The EU – do we stay or do we go?

Philip Roddis

For years I’ve called myself a peg-on-nose Remainer. While many fellow Remainers strike me as naive, deluded on the nature of the EU and frequently contemptuous to boot, my bottom line is that until Left Leavers show how Brexit can be a gain in the here and now for British workers,[1] I don’t see how leaving that bankers’ club can be other than a de facto alignment with the most hideous currents in Britain today.

Which is hardly a ringing endorsement of the EU. Nor do I share Yanis Varoufakis’s view that our best option is to seek its reform from within. Though his understanding is deep and, of course, painfully experiential, I deem his diem25 project the clutching at straws of a drowning man.[2] As I put it in a post in April:

an EU predicated on neoliberalism in a predatory global order can no more be reformed than can the US Empire

So what might bring about a re-evaluation of my position?

A major realignment of class forces in Britain is what. This side of a pre-revolutionary situation in the West, something not seen in my lifetime – from Paris ’68 to Occupy to gilets jaunes – the most likely indicator would be the emergence of a powerful voice with a grasp of the true, take-no-prisoners nature of capitalism. That rules out neo-Blairites, Greens[3] and Lib Dems.

The voice I have in mind has the capacity to reach out to those most shafted, by everything the EU actually stands for, with a nuanced but unequivocal statement of the Left case against it.

That, and a plan to stop Leave being a green light for reaction. One that can be adapted by anti EU progressives across the member states, including the only winners, Germany and Holland, from the eurozone project.

And, quite important this, one that does not conjure up rabbits from hats, or otherwise insult my intelligence.

Such are the uncertainties of our times, I can’t say whether that’s a pipe dream or just round the corner. I can say this much, though. Like its sister currents in Europe, it must have deep roots in the organised working class. That may not mean Labour in its current form, of which more in a moment, but will include the socialist wings of that party and the trade union movement.

It will also include those on the far left, among them some of the ablest thinkers on the planet, who are willing to let go of sectarianism.

*

With Labour’s Leavers jumping ship faster than its Remainers – gone the heady days of 2015/16; gone the highpoint of June 2017 – where does it now stand? Many Left Remainers say its leader has let them down.

For those who see Brexit of any kind, and under any circumstances, as a calamity of Biblical dimensions, his crime was refusal to commit unconditionally to Remain.

I’ve said in this post and others how colossally uninformed I find that, given the actual nature of the EU as distinct from Remainer fantasies about it, but will add that it assumes a top down party undivided. In its ignorance of how political parties work, it relegates PLP, NEC and every branch member to the status of mere instruments of the will of He Who Must Be Obeyed.

It also ignores the cry of anguish from millions of Leavers in the heartlands, but why bring that up? The Remainers who never heard that cry, and they are many, are unlikely to hear it now.

Then there are far left Leavers who say Corbyn sides with a ruling class whose dominant wing does not, whatever centre-left Remainers may think, want Brexit. They say he has thrown in his lot with Lib Dems, europhile Tories, Greens, SNP and such other Westminster elements as can be rallied beneath the banner of stopping hard – and perhaps any form of – Brexit.

I’ve some sympathy with that criticism, when couched in terms of the limits to ‘parliamentary socialism’.[4] But two problems won’t go away. One is my conviction that the referendum result, while hugely significant as indicator of how millions feel, is worthless in narrow electoral terms. (See footnote 1 to Last night in the House.)

It may not be invoked, least of all by socialists, as a sacred covenant. The other is the failure of any Lexiteer of my acquaintance, and I’ve spoken to a good few, to point to anything in the here and now that offers realistic hope of a Left Brexit.

But I’m beginning to repeat myself.

Unlike the forces tearing the Conservatives apart, what is now splitting the Labour Party is not Brexit as such. It is the deep divisions informing it.

On June 9, 2016 – just a fortnight before the Referendum – I wrote, in a post headed Labour’s Problems are Britain’s Problems, that:

Neither Corbyn nor neo-Blairites are well posed to win a general election. Blair pulled it off in ’97 not just because he had ‘moderate’ policies, JFK appeal and an electorate tired of the tories. He won because now discredited trickledown economics made a “3rd Way” seem plausible, and allowed the C1/C2 vote to be tapped without alienating D/Es.

His subsequent two wins were with shrinking majorities despite a Conservative Party in disarray under leaders chosen not for electoral appeal but stance on Europe. (Ken Clarke would have posed a more credible challenge to New Labour than Howard, IDS or Hague could ever do.) New Labour ‘realists’ dream fondly of a charismatic leader with centrist policies to woo Middle England and return the party to the glory days. Not possible.

… Britain’s fault lines have deepened … In an increasingly Disunited Kingdom a party may appeal to Middle England or burgeoning underclass but not both; not in sufficient numbers to win elections. The C1/C2s … [have always been able to vote] Tory or Lib-Dem while D/Es, long held to have no alternative to Labour, now have SNP, Ukip and (we can predict) parties further to the right. That Corbyn has such huge grass roots support, and near zero PLP backing, is more a reflection of our fragmented society than of a uniquely Labour problem. Ditto the fact not one of the frontbench rebels voted against the 2015 Welfare Bill.

I’ve seen nothing – not even Labour’s electrifying response to Theresa May’s miscalculation of June 2017 – to change that view, and much to reinforce it. Parliamentary socialism, even of the most insincere kind, seems done for. Not through the shortcomings of this leader or that.

Not because its programme isn’t Left enough, or too far Left. It seems done for because Britain is broken by a fracture forty years in the making. A fracture threatening both of the parties which have dominated the UK for close to a century, especially and more immediately a Labour Party now obliged to woo liberal progressives without abandoning what were once its heartlands.

Can’t be done.

The Tories are under existential threat too – ask Philip Hammond … Amber Rudd … Ken Clarke … John Major – but their agonies are bound more tightly, and over a much longer period, with Europe. What’s more their recovery, once the dust settles on Brexit, is more easily envisaged.

Their fortunes interest me little, however, and I’ll speak no more of them here.

*

What does any of this have to do with the conditions for a principled switch from peg-on-nose Remainer to enthusiastic – or careful but committed – Leaver? I’m nearly there but let me first summarise the conundrum as set out in this and other posts:

The EU is a capitalist/imperialist club, and as such antithetical to the interests of workers.

This state of affairs cannot be changed from within.

The Leave voice of reaction – let’s call it Rexit – is so strong, so long established, as to have drowned out that of Lexit. Under current circumstances, which may change, a Left led Brexit is no more achievable than EU reform.

Given these realities, here is what would flip me into the Lexit camp:

Recognition by significant numbers within the Labour movement that the circumstances in which Labour was able to gain office during the long postwar boom are gone forever.

Said recognition to galvanise precisely the Lexit movement I refer to.[5] The difficulties can hardly be overstated. Past efforts to build a real socialist movement, with deep roots in the organised working class – without which it is doomed to join all the other sects and failed projects littering the Left landscape – leave a sobering legacy. Anyone remember a chap named Arthur Scargill (he walked on water, you know) or his Socialist Party?

The emergence – as consequence, in tandem with or as driver of the above – of similarly rooted tendencies across the member states.

I see these things as unlikely but, precisely because of the turbulence in the Western world, not to be ruled out. I’m with the ghost of Jean Paul Sartre – looking to the future not with pessimism but stern optimism.

In the meantime, may I recommend you spend the next thirty-five minutes of your life hearing what Costas Lapavitsas has to say? Like Yanis Varoufakis he is an economics professor. Like Yanis he has taught (and still does) in London. Like Yanis he was in the Syriza government and saw at first hand the true nature of the EU. Like Yanis he is highly intelligent and extraordinarily articulate. Unlike Yanis he does not believe the EU can be reformed.

NOTES:-

[1] By ‘workers’ I refer not to quaint folk in cloth caps and clogs clanging down cobbled streets at dawn to t’mill. I refer to all whose only means of satisfying the material conditions of existence is to sell their labour power, skilled or unskilled, on markets they have no control over. Chances are that’s you. And chances are – tact never was my strong suit – you haven’t grasped the extent to which those who own serious capital are, regardless of how they see things, aligned objectively with the drivers of staggering inequality, actual war on an imperialised world, potential war with rival powers, and environmental catastrophe.

[2] Costas Lapavitsas hits the nail on the head. Those on the Left who say the EU can be reformed have given up on socialism. They now look instead to the utopian dream of a kinder capitalism. This is to misunderstand, profoundly, the nature of the beast.

[3] One indicator of the naivity of many Left-Remainers is their seizing on Green window dressing. Like children yet to learn that shop-keepers, even subjectively honest ones, aren’t reliable guides to the quality of their wares, they pay too much heed to what is said, too little to what is done. Easily impressed, they float into the Green Party on the basis of programmes whose pull, after environmentalism, is Remain with a dash of anti austerity. Astute shoppers look for objective indicators.

In Germany the Greens joined a neo-liberal coalition to vote for the Afghanistan war, in Ireland a right wing government that cut healthcare and benefits, while in Britain’s local councils they have voted for austerity measures.

This is not to say the Green Party is insincere. Rather, that any opposition to ‘austerity’ not grounded in deep understanding of the nature of capitalism will always – like parliamentary socialism – capitulate when the going gets tough. NB such realities do not lessen my willingness to work with Green activists, many of whom I hold in the highest regard, on the most pressing issue of our time: capitalism’s war on nature.

[4] I have no sympathy whatsoever with ad hominem attacks – from the Left as much as the Right – on a man with an unrivalled record of siding with the oppressed against the oppressor; a man of rare personal integrity.

[5] Worth noting in this context is that even a non revolutionary but radical restructuring of UK capitalism – tilted away from financial and other services toward manufacturing – would require huge levels of state investment. Levels which neither EU rules nor its economically liberal raison d’etre permit of a member state.

can you spare $1.00 a month to support independent media

Unlike the Guardian we are NOT funded by Bill & Melinda Gates, or any other NGO or government. So a few coins in our jar to help us keep going are always appreciated.

Our Bitcoin JTR code is: 1JR1whUa3G24wXpDyqMKpieckMGGW2u2VX

0 0 votes
Article Rating
151 Comments
newest
oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Paolo
Paolo
Oct 9, 2019 5:19 PM

I am sorry but the UK electorate have proven themselve time and time again too wilfully ignorant and self defeating to do anything but vote Tories into power (Blair included). The EU (neoliberal shit club that it is) actually acts as a brake or limiter on the guffawing brazen excesses of the Tories, and thus Brexit, much as i can understand the reasons, is a no brainer. If you want the NHS sold off to Pfizer, GM crops growing out of your bumcracks then go ahead, get behind Boris and Nige, and i will laugh at your moronic lemming like stupidity and will watch fascinated as you jump off the cliff that you so richly fucking deserve.

Nick
Nick
Sep 28, 2019 8:53 AM

The other is the failure of any Lexiteer of my acquaintance, and I’ve spoken to a good few, to point to anything in the here and now that offers realistic hope of a Left Brexit.

This misses the point completely.
There’s no such thing as a “Left Brexit” or a “Right Brexit”. The whole point of Brexit is that after Britain leaves the EU, UK Parliamentary elections will become meaningful again. We will get left-wing policies or right-wing policies depending on the MPs we elect to Westminster.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Sep 16, 2019 11:00 AM

For these who doubt that there was only one type of brexit planned – HARD – and still is here is the latest ‘advice’ of Jolyon QC and the shoddy attempts of the centrists in parliament to enable it via their jolly wheeze of pretending to stop it.

‘There is a flaw in the European Union (Withdrawal) (No.2) Act 2019 (the “Benn Act“) and, if MPs want to avoid us leaving without a deal, they may need to take counter-measures.

The flaw arises in circumstances where the Prime Minister brings a Withdrawal Agreement (“WA”) to Parliament for approval. And it arises from the mismatch between the provisions of the Benn Act and those of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (the “2018 Act“).’

https://waitingfortax.com/2019/09/15/the-flaw-in-the-benn-act/

The City will do ANYTHING to escape…

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Sep 16, 2019 3:06 AM

BREXIT is certainty and is most wholeheartedly baked-into-the-cake of the collapse & decoupling stage of Late Stage Ponzi Capitalism [see Minsky] but the Neoliberal regime of EU elite that have acclimatized themselves to the backstroke in the public trough of Brussels finance capture & misallocation of discretionary & disposable income of the indentured into servitude class of disenfranchised UK citizenry does not actually give a damn what the useful idiot class of the UK even thinks about their financial largesse or the way they lord it over others.

The union that supports the entire EU finance architecture is an insolvent amalgam of financial reprobates that are just poised to learn the invaluable lessons of insolvency at the continental level that will financially annihilate that imperfect union and render it unsustainable in light of the lower bound Central Bank Interest Rate regime that fails to undergird the shifting sands of the financial substrate that it was built upon in 1999 by the ever incompetent Goldman Sachs crew of financial miscreants that were unleashed to fudge the books of Greece just enough to get their incompetence into the mix for the expected & predicted Zero Sum end game of global deflation.

Queen Elizabeth II asked the top bankster slimedouchery in England why their functionaries involved in Finance were unable to foresee the Great Financial Crisis of 08 brewing beforehand and the reply came weeks later when they responded to her majesty Queen Elizabeth II with the admission that they lacked the collective creativity to foresee the crash beforehand.

Queen Elizabeth II should have had the temerity to then require their resignations en masse and fire the faculty of Oxford University as well as the Deans that think they are untouchable just like The City swindlers used to think they were untouchable too.

Hard BREXIT is payment for financial ignorance across the EU and the deal that brought that union of greater fools into global financial ill repute thanks to the oversight committee at Goldman Sachs and their ever popular brain trust that bought their finance degrees from degree mills for a couple of bucks.

In the future, the very financially ignorant of the United Kingdom should not be teaching Economics at Oxford University. The overindulged & financially incompetent Oxford Deans of Finance should be dismissed outright with no pensions and certain fixed short term dates with the Queen’s own hangman just for good measure and a proactive stance for future lecturers in Finance at Oxford University.

MOU

Peter
Peter
Sep 17, 2019 9:34 AM

MOU Very true, but as the old song go’s “it’s the rich wot’s gets the pleasure and it’s the poor wot’s gets the blame.

After 2008. the central banks [who did work collectively in 2008, by dropping the bank lending rate to 0.5%. Should have waited for two or three years [announcing before hand] that they would start collectively to raise % rates to their historic levels over a 3-4 year period say 0.25% per quarter.

This would have prevented the need for QE going on as long as it did, it would have repaired the banks balance sheets allowing them to pay back their collective debt, and lastly the saver/pensioners who live on their % from saving would have started to spend.

What we have now is a cycle of borrowing to spend which is fine till % rates rise and the debt becomes un-repayable and the music stops.

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Sep 17, 2019 2:06 PM
Reply to  Peter

I fully agree with you on implementation of quantitative tightening before it got out of hand on the lower bound. They should have raised rates two years before they did raise it. Now that electoral rounds are here again the CB is accommodating The Duck but not the banks or fixed income retirees that can no longer save anything.

I also agree that if the CB raises rates it will reveal government itself swimming naked like 99% of all populations too. Greenspan should have realized the instability he was creating with his Greenspan Put asset inflator running for decades without letup.

