the treatment Corbyn has received both from the MSM and from the PLP, and by the fact they are being denied their vote by the NEC (Labour’s, National Electoral Council).
  13. A campaign to deselect the Blairite 172 MPs that rebelled against his leadership has now gained the backing of a major union: Unite.
  14. The NEC voted in Corbyn’s favour, ruling he does not need the backing of 50MPs to face the challenge against him.
  15. Corbyn is about to win another Leadership election, by an increased margin from a hugely increased membership (his opponents are unknown Blarites, with a poor voting record and no policies, other than supporting trident, which effectively makes them austerity-lite at best).
  16. Attempts to gerrymander the upcoming vote, against clear promises, has provoked a backlash with many paying the money in indignation at such crass attempts to exclude the impoverished.
  17. Is opposing a Prime Minister with a slim majority and the weakest mandate ever: wasn’t elected even by her own party, campaigned to Remain.

This Prime Minister is already facing calls for an early election, calls she herself made to Gordon Brown under identical conditions. She is about to implement article 50 in order to leave the EU, which she opposes. The EU opposes succession, and hence has self-interest in driving a hard bargain, and making an example to others. Scotland opposes it as well, and every week that goes by Scotland aligns itself with Europe and prepares the ground for Inde. II: “Remain means Remain” up there. Down here Corbyn, and the Labour Party, also oppose it, but also are determined to hold her to account over how it’s done. Meanwhile, the consolidation the member’s influence over the Labour Party grows with each fabricated hurdle Corbyn leaps smoothly over. What next? Whatever it is, I have concerns for his security.

Some Interesting Links:

The Party is Over…and both Corbyn and his enemies know it. http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2016/07/14/the-party-is-over/

Is Theresa May Britain’s Mitt Romney?

https://benjaminstudebaker.com/2016/07/14/is-theresa-may-britains-mitt-romney/

This Is What It’ll Take for May to Keep the UK From Going Over the Cliff http://www.huffingtonpost.com/will-hutton/theresa-may-brexit_b_10943550.html?utm_hp_ref=uk&ir=UK&utm_hp_ref=uk

The Brexit Farce and the Headless Chicken-Coup

 

The British establishment have suffered two serious setbacks in rapid succession: The Tories have lost both of their leading figures, caused economic turmoil and empowered secessionist forces in Scotland, whilst the genuinely anti-establishment Leader of the opposition has been massively strengthened through a botched coup attempt.

During the 2015 General Election Cameron promised a referendum ‘on Europe’ to the British electorate, and won a slim majority through doing so. The defeat threw Labour into crisis and the feckless Miliband stepped down, triggering an election for a new leader of the Labour Party. Labour were in such disarray, that somehow a ‘Real Left’ MP (Jeremy Corbyn) was able to gain the backing of the 35 MPs needed to get on the ballot. (In both previous elections for leader John McDonnell [The Real Left candidate at the time] was denied such support, despite, or rather because, his politics resonated strongly with both the Unions and the Members.) With a Real Left candidate to vote for it was no real surprise that Corbyn went onto win, despite what the MSM were spewing at the time, but what was remarkable was both the margin of his victory (59%) and the surge in membership, both before and after (approx. 150,000). Thus the Labour Party membership gained a Leader who represented their views for the first time since Blair took over.

Despite receiving an absolute mauling from the MSM, Corbyn went on to win by-election after by-election with increased majorities, and then won the Local elections in May (which included various Mayoral contests, some by-elections and the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Parliament). These victories denied the prospective ChickenCoupers the pretext they needed to launch their coup, so instead they were forced to wait until after Brexit Referendum.

Corbyn, a life-long euro-sceptic, was forced to campaign for Remain to maintain party unity, and as much distance from the likes of Johnson and Farage as possible. None-the-less, he refused to share a platform with Cameron and his fear-mongering, opting instead for a ‘sceptical Remain’: ‘pro-EU but not as it stands’. Effectively, Corbyn positioned himself, and Labour, so as not to side with either Johnson or Cameron. The 172 used this to declare his Remain campaign a failure and launched their ill-fated coup, with full backing of the MSM.

ChickenCoup Fallout:

  • Corbyn has come out of this ‘smelling of roses’: calm, cool, thick-skinned, measured, magnanimous and looking like a leader, even reported as ‘looking like a Prime Minister’ in the Independent.
  • The Real Left massively strengthened: new progressive Shadow Cabinet, an extra 200,000 (yes, 200,000!) Labour Party Members, and momentum has reported a 100% increase in membership.
  • 10,000 people turned out at Parliament Square with 24 hours’ notice to back Corbyn and 250,000 people signed a petition to do so.
  • The Unions and the CLPs are over-whelming defending Corbyn.
  • The 172 Right-wing Labour MPs are weakened, discredited and facing de-selection.
  • Tom Watson, the Deputy Leader, put himself in the firing-line through his participation in the ChickenCoup.
  • Kezia Dugdale, the Scottish Leader, has lost face as a majority MSPs have come out for Corbyn contrary to her snipes.

