All posts tagged: Brexit

Iron Ladies and Golden Dreams

Steven Keith It was Margaret Thatcher who as Prime Minister was the principal driving force behind the expansion of the European Union. It was she who advocated the broadening of the physical, philosophical, financial and spiritual scope of the European Community as it was then known, to include the eastern European and Baltic, former Warsaw Pact states. Her nemesis at that time was Jaques Delors, a bureaucrat and a Frenchman. He of course (being that he had risen to the appointed post of a Commissioner) came from the Brussels mindset that was then and remains to this day of the same view, that being, that Brussels, Berlin and Paris run the show between them. The physical structures of the EU project in Brussels, Belgium being underpinned by the financial and philosophical capacities of Germany and France. Thatcher attempted to weaken that triumvirate by expanding the number of nations and taking advantage of the fact that those countries were existing in their post-Soviet incarnation, that being, in a state of virtual financial anarchy, masquerading as liberalism. …

OPEN THREAD: The Second Referendum

Labour released a statement today, saying that they will support a “people’s vote” on any possible Brexit deal: We will also be backing the Cooper-Letwin amendment to rule out a no deal outcome. One way or another, we will do everything in our power to prevent no deal and oppose a damaging Tory Brexit based on Theresa May’s overwhelmingly rejected deal. That’s why, in line with our conference policy, we are committed to also putting forward or supporting an amendment in favour of a public vote to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit being forced on the country. The Labour statement was predictable divisive – with some people declaring it a triumph for The Independent Group, the newly-defected “centrist party”: This *might* make the Independent Group the most successful political party of all time https://t.co/WdTNzL7gmo — Jonathan Freedland (@Freedland) February 25, 2019 While others see it as a massive blunder: If #LabourConference were to block #Brexit it would be worse than a crime it would be a blunder. A #KhakiElection would then follow. May for Britain …

Geopolitics of Europe and the Iron Law of Evolutionary Biology

Europe after the Brexit, NATO 70 summit and Turkish geopolitical vertigo Professor Anis H. Bajrektarević A freshly released IMF’s World Economic Outlook brings no comforting picture to anyone within the G-7, especially in the US and EU: The WTO Round is dead, trade wars are alive, GCC is rapidly Pakistanising while the Asia’s core and its Far East slows down. No comfort either comes from the newest Oxfam Report – Are 26 billionaires worth more than half the planet?, which the ongoing Davos Vanity Fair known as the WEF tries to ignore (as much as this gathering of capital sustains in ignoring labor). The Brexit after-shock is still to reverberate around. In one other EXIT, Sartre’s Garcin famously says: ‘Hell is other people’. Indeed, the business of othering remains lucrative: The NATO 70 summit will desperately look for enemies. Escalation, the best way to preserve eroded unity, requires the confrontational nostalgia dictatum. Will the passionately US-pushed cross-Atlantic Free Trade Area (substituting the abandoned TIPP and compensating for the Sino-US trade war) save the day? Or, …

Brexit: Who will speak for us?

David Lindsay It gives me no pleasure to say this, but it is clearly the case. No Deal is already off the table. That assurance has been given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the financial backers of the Conservative Party. Those people, unlike the trade unions, have no sentimental attachment to any political party. Routinely, they work in and with countries where much of what Jeremy Corbyn proposes is already in place. They have more than survived British Governments that were well to the left of his present position, Governments that in any case have to hold General Elections within five years. They would be at the front of the queue for State Aid. He holds no terrors for them. And the Liberal Democrats have undertaken not to support any future Motion of No Confidence in the present Government. Officially, that is unless Corbyn came out in favour of a second referendum. But that is like saying, “unless the Moon turned into green cheese.” The only real reason can be that Theresa May …

Main Street, Brexitland

Tony Sutton People in England’s northern towns and cities are scared. Their fears stoked by xenophobic right-wing media, they hate Europe, and they hate migrants. But, most of all, they hate the way they are being squeezed into poverty by a post-industrial society that has turned dreams into nightmares and replaced hope with despair. Tony Sutton returns to South Shields, a place he once called home. British Prime Minister Theresa May has committed herself to a scheme to arrest the economic decline of the north of England. However, the plan, originally proposed by George Osborne, who was axed as Chancellor of the Exchequer after the exit of David Cameron as PM following June 2016’s Brexit vote, is still in a state of incoherence, doubletalk and indecision. Nothing has yet been agreed, other than the setting up of a think tank – the Northern Powerhouse Partnership – by Osborne, who raised few hopes for speedy action when he said at its mid-September launch: “Trying to turn around 100 years of relative economic decline is not going …

Why is Theresa May still Prime Minister?

Theresa May’s government has a strong argument for being the worst in the history of our democracy. So why is it allowed to continue?