Paul Volcker was the only responsible adult around the central bank table that has demonstrated financial knowhow & financial fiduciary duty to ‘we the people’. Greenspan destroyed the entire world with his lack of knowledge.

I was raised by a CA and I’m pretty upset about the central bankers and their lack of education. Only Volcker has acted responsibly out of the whole lot of them. The only surprise was that Mr. Yellen was actually not that bad compared to Powell.

cheers, MOU

Peter
Peter
Sep 15, 2019 2:06 PM

“Anyone remember a chap named Arthur Scargill (he walked on water, you know) or his Socialist Party?”

Yes i remember Arthur Scargill. To this day i believe that he was in the pay of Mrs Thatcher and big business. Why?

He called a strike in late Spring, Coal stocks at the Pits and the Power Stations were at an all time high. Not to forget a] there was coal stocks bought and paid for [ready for delivery in Poland and France] and b] the demand for electricity falls from late spring on, only starts to rise in the Autumn.

Yes you could say that that Mr Scargill was foolish, Mrs T had prepared well and goaded Mr S into a early strike. But i don’t think Mr S is foolish, and yes Mrs T had memories of how the Miners defeated Ted Heath, so had prepared well [it was common knowledge at the time].

The strike started in late Spring, but only with the Yorkshire NUM. The Nottingham and Lancashire NUM would only support the strike, if and when a National NUM Ballot took place. Mr S would not allow it? Remember a house divided is well on the way to being defeated.

So after a long summer strike, coal stocks where still high at the end of the summer, the remaining NUM branches reluctantly came out on strike [they already had an overtime ban in place.] The Electricity supply workers could not support their action [no national ballot had taken place and Industrial legislation brought in prevented this, placing the Union in a position were they might be liable for fines and made to pay compensation.

The subsequent Blair led labour government promised to scrap this legislation [ but in 18 year in office never did] Then again Blair’s main mentor was Mrs T?

So Autumn turned to winter, and winter turned to spring and after twelve months the strike action was starting to have some sort of affect. But at what cost? The NUM’s funds were at an all time low, the miners savings had gone and miners and their families were starting to feel the deprivation. Summer came [and a long hot summer at that] and the strike dragged on.

I am not saying that the miners were starved back, but their families paid a hard price. So some of the hard pressed miners started to a] try to find legitimate work elsewhere of b] went back to work [scabs was the most polite word s they were called] to this day there is bitterness within mining communities. So with this more and more miners gave up till in the end the NUM had to agree to call off the strike and go back to work.

Yes, the coal industry then started its rapid decline, and eventual shut down. Not due to the fact the coal had run out [there is still plenty of coal left] But the Political decision [to crush the trade unions] and open the nationalised industry’s for their subsequent sell-off [at knock down prices] not to mention the trashing of environmental legislation. The NCB was prevented from open cast mining, but the successor [in Mrs T husbands hands?] was allowed to open cast mine. Not to forget even to this day the allowing of fracking [with its risk to damaging the countries water supplies] is allowed to carry on? Some local councils heroically try to prevent it, but after pressure from central government and the threat of legal action and compensation claims, have to back down.

Yes Mr Roddis i remember Mr Arthur Scargill, it is just a pity, not many do.

The Miners strike, was the catalyst for the destruction of the [true] labour movement and [true] socialist values. The sell of State assets, and the de-industrialisation of Britain. The rapid rise of the open Globalisation, now complete in the UK [ we just flip burgers, work in call-centres, warehouses and shuffle paper]

I remember, but i am to old to do anything about it, as long as i continue to draw my pension? I just watch from the side lines, i may rabbit on in my local Wetherspoons about this and that. It is now up to others to either adapt to the modern day and make the best of it. Things are to established to change things. My favourite saying what we are heading for in the Britain, and the west is the 1930’s, but with in-door toilets.

William
William
Sep 17, 2019 9:42 AM
Reply to  Peter

Excellent post Peter…that’s how I remember it too

Steve Hayes
Steve Hayes
Sep 15, 2019 11:43 AM

If I understood this article correctly, they author wants to Remain in the anti-democratic European Union unless he can be sure that leaving will result in a socialist transformation of British society.

Wilmers31
Wilmers31
Sep 15, 2019 6:30 AM

“….. in Britain’s local councils they have voted for austerity measures.”

The immense costs for war participation make austerity mandatory. And they do not stop when the war is over – veterans require care for 50 years after they return.

Britain is a prickly member in the EU. If the EU is to survive, Britain must get out. When EU difficulties have settled down, Britain can re-apply if that is their wish. But Britain must experience freedom for about 20 years.

William
William
Sep 17, 2019 9:51 AM
Reply to  Wilmers31

Freedom to do what ?…bouncing around the world looking for scraps of trade deals and it’s populace desperately trying to compete with third word wages?

Ken Kenn
Ken Kenn
Sep 14, 2019 11:38 PM

The EU is a Bosses Club – who knew?

The EU is a Bosses Club with a Social State and a Welfare State ( for now) .

The other two ‘ Clubs ‘ are made up of the BRICS – who aren’t interested in the spoiling tactics of non material trade and the other (the US ) gave up on material trade years ago and decided to coupon clip instead.

So – in a bourgouise choice I only have a choice of the worst three.

Corbyn’s pre Referendum announcement was to reform and remain.

The Leavers won and Corbyn being the most democratic and sincere believer in Parliamentary Democracy ( like Tony Benn ) said we have to respect the decision to leave.

But in what way?

Unless we all want to jump off the planet and opt out of Globalisation then we have no other choice but to pick a side with one of the three trading blocs.

How the hell George Galloway and others thought they would be consulted re : how the UK leaves the EU when this is a right wing Brexit – not a left one is beyond me?

In a globalised worlds there is no way that the UK can build its own ships/aircraft/ steelwork its tech etc etc and operate outwith the global economy – that’s crazy.

What is required is trading alliances with others separate and apart form the Giant Squid called the US.

Get away from thatworldwide armlock and maybe ( no guarantees ) just maybe the UK could find its proper and revised position in the world?

Learn to trade in a different way.

Meaning ditch the US and we might just get somewhere.

The EU is nasty but the US is worse.

Lesser evils and all that for now until the revolt.

jenny 234
jenny 234
Sep 14, 2019 7:46 PM

If I remember correctly, the electorate voted to LEAVE the EU – what’s so difficult?

Wazdo
Wazdo
Sep 14, 2019 4:41 PM

I voted to remain because our son works in a factory one third to a half of their products are bought by companies in the EU and I wanted him to keep his job. If we come out, or should that be when, he will quite likely to be made redundant. All his workmates voted leave. Here, in the Black Country, 70% voted leave even when it was pointed out to them that they could lose their jobs.

He and his wife will then have to sell their house at a much lower price than they bought it for (property prices will plummet), and will probably be unable to pay off their mortgage.

But hey ho leave is fine and I guess I’m just being selfish.

Butties
Butties
Sep 14, 2019 6:15 PM
Reply to  Wazdo

Your guess is correct.

William
William
Sep 17, 2019 9:54 AM
Reply to  Butties

Are either you or Mark below likely to suffer any discomfort?

Butties
Butties
Sep 17, 2019 10:08 PM
Reply to  William

I don’t know how Brexit will affect me personally, I don’t have a crystal ball, there may be downsides personally or there may not.
However such concerns are way down the list of important issues that remaining in the EU raise and which trump anything personal IMHO.
Having unelected, irremovable persons controlling our armed forces and nuclear deterrent is high on the list.
No job can be considered secure for life these days (other than those in the (non productive) echelons of the elite). If being in the EU ensures your job is secure view this review re EU Job creation in UK
There is of course NATO and EU expansionism, the Balkens conflict, what happened in the Ukraine are higher up the list than my personal issues of job security. The EU and NATO are joined at the hip see NATO EU Statement for example.

I maintain that Wazdo’s guess was in fact correct.

mark
mark
Sep 15, 2019 5:30 AM
Reply to  Wazdo

Property prices will plummet. Terrible. Won’t be able to pay 500k for a grubby sub standard 1 bed London flat any more. How will I cope?

Theo
Theo
Sep 14, 2019 4:21 PM

BTW Germany doesn’t print Euros because only the ECB can.The German Bundesbank often opposed ECB monetary policies but had no influence.Neither has any German ever presided over the ECB.

Graft
Graft
Sep 14, 2019 7:28 AM

Stop being a Pussy roddis and leave leave leave

Stephen Morrell
Stephen Morrell
Sep 14, 2019 4:57 AM

Apologies for length.

The EU has always been made out to be more than what it really is, with some going so far as to claim that it’s the prototypical beginnings to a ‘Unites States of Europe’. Many leftists, ‘pegs on their noses’ notwithstanding, might even say it’s a step in an ‘internationalist’ direction. To think that is to claim the EU is not just another imperialist cartel.

Below are ten reasons in principle for why the EU is a bad thing, and Brexit a good thing deserving support. These aren’t comprehensive but they don’t depend on particular alignments of political conjunctures, forces, scenarios or exigencies:

1. The EU is the means for German capital to dominate the other European capitals in order to better compete against rival US and Japanese capitals. To support EU membership means supporting one imperialist cartel against rival imperialists.

2. EU membership is a direct attack on the remaining vestiges democracy of all EU member countries. Through the euro and its fiscal rules, the EU makes all member governments more completely subservient to (mainly) German finance capital.

Tony Benn, the British Labour Party’s most prominent left-social democrat at the time and mentor of Jeremy Corbyn, was against the EU, albeit chiefly from a narrow ‘little Englander’ point of view of the EU undermining what democracy as exists in the English ‘mother of all parliaments’. He was right, but his protege hasn’t offered any arguments to the counter that position.

Concretely, EU membership means that the populations of EU member countries can’t meaningfully vote in national elections for candidates that might infringe on any EU financial/fiscal regulations, for example to run budget deficits that exceed 3% of GDP or carry a total government debt exceeding 60% of GDP; or re-nationalise vital infrastructure (sorry Jeremy, you can’t re-nationalise British Rail and still oppose Brexit); or refuse to implement savage austerity policies to pay off German bondholders (eg, Greece).

3. The only EU member that can run a significant budget deficit is Germany because it can print euros, while other member states living under the euro are forced to borrow from the ECB (really the German banks) under strict terms. In order to pay their debts to the German bondholders these subject countries are forced to savagely cut their budgets and to impose even more barbaric neoliberal economic policies to shift the debt burden to the working class and poor. They don’t have the option of devaluing their currency or ‘quantitative easing’ by printing more money. A major source of sovereignty is thus erased if a country’s central bank can’t even issue its own currency or set its value against other currencies.

4. Leaving aside the fact that the ‘free’ movement of labour is subject to the even freer movement of capital in the EU, this comes at a price that is clear but no-one wants to acknowledge it. The poorer European countries provide a pool of cheap labour that can be used for German corporations, and to a lesser extent French ones, to better compete with the US and Japan — not least by lowering living standards and working conditions of German and French workers.

To help this along, the diktats of the EU are being enforced inside the working class by the trade union bureaucracies and mass reformist workers parties of Europe, of which the UK Labour Party and German SPD are prime examples. The latter in 2005, in alliance with the bourgeois Greens, rammed through the Hartz IV laws and Agenda 2010 that gutted numerous social welfare provisions, and as a result Germany now has a two- and three-tiered workforce. In fact, ‘Hartz IV’ has become the current German term for the lumpenproletariat, and 55% of Hartz IV recipients are foreign born.

The poorer European countries with their reserve army of cheap labour thus have been used as a battering ram for lower wages and conditions inside the dominant EU imperial power itself. It’s not just influxes of desperate refugees from Middle East and African countries ruined by US and European imperialist depredations fuelling the rise of fascism in Europe. The EU does it inherently.

5. Support for the break-up of the UK (eg, independence for Scotland and Wales), which is a good thing, is inconsistent with opposition to Brexit. The same arguments against Brexit apply to opposing Scottish and Welsh independence.

6. The majority of bourgeois politicians on the ground support the EU and are horrified that their ‘own’ people don’t also love the EU. That they’ve used the EU to justify austerity and more, all but painting the EU as the ‘bad guy’ like in a protection racket (‘if you don’t do as we say, this far more evil goon over here will come and break your knees’), doesn’t even register with them as a reason for working class hostility to the EU. British deindustrialisation may have commenced before the EU, before Thatcher even, but it was accelerated by the EU.

The majority vote for Brexit, which no bourgeois or EU supporter acknowledges, wasn’t simply reactionary nationalism. A lot of it was the working class and the oppressed simply saying ‘fuck you, we’ve had enough; we’re no longer prepared to have our jobs and lives ruined by bondholders, coupon clippers, currency speculators and junk bond bundlers’.

The EU has served and continues to serve as a bogeyman-roadblock to any meaningful social reforms. Undermining, destabilising and otherwise removing the EU as a political factor will allow workers and the oppressed to more effectively take on their ‘own’ oppressors. The Brexit vote was a shot across the bows.

7. Support for Grexit is inconsistent with opposition to Brexit. Most Greeks favour Grexit, and no-one claims Grexit is a predominantly reactionary, nationalist movement. Yet it’s likely many if not most anti-Brexiters support Grexit.

8. The same imperialist cartel dominates the EU, albeit with different inter-imperial power relations, as in the Common Market and EEC. Germany’s dominance and resurgence as an imperialist force was based on its annexation of East Germany and the restoration of capitalism there, which the Maastricht treaty signified. But is the purpose of the EU fundamentally different from the EEC? Does it exist to ‘unite’ Europe into a common ‘culture’ perhaps? A ‘social Europe’?

The Greeks, Portuguese, Irish, Spanish et al. might find all that hard to swallow, especially when they’re asked to endure austerity to repay loans to the ECB, and to suffer double digit unemployment and generalised impoverishment just to abide by EU neoliberal rules. German workers may not agree either. ‘Social Europe’ my arse.

On the other hand, if one understands that the capitalist rulers don’t change their fundamental outlook one iota, then the main reasons for the EU’s existence are the same as before: to maximise profits at the expense of all of Europe’s working classes, including the German working class; and to improve competitiveness against the EU’s main economic rivals, Japan and the US.

9. If the EU were one of the ‘Free Trade’ pacts like those being pushed by the US (eg, TPP), everyone would know to oppose them because, despite their secrecy, they clearly place member states under an onerous and unaccountable international corporate tyranny. The EU’s fraudulent European ‘Parliament’ serves precisely as a ‘democratic’ fig leaf and rubber stamp for a very similar arrangement.

10. As for the notion of a ‘United States of Europe’ implicit in the pleadings of the most ‘progressive’ supporters of the EU, Marxists would counter that under conditions of imperialism that this is a thoroughly reactionary slogan. As Lenin put it: “In this sense [ie, of temporary agreements between capitalists and/or states] a United States of Europe is possible as an agreement between the European capitalists…but to what end? Only for the purpose of jointly suppressing socialism in Europe, of jointly protecting colonial booty against Japan and America” — ‘On the slogan for a United States of Europe’ [August 1915].

Nothing much has changed in 104 years: the ‘social Europe’ of the EU is essentially the same. In short, the EU must go, and Brexit would be a good first step to that end.