Brexit Fallout:

  • Cameron and Johnson, and their associates, ran awful fear-based campaigns that disgusted the electorate.
  • Cameron lost and is stepping down soon.
  • Johnson won, accidentally, and then bottled running for Leader, realising the impossible predicament he would find himself in if he won.
  • Teresa May now looks likely to be next Prime Minister.
  • SNP and the prospects for Independence have been massively strengthened: Scotland now has a Foreign Policy, polls are showing around 60% in favour of INDE., the SNP have legitimate cause for INDE. Ref II, and have reported a membership surge.
  • Northern Ireland has been ‘destabilized’.
  • The UK Economy has suffered, as has Europe’s.
  • The future of the EU is in jeopardy.

The Tories now have a choice between equally horrific and uncharismatic leaders, face a deteriorating economy, a difficult divorce from the EU and Scottish succession; all of which is very obviously and publicly problems of their own creation. On top of that, all the nasty things they have done to everybody really are starting to hit home. There is no way they can relish the prospect of taking on Corbyn, and Sturgeon, under these circumstances, but they have a slim majority and a Prime Minister with no legitimacy. From Right to Left, Young to Old, Destitute to Reasonably well-off, everyone is very upset, and with each passing week the opposition, both North and South of Hadrian’s wall, grows stronger.

Some Links:

For the first time this week, Jeremy Corbyn looked like a Prime Minister, Faduma Hassan,Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/jeremy-corbyn-prime-minister-iraq-war-chilcot-inquiry-labour-party-mps-coup-a7125311.html

Anatomy of a Failed Coup in the UK Labour Party, Richard Seymour, Telesur,http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Anatomy-of-a-Failed-Coup-in-the-UK-Labour-Party-20160707-0009.html

Tory Activists stage ‘painfully embarrassing’ march on Parliament in support of Andrea Leadsom, Tom Marshall, The Evening Standard. http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/tory-activists-stage-painfully-embarrassing-march-on-parliament-in-support-of-andrea-leadsom-a3290256.html

Your Next Prime Minister, Mike Small, Bella Caledonia,http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2016/07/01/your-next-prime-minister/

The Main Danger of Brexit

As some who is ‘educated’, ‘progressive’ and ‘still young’ I find myself on the opposing side of an important political divide. People have the following main points of contention with my pro-Brexit position:

  1. How is cutting-off ourselves from Europe/ The World going to make anything better?
  2. Look at the disgusting people who are on your side!
  3. It’s the working class who will suffer from this.
  4. EU is a good thing: worker’s rights, NHS, etc.
  5. EU is a good thing: free movement of people and immigration.
  6. What about the surge in racial attacks?
  7. Look at the mess we are in now: Pound down, stock-markets down, jobs moving abroad; uncertainty, turmoil.

Many, in light of the above, are cross with Jeremy Corbyn because he didn’t campaign hard enough or well enough for Remain.  My opinion is that this is the real danger of Brexit, because electing a genuinely anti-austerity/war Prime Minister is of more importance than anything else in the UK in the coming period, and I will return to this below. Please consider the following:

  1. The UK integrating with the world has been one of the most destructive phenomena in world history: we plundered for 200 years and then adopted a subordinate role to the US which took over our position as ‘hated empire number 1’. We now work hand in glove with them in the execution of wars to ‘promote democracy’ for ‘humanitarian reasons’.

The UK is the main cheerleader in Europe for wars: it’s status as full member of the EU combined with the US’ ability to lobby at all levels (but especially in Brussels) is extremely effective at coercing the rest of Europe.  The wars waged across the Middle East and North Africa are the cause of the floods of refugees arriving in Europe, whilst the sanctions/wars being waged against Russia are unnecessary, counterproductive and pose and existential threat to humanity.  The EU would be less detrimental to world peace without us.

  1. The IMF, WB, NATO, POTUS, Blair and Cameron: All these institutions/people were firmly on the Remain side, issuing threats to the British public not to vote Leave. This is because their agenda is threatened by Brexit, their agenda being to wage war and force austerity on the planet.   (Furthermore, Johnson and Farage were clearly banking on a narrow defeat so as to bask in a sordid limelight until the next general election… so the case could be made that they were actually on the Remain side all along.)
  1. The working class has been suffering since 1979, yes they will suffer from Brexit but the game is rigged against them; they will suffer either way. To assert that ‘they shouldn’t have voted Brexit because it’s not in their interests’ is to deny that the game is rigged against them, and that denial plays into the hands of the ruling class.  (And therefore, that assertion aligns those who assert it with the ruling class.)
  1. The EU as an institution facilitates US corporate control: the forced privatisation and laws on GMO have enabled US take-overs and imports. Our government is one of the ‘big four’ in the EU, and is the rabid proponent of neo-liberalism (aka Thatcherism). The ground has been laid for the most regressive trade deal ever: TTIP, which threatens the very existence of the NHS and much more we hold dear.  The UK has been instrumental in all of this.