Discuss: Brexit deal vote looms

Tonight, any time now, the UK Parliament will vote on whether or not accept Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit “deal” with the EU. The deal, which essentially keeps us in the EU without any democratic say in how it’s run, has achieved the startling feat of displeasing everyone, remainers and leavers, from both left and right. The vote is expected to be a grim defeat for May.

The EU: From Social-Democratic Dream to Neoliberal Nightmare

Frank Lee Reviews The Left Case Against the EU by Costas Lapavitsas Britain, in the shape of Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath, initially joined the EEC in 1973, after Charles de Gaulle’s resignation in 1969. De Gaulle had always been opposed to the Anglo-Saxon axis, regarding the UK as a ‘Trojan Horse’ for US geopolitical objectives, and consistently blocked the UK’s attempted entry into continental Europe. According to DG Britain ‘was not European enough’. With the General out of the way the path was clear for British entry. However, this was not an altogether popular move with much of the electorate and some quite solid opposition from elements in both main political parties. This being the case the then Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, opted for a referendum on continued membership in 1975 to settle the issue. The electorate voted ‘Yes’ by 67.2% to 32.8% to stay in Europe. As I recall I voted ‘Yes’ and even wrote a pamphlet in support entitled: “EU the unfinished project.” However, I was then blissfully unaware that the …

“The Resistance” & the Gilets Jaunes

Why France’s Yellow Vest protests have been ignored by “The Resistance” in the US Max Parry The rich are only defeated when running for their lives.” CLR James, The Black Jacobins In less than two months, the yellow vests (“gilets jaunes”) movement in France has reshaped the political landscape in Europe. For a seventh straight week, demonstrations continued across the country even after concessions from a cowing President Emmanuel Macron while inspiring a wave of similar gatherings in neighboring states like Belgium and the Netherlands. Just as el-Sisi’s dictatorship banned the sale of high-visibility vests to prevent copycat rallies in Egypt, corporate media has predictably worked overtime trying to demonize the spontaneous and mostly leaderless working class movement in the hopes it will not spread elsewhere. The media oligopoly initially attempted to ignore the insurrection altogether, but when forced to reckon with the yellow vests they maligned the incendiary marchers using horseshoe theory to suggest a confluence between far left and far right supporters of Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Marine Le Pen. To the surprise of no one, mainstream pundits have …

How a Second Referendum would reach beyond Brexit

Prof. Gloria Moss Voices are braying again for a Second Referendum, adding a familiar chorus to our Seasonal celebrations. We take a break from end of year festivities to look at the arguments advanced and look at what these might mean for the worlds of Sport, Education, Politics and the Law. They would make 2019 and the years following like no other, and make it life as we know it today a distant memory. First, let us take a look at the arguments for a Second Referendum (SR). Second Referendum Arguments There are nine prominent voices, five arguing for a rerun on the basis of the difficulties and controversy now facing Parliament and four on the basis of changing circumstances and voters’ ignorance. Problems in Parliament to blame Of the six arguing for a SR on the basis of a messy situation in Parliament, the most recent voice is that of Dominic Grieve, former Attorney General, Conservative MP for Beaconsfield. Writing in the Guardian on 29 December, he wrote of the need to hand the …

The EU and the warning signs of Fascism

Things are spiralling out of control in Europe, faster than many predicted. Outside of Brexit, there is strong anti-EU feeling in Hungary, Spain, Italy, Greece and France. The EU is in danger of crumbling, and people afraid of losing power are prone to extreme acts of dictatorial control.

How long before the EU truly becomes the authoritarian force that people from both ends of the political spectrum have always feared?

OPEN THREAD: Brexit – Deal or No Deal?

Theresa May’s proposed “deal” for leaving the European Union has been criticised by MP’s from all across the political spectrum. Cabinet Ministers have resigned, jobs have been refused, letters of no-confidence have been sent. Where is this going? Will we see a Tory leadership election? If so, who’s going to win it? If the deal is voted down by Parliament, a vote of no confidence in Theresa May is almost inevitable. A vote of no confidence will almost certainly trigger a new General Election. A General Election Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party would be favourites to win. This puts the anti-Corbyn Blairite MPs in a difficult position – will they ruin what’s left of their credibility by backing the “deal” proposed by the Tory government? Will they call for an election and hope to replace Corbyn if/when Labour win? Or will we see a third Labour leadership election? Discuss below.

Bias – The New Impartiality

You know what happens when you split equal time between the flat-Earth and round-Earth arguments? The flat-Earther loses. Because an impartial viewing of the evidence proves them wrong. Propaganda is fragile. A false consensus has fault lines. Lies can be torn down by the gentlest of winds. The truth always wins a fair fight.

