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|From: Irish Political Review: Editorials|
|Date: July, 2016|
Brexit Britain Takes The Plunge
Britain Takes The Plunge
On the morning of the British referendum result (24th June), Peter Sutherland, former EU Commissioner and former head of the World Trade Organisation, was interviewed on Radio Eireann about it. He said, in effect: Good riddance of bad rubbish! He said that, from the moment it joined the EU (or whatever it was called in 1972), Britain had been an obstacle to its development. It had been a negative element within it all the way through. (And that was indisputably the case within a couple of years of its inveigling its way in—with Ireland in tow.)
If Britain had voted to remain within the EU, Sutherland would not have breathed a word in criticism of it, but his positive response to its exit was so heartfelt and well-informed that there could be no question of it being just a matter of sour grapes. Britain was bad for the EU but, while it was there as its controlling member, the truth could not be blurted out.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was reinstated in the referendum campaign against Brexit. The Irish Government officially took part in it in Britain. In practice, however, Irish participation in the campaign was scaled down by the British Government as being counter-productive. Irish engagement in an internal British conflict could only damage the cause it supported. Irish political history, if such a thing existed, would have told them that.
The rehabilitation of Redmondism during the past decade should have told them. It would have told them, if their revived Redmondism had been anything more than glib superficiality, that Redmond's active involvement in an internal British conflict in 1910-11 (to pass a contentious Budget and curb the Lords veto) aroused a resentment which ensured that the Home Rule Bill passed by Parliament as a reward to him by the Liberal Party came to nothing and that the fortunes of the Unionist Party revived.
Sutherland saw the failure of the British Government to make the populace vote the right way in the referendum as a collapse of leadership, if not a collapse of democracy. John Bruton, a genuine Anglomaniac, found himself driven to much the same conclusion within his narrower field of vision.
A Government which cannot deliver the electorate damages democracy! Absurd! And yet not entirely so. Not in Britain—the most stable democracy in Europe—because British democracy was not established through the overthrow of a ruling class by the populace, but by the gradual phasing in of the populace to the electoral system under the direction of the parties established by the ruling class.
A breakdown of mass deference certainly questions the viability of British democracy. The electorate rebelled against the Tory/Labour consensus, and that is certainly something new.
The Labour Party was thoroughly middle-classed under Tony Blair's Evangelical leadership a generation ago. It freed itself from the futile working-class stratum of British life a generation ago and launched a project to ease it out of existence while replacing it with a mass immigration of workers from various foreign regions. But the project is not yet half-completed. And it appears that many of the older immigrants have come under the spell of the natives, so that only the London region did the bidding of the Tory/Labour consensus.
There is now a severe crisis in the Labour Party because of the rebellion of the discarded working-class against its directive in the referendum, and the election last year of a Party leader who was in sympathy with those discarded social elements.
Corbyn was elected leader because Blairite Labour, charismatically convinced that it had broken old Labourism, threw open the election of Leader to the Party membership and launched a membership campaign. But Blairism without Blair, and with Blair having to be careful about where he went in the world, lest he be arrested for war-crimes, could not deliver the populace.
Corbyn, who had always opposed the New Labour project and had been against the EU, implemented Labour Party policy on the EU. Since he had not had time to change party policy, he had to implement it. He campaigned for Remain, but did not do so in the frenzied manner of the Blairites, predicting doom if there was Brexit. He did not wage a sensationalist campaign. It was up to the Blairite Party majority elected to Parliament last year to do that if they could. But the service that the Labour Party was required to perform for the Tory Prime Minister was to bring out the working class for Remain—and the Blairite majority of the Parliamentary Labour Party had broken off relations with the working class.
Corbyn campaigned extensively but moderately for Remain. But he did not target the working class areas which the Parliamentary Party had treated with contempt (as a hereditary possession) and harass them into coming out and voting for a cause in which they had never believed strongly, and in which they no longer believed at all.
It is unlikely that it would have made any difference if he had done so but, because he hadn't, there was an immediate Blairite cry for his resignation. The cry was led by a South African millionaire, Margaret Oppenheimer Hodge, who had been recklessly vociferous on the other side not very long ago.
The position now is that the Blairites control the Parliamentary Labour Party and are trying to find a way of ousting the Leader who was elected by the system which they themselves introduced, and that they are engaged with the Cameron Tories in trying to find a way of negating the referendum decision of the populace.
They still control the institutional network of the party at branch level, and are using their disorganising skills to prevent the vast new membership, which they themselves sought, from being incorporated into the Party institutions. What they want now is a de facto purge.
The Soviet Communist Party in the 1920s and 1930s went through a series of recruitment drives and purges. New members were recruited, and then they were winnowed, and some were incorporated into the substance of the Party. That was something that could be done because the leadership of the Party was motivated by a social purpose. The problem with the Blairites who control the Parliamentary Party and the Party apparatus is that they have no social purpose that unites them with the new mass membership they have got. In fact they have no social purpose, full stop. They just want to remain in place until their turn comes to be the Government. And they see that the way to become the Government is to be an Opposition that is scarcely distinguishable from the Government and wait until the electorate gets tired of seeing the same Party in Office. So they cannot absorb the new membership into their project.
New Labour is convinced that Socialism is a spent force in British politics. It should know. It destroyed it.
When Britain joined the Common Market Labour was against it on the ground that it was an obstacle to socialist development. The position of the Labour majority in Parliament now is that even basic Trade Union rights cannot be maintained in Britain through British politics and that they depend entirely on EU Directives which the British Government must implement.
That position was started in sensational form by Alan Johnson, a Trade Union leader who became a Blairite Minister, when he said that a majority for Remain in the referendum would be an event comparable to the landslide victory of Socialist Labour in the 1945 Election.
What use do such people have for the discontented mass that voted for Brexit?
The other question is whether the Corbyn leadership elected by the mass can incorporate the new membership into the structure of the party, give it a practical political purpose, and make it effective.
There is only one Labour figure in Britain who has done something effective during the Blair era, and done it in opposition to Blairism, and that is Ken Livingstone. But he appears to have been negated by a Zionist lobby within the Labour Party because he remarked that there was collaboration between the Zionist Organisation and the Nazi Party during the early years of the Nazi regime.
It was a true statement. It was relevant to the matter under discussion by drawing attention to the fact that the Jewish State in Palestine was brought about by the large-scale movement of Jews from one place to another. And it was substantiated by the current, extreme Zionist, Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, who acknowledged that Hitler's purpose in 1933 was not the extermination of the Jews but their removal from Germany.
But the facts of the matter are deemed to be irrelevant. Mystification was launched within the Labour Party by John Mann, and was taken up by the media. Channel 4's Michael Crick asked: "Mr. Livingstone, why do you think Hitler is a vote winner in Britain?", and that clip was broadcast repeatedly. And John Landsman, who is the organiser of the Corbynist movement in the Labour Party has demanded that Livingstone should retire and go away. (If this is considered prudent, then it is what Edmund Burke called "a reptile prudence".)
Britain is the founder of the Jewish state in Palestine. An irredentist