The idea that workers need a European government to protect us from our own government is valid.  However, Europe, and European workers, need protection from us.

  1. The combination of a) austerity economics, b) 100,000s of impoverished people arriving in the UK and c) a vitriolic press whipping up hatred = a very dangerous situation. Already there are not enough jobs to go round, especially decent ones, the government not having pursued policies to create jobs since at least before the 2008, arguably since Thatcher gained power.  Cynical politicians, with the press on their side, are using this situation against the working class, both native and immigrant. The end to the Free Movement of people between the UK and the EU would be a sorry loss, however, short of a radical government in power, the alternative is arguably worse.  And of course, the press does argue this, indeed this is the grain of truth that makes their deceit so convincing to so many people.
  1. Each and every one of these attacks is an absolute travesty; we all need to get the safety pins out and counter the rise of xenophobia. However, if we look at the root causes of these attacks are a result of two things: increasingly desperate living conditions for a majority of the population and a very horrific and dangerous sophistry coming out of the MSM.   The only way to reverse these attacks is to a) redistribute wealth and b) break-up the billionaire’s monopoly of the press.

Furthermore, the fact that the MSM has had such an opportunity to scape-goat immigrants is not due to the result of the referendum, it’s due to the fact we had one in the first place.  You can make the argument that the win for Brexit lead directly to these attacks, but you can’t prove that the attacks would not have been just as bad or worse in the event of a narrow win for Remain: large sections of impoverished people feeling frustrated by a narrow loss (perhaps even a narrow win in England) would likely have led to an increase in racially motivated attacks.  (You only have to look at the, far more responsible, outpouring of grief on the Remain side to imagine what the reverse could have looked like.)

  1. What is happening is the billionaire class are using the corporations and financial instruments at their disposal to punish the working class/the country for voting against their interests. They are trying to shock the British people, and they are trying to de-legitimise the vote, because the last thing they want is the UK actually leaving the EU (because that slackens US control over Europe as points 1-2 address). We should expect the same thing to happen in the event of a Scottish Independence vote, or Corbyn getting elected, or any other democratic event where the people chose an option against the will of the ruling class.  I welcome such turmoil as evidence that the interests of the billionaires, the ruling class, were actually hurt by the vote.  The defeat of Cameron, and Johnson, and the mess the Tories are in now is also testament to the fact that the agenda of billionaires has suffered a setback.

 

I think the danger in all of this, is to lose sight of what’s of vital importance: reverse austerity, stop paying for war.  This is what Jeremy Corbyn has devoted his life to, and seeing such a man gain the high office of an important country is a nightmare scenario for the ruling class.  They will stop at nothing to destroy him, and one of their current ploys is to discredit his ability to campaign for a worthy cause.  To believe this, to believe Jeremy Corbyn is incapable of running and effective general election campaign, is to fall into a trap.  Every person who believes this, if it means they withhold even a little bit of support for Jeremy Corbyn, weakens the prospects of seeing a genuinely anti-austerity and anti-war Prime Minister.  Join Labour, consider joining Momentum, get involved, don’t buy into any MSM, support alternative media instead.

If not now then when?

The Labour Party: Awakening from its Slumber.

The #ChickenCoup is backfiring dramatically, with Corbyn now strengthened by:

  1. A Progressive Shadow Cabinet (Anti-trident, anti-austerity)
  2. 10,000 demonstrators in Parliament Square (they ll be back at a moment’s notice)
  3. 230,000 signatures (and rising)
  4. Another membership surge (both Labour, 60,000, and Momentum)
  5. Progressive MPs: Caroline Lucas defended Corbyn’s performance for Remain, SNP attacked the 172.
  6. The BBC! (Kind of.)

Eagle is hesitating to make the challenge, no-one else seems up for it.  And the 172 MPs are now in very real danger of losing their jobs, through de-selection.  Tom Watson could well lose his position at the end of all this as well.  Sum total is that the members are set to take control of their Party.

The Tories meanwhile…

Boris read my blog (http://mxmagpie.uk/2016/06/20/why-brexit/) and realised he better not stand for leader of the Tory Party, because he was screwed if he did.   I cant help but think the Gove’s move was covering-fire for Johnson backing-out, and the plan now is that May takes over and makes him Brexit minister.

Still she is going to be caught between an EU/ Opposition leader/ General Public/ Press demanding activation of article 50….and a Parliament (and a General Public) wanting to stay in the EU.  Everyone is very upset and it’s going to take some creativity and charisma to placate even some of them.

Come September, there will be loud calls for a general election.  They don’t have to hold one, and with a resurgent Corbyn consolidating the members control over a growing and awaking Labour Party, they wont want to…

But with an illegitimate leader presiding over a divided party with a slim majority they might have to; an upsurge in strikes and protests this winter is seems likely if they don’t.

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?