Behind Your Back: How the new “anti-stalking” bill could silence online dissent

John Ward MP Sarah Wollaston quite rightly wants the police to do more about (and tighten up the prosecution of) potentially dangerous stalkers. But now the crime includes “Cyber abuse”, her Private Member’s Bill is too lax in its definitions about what stalking is, and police guidelines on priorities. Equally worrying, a majority of those sponsoring the legislation have dubious elements in their pasts. In a special investigation, The Slog raises the alarm. Viewed in the round, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the Tory MP Sarah Wollaston is a good egg. She isn’t Party voting fodder, she had a real job as a doctor before entering Parliament, she is suspicious of private sector health rip-offs, and she’s enormously popular in her Totnes constituency, where her ability to double and then treble majorities seems immune from the whimsical winds of electoral change as a whole. She espouses radical reform (in favour of the citizen) in how UK politics operate, and rebelled against the Government to vote against setting up a Royal Charter to regulate …

Has Jeremy Corbyn “gone full Trump”? Well, what if he has?

David Lindsay Has Jeremy Corbyn “gone full Trump”? Well, what if he has? In 2016, the American Democratic Party was defeated in the person of the most economically neoliberal and internationally neoconservative nominee imaginable. The lesson needs to be learned. The workers are not the easily ignored and routinely betrayed base, with the liberal bourgeoisie as the swing voters to whom tribute must be paid. The reality is the other way round. The EU referendum ought already to have placed that beyond doubt. There is a need to move, as a matter of the utmost urgency, away from the excessive focus on identity issues, and towards the recognition that those existed only within the overarching and undergirding context of the struggle against economic inequality and in favour of international peace, including co-operation with Russia, not a new Cold War. Working-class white areas that voted for Barack Obama did not vote for Hillary Clinton, African-American turnout went down while the Republican share of that vote did not, and Trump took 30 per cent of the Hispanic …

Donald Trump – Despised by Europe, Despises Europe

Andre Vltchek Why is Europe full of hate for Donald Trump? Is it, perhaps, because millions could soon die in yet another of the senseless and horrible wars unleashed by the Western empire? Or is it because Europeans suddenly ‘saw the light’ and realized that they mistreated billions of innocent people throughout history; that actually all people on Earth are equal and should be left alone and be allowed to live their lives as they please? Far from that; unfortunately, very far! Most of the Europeans simply hate Trump because he had enough of the status quo, of what could be objectively described as sneaky and sleazy games. Mr. Trump sees collaboration with Europe as an extremely bad business. Not that President Trump is a saint himself. Of course, he isn’t. He is a businessman – a very ruthless one, and in the past very daring and very successful. He has already managed to break the backs of hundreds of people, and now he would not hesitate to run hundreds of countries to the ground, …

They say there’s no “magic money tree”…well there is! But…

Bryan Gocke In Britain, if it wasn’t for BREXIT we would be discussing (among other things) Labour’s proposed economic policies, including an expansion of public sector spending. There would be a storm of media led disparagement about plans to stimulate the economy through borrowing and increased taxation and concerns raised about not paying down the national debt. As Theresa May said whilst campaigning for the last general election “There is no magic money tree.” I find it particularly disheartening that many well informed, left leaning people buy this criticism, worrying whether the country can afford improved public services and whether this will make Labour unelectable. The stock response of the Left to this would normally go along the lines of: The Tories are in disarray and deeply split over BREXIT and thus just might be even more unelectable than a slightly radical Labour Party. Britain is a rich country; surely it can afford better public services than it currently has? Labour’s proposals are, in truth, underwhelming! They represent such a modest step in a process …

UPDATED: UK’s “novichok” claim exposed as lies: what is the current reality of the Skripal case?

Clearly we currently are in no position to know what really happened to the Skripals, how it happened, where it happened or who was responsible. Just as clearly the government and media are lying. In addition the media are trying to work up a jingoistic anti-Russia hysteria that has no parallel in recent times. Not even the 2003 media frenzy to get pubic opinion behind the illegal war on Iraq reached these heights.

Mueller Indictments: truth v lies in“The Observer View”

Today’s Observer View focuses on the Announcement by Robert Mueller that they are indicting 13 Russians and 3 Russian companies for “interfering” in the 2016 Presidential election. It is, unsurprisingly, full of misleading language, lies by omission and just straight up lies.

RussiaDidIt: cheap meddling, closet Marxists and racial tensions

Are you a western journalist or analyst with an issue you cannot explain? Do your symptoms include an unwillingness to learn anything from history and an unconditional embrace of western exceptionalism? Then we have just the thing for you: RussiaDidIt! Taken in the appropriate dosage, RussiaDidIt can be used for just any issue, small and large, old and new, near and far. Call your local US embassy or EU office and order your RussiaDidIt talking points. Side effects may include total paranoia, loss of credibility and a desire to wear the EU flag as a cape.