George Cornell
George Cornell
Sep 14, 2019 1:14 PM

You remind me of a kindergarten teacher who says on a report card “ Does not play well with others”. That’s you. Your very dark view of the EU, tinged with racial slurs, epitomizes why you should leave. But it’s not enough for you to leave, you maliciously want the EU to fail as well. Well you can just take Jimmy Carr’s second vegetarian option. And just think you can invade more Iraqs, destroy the lives of more innocents, and render and torture without having to listen to human voices. Cuddle up with Pompeo and his ilk, after all success within the EU is so threatening to your fragile unproductive egos with your ample streak of superiority complex. Go for it. You are a bad global citizen. And your politics would make any dictator snort. Good riddance.

Stephen Morrell
Stephen Morrell
Sep 14, 2019 2:52 PM
Reply to  George Cornell

Your report card, from 4th form not kindy, reads, “Does not argue well with others. Should address points raised, but if unable to, then learn to direct ad hominem attacks against self.”

George Cornell
George Cornell
Sep 14, 2019 2:55 PM

Says Stephen Morrell, addressing none of the points raised , searching for pseudo-attractive sound bites with not a hint of self-insight.

Laguerre
Laguerre
Sep 15, 2019 4:26 PM

A lot of Germanophobia, and ignorance of the EU, there. Large numbers of the Brexiter half-truths trolled out again. Just one example: there isn’t a plan for a ‘United States of Europe’, as Brexiters like to inaccurately claim. Some people like the idea, others don’t, but it’s not in the programme. It’s not workable, because of individual state nationalism. But for you standard Brexiters, you claim it is a done deal. Why don’t you bother to actually learn something about the EU?

Stephen Morrell
Stephen Morrell
Sep 15, 2019 10:02 PM
Reply to  Laguerre

I made no claim that there was any ‘plan’ for a United States of Europe. The notion has been around for a long time, since the 15th century, and as indicated by the 1915 quote from Lenin. Sometimes it’s been raised as a slogan by various groups. I would support a United States of Europe if they were workers states and the people of each desired it. It more likely would begin as a Socialist Federation of Europe or somesuch.

As for the Germanophobia accusation, it would be Francophobia if France were the dominant imperial power in the EU, or Anglophobia if Britain was. They’re imperialist powers, each has blood on its hands, and exploitation of the globe is always in the plans of each. There’s no phobia in stating the economic interests, motives or machinations of this or that imperialist power. Not German, French or British people. Their ruling classes.

To say that the EU is a tool of a dominant German imperialism is an uncomfortable fact, probably not more so than for their French imperialist rivals.

mark
mark
Sep 14, 2019 3:59 AM

Why do we have to play by our masters rules all the time and constantly play their game of lesser evils?

Laguerre
Laguerre
Sep 15, 2019 4:29 PM
Reply to  mark

Yes, I don’t know why we obey our Tory Brexiter masters.

RobG
RobG
Sep 14, 2019 12:38 AM

Well, at least you acknowledge the EU for what it is, but you still don’t seem to acknowledge neo-liberalism in a worldwide sense.

Revolution is coming (and is already happening in places like France).

Be very afraid, my friend.

Laguerre
Laguerre
Sep 15, 2019 4:32 PM
Reply to  RobG

There’s no likelihood of revolution in France. It’s revolution in Britain, as a consequence Brexit, which is the real danger.

Doctortrinate
Doctortrinate
Sep 13, 2019 10:48 PM

Brexit = another model of managed change with warped suggestions that remotly agitate the rank and file into mousetrap participation where all roads circle to a predetermined outcome .

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig
Sep 13, 2019 10:22 PM

Another ringer from Philip!

The Leave voice of reaction – let’s call it Rexit – is so strong, so long established, as to have drowned out that of Lexit. Under current circumstances, which may change, a Left led Brexit is no more achievable than EU reform.

Well, once Brexit’s over, it becomes the proverbial fait accompli, and you could then put it behind you and work on winning a parliamentary election for the left. How about that?

NB such realities do not lessen my willingness to work with Green activists, many of whom I hold in the highest regard, on the most pressing issue of our time: capitalism’s war on nature.

I would frankly prioritize capitalism’s war on us. Once we nature-lovers are gone, who’s going to fight for the environment?

Tom
Tom
Sep 13, 2019 7:23 PM

“The EU is a capitalist/imperialist club, and as such antithetical to the interests of workers.”

Odd then that EU nations have the best workers’ rights in the world. And that the EU has never invaded anyone, indeed has fostered peace among previously wartorn nations.
Wouldn’t a ‘capitalist/imperialist club’ be more like the USA? And funnily enough, the vast majority of politicians who support the hardest break with the EU are indeed right-wing Tories with close links to the far-right American politicians and the intelligence agencies.
So the article makes almost no sense in view of these points.

George Cornell
George Cornell
Sep 13, 2019 8:54 PM
Reply to  Tom

Well-spotted, Tom.

vexarb
vexarb
Sep 14, 2019 6:22 AM
Reply to  George Cornell

“Well spotted, Tom” except for this blind spot: ” that the EU has never invaded anyone, indeed has fostered peace among previously wartorn nations.”

The invasion of YugoSlavia and dismemberment of Serbia were atrocities carried out in the name of the EU. Our allegedly ‘peaceloving’ EU dropped more bombs on Serbia than Hitler did. But the EU has engaged in even greater amount of covert warmongering because the EU is NATZO, both offices are in Brussels. Open war against Libya in the name of NATZO, covert war against Syria by NATZO countries, siege and mass starvation of Yemen by NATZO warplanes, NATZO nuclear weapons in the Baltic aimed at Russia and Iran.

“War is Peace” — EU / NATZO slogan.

There was a time, just after WW2, when European Unity stood for something real peace and social democracy. “Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive”. That dawn ended around 1980 with the election of Maggie Snatcher as Prime Minister of Britain, and the appointments of Lord Salisbury to NATZO and Lord Kinnock to the EC. From then onward both the EU as a whole and individual EU countries became increasingly corrupt and foolish. Today we stand under the noonday sun of a fascist-leaning Anglo Zio Capitalist Western hegemony. “In” or “Out” of the EU makes no difference to the foolish criminality of current Western Leadership.

George Cornell
George Cornell
Sep 14, 2019 8:51 AM
Reply to  vexarb

Whoa there. Are you saying that the US and UK have nothing to do with NATO and the blame-shifting exercises you are indulging in?

NATO is still very largely a malicious American invention, a manipulative American enterprise, an American armament bazaar, and its primary activities America-driven, fomented by American-fuelled imaginary, delusional insincere anti-Russian paranoia. Having poor Eastern European countries sign on to massive defense expenditures (buying American arms) makes them forgo basic needs in their own countries. I agree that in or out of the EU makes little difference to the current status. I agree with your last paragraph.

vexarb
vexarb
Sep 14, 2019 5:50 PM
Reply to  George Cornell

@George Cornell: ” Are you saying that the US and UK have nothing to do with NATO …?

No.

George Cornell
George Cornell
Sep 14, 2019 7:24 PM
Reply to  vexarb

You fooled me, then.

vexarb
vexarb
Sep 15, 2019 3:27 PM
Reply to  George Cornell

QED

George Cornell
George Cornell
Sep 15, 2019 4:37 PM
Reply to  vexarb
mark
mark
Sep 15, 2019 5:36 AM
Reply to  vexarb

Too true. The EU is just the civilian wing of NATO, Uncle Sam’s faithful Gurkhas ever ready to provide the cannon fodder in the latest crazy war for Israel. Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen, Venezuela, Iran. What invasions and regime changes do you want us to cheerlead for today, boss?

Laguerre
Laguerre
Sep 15, 2019 4:39 PM
Reply to  mark

I don’t believe the dominant partner in NATO, the US, is a member of the EU, so I don’t see how your conflation of the two could be right.

mark
mark
Sep 16, 2019 3:18 AM
Reply to  Laguerre

They are indistinguishable. NATO expansion and EU expansion go hand in hand. Two sides of the same coin. Two cheeks of the same arse. Every EU country has to coordinate and align its military policies with NATO as a condition of EU membership. Supposedly neutral countries like Ireland, Austria, Sweden, Finland, are NATO Countries in all but name.

Laguerre
Laguerre
Sep 15, 2019 4:37 PM
Reply to  vexarb

“The invasion of YugoSlavia and dismemberment of Serbia” were not carried out in the name of the EU, but of NATO, with the US as the active partner. Strewth, Off guardian is just becoming a swamp of fake news from Brexiters.

vexarb
vexarb
Sep 15, 2019 7:25 PM
Reply to  Laguerre

LaGuerre, thank you for correcting my error; I have corrected than first sentence, so para.2 now read:

“The invasion of YugoSlavia and dismemberment of Serbia were atrocities carried out in the name of the NATZO. Our allegedly ‘peaceloving’ EU dropped more bombs on Serbia than Hitler did. But the EU has engaged in even greater amount of covert warmongering because the EU is NATZO, both offices are in Brussels. Open war against Libya in the name of NATZO, covert war against Syria by NATZO countries, siege and mass starvation of Yemen by NATZO warplanes, NATZO nuclear weapons in the Baltic aimed at Russia and Iran.”

To which I add: the EU and NATZO are two cheeks of the same arse. The EU ‘recognizes’ by Law what NATZO sets up by Armed Force. No EU country comes to defend any victim country of NATZO: none came to defend Serbia in Yugoslavia, nor to defend Libya, nor South Ossetia and Abkhazia, nor Syria, nor East Ukraina, nor Yemen.

An honorable exception amongst European countries being Russia: they have come to the defense of Syria, East Ukraina, South Ossetia and Abkhazia; but the rest of Europe (Britain included) seem to have abandoned the Rule of Law.

ZigZag Wanderer
ZigZag Wanderer
Sep 13, 2019 9:57 PM
Reply to  Tom

Errr …. it makes plenty of sense … particularly for Brits.
Despite being members of the EU for all these decades the UK lags behind EU countries by a significant margin in workers rights.

Most EU countries are indeed up there in tier 1. In 2018 we Brits languished down in tier 3 alongside places like Burkina Faso , Congo , Liberia and many more.

This is an improvement over 2017 when we were even worse.

Scroll to page 11 of this ITUC Global Rights Index for the record. https://www.ituc-csi.org/IMG/pdf/ituc-global-rights-index-2018-en-final-2.pdf

With regards to military aggression the EU obviously hasn’t invaded anyone as it doesn’t have any armed forces ( yet ).

Individual EU countries have however “fostered peace” by lobbing plenty of ordnance at brown people regularly over the last couple of decades.

Chris Rogers
Chris Rogers
Sep 13, 2019 10:08 PM
Reply to  Tom

Best not mention the Ukraine then, or for that matter that recognition of a fool claiming to be the President of Venezuela, despite no one ever casting a vote for him in the nation he claimed to rule. Oh, and the fact funds dispensed to said chancer went missing rather quickly.

Jen
Jen
Sep 13, 2019 10:27 PM
Reply to  Tom

If the EU has never invaded other nations as a bloc, that is partly because that is NATO’s job to do so on the EU’s behalf. Nearly all nations that are members of the EU are also members of NATO: indeed, joining NATO is often part of the process towards joining the EU. The sole exception is Finland which has its historical and geopolitical reasons for not being a NATO member.

It should be of some significance that since joining NATO and then the EU, various Eastern European nations have been busy turning themselves into open-air military barracks, supposedly to protect against Russian aggression, while their economies have become rundown and their young people vote with their feet. Would the EU have allowed that situation to develop if it really had favoured peac?

George Cornell
George Cornell
Sep 14, 2019 1:26 AM
Reply to  Jen

Jen, the US has pushed the Russian aggression thing hard. This has been going on since long before the USSR collapsed. As far as I can tell there is no NATO, without the manufactured Russkie threat. Now to be a NATO member, you have to commit to massive weapons expenditure and guess who sells you the weapons? Very little of this imperative comes from the EU.

Francis Lee
Francis Lee
Sep 14, 2019 7:58 AM
Reply to  Tom

http://www.oecd.org/g20/topics/framework-can-create-a-growth-path-which-is-both-strong-and-inclusive.htm.

”What are these wonderful growth-enhancing ‘structural reforms’? For Portugal, the IMF-EU decided that they were a reduction of 4 public holidays a year, three days minimum paid holidays, a 50% reduction in overtime rates, and the end of collective bargaining agreements. There would be more work-time management, the removal on restrictions on the power to fire workers, the lowering on severance payments upon losing ones job, and forced arbitration on labour disputes. In short, workers must work longer and harder for less money and fewer rights and a higher risk of being sacked. Southern Europe must become a cheap labour centre for investment by the north.” (The Long Depression – Michael Roberts, p173.) So much for workers rights. I think you’ll find that workers rights were established against the bitter opposition of the employers, and not a gift from the oh-so-benevolent

This is the reality of workers rights in the EU. A flexible labour market. Every time I read a Reaminer argument I am reminded of a religious cult. Absolutely no attention is paid to the facts, belief is apparently all what counts

mark
mark
Sep 15, 2019 5:42 AM
Reply to  Francis Lee

Plus if the locals don’t like it, they get a visit from the Brussels boys. Ireland is ordered to privatise water. Spain has its Cabinet appointments vetoed. Italy gets its budget vetoed. Italy and Greece just get EU colonial governors sent over as viceroys to rule the places for Brussels. Imagine what they’d do with a Corbyn government.

mrbump
mrbump
Sep 16, 2019 2:48 PM
Reply to  Tom

And that the EU has never invaded anyone?

That’s a bland untethered statement, EU countries are always invading places. Sure ‘the EU’ hasn’t invaded EU countries. But thats because we nations are all in agreement that capitalism and the capitalist class must work together, coerce its citizens to believing capitalism solves everything, to preserve power and wealth at all costs. Maybe we havnt been ‘at war’ with each other. On the other hand, when I look around I wonder: society is at war with itself and imperialism is at war with other nations as it always has been. The EU has not brought peace to europe, its just a differnt kind of war. A war on living conditions and a war against socialist ideas

Kitty
Kitty
Sep 13, 2019 5:22 PM

There are so many rumours going around it’s difficult to know what is fact and fiction . I believe that May signed us up for the EU army after the referendum. What exactly does this mean? If there is a war will UK troops be under the control of Brussels regardless of the UK Governments position. Nobody seems to talk about this not even the hard line Brexiters so perhaps it’s not relevant.

wardropper
wardropper
Sep 13, 2019 3:55 PM

Many of your fellow Remainers strike you as naive, as do many of my fellow Brexiteers, but the issue is not how naive the bulk of the British people might be, Brem or Brex, but what is the best policy for dealing with appalling EU systemic corruption which, if it serves anyone apart from the greedy individuals involved, it serves Washington.
My view is that distance between London and Brussels is a good thing, and will focus our attention where it is needed: On our domestic corruption.

Laguerre
Laguerre
Sep 15, 2019 4:41 PM
Reply to  wardropper

What about the appalling systemic corruption in the Tory party? You don’t seem bothered about that.

wardropper
wardropper
Sep 15, 2019 8:22 PM
Reply to  Laguerre

Of course I’m bothered about that, but it seems to me to be too obvious to need a mention.
The domestic corruption I point to in my comment naturally includes the whole of Westminster, PARTICULARLY the tory party, but I gave up on them so long ago that it seems like a previous life.

Mike Ellwood
Mike Ellwood
Sep 13, 2019 2:31 PM

[5] Worth noting in this context is that even a non revolutionary but radical restructuring of UK capitalism – tilted away from financial and other services toward manufacturing – would require huge levels of state investment. Levels which neither EU rules nor its economically liberal raison d’etre permit of a member state.

In that context, it’s definitely worth looking at the many blog articles of Professor Bill Mitchell:

http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/

A recent example:

http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=43137

But there is much more there.

vexarb
vexarb
Sep 14, 2019 6:57 AM
Reply to  Mike Ellwood

Cut’n’Paste from Mikes link; the Prof says: ” that the next generation will have to be more productive than the last to maintain real standards of living and if austerity undermines productivity growth then it just exacerbates the ageing problem. My contention has always been that governments should use their fiscal capacity now to make sure there is a first-class education and training system in a growth environment to prepare us for the future when more people will have passed working age. I offer some empirical analysis to clear away some of the myths that the Remainers have been spreading.”

ThereisaGod
ThereisaGod
Sep 13, 2019 12:43 PM

Great article.

Chris Rogers
Chris Rogers
Sep 13, 2019 12:19 PM

An interesting article that highlighted one of the major dilemma’s for actual Leftwingers when it came to casting a vote in in the EU Referendum, namely, and for many, it really was necessary to wear a peg on our nose, unlike the author I cast a Leave vote and was dumbfounded to learn Leave had actually secured a majority of the Votes cast – I was of the opinion such an outcome would never be allowed to happen by our Elites, much the same way the neutered the Scots Ref., vote some two year prior.

Anyhow, this is all water under a bridge, the fact remains that within Parliament a clear majority of our MPs were opposed to Leaving the EU regardless what type of Transitionary Agreement was reached to facilitate the UK’s exit from the EU, which, was never going to be and easy task given the EU’s own desire to penalise the UK electorate for overturning the Ever Closer Union applecart.

Regardless of he hoopla, this poster has always favoured a Noway Plus arrangement as a halfway house, that such an arrangement has proved impossible cannot be faulted on the ERG fringe, rather, fault lies with our own Parliamentarians who never had any intention whatsoever of upholding the decision of the UK Electorate and a Brussels elite working hand in glove with this faction, epitomised by our good friends Blair, and his devious henchman, one Peter Mandelson – the so called ‘Centrists’.

ThereisaGod
ThereisaGod
Sep 13, 2019 12:49 PM
Reply to  Chris Rogers

I’ve thought the same about thee final outcome…. that a meaningful Brexit will not be allowed.
In a sense it’s all good though. This issue has forced millions to sit up and recognise the nature of the pantomime of choice that is ‘Democracy’.

The following lecture given to the FSB (KGB) by a Russian professor, sounds close to the truth re the structures that govern us:

wardropper
wardropper
Sep 13, 2019 4:05 PM
Reply to  ThereisaGod

That’s really a fascinating lecture, for all sorts of reasons. Thanks for posting it.

Ramdan
Ramdan
Sep 13, 2019 4:31 PM
Reply to  ThereisaGod

This is a MUST SEE for everyone. Even if we might not agree with some things here and there, the whole picture is there as to how the system shapes this collective delusion (propaganda, manipulation, brainwashing, so on) of false choices.
GREAT! Thanks

Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Sep 15, 2019 5:45 PM
Reply to  Ramdan

Yes, always the mindframe of choices that are traps either way.
the eu do we stay or do we go?
But to the invested identity in its frame, they seem a self-reinforcement and protection.

Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Sep 15, 2019 5:23 PM
Reply to  ThereisaGod

Note that you are responsible for these structures in your own consciousness.
Self-definitions and core beliefs are an internalised invisible ‘mind structure’.
So structure does not control you unless you choose to act from its ‘mind’ as your own.
This is not a casual matter of thinking about anything.

ThereisaGod
ThereisaGod
Sep 15, 2019 5:29 PM
Reply to  Brian Steere

True and well put. Thanks.

Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Sep 15, 2019 5:41 PM
Reply to  Brian Steere

I searched youtube for Efimov Victor Alekseyevich
and find this – subtitled English – of political persecution.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=av1zLZo5vvs
If you don’t watch all of it – read the end credits.

BigB
BigB
Sep 13, 2019 7:33 PM
Reply to  Chris Rogers

Chris:

A “Noway Plus” (sic) deal is about right!

Do you follow UK Column? If you do you will know of Lord Blackheath’s tribulation at trying to question the real nature of the deal. He dared ask about EU Defence Union and was immediately told to cede and retract by Lord Blunkett. Remember him?

The flak he has drawn confirmed the real nature of the larceny and Treason from both sides of the House, in upper and lower chambers. Our military is the price for City freedom from scrutiny and jurisprudence. The rest of the country be damned.

A nation state with no sovereign control of its military, defence or foreign policy is a nation state …in name only.

https://www.ukcolumn.org/article/hero-brexit-lord-james-blackheath-threatened-over-eu-defence-union

There are no good options. The EU is collapsing financially, austere constitutionally, arming, protectionist, and expansionist militarily. With a Defence Union completion agenda set for 2025: our military is already committed. And no one – not even with Parliamentary privilege – is allowed to question or discuss the real agenda.

We are fobbed off with sub-standard debate and degraded pseudo-options. A “Noway Deal” is about all we will get. The real deal was done a long time ago …and we will be last to know. Ask the wrong question and a blindsighted man and his dog will tear you a new one!

George Cornell
George Cornell
Sep 13, 2019 9:05 PM
Reply to  BigB

“The EU is collapsing financially, austere constitutionally, arming, protectionist, and expansionist militarily” , you say.

Compared to what? Are you saying you would rather continue on with England’s invasionist history (196 countries at last count), or its enthusiastic piling on, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Syria…? Or doubling down on its contempt for international law? Conventions? By joining arms with the Boltons, Pompeo, and Trumps of the world? Maybe now that Diego Garcia has been outed, you could ask Scotland if you could use some Hebrides for torturing.

Who are you anymore?

BigB
BigB
Sep 14, 2019 8:14 AM
Reply to  George Cornell

As Manuel might say: “Que?” (Fawlty Towers).

How can trying to expose the larceny and treachery of the political class amount to endorsing their behaviour over the centuries? Especially when at least one Lord tried to make the henceforth secret nature of the done deal with the EU is threatened and shut down.

If you read the article and absorb its import: it can hardly be construed as an endorsement of politics …just the opposite.

Let me spell out my opposition so there is no confusion. In the article, you will see that Professor Gwythian Prins was with Lord James. He is an academic who came into possession of leaked tapes – colloquially known as the KitKat tapes. In which, the true nature of bureacratic perfidy is made clear. Including betraying UK Battlegroups to a non-leadership role under EU military command. Further, Whitehall strategy (DExEU papers) revealed that we are being committed to “ever closer union” and “EU Global Strategy” despite the democratic mandate (laughing out loud) to do the opposite.

https://briefingsforbrexit.com/escaping-from-hotel-california/

Whatever ones position: this is nothing short of High Treason. This latest development confirms to me at least that the secret agenda is the real agenda. And public discourse and scrutiny is not welcome. Democratic oversight and accountability be damned. Our military – including its nuclear capabilities – is being ceded to Brussel’s unaccountable control over our foreign and defence policy. Which as a later development, is being proposed as being by a show of hands.

The public is not to know. It is not part of public discourse. Ergo: public opinion is deliberately uninformed. Which is post-democratic …to say the least. Lord James’ questions need answered: as the command and control elements are being set up. Fully informed publicity and full disclosure of the real intent changes everything. No one voted to cede our military to non-leadership subalterns of EU/NATO defence, security, financial, and foreign policy. We are being lied to and betrayed. That is what I stand against. Which is no endorsement of this countries horrible history. Just the opposite …to stop it happening all over again.

mark
mark
Sep 15, 2019 5:47 AM
Reply to  George Cornell

Yes, French, Danish, Norwegian and Italian aircraft weren’t involved in bombing Libya back to the Stone Age. It’s just a figment of people’s imaginations.

George Cornell
George Cornell
Sep 15, 2019 10:20 AM
Reply to  mark

They played very minor roles, to their shame, their gutless leaders bullied into it by the Americans on false pretences.without the assent of their voters. Denial of technology, Five eyes, etc. It hardly excuses the UKs much more active and major role in American war crimes. Are you sure you want to argue this?

mark
mark
Sep 15, 2019 1:16 PM
Reply to  George Cornell

That must be a lot of consolation for any Libyan whacked round the head by a minor 1,000 lb. bomb.

George Cornell
George Cornell
Sep 15, 2019 1:29 PM
Reply to  mark

Surely none but airing this fully in each of those countries, starting with the UK, might prevent it from happening again. There was a time when the BBC and World Service could be relied on by the victims of aggression to bear witness and to report the news. No longer. The BBC and the British government continue to be a disgrace to humanity, even if they did many unmentionables just to cozy up to the Americans. Instead of jumping into their juggernauts, I suggest you finally manufacture things others want. Marmalade is not enough. Otherwise you are condemned to chronic anti-EU whining, claims that the dog ate your homework and to making up excuses for invading, stealing oil and scofflawing.

George Cornell
George Cornell
Sep 15, 2019 10:32 AM
Reply to  mark

And Mark, you will of course know the ability to say “everyone was doing it” like you are now , was precisely the aim of the US and UK. Why in the world are you being complicit? This strategy was discussed publicly at the time Bush was bribing Blair to send innocent British boys to their deaths in Iraq.

Chris Rogers
Chris Rogers
Sep 13, 2019 10:09 PM
Reply to  BigB

Bit late my end, so will respond in full after a few hours sleep.

Laguerre
Laguerre
Sep 15, 2019 4:45 PM
Reply to  BigB

Funny how Brexiters always believe the EU is about to collapse; they’ve been predicting it for forty years, and are getting no nearer to it happening. It’s sad what’s happened to Off-Guardian, it’s just become a swamp of Brexit shit, with no bothering with the truth.

Sophie - Admin1
Admin
Sophie - Admin1
Sep 15, 2019 7:46 PM
Reply to  Laguerre

You need to read more carefully.

We are not pro or anti-Brexit. We’ve made it clear we think the binary is all but meaningless and more distraction than anything else.

We are however pro-democracy and do not support queasy attempts to justify the overturning of a popular vote. Bad precedent.

By all means go elsewhere if you don’t feel able to appreciate nuanced non-binary discussion.

George Cornell
George Cornell
Sep 15, 2019 8:46 PM

What’s with the hectoring ? “You need to read more carefully”. I think that is dismissive, condescending and offensive, not to mention unnecessary. You seem to be presuming your readership needs your guidance on what to believe. You were much better as dispassionate editors, as much as I appreciate this site and the great work you do.

There is lots of precedent. Quebec for example. Bad precedent too? Votes get overturned all the time. Many democracies have elaboorate systems of checks and balances (the US, now hopelessly gamed, for example) but not for votes you like? Decisions with generational significance often require much more than a simple majority. Tell us how you disagree with that. You’ve been asked before.

As for your claim that your position is because of some maudlin sentiment for democracy, I hope you don’t mind me saying, I don’t believe you. Most of those cloaking themselves with status as Defenders of the Democratic Faith actually mean they love democracy when it comes up with their answer.

Brexit seems to be able to bring out the worst in people. There is plenty of that to go around. I am sure you will think that for me. Go ahead and say it, if you wish.

And while you are at it, do reply for once, to the evidence that the voters did not understand the implications of Brexit. For 20 years, I had to ask many members of the public questions about politics to assess their mental status. I am not unfamiliar.

BigB
BigB
Sep 16, 2019 10:11 AM
Reply to  Laguerre

Laguerre:

Note: I did not say about to collapse – I said collapsing. It is a slow, ongoing process.

I was referring to Draghi and the ECB’s latest ‘free’ market intervention. If the ECB has to intervene to buy non-performing and toxic assets at the rate of 20bn euros a month – as an open-ended and indefinite open market operation (QE) – then effectively the EU has already collapsed financially. It is only the ECB intervention that is preventing widespread default, delinquency, and contagion. Now they have opened the taps, so to speak, they cannot stop. The illusion that everything is normal is just that – an illusion.

Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Sep 13, 2019 11:49 AM

Everyone defends their investments – unless releasing them for a better. When we invest identity in or against ideas, we internalise them as structure that is then invisible. Ideas are not things but relational energetic. We thing ourself into a box and die in it.

The way out of an impossible situation is to recognise you are not in it.

My comment to Dungroanin’s ‘Ancient Battle’ below includes the recognition that the brexit circus frames us in supporting the sustainability of systemic lies – or if you prefer – defended self illusion – whichever road is taken to ‘Rome’.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Sep 13, 2019 1:57 PM
Reply to  Brian Steere

Brian, i’ll respond and add here rather than below.

Whilst we are frantic about lifting a yoke, so is the EU.

How can they be rid of a occupying force, NATO? With its multitude of bases, weapons and its 2% ‘fire insurance’ gangsterism?

Yes the EU is a bitter drink formed of decades of cronyism appointments- think Brittain / Kinnock/ Mandelsson etc just from our end, yet it is evolving and the Aqus is a valuable project that aims to provide the same laws and regulations across the whole space – it is not a finished project, it will only get better.
It is only 7 out of 10 good.

We can stay involved, we can have the single market, the customs union and the various regulations and rights yet still be out, to stop the free movement, which is why most voted to Leave, though by a trick question.

The truth is the main two parties both got votes in 2017 to respect the Leave vote, but only one party decided the terms of leaving with their RED lines.

And that party and its masters & the controlled opposition (the centerists who claims to REMAIN) only went through the charade of negotiating the WA – knowing they would reject it – because they only ever wanted a HARD brexit. Which is the only escape for the City.

That the recent events and actions of the government are only fully explained by that hypothesis should be clear to all now.

Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Sep 14, 2019 2:18 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

I recognise the game-board and the pieces – but who indeed is the EU?
Not the European people – or any elected representatives of the people – save a token show.
Who then SELECTS those who are set to front the organisation – at least on the stage?

I could say the same for NATO – for the US (formerly of A) is itself fronted by selected ‘representatives’ who it seems effectively run a pay for play – but within a broader use of such players for geopolitical ends.

Cameron’s job was to initiate the ‘brexit’ – under whatever pretext fitted his need to know.

A pattern I recognize is that of the saviour or protector who captures the unwary in their hopes and dreams – or in escaping or mitigating their nightmares. This alternating play of the herd mind is the running of two seemingly opposing or contrasting versions of the same thing. In this sense people are framed and farmed golems.

Likely ‘brexit’ goals include breaking up the UK, reconfiguring the EU, and drawing out what they frame as ‘popularism’ so as to smear and make it a similar meaning to ‘nazism’.
Globalism as a domination over the human spirit but masking as a technocratic provision of security is to be willingly chosen. Indeed it is being willingly chosen – for all choices in its framework work the same end – albeit under stick or carrot, but always working together.

Yes the City of London is associated with the WHO and HOW of a ‘hierarchy’ of control.

Control operates in absence of a clear decision – or to undermine and divide it so as to gain control.

We say we want freedom – but we think within our cage – and any other thinking doesn’t ‘run’ in the mind of the collective.

Biodiversity is recognisable as a healthy environmental expression and a developed or expanded consciousness is that which embraces the full spectrum of its experience and finds the balance points by which to expand or grow in awareness and participation. But the human frame of thinking is set under the jealous mono-polar god of exclusion and domination – or in human terms – private judgement set over life.

It is this frame of thinking that we could release the yoke of – if it were itself brought to awareness, rather than employed to frame our attention in diversionary tactic from a true account – as if our survival depends upon hiding our light – except as mandated to show.

What is the ‘brexit’ proposed to be the opportunity of? OTHER than jumping out of the frying pan? As with all Top-Down ‘freedom movement’ it weaponises the identity in fear and grievance to serve the breakdown of the residual barriers or checks against its complete and unchallengeable domination. As in ‘checkmate’.
I see the game-board and the pieces. I see that we can see life that way – and I see what it promises but never truly delivers and that it costs the ability to see life any other way.

Playing the game is to keep the game running, as the idea of sustainability via sacrifice. In the game it runs like musical chairs as to who will be left with blame and penalty when the music stops, for the judgement to fall. In games within games, people are induced to sacrifice themselves to feed the system that preys upon them.

Do we wake to stand in the desire to live and share in life – or sleep in the wish to save our own private agenda at other’s expense? Deceit doesn’t package and sell toxic debt as a liability, but as a sense of justified self-inflation. That then lives under the shadow of being popped.

Perhaps the result of an enforced austerity will open motivations that a protected bubble will never need to access? That said I still feel for the way of willingness and communication FROM a true sense of shared worth. Coercive assertion cannot find an honest answer because it presets what can be said without penalty. And so force needs to be used only for the balance points that serve the true qualities of being – for without them, no balance is possible – only subjection to dictate.
Our capacity to learn relational balance within ourselves and among ourselves is denied by regulatory capture.
Corporate capture is an internalised structure of ‘identity’ that is operated systemically.

Harry Stotle
Harry Stotle
Sep 13, 2019 10:51 AM

Superb article – you can accept the EU, or you can accept socialism, but you can’t have both at the same time: this at heart is the condrum for those on the left.

Like Phil I was a reluctant remainer but only because I feared Brexit was likely to unleash a form of cryptofascism redolent of broken European states during the inter-war period – exacerbated by the sickening thought of JRM, Priti Patel or Liam ‘sweaty upper lip’ Fox preening in front of the BBC cameras delivering a fresh salvo of lies about how wonderful everything is in the new capitalist utopia.

For a moment Corbyn exceeded expectations running May a close 2nd in 2017 – but his diluted form of socialism has been under endless attack from the establishment as well as snakes from within his own party (Phillips, Watson, Creasy, Hodge, et al).
In other words like an ideological form of cancer the forces of capitalism have metastised into every sphere of public, private, and political life – a high price to pay for everyone having an i-phone and being able to log into FB 24/7.

Here’s an interesting statistic: in Britain the proportion of the workforce covered by collective bargaining has fallen from around 80% in 1979 to below 25% today and only 15% in the private sector.

Conditions for workers has always been one of the central planks in socialist ideology.
Strength was predicted on domestic and international collectivism: it is this bedrock that has been weakened, perhaps even fatally undermined: a development which started to accelerate ever since the days of Maggie’s neoliberal love in with the Gipper.

Graft
Graft
Sep 14, 2019 7:36 AM
Reply to  Harry Stotle

Ffs get I’ve read your corbyn love in heaven fucking useless and certainly not a socialist (Trotskyists have always been fake socialists)

Harry Stotle
Harry Stotle
Sep 14, 2019 10:11 AM
Reply to  Graft

Corbyn is a good man: his heart is in the right place, he has a strong voting record and doesn’t fiddle his expenses.
Britain would probably be a less fractured and economically divided counrtry if he was leader – marginal improvements perhaps, but certainly less toxic than a Johnson, a Swinson, a Phillips, or a pound shop Enoch like Farage.

It goes without saying his ascent brought into the open the venal and entitled nature of Britain’s establishment who all along work have been working hand in glove with the owners of the MSM to protect vested interests in banking and big business.

If you are saying the entire political class should be strung from a lamp post because ‘they are all the same’ then you need to spell out alternatives rather than wasting your time complaining about a system you have rejected.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Sep 13, 2019 9:43 AM

Yeah she said it!

Anyone listen?

Mutti, yesterday finally stared directly at the monster and shot with the truth right between the eyes.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/11/angela-merkel-stresses-danger-of-britain-becoming-singapore-on-thames-no-deal

It’s not just the 40 year neolib con trick that is under threat from the Corbynites superpowers.

It is the 400 year old City of all conquests and all wars that demands its exceptionalism from EU jurisprudence.

The ancient battle has always been between the slave owners/ masters and the slaves. The original class war. It’s never been left-right which perpetrates identity politics and divide and rule. It always is top-bottom.

The Evening Standard cartoon on Wednesday, had a raggedy JC offering to dial back to 1975! When actually he is offering to take us back to the future, of 1945.

A glorious moment when the people shunned the saviour Winnie and chose a NHS and all things good – Housing, Education, Welfare. Etc.

Back to that social covenant I say.
Down with the Downton dynastic dung heap revisionism. Better in than out – there has already been great European intermingling to unravel with such cruelty. We all know families and friends and co-workers from ‘there’ and many of ‘us’ with lives and loves across the EU.

Time to find our inner Spartacus’ and remember who and what is our ancient enemy between the City and the evolving EU the choice is clear. Time to repeat 1945 and dump our poundshop mini Winnie!

As Craig Murray puts it in his latest article ‘even the dogs in the streets know’.

Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Sep 13, 2019 11:39 AM
Reply to  Dungroanin

I agree that identity politic is a psychological defence against confronting underlying issues. Whether fed us or demanded by a need NOT to know. I see a pervasive global technocracy (in or out) as the means for enforcing and managing the sustainability of the lie against any true account – which is narrative dictate – along with global and granular energy control. Regulations – already paralysing to creative endeavour – to be replaced by algorithm and robotic enforcements. Original sin replaced with carbon guilt – alongside any other narrative for a negative social credit. Control is set to ‘battle’ while command is induced to sacrifice itself to despair – to supporting’ a grotesque and hollow parody of life.

Whoever you think or thought yourself to be – and of whatever background – you are created as the capacity to command your life in alignment with the unique love that you are the expression of. That is – you are one and indivisible – but you can give love and power to division and act out its conflicted subjection, under the attempt to unify it with all the king’s horsepower and all the king’s men.

I look deeper for the ‘ancient battle’ – as that of a sense of self-possession and control set against the true or innate nature of being. The lie and the father of it works deceit by which a false and secret self-separateness is given power over the recognition or exposure to a ‘nakedness’ or transparency of account. Such humiliation of loss of self or power is feared more than death – and so death becomes the saviour, from truth – hated and feared in error.

That may sound extreme and insane but consider:

1. The wish that truth support fantasy or bias is the wish for power over truth rather than an open willing communication within living.
2. The belief that I have achieved or attained this, is the fantasy acted out upon life and invested with identity.
3. The disintegration of the fantasy to a sense of withdrawn support, rejection or attack by reality calls on defence of its persistence as the means to protect an invested identity – at expense of a true reconciliation or re-cognition of self as the extension, reflection and sharing of existence.
4. The ‘defence’ runs on – is supported by – allegiance and sacrifice of the true, and the living, by framing itself as justified, righteous or necessary OVER and AGAINST feared or hated evils – that stand as a symbol of terror or hate that cannot be abided, looked on, or allowed in – where in fact they stand’ like an Angel with flaming sword’ to prevent coming back into a greater Sanity WITH loveless intent.

Inherent to the above is the substitution of our true inheritance with a false – as a result of mis-taken identity running a false sense of possession and control – that has adulterated, subverted and usurped the true meaning of anything and everything to its ‘sustainability’.
And so the capacity to discern the true meaning beneath the distortions and subversions of a masking private agenda, is in the heart’s decision and the mind’s willing alignment.

Recognising mistaken identity is the opening to restoring of a true. Looking on what fear would keep hidden so as to then be free to look beyond its dictate is not attacking anything, so much as recognising the root deceit of attack and choosing not to use it. Standing on and living from an integrative movement of being is an aligning of thought, word and deed instead of an interjected manipulation set over and apart from the movement of being that IS relationship, communication, recognition, appreciation, understanding and gratitude as a blessing for life shared.

The self-invested image will do anything and everything to induce delay of the Inevitable. Only truth is inevitable. Life and death are what we make of them – by the word we give.
The idea that life is meaningless is the attempt to impose or demand fantasy meanings upon it and act them out. But if those are expressions OF meaninglessness they are looking in the one place where meaning is not to be found – UNLESS we extend Meaning as a transparency to being – which of course is our function as expressions of wholeness and without which we are lost to ‘battles’ of conflicting meanings that we package in doublethink and run as a mind-matrix of possession and control.

That we made a mind and world in alloy of love and fear is not to say it must continue to serve its maker. The release of a false investment opens the alignment in the already true – as a tangible and felt quality of resonance. The ‘ego’ of substitution can fake the forms of anything alive – but it cannot make love or life – excepting fantasy held apart from life.

The presumption is that we want to live when actually we – for the most part – operate the fear of pain of loss of life as if that is living. And will defend against re-opening the fear – and so we are effectively ‘run’ by its dictate in absence of the heart’s decision – because a mind of fear has denied the heart to run in its name – as a sense of possession and control.

Self-consciousness is a psychic-emotional balancing so as to not get in the way of an unselfconscious joy. It doesn’t need external control so much as support in finding integrative alignment.

The EU has nothing to do with relational cooperation – excepting to mask transnational corporate cartels of influence in the appearances and tokens of caring. And so many in the rank and file participant works under the belief they are aligning in support of a common Good. Nor is the USA (or is it the US of the world?) – the moral force for freedom and democracy – but that mask cannot be maintained and so a post truth politic works the psyop of deceit and denial as its only option left.

To arrive at our starting place and know it for the first time.

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins
Sep 14, 2019 3:40 PM
Reply to  Brian Steere

“The EU has nothing to do with relational cooperation – excepting to mask transnational corporate cartels of influence in the appearances and tokens of caring.”

Great words, Brian, (say I):- Let them sink in & consider … having worked in all EU & EFTA countries, except Finland Sweden & Norway, in my experience, the change truly comes from within the individual: and what resonates for me in terms of ‘Keeping things whole’, is that closing line of Mark Strand’s poem … “Wherever I am, I am what is missing …” simply.

A thing is just a ‘Noun’ & basic code, unlike our soul . . .
***************************************************

Secondly: “Nor is the USA the moral force for freedom and democracy ” can be suitably highlighted by studying Cato and other World leading Indexes for socio & economic Freedoms in societies and their annual trends & rankings: 🙂 Hard to believe for some perhaps, but especially poignant as an example, is FreePort Hong Kong: (even until the most recent Zionist media campaigns against China), the fact that HK has achieved the remarkable status consistently, as the world’s number one freedom rich zone, ranked even above Switzerland, Germany number 12 & USA number 23 and yet we have ignorant brainwashed young CIA/NGO sponsored ‘student activists’, like Josh Wong (utterly wrong) joshing & claiming ra-ra-ra-GoUSA and USA flag bearers on the streets of HK demanding freedoms like ‘Born in the USA’ (Reagan style), where in reality they have the highest prison population worldwide by far & per capita, taking the biscuit as well, with maximum profits from privatised ‘supermax-imum returns & recidivism’, repeat offender income, for elites ramping the surveillance state & MIC business against China now, via divisions in Hong Kong and in the West of China.

Josh Wong would do well to go back to school and study, unless he believes firmly already, in global [police] terrorism for CIA Drug Lords & Elitist Fascist Prison Barons, worse than China ! 🙂

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2016-11-29/these-are-the-freest-countries-in-the-world

Data speaks louder, keeping things grounded, even choosing US formulation of rankings, so no excuses or distraction or claims of bias can be construed. (various sources confirm).
USA zionist corporate media consistently censors & inverts reality elsewhere in an incendiary provocative manner to destabilise, & blatantly lies to distract from their own cultural & societal progressive failures & decay since Dotcom/Enron/9/11 onwards, like 40-50,000 homeless on the streets of LA, or their CIA orchestrated Opioid crisis, (some policeman!), or their CIA deals with terrorists from Serbian or Bulgarian Arms Producers. (Dilyana Gaytandzhieva’s latest exposé, re-affirms once again on a greater scale).
Who said the Opium Wars were ever over ? Never . . .

http://armswatch.com/islamic-state-weapons-in-yemen-traced-back-to-us-government-serbia-files-part-1/

https://21stcenturywire.com/2019/09/12/interview-dilyana-gaytandzhieva-reveals-how-us-trafficked-arms-to-isis/

https://armenianweekly.com/2017/08/29/dilyana-gaytandzhieva-fired/

If only we had more professional journalists, like Dilyana and the CIA were disbanded, permanently: With Serbia, EU Nations & NATO, all wholly cognisant & complicit,
what more to say ? !

Great reporting: Dilyana, tell Trump & Tulsi Gabbard ! “Stop Arming Terrorists & Act Now”
Disband the CIA 😉 Because they are an amoral force, comprised of illegal Drugs Barons & Arms dealers, for the promotion of Terrorism & Destabilisation of whole Sovereign Nations: and the EU should play hardball negotiating with Trump in future & in principle the EU should be applying sanctions against the US ‘policeman terrorist’, (with private prison complex on Guantanamo, surely?). What with renditions & ex-judicial killings, enough is enough, 9/11 was pure homemade Hollywood fiction by Cheney & Co. pursuing a New Pearl Harbour & more refugees are fleeing to Europe, (than the USA), because of the USA foreign policies to destabilise any competition and the whole M.E. 😉 and, without the CIA, they can save way more lives lost to opium in the US, certainly than lives lost to Vaping … 🙂
Can you imagine, Brian, these electronic smoking devices, are now more newsworthy than Dilyana’s finest efforts ! That’s sick . . . & surreal news, with which any EU politician with a gram of gravitas, including Merkel, should be able to stand up and say enough & Tchüss Trump, & yet not one EU politician has the courage to speak openly … anybody who believes in the war on terror is obviously brainwashed & ill informed, yet nobody speaks …
& the residual silence is deafening.

Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Sep 14, 2019 8:03 PM
Reply to  Tim Jenkins

Robin Cook spoke against the ‘war on terror’…

I don’t know that I can say what anyone else should or shouldn’t do.
I feel that our acts are guided by our perceptions which are selected by our thought which proceeds from our core beliefs and definitions.

Bringing what is hidden to light is the other way than framing in division so as to hide.

I watched the Russian lecture (ref somewhere on this comment page) – well actually I right cursored through the subtitles – but is is basically sound

The heart’s despair is the mind-control. Why not choose the other way…?

BigB
BigB
Sep 13, 2019 5:55 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

DG: I completely agree about the City …but back to the future in 1945?

Problem: time and entropy turn for no man. Neither is “symmetric” or reversible.

In the mid-forties: the energy value of our primary resource – oil – was around 50:1. For each unit of energy invested in extraction and refinery: there were 50 available to do work and fire economic activity. Now there are 6.

In 1945: we had a fully extant manufacturing industry, just coming off a war footing; neo-self sufficiency in food production – despite rationing; erm, plenty of rebuilding opportunity; the largest Empire in the world to provide resources and much needed surplus labour; a population dynamic artificially skewed to growth; plus 50 units of excess energy (exergy)to power the economy.

Now we have roughly a tenth of the exergy: and not much else. I hate to be a structural functional bore: but how are we going to replicate the past with a tenth of the energy and no established industry? There is a serious reality deficit in the claims we can, is there not?

Amongst the proposals to create 400,000 new “green” jobs is the Green New Deal. This involves not one, but three parallel energy transitions. From fossil fuels to clean electrification, hydrogen, and clean carbon biofuels (CCS, BECCS). And possibly a fourth – nuclear (40%). All these renewable “net zero” neutrality – plus electric vehicles and H2 fuel cell HGVs – come with no energy cost and will multiply available exergy by a factor of ten.

On which planet? Because that defies the physics of the Earth.

It’s 2019. Everything is depleting exponentially and entropically. Debts are piling up and we have a fraction of the available exergy we once had. That is the reality no one wants to deal with. Time and entropy turn for no one.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Sep 13, 2019 6:25 PM
Reply to  BigB

BB – you disregard efficiency/productivity growth. Energy conversion is much better and improving.
Computer processing didn’t exist in an industrial level.
Hell we had kids digging coal in lethal conditions.
Penecillin had just been invented.
DNA was unknown. Solar cells were not even developed.

Physics on Earth is NOT a settled issue – there is no GUT yet. It is at a dead end and on the cusp of rebirth. More scientists are working now than have probably done in the entire previous ages.
So i don’t buy your ‘end of science’ almost Malthusian approach which as i day disregards FUTURE discovery. A hundred and twenty years ago – most scientists thought that it was fully discovered – then along came Einstein & co.

Come on BB can’t you sometimes let yourself believe the glass is actually half FULL? Optimism can be quite a tonic.

Cheers.

crank
crank
Sep 13, 2019 8:21 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

I suggest you read Heinberg and/ or Tverberg

Theoretically, the substitution process can go on forever—as long as we have endless energy with which to obtain the minerals we need from ores of ever-declining quality. But to produce that energy we need more resources. Even if we are using only renewable energy, we need steel for wind turbines and coatings for photovoltaic panels. And to extract those resources we need still more energy, which requires more resources, which requires more energy. At every step down the ladder of resource quality, more energy is needed just to keep the resource extraction process going, and less energy is available to serve human needs (which presumably is the point of the exercise).

https://richardheinberg.com/226-won%E2%80%99t-innovation-substitution-and-efficiency-keep-us-growing
A perpetual motion machine would, it is true, solve the problem of limited growth.

Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Sep 14, 2019 8:54 PM
Reply to  crank

Meaningful growth rather than cancerous or chaotic growth is purposefully aligned – and so unified purpose will serve coherent growth where conflicting purpose grows a negative polarising growth of debt, depletion, toxicity and sickness etc – all of which ‘drive the Economy’.

Structure is invested energy. Releasing structure frees the energy.

The monkey trap I have read about is a fixed down gourd with a hole large enough for the monkey to grab the fruit inside but not then able to withdraw the hand and fruit. We invest in a sense of possession that traps us and still cling on…

crank
crank
Sep 13, 2019 8:25 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Without economic investments, demand for commodities of all kinds, including energy products, tends to stay too low. This is the problem we have today. Our debt problem and our energy problem are really different aspects of a networked economy that is no longer generating enough total return. History suggests that these periods tend to end badly.

https://ourfiniteworld.com/2019/09/12/our-energy-and-debt-predicament-in-2019/#more-44049

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Sep 13, 2019 10:53 PM
Reply to  crank

Yeah well but like when europe changed from olive oil to whale oil to coal to gas to steam generated electricity to where we are to who knows where we are going the paradigm evolves…

For example

‘In a single hour, the amount of power from the sun that strikes the Earth is more than the entire world consumes in an year.’

https://www.businessinsider.com/this-is-the-potential-of-solar-power-2015-9

Don’t Panic!

crank
crank
Sep 14, 2019 8:33 AM
Reply to  Dungroanin

I am not panicking. I learned about this issue back in the early 1990s. If you read the Tverberg article you will see that it is a problkem that has developed since around at least 1980 when the potential for the real economy of the world to grow at its previous rate began to fall due to these constraints.
It is not panic that motivates my comments but the desire to confront denial – a denial that I have seen arpund me for most of my adult life.
Yes, the sun shines lots of energy onto our world. That is only part of the situation though. How do we harvest and convert and distribute that energy? This is what an energy system is.
Those who inisist that there is an easy substitute for oil which -like going from whale oil to rock oil will be a ‘step up’, are simply in denial. There is not one, short of a whole new dimension to physics.
Politics and economics are so anthropocentric that they have become almost completely detached from the realities of the physical world in which we live. [See Steve Keen’s work on the absence of energy inputs into Neoclassical economic modelling].
If anyone wants to understand what is driving Brexit and all political developments today, then some consideration of the decline in ‘exergy’ must be central. Yet there are still many like you who wave such arguments away with what amounts to little more than a kind of religious faith in ‘progress’.
When the next crash happens, many will panic and ask ‘why?’

crank
crank
Sep 14, 2019 8:34 AM
Reply to  Dungroanin
Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Sep 14, 2019 9:06 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Mainstream science is generally unheeding of the Solar Capacitance in which the atmosphere of Earth is a dielectric. At least in mainstream narrative disclosure. The electrical force is NOT confined mostly to the atomic level of a ‘gravitic’ Universe – but there is a very strong psychological basis for maintaining the narrative of separate bodies in ‘space’.

Before we access energies of resonant alignment with the Way the Universe Works, we have to willingly accept alignment instead of seeking to possess, dominate, enslave or control life, nature, world, others, self.

When we are willing to listen, watch and learn, such as to let life move or become in us – we open to new perspective that allowed to grow, develops new structures of thought, vision and endeavour. The attempt to put the new wine into old problems can never see from a new perspective – but only extend the problem as an exercise in sustainability of an outdated mindset.

BigB
BigB
Sep 13, 2019 8:47 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

The GUT is a huge diversion. One that also relies of time symmetry. If only we can determine every known, unknown (hidden), and unknowable variable – we can write a God theory for the past present and future and have absolute determinism. And predict human behaviour. The arrogance of Man? At least Hawking had the humility to recant. The more axioms the more contradictions: ask Godel and Tarski. Or Wittgenstein. Or Prigogine …on the end of certainty and the incompleteness and impossibility of a GUT.

http://www.hawking.org.uk/godel-and-the-end-of-physics.html

Entropy is definitely not T-symmetric. It requires an Arrow of Time. Ask Prigogine again. Entropy can only increase, not decrease. The gradient of low to high determines past from future. You are the physicist. You know this. We ain’t going back to 1945.

The problem with efficiency, productivity, and mythical ‘progress’ is that they too, must be second law compliant. They contain non-negligible amounts of entropy. They are also subject to the Law of Diminishing Returns. Over investment in increased complexity returns less and less efficiency. Think of a square wheel made round and a racing slick. How much more has to be invested to get negligible 0.001% increase in efficiency in a slick compared to the near 100% initial improvement from getting a perfectly round wheel?

We cannot get 100% efficiency increase in our six units of exergy. Any minimal increase will be offset against increasing entropy. The best we could hope for is break even efficiency over entropy = a zero-sum. I call this the Red Queen Effect. Running faster and faster to stay still.

Future discovery is second law dependent too. Pointing out the bio-physical limitations of the Earth system should not really invite Malthusian comparisons. It is neutral, not negative, to point out the simple fact that we have to abide by the Laws of Physics. As I pointed out before: there are ways to use thermodynamics in our favour – by mimicking open dissipative living systems. We can bend – but not break – our thermodynamic bounds. Pretending they do not exist at a macro-economic scale does nothing to adapt to the living earth system. We can only cheat the system for so long. When we fail: we fail big stylie. Time and entropy turn for no man.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Sep 14, 2019 1:41 AM
Reply to  BigB

“The arrogance of Man?”

Indeed BB.

‘REFLECTING on the question of what God was doing before creation, Saint Augustine is said to have quipped: “He was preparing hell for those who pry into mysteries”. Apparently the idea of hell doesn’t scare today’s scientists. As a matter of fact, many of us are trying to understand how our universe came to be.’

Here I submit some recent public, thinking about re-invention.

‘To solve all these issues we need to wipe the slate clean, go back to the first principles of quantum theory and general relativity, decide which are necessary and which are open to question, and see what new principles we might need. Do that and an alternative description of physics becomes possible, one that explains things not in terms of objects situated in a pre-existing space, as we do now, but in terms of events and the relationships between them.’

‘NEW SCIENTIST MAGAZINE, ISSUE 3244, 24 August 2019
PHYSICS
Quantum weirdness isn’t real; we’ve just got space and time all wrong
By Lee Smolin’

Get your Big Brain around that and we can continue our dance.

All best.

BigB
BigB
Sep 14, 2019 8:45 AM
Reply to  Dungroanin

First order science – the Cartesian Method – is a cosmogony without consciousness. The observer consciousness is excluded and non-participatory. Duality is not reality. Second order science – the observer consciousness is participatory and has creative influence. Get your head around Friston’s Free Energy Principles where we are actively inferring our “reality” by constant adaptive somatosensation (minimizing Bayesian “surprise”). The idea of an “external” spacetime is becoming untenable. See Prigogine, Wheeler, Rowland’s “4 Es “, Varela, Thomson, Rosch, Lakoff, Johnson (Mark); etc.

Science is in “model crisis”. When we return to normal science …we’ll be putting Markov Blankets on everything. And the economy will be modelled as a dynamic adaptive bio-physical system …maybe.

George Cornell
George Cornell
Sep 15, 2019 2:00 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Agree with you. Sorry to nitpick but penicillin wasn’t invented but isolated from a mould. Avery McCarty and McLoed were in the early 40s, the transforming principle of pneumococci, and it was big news scientifically. but these impede your points not at all.

Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Sep 14, 2019 8:35 PM
Reply to  BigB

There is a basis for a real Economy from which true growth has no limit apart from maintaining its own balance.
A negative ‘economy’ inflates in front of debt that the ‘controllers’ outsource to maintain the sustainability of the scam.

The energy cartel effectively seeks control over necessities along with generating new dependencies for more pervasive control. It is the imposition of scarcity for such purpose – as with scarcity being the corollary of greed, that stifles real science – because only the weaponisation and marketisation of the established order is permitted.

Whether this straightjacket on science will continue to pass off as genuine is perhaps dependent on seeing exactly the same patterns working through its narratives as all other arenas of narrative control.

The releasing of the control mentality – that I associate with the Cartesian schism of heart and mind – but displaced to mind and matter – so as to rule out the intuitive recognition of Life as One – is the freedom to embody a wholeness of being in place of a manufactured narrative.

The future is open. The past can be seen differently, the present can yield to presence.
Entropy presumes a closed system – yes? Science doesn’t allow Creator as Presence – (does it?)
Presence in some ways is like unto the zero point that all polarities are expressions of.

Thing-ness or a think believed private and alone – posits a closed system and a body becomes its symbolic reference and framing. But we now now there is no empty space or vacuum, so much as particles of charged relation that comprise about 96% of the physical Universe – and spontaneously self organise in cellular and filamentary electromagnetic structuring. At least – some of us are opening to a Universe that is not impacts, objects and forces so much as resonances of frequency domains.

Nothing is really as it seems – but we have the experience of our current definitions and beliefs – and these are also changing whether we will or no – and so will our worldview. To an invested or established sense of control as security – such change brings on the fear of God – but of course more likely framed as fear of pain of loss of self.

But Apocalypse is a Great Reveal – or uncovering of truth – and not inherently destructive.
Waking responsibility for consciousness is holding the balance points as more and more is brought to awareness. The alternative is narrative control set against the movement of our very being – which is being exemplified on the big screen of our world is it not?

Capricornia Man
Capricornia Man
Sep 13, 2019 9:30 AM

An excellent article, the nub of which is to be found in the notes at the end.

I particularly agree with “Those on the left who say the EU can be reformed have given up on socialism” (point 2).

One encounters the “EU can be reformed” argument among not only members of the Australian Labor Party (never a socialist party) but among others who insist that they ARE socialists and belong to ‘socialist’ organisations.

I accept Lapavitsos’s argument that, for reasons of both theory and practical experience (ie: Greece), such a belief is unfounded.

Capricornia Man
Capricornia Man
Sep 14, 2019 2:29 AM
Reply to  Mike Ellwood

Thanks, Mike. Have read only the first of your references (so far). It should be required reading for leftist wishful thinkers in the remain camp.

vexarb
vexarb
Sep 14, 2019 8:44 AM
Reply to  Mike Ellwood

Another cut’n’paste from one of Mike’s Links:

“for the EU to be reformed in a socialist direction – socialist governments would need to have been elected in 15 EU countries, and they would have had to develop a consensus on EU reform. The likelihood of this occurring is obviously close to zero. Thanks in part to the EU treaties, even moderate social democratic parties – let alone real socialist parties – have been eviscerated across the continent, and there has been a widespread lurch to the right and towards nationalist populism. Britain only bucks this trend thanks to two unique factors: the extraordinary quirk of Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Labour Party leader, and Brexit, which has pulled the rug from beneath the main right-wing challenger party, UKIP.”

In other words Britain has bucked “a widespread lurch to the right” by two “unique”? lurches to the Left. And in France, Les Gilets Jaunes: another of those “unique factors”?

The natives are restless.

TFS
TFS
Sep 13, 2019 8:19 AM

Why Brexit is good for Workers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xq-gWv91WM

How the system Screws You;

TFS
TFS
Sep 13, 2019 7:38 AM

Here’s an interesting piece on a legal opinion about actually being out of the EU on March, 29th of this year.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvVQwt-vNJ4

The lawyers for Britain has a wealth of information on it, regarding Brexit.

https://lawyersforbritain.org/

Barry
Barry
Sep 13, 2019 7:14 AM

Excellent analysis of the reality behind the Brexit saga. I also commend Jonathan Cooke’s recent blog.
https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2019-09-12/brexit-reveals-corbyn-to-be-the-true-moderate/

George Mc
George Mc
Sep 13, 2019 7:34 AM
Reply to  Barry

Thanks for that link. That put into words my own feelings of the entire Brexit fiasco as a gloomy pseudo-choice. Here is the line that sums it all up perfectly:

“The Brexit row is chiefly about which slavemaster, America or Europe, will be kinder to us.”

Jean Miller
Jean Miller
Sep 13, 2019 11:10 AM
Reply to  George Mc

As Richard D Hall so succinctly described where we currently are ..”you can step in this dog shit here. Or this dog shit over here”!

George Mc
George Mc
Sep 13, 2019 4:43 PM
Reply to  Jean Miller

Or how about this verse from an old Stones song?:

“Spare a thought for the stay-at-home voter
His empty eyes gaze at strange beauty shows
And a parade of the gray suited grafters
A choice of cancer or polio”

TFS
TFS
Sep 13, 2019 7:40 AM
Reply to  Barry

I’m going out on a limb here….

1. Leave the EU.
2. Vote Jeremey Corbyn in.
3. JC can remove us from the clutches of SPARTUSA.

Job Done.

crank
crank
Sep 13, 2019 7:13 AM

Just for the sake of it, consider it all from the other angle. A ‘peg on the nose’ Leaver, someone committed to the principle that only by leaving a rigidly Neoliberal institution (the EU) might we stand a chance of creating and alternative society, yet, forced into a camp with arch Neoliberal fanatics who see exit from the EU as an opportunity to fleece the UK wholesale and to re-write the rules even further in the favour of billionaires.
Seeing the working class vote in the referendum undermined by the political establishment over the past three years, these sentiments only strengthened. Yet here we find ourselves with an unelected prime minister, himself undermining parliament, government ministers whipping up public sentiment against the judicial system, and an exit that seems set to transfer a whole heap of money from the needy to the obsessively rich.
Left Leavers now seem set into a complete self contradiction, tacitly calling for support for Johnson’s anti-democratic behaviour “”in support of democracy””.
The Right (as ‘conservatives’) are imploding into a different kind of self contradiction:(https://novaramedia.com/2019/09/12/fuck-business-fuck-the-law-fuck-parliament-the-descent-of-british-conservatism/)
There is no vision that I see coming from the Left. They have nothing to offer. The reality is that we are all entering a period of decline. Less energy, less resources, less material wealth. The material basis of Left values is falling away. Until someone on either side recognises and admits this undeniable fact then the whole Brexit thing is a charade of pure distraction.
I fear, without some kind of realistic vision of an alternative (based on a whole new set of values at the heart of society), that the descent into dystopia is inevitable.
Brexit, by revealing the bigger picture in our domestic political scene, has made a fool out of us all.

BigB
BigB
Sep 13, 2019 11:03 AM
Reply to  crank

Agreed. Only the “realistic vision of an alternative” is a figment of the collective imagination. Or perhaps, a failure of the collective imagination?

The number of people who can see Britain is Broken is high. The number who can see why is low. You said so yourself. The underlying bio-physical conditions mean that the British economy will continue to collapse – Leave or Remain: deal, no-deal, or Green New Deal. For which there is – and will remain – zero preparation.

The best thing to come out of this utter farce is the Yellowhammer documents. Which details the spectacular failure of the politicised collective imagination. Forget Brexit: we live in the perpetual shadow of being a few days away from a food, fuel, medicine, and as I was just reading …we do not even have water security …unless the purification chemicals arrive on time.

Forget the no-deal fear porn: this exposes the globalisation model for what it is …a systemically fragile collapse model. One that will not be fixed by any “deal” …except perhaps by a radical re-localised resilience and re-distribution ‘deal’. The one that is a figment.

Not only is the Politician not addressing the right set of problems for a resilient outcome: the collective imagination is not even on the right planet. Human political imagination has created its own parallel negentropic reality …where energy and materials are recycling in a frictionless perpetual motion economy: untroubled by finnitude.

A mythology of infinite economic expansiveness that is as believable to the workers as it is to bosses as it is to the mythmaking Politicians as it is to the Capitalists. Everyone is in a progessive forward orientation increase fixatation bias. An orientation bias that is culturally inculcated in the programming language (the future is ahead, progress is up, time is money).

Capitalist Realism dictates the workers invest their lives in time with an valorisable promise of a monetised fitness payoff. It’s in our neural Darwinian DNA. Good luck to anyone who wants to expose the fallacy of this investiture in increase. It won’t be the Politicians (names do not matter any more: the fallacy is ubiquitous). And it won’t be the workers – or Trade Unionism – that are so inculcated in faith-based beliefs biased toward infinite increase.

Because of our utterly fantastical politicised propensity for imagining unlimited increase without any reality inputs: we are days away from dystopia and shortage. Leave, Remain, deal, no-deal, or GND …we will remain days away from dystopia …because narrative faery tales of faith-based increase always work out fine in the end. Don’t they?

It is only our beliefs that are supporting our beliefs. Watch out below!

crank
crank
Sep 13, 2019 12:52 PM
Reply to  BigB

The ECB’s decision to start another round of QE (against the votes of many European ‘partners’) is indicative of all you write being right BigB.
No ideas here.

BigB
BigB
Sep 13, 2019 3:50 PM
Reply to  crank

“Open-ended QE”; €20bn a month indefinitely; rates negative 0.5% and falling; ECB undergirded by €13tn negative yield junk bonds …goodbye Draghi …hello Christine Lagarde. Welcome to the Matrix where nothing is as solid, real, or valuable as it seems.

If only we can drag out Brexit for a little longer we won’t have to worry about the deal …or Leave or Remain. The ECB is now on a fast track to devalue the Euro to worthlessness …which is the fate of all fiat. Other CBs to follow.

Will we be able to learn and create a bio-physical economy that funds humanity …as though people and the environment matter? The short term dynamics are locked in. Maybe the trauma will induce a long term re-evaluation? Trying to refloat Deutsche Bank and all the other failing banks with a broken ECB will confirm the insanity to which we are all involuntary subjects.

Francis Lee
Francis Lee
Sep 13, 2019 5:56 PM
Reply to  BigB

I am afraid you are right BigB. Your analysis and prognostications are light years ahead of the PTB. I don’t think I can ever remember a time when our ‘leaders’ were so paralysing stupid and inept. Call me Oswald Spengler but this seems like the irreversible decline of the west. But unfortunately these are precisely the people who fit the requirements of the ruling elites. Puffed up buffoons, who, to use a computer analogy can be described as: GIGO = Garbage in, garbage out. In today’s world it doesn’t pay to be clever, truthful, imaginative, socially responsible. All that is necessary is to make the appropriate mouth noises, be seen and hobnob with important people, and constantly stare into a smart phone.

I feel like Fraser in ‘Dad’s Army’ – we’re dooooooomed! Trouble is he’s right.

BigB
BigB
Sep 13, 2019 6:55 PM
Reply to  Francis Lee

Francis:

Where there is a FIRE economy …pour gasoline. The overfinacialised service economy loves a bit of stimulus. Failing corporations kept afloat, plenty of money for buybacks, M&As, etc. We can see where it is heading: and so can they. Jay Powell attested that there can be no Plan B …before he became Fed Chair. He’s right.

When the periphery collapses: we’ll have the corrupt Lagarde and possibly Carnage at the IMF …as two thirds of the Troika to make sure investors get paid and the population get the Bill. Something is rotten in the State of financialisation …something is very rotten indeed.

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins
Sep 14, 2019 4:11 PM
Reply to  Francis Lee

Francis: “Formerly no one was allowed to think freely; now it is permitted, but no one is capable of it any more. Now people want to think only what they are supposed to think, and this they consider freedom.” (Spengler)

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Sep 13, 2019 6:28 PM
Reply to  BigB

“The ECB is now on a fast track to devalue the Euro to worthlessness …”

Compared to what?

crank
crank
Sep 13, 2019 7:36 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

The E-shekel is on its way.

Antonym
Antonym
Sep 13, 2019 5:03 AM

All Euro bank account holders soon will get negative interest, cutesy of the European Central Bank. Count your blessings, plebs.

crank
crank
Sep 13, 2019 7:33 AM
Reply to  Antonym

To be fair, it is going to be happening all around the world, not just in the EU. (Otherwise people would just flee the European banks).
Caroll Quigley was telling the truth, it seems.

Antonym
Antonym
Sep 14, 2019 2:20 AM
Reply to  crank

Not where I live.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Sep 13, 2019 6:32 PM
Reply to  Antonym

What is the problem?

Real savings rates have been negative for a decade.

The move is designed to make the major banks to actually invest in the real world – rather than parking their fiat deposit creation with the ECB earning free money?

It’s a Macro/Micro issue.

crank
crank
Sep 13, 2019 8:14 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

The move is designed to make the major banks to actually invest in the real world

QE has been billed as such an encouragement since its introduction post 2008.
When do you think such investment might start to materialise ?
Another ten years or so maybe ?

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Sep 13, 2019 9:21 PM
Reply to  crank

I agree that QE has been used mostly to boost the banks balance sheets to stop them failing – it was a con. They got the free QE and parked it with the central banks that ‘created’ it and then paid interest on it! The banks additionally used it to ‘invest’ in second hand shares of major companies and also lend on assets – which has resulted in these being inflated.

In the meantime small businesses and self employed and credit card / overdraft requirements have been starved or charged extortionate rates. Forcing many into the hands of ‘payday’ types with orders more in charges ( a lot of these companies financed by the banks themselves).

A negative interest rate is there to try and get them to introduce more liquidity in the real world.

Because the asset bubble is now close to bursting.

I’m not a finance specialist but i have set up and run various businesses over the decades. I’d recommend Richard Murphy on most things macro.

Ucumist
Ucumist
Sep 14, 2019 2:01 AM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Richard Murphy is a tax accountant / expert but his understanding of macroeconomics is mainstream neoliberal. He is the equivalent of a Flat-Earther when it comes to economics. No wonder your good intentions are so often spoiled by right wing economic myths.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Sep 14, 2019 2:13 AM
Reply to  Ucumist

Wtf?
He is also a professor and working on many governmental and international bodies.
I don’t necessarily agree with all his views but i certainly do with his research and collaborative work.

It is sad to see such aggressive adhominem against a expert in their field. I don’t suppose you have had the chutzpah to take him on directly?

Right wing?? Wtf are you on about?????

Antonym
Antonym
Sep 13, 2019 4:56 AM

Holland a winner from the EU project? Only for the elite who get posh jobs in Brussels like now Timmermans. The average Dutch citizens got stagnant wages, severe lack of housing, no go zones in big cities etc. The GDP was growing though, but this money is squandered by the ruling parties on pet projects like CO2 reduction, immigration etc.

Francis Lee
Francis Lee
Sep 13, 2019 8:26 AM
Reply to  Antonym

Excellent and considered piece on dilemmas of Brexit.

”Be careful what EU wish for

The EU is a crisis-ridden institution. Why do we keep pretending that Remain is the more stable option for the Left?

By Ray Bellchambers
Red Pepper 28 June 2018

The remain campaign, in its various guises, is moving into high gear. With an endless array of speaking tours, banner drops and marches, they have been highly successful in gaining media coverage – albeit less so in actually persuading Tory MPs to rebel against the hard-line Brexit-means-Brexiteers leading their party.

For young people in particular, the chosen rhetoric of ‘Our Future, Our Choice’ is peculiarly disjointed from the reality of the cause they are promoting. The Remain campaign had and continues to have almost nothing positive to say about the future,and can only rail to a sceptical public against the supposedly reckless, idiotic folly of leaving (whatever happened to the ‘punishment budget’?). That a lot of young people can only see a future blighted by insecure service jobs, unable to move out from home, or suffocating amounts of debt has apparently not factored into a campaign that speaks only for those with an already bright future to ‘protect’ from the uncertainty of Brexit.

Whilst it would be unfair to tar left-wing groups like Another Europe is Possible with the same brush as their conservative counterparts, both these camps portray Lexit as
fundamentally, unforgivably reckless. They claim Lexit is the delusion of chancers who are jeopardising a swathe of hard-won human rights, workers’ rights, migrant rights and so on at the hands of a Tory Brexit, in the vain hope that sometime, somewhere down the line the Left will benefit.

Nonetheless, the most reasonable remainers on Left will concede, when confronted with the many inconvenient truths about the EU, that their argument is really a case of ‘better the devil you know’. Amidst all the debate about what the future would hold for the Left if we leave, little attention has been paid to the multiple, overlapping crisis facing the EU elsewhere. It is assumed that remaining is automatically the more secure option. But in reality, the EU is on an unstable and worrying trajectory, driven by forces its institutions are incapable of confronting and events beyond its control.

The migration crisis has seen states cracking down on migrants, repeatedly violating the human rights principles that the EU is supposed to enshrine. It has exposed the complete inability of the EU to enforce agreements and standards without being able to use the muscle of the European Central Bank to back them up. On the face of it, this is a textbook example of where the EU’s long-forgotten principles of compromise, pooling of resources and tolerance should have been able to prevail.

When in 2015 the European Council agreed to introduce a low-numbers resettlement quota system it seemed as though a politically significant baby step had been taken towards a unified response. But instead, the system was simply ignored by the central European Visegrad group and barely implemented in most of the rest of Europe with no substantive repercussions. Of the 160,000 who were supposed to be resettled, only 28,000 ever were – despite multiple time extensions. Meanwhile, FRONTEX has been empowered to act as an indiscriminate interdiction, detention and deportation agency, perversely acting to curtail the right to asylum in the name of European ‘humanitarianism’.

The Left argument runs that, despite all its contradictions, the EU remains a bulwark against the worst excesses of reactionary Tory social policy. But there’s no reason to put any such faith in it. In Poland and in Hungary almost every shade of homophobic, anti-Semitic or otherwise illiberal legislation has been passed with concerned weasel words the best the EU can offer. Now, with Austria’s chancellor and interior minister proposing military secure zones in north Africa to ‘concentrate’ migrants, and right-wing nationalists topping the polls even in places like Sweden, there is absolutely no reason to believe the EU can act as a functional counterweight to the rise of the far Right. Just as likely is that the mainstream Christian Democratic Right simply moves further rightwards to accommodate and neutralise the electoral threat of such groups, a tactic that has a less than glowing pedigree.

MORE: EUROPE
o Revenge against the commons
o Spain’s new laws turn peaceful protesters into terrorists
o Beneath the Pavements, the Beach?
o Why Europe needs Corbyn

o If we want a progressive future, we need to bust some myths about the causes of Brexit

Whilst economists are right to worry about the sheer cliff of a no-deal Brexit, the EU is no bastion of economic stability. The slow burn economic crisis has no end in sight. Whilst yields (ergo risk) on government debt have mostly stabilised for now, Southern European debtors persist in an apparently permanent state of limbo; not quite in crisis but not quite in recovery either. The neoliberal medicine they were prescribed has satisfied the debt markets but also precludes any policies to meaningfully restructure their economies or secure any of the proceeds of growth for their populaces. The chronically overvalued and economically malignant Euro is kept artificially strong to the benefit of French and German consumers whilst making the exports of poorer European countries uncompetitive, in a zero-sum game which ultimately benefits nobody. Only a minor downturn is needed to trigger another, even greater round of crisis.

Each set of reforms coming out of Brussels compels more economic ‘liberalisation’ than the last, and any wiggle room to evade politically unpopular changes is diminishing fast. All signs point towards the continued imposition of neoliberal reforms from above wherever they have so far been resisted at a national level, a debt time bomb that Europe’s anaemic economies will be poorly placed to weather and, ultimately, the painful and protracted break-up of the Euro.

Recent events in Italy have demonstrated very clearly the stance the commission and its ever-beneficent Franco-German leadership have taken to these crises. When one of Europe’s most historically federalist states tried to form a coalition between the big-tent populists of the Five Star Movement and the anti-immigrant Lega Nord, it was M5S’s choice of a Eurosceptic former technocrat as finance minister that caused a flurry of pushback which culminated in a near constitutional crisis. So much furore, yet barely a mention that Lega’s leader Matteo Salvini would become deputy prime minister. In the last two weeks, Salvini has left a boat carrying over 600 men, women and children stranded in the Mediterranean, proposed a compulsory register of Roma gypsies, and called for a ‘mass cleansing, street by street, quarter by quarter’. It couldn’t be clearer where the commission’s true priorities lie.
Far from being any kind of safe option, the actual consequences of remaining are no less uncertain, and no less potentially dire for the Left than those of leaving. In either case we can only really make an informed guess at great historical contingencies that are at play across Europe. Leave supporting Leftists have sought to demonstrate that in leaving the EU, great opportunities for socialist advances exist – not simply those of reactionary backsliding. The question to which no adequate answer appears to have been found is what opportunities exist inside the EU, given the dangers are no less acute? What if you got what you wished for, but it didn’t turn out how you thought?”

Tricky, to say the least!

I think it advisable to bear in mind the ~Europe is occupied territory and what we are confronted with is a double invasion. Washington is the multinational and Brussels is the subsidiary. Moving from one to the other is no move at all. A Labour government will be committed to the ties of Anglo-Zionist empire. That is because Labour is basically and always has been a pro-NATO, pro-Zionist (Labour Friends of Israel) pro-Trident pillar of US imperialism regardless of who leaves it. Europe in general is dominated by the US at every level: political, ideological and economical. I simply do not find it credible that social-democratic parties are likely or committed to challenging that reality.

lundiel
lundiel
Sep 13, 2019 8:59 AM
Reply to  Francis Lee

This is the best summation of our position I have read.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Sep 13, 2019 1:47 PM
Reply to  Francis Lee

Francis,
Much to agree with there.

I think it worth updating though that the Liga has managed to remove itself from the coalition by attempting a power grab!
Fascists do what it says in their tin!

As for Greece, Portugal, Spain – they haven’t crashed and burnt as many a speculator betted 5 years ago.

Does anyone seriously believe their citizens want to leave the EU?

We can stay involved, we can have the single market, the customs union and the various regulations and rights and still be out.

Mike Ellwood
Mike Ellwood
Sep 13, 2019 2:53 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Everything rosy in the Greek garden?

I don’t think so.

http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=42699

Let’s just remind ourselves of what some of those fiscal commitments are – I outlined them in this blog post – Greece – the next bailout is just around the corner (January 23, 2019):

1. Syriza agreed to Eurogroup demands that it would generate a primary fiscal surplus of 3.5 per cent of GDP by 2022 and a permanent 2 per cent surplus by 2060, irrespective of what is going on in the non-government sector.

2. €50bn in public assets were forced into an independent trust based and when they were privatised the funds would overwhelmingly go to the creditors. The property assets are beyond the control of Greek politicians until 2114.

3. Privatisations have been extensive – ports, shorelines, utilities, airports, significant archaeological assets, public buildings and more – mostly for small returns.

4. Massive pension cuts, tax hikes, and spending cuts generally.

and much more.

I provided a recent update on conditions in Greece in this blog post – The Greek colony remains in depression (June 25, 2019).

The summary was that:

1. Real GDP has shrunk by 23.9 per cent since the crisis began and has been stuck around that mark since 2012. There has been virtually no growth at all since the trough was reached in the December-quarter 2013.

2. Private consumption spending is now by 24 per cent lower than it was when Greece entered the crisis. It remains below the level of the June-quarter 2012 and has been static for the best part of two years.

3. The decimation of Greece’s productive capacity is on-going.

4. In the September-quarter 2008 (the peak employment quarter before the crisis), the ratio was 49.2 per cent. In the March-quarter 2019, the ratio was at 41.8 per cent. Had the ratio remained at 49.2 per cent, total employment would be 669 thousand larger than it currently is – that is, 17.5 per cent higher.

5. Total employment has fallen by 825.6 thousand (17.8 per cent) since the September-quarter 2008 peak.

6. Greece’s working age population has declined over the period from the September-quarter 2008 to the March-quarter 2019 by some 314.4 thousand (or 3.4 per cent) – this includes the massive ‘brain drain’ where skilled workers have left for other nations.

7. Unemployment rate is still at 19.2 per cent.

8. This is a massive demand-side induced Depression that Greece has been dealing with – deliberately inflicted and persisted with by the Troika using the so-called socialist party, Syriza as its puppet.

9. There is no way that a unilateral exit would have been as costly as this catastrophe.

(He’s talking about an exit from the Eurozone, rather than from the EU, I think).

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Sep 13, 2019 3:30 PM
Reply to  Mike Ellwood

MikeE,

Is there any need for you to focus on Greece?

I mean they are a smallish economy, long corrupted by their oligarchs and Atlantist cold warriors.

Their total debt was less than Apples reserves!

Anyway your stats are not current are they? And you quote arbitrary reference dates. It isn’t hard to find, for example

‘Greece’s GDP expanded 0.8 percent on quarter in the three months to June of 2019, faster than a 0.2 percent growth in the pervious period. Government expenditure jumped 4.3 percent in Q2, rebounding from a 2.4 percent drop in Q1 and net foreign demand contributed positively to growth, as exports rose 3.3 percent (vs -1.9 percent) while imports edged down 0.8 percent (vs 5.3 percent). At the same time, fixed investment slowed (2.4 percent vs 8.5 percent) while government consumption fell (-0.4 percent vs 0.1 percent).
On a yearly basis, the GDP grew 1.9 percent, following a 1.1 percent

expansion in Q1. GDP Growth Rate in Greece averaged 0.23 percent from 1995 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 3.20 percent in the first quarter of 2006 and a record low of -4.80 percent in the first quarter of 2009.’

Or
‘The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Greece decreased to 17.0 percent in June 2019 from a downwardly revised 17.1 percent in the prior month and compared with 19.2 percent in June of 2018. It was the lowest jobless rate since May of 2011. ‘

https://tradingeconomics.com/greece/indicators.

Of course it is not a rose garden , there or the rest of the PIGS, or indeed most countries of the world which are still reeling from the great daylight robbery of 2008. (Which wasn’t caused by the EU as everyone should know).

But like i say they haven’t crashed and burned as predicted and the Euro is still standing.

It is the Empire that is wobbling.

Francis Lee
Francis Lee
Sep 13, 2019 5:00 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Yes but,

Greece’s debt-to-GDP is now 181%, the highest it has ever been, and goodness knows what the private debt is. That’s one end of the eurozone the southern periphery, at the other end, the core, there is Germany whose GDP growth year-on-year is now 0 (as in zero %). If Germany capitulates on the Nordstream 2 this will raise the costs to German industry and its exports. Remember that Germany has to export 50% of its GDP and has very high levels of investment in Russia. This will not only be hammer blow to Germany but it would also shatter the eurozone. Additonally, the EU’s Eastern periphery is caught in a demographic crisis and brain drain, due to the free movement of labour and literally bleeding people.

Eurobased neoliberalism required the arrangement of goods and internal money flows that indebted Greece and other peripheral states involving a form of perpetual austerity. That is how the system was designed to work.This was not an aberration or ‘bad policy’ it was the very essence of the neoliberal system itself – a system structured and designed to enable, through new pan-European institutions, core northern finance capital elites to extract wealth from the periphery by means of trade flows and money flows.

This system is incorrigible, unreformable and simply doesn’t work. Or perhaps works for the top 5%. The notion that it can be anything other is so much moonshine.

Today Varoufakis is back as the initiator of DiEM2025 (Democracy in Europe). The former Greek minister of finance enjoys a lot of credibility with the European left. Much of this credibility is based on the urban myth that the SYRIZA government put up a heroic fight with the undemocratic powers in Europe that showed no economic insight, no consideration to the fate of the Greek people and blatant disrespect for democracy.

The same discourse now is being propagated again. In 2015, there was ultimately ‘no choice’ for the Greek government than to accept the Troika’s conditions. Today, DiEM2025 wants to reform the EU institutions. There is, again, ‘no choice.’ A fight at the national level is impossible, the left has to unite all over Europe and fight the EU institutions head on. DiEM2025’s aim is ‘to democratise the EU in the knowledge that it will otherwise disintegrate at a terrible cost to all’ (see here). Only two other ‘dreadful options’ remain: a retreat into the assumed antiquated ‘cocoon of the nation-state’ or ‘surrender’ to the European oligarchy. DiEM2025’s goal is ‘to convene a constitutional assembly’ where Europeans will deliberate on how to bring forward, by 2025, a fully fledged European democracy, featuring a ‘sovereign parliament’ that ‘respects national self-determination and shares power with national parliaments, regional assemblies and municipal councils’ (see here). This is, as Varoufakis admits in The Independent, indeed ‘utopian.’ But, he continues, it is ‘a lot more realistic than trying to maintain the system as it is’ or ‘trying to leave.’ Whether you’re Greek or British, ‘escape’ is impossible. Does this ring a bell? TINA, TINA, TINA! Okay, so we take Voltaire’s advice and go dig the Garden.

As for the Labour party, please not again. Please explain how it differs from the Parti Socialiste (France) Sozialedemocratische Partie (Deutschland) PASOK (Greece). How many times have we seen establishment social-democracy sell the pass. Her Majesty’s loyal oppostion is neither structurally, politically or ideologically equipped to take on the task of confronting the EU behemoth. Particularly since Blair.

What has been left of the social-democratic parties in Europe have been politically neutered and capitulated to neoliberal forces, or in some cases such as Germany have alllied themselves directly with the bankers and investors running the Eurozone-wide European institutions like the EC and ECB. Syriza-Tsipras wanted to remain in the euro but without the extreme austerity it demanded of them and Greece. The response? Nothing doing, you’ll have it and like it. Syriza eventually settled into the caretaker role for the neoliberal Troika

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Sep 13, 2019 6:11 PM
Reply to  Francis Lee

FL,
Greece is a fraction of the EU.

It benefits as a net recipient.
It benefits from free movement.
Etc.

Japan has a higher debt ratio!

In terms of all EU stats see for yourself
https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/3217494/10112251/KS-BJ-19-009-EN-N.pdf

I’d rather not get into the bankerish Varoufalkis and his part in trying to derail the EU – whats the point of trying to gather ‘European socialists’ when it should be EU socialists who can come together in aggregate gatherings?

The current Spanish socialist government, Italian 5 star and Syrizia are the nearest to the mass grass roots political parties to the current Corbynite Labour. If they form a government that would massively boost the EU democratic socialists.

lundiel
lundiel
Sep 13, 2019 7:20 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

As for Greece, Portugal, Spain – they haven’t crashed and burnt as many a speculator betted 5 years ago.
Does anyone seriously believe their citizens want to leave the EU?

You started this discussion and when you were answered you started back-pedaling and state that Greece is too small to matter.
This is typical of your extreme pro-EU comments.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Sep 13, 2019 9:04 PM
Reply to  lundiel

Lundiel,

I seem to recall when we last exchanged, that i made it clear exactly what my position on brexit is. I am ok with it.
Perhaps you should check back because i had to remind you of the actual history and chronology of our membership because you seemed to think that we voted to JOIN the EC in the first referendum – have you already forgotten that?

It seems you are having trouble remembering that I didn’t start this comment thread – I REPLIED. It is just above -check!
In addition that reply states that i am largely in agreement with the poster and updated the fact of Matteo no longer being in power & thati find Yannis worship to be misguided. And that as you pick out – the doom mongering about the PIGS/EU/Euro over the decade did not materialise.

The poster than replied with a quote which concentrated on Greece – i took issue with the data and pointed to legitimate sources ( have you looked at them?) and suggested that Greece does not represent a large part of the EU.

So you are not only misrepresenting me you are yet again deploying ad hominem. “Fanatical”!

I am more than happy to engage and I’d rather do it with people who don’t have the same view rather than be in a echo chamber.

Just pack in the abuse it is not a good look or i may have to escalate a complaint!

lundiel
lundiel
Sep 14, 2019 9:18 AM
Reply to  Dungroanin

You accuse me of adhomenin comments but in turn, are more than happy to start an argument between us.
I am unwilling to enter into a flamewar with you, I have no wish to bang my head against a wall.
Please don’t misrepresent me as you have above, Re the first referendum, it’s snidey and false to boot and don’t threaten me with complaints (I expect you’ve already started a spreadsheet of my alleged offences against you).
I thought ‘fanatic’ was an apt description for someone who likes to give links to “Matte’s” comments reported in Liberal newspapers and uses every article on Brexit to push a false history of the EU and falsely represent them as a bulwark against the USA, something that’s been covered many times and most agree that they are in competition with the USA, not protecting anyone from it……As someone here pointed out: Where’s NATOs headquarters?

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Sep 14, 2019 1:10 PM
Reply to  lundiel

You addressed me.

You have used multiple adhominems.

You misrepresented when we joined the EC and the question of the first referendum.

I have posted only historical facts and government memos and Merkels direct accusation- which has been ignored by the media and our government here. Why?

I don’t need a spreadsheet (wtf? my memory is fine.

If there is any fanaticism it is by the hard brexit, do or die ignoramuses in the media and politics.

I have no desire to engage with you – you did with me – i suggest you don’t if you don’t like being corrected. Starting right now.

lundiel
lundiel
Sep 13, 2019 7:25 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Also, Japan’s debts are their own. Greece’s debts are in a currency they have no power over and to foreign banks.
Your grasp of economics is astonishing. Or you are twisting again.

Francis Lee
Francis Lee
Sep 14, 2019 8:30 AM
Reply to  Dungroanin

”Greece is a fraction of the EU.

It benefits as a net recipient.
It benefits from free movement.
Etc.

Japan has a higher debt ratio!”

Incredible! Neoliberal economic policy! ‘Greece is a fraction of the EU.’ Every country is a fraction of the EU. The Troika’s treatment of Greece is simply a warning of what happens if you dare to cross the PTB in the Eurozone.

”It benefits as a net recipient.’ My dear chap, Greece has been systematically looted by the EU. See Jack Rasmus ‘ The Looting of Greece.”

”It benefits from free movement” Oh yes, part of the neoliberal flexible labour market package. What a gift to be uprooted from your own country and forced to find work at a shithole job with low wages, poor working conditions, in some other country whose language you don’t speak and whose culture is completely alien. The casualisation of labour is back. I see these Romanians early in the morning hanging around waiting for some casual work to come their way. This is a downward flexibilisation of labour conditions. Brilliant eh. back to the future or what.

‘Japan has a higher debt ratio.’ Japan is the third largest economy in the world after China and the US, it also has world class export industries, it can carry that debt load, Greece doesn’t and can’t.

Is this the best you can do?

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Sep 14, 2019 1:28 PM
Reply to  Francis Lee

I’ll ask again why are you trying to focus in Greece? within this brexit article? As you correctly note Japan and Greece can’t be compared because of the economic scale differences. So why compare Greece and UK?

Remember ‘Auf Widdersein Pet’?

I don’t understand what your point of view is on brexit – do you want it hard and fast asap?

lundiel
lundiel
Sep 13, 2019 7:27 PM
Reply to  Francis Lee

DG is a fanatical remainer.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Sep 14, 2019 2:00 AM
Reply to  Francis Lee

Oh and btw nordstream 2 is ready to go. It is Denmark that is being used to license it.
The price of gas has dropped all year before it goes on line.
Germany and the EU is not capitulating.
It is securing gas supply for the European grid.

Cheer up. It means we don’t need fracking here or from the US.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Sep 14, 2019 2:01 AM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Denmark being used NOT to license it.

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig
Sep 13, 2019 5:33 PM
Reply to  Antonym

Just like Germany. The little people never benefit.