My Log 519 June 29 2016
Faites vos jeux, mesdames et messieurs, faites vos jeux: British and American politics in turmoil, as capitalism seems ready to fall into the hands of the clowns
As the smoke has begun to clear from the so-called disaster of the Brexit from Europe, I am finding it easier than I had expected to decide on my view of it.
One helpful thing is the unanimity of the ferocious attack on Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn by the combined forces of the establishment, including all the stakeholders in capitalism, such as the mainstream journalists, all right-thinking Conservatives (desperately trying to persuade the world not to notice the monumental balls-up created by the Eton-educated, Oxbridge graduated Tory leaders), and by the right-wing members of the Labour party establishment, who, seizing the chance to oust their leader in a pre-planned coup, have betrayed nakedly their support for the neocolonialist agenda that has become the norm in Western world governing circles.
The pity of it is that Corbyn, who has apparently never been keen on the European Union, no doubt on the grounds that it was set up to be a stronghold of capitalism and its values, succumbed to the intense pressure of his Parliamentary colleagues to support the case for Remaining in the UE. In hindsight one can see it would have been better if Labour, fulfilling its role as Opposition to the Tory government, had plumped for the Brexit, and prepared a solid social plan for managing the changes required to create a new sort of Britain following departure from the Union. Unfortunately, that did not happen, so there is no point really in wishing it did. But the result of the Brexit has been to leave Britain rudderless, still trying to play its old game of having its cake and eating it too, right up until last weekend, with even members of the Brexit leadership writing that perhaps Britain could become an associate member, like Norway, only refusing to accept the free movement of peoples from state to state within the Union. This, it has been made clear from Europe, is never likely to fly, having been denounced by Mme Merkel as “cherrry-picking”, accepting the best and rejecting the worst of the Union rules.
The European leaders wish the British would get on with it. And I am persuaded by the perception of the Dutch journalist I quoted in my last post, that Europe, so desperately in need of reform if it is to advance along a humane and socially acceptable line, will be much better able to achieve such reform without Britain than with it inside the Union continuing its constant undermining of all change in the only direction that can make sense of the Union.
Perhaps the revolt within the Labour Members of Parliament is the most interesting thing of all. Corbyn was elected by an overwhelming majority of Labour party members: something like 62 per cent with the second place finisher on 19 per cent. But the Members of Parliament are hangovers from the days of Tony Blair, when the members had little or nothing to do with the selection of their candidates: thus there is an antagonism between the MPs and the party members at large, and it seems that Corbyn might be well-placed to continue in office, even possibly to win an election for leadership, if it comes to that, and to hell with his MPs, whose removal would have to await the next election. Interestingly on June 13 the Daily Telegraph newspaper, always well informed about right-wing thinking, prophesied that a plot was already planned, regardless of the referendum result, to oust Corbyn by the unconstitutional method of having his Parliamentary colleagues resign from his shadow cabinet, thus literally forcing him to accept a forced resignation.
I doubt that any manoeuvre so nakedly based on blind ambition has ever been pulled in British politics before, and it will be fascinating to see how this all comes out.
Meantime, the battle for leadership of the Tories is already underway: since the Brexiters won the day, surely they should be elected to lead the party? Right?
Wrong. That does not seem to be the plan. The plan, such as it is, seems to be to reassert the control of those who, like Cameron, led the Remain team, and so to delay any action as to hope, vainly, that they might find a mechanism for turning it all around (and thus rejecting the will of the people.)
Well, I can’t say much more than that. I will watch this with fascination, almost equal to that of the fight between two widely hated candidates for the presidency of the United States.
Take your pick, anyone….fait vos jeux, faites vos jeux, ladies and gentlemen….
This is one for the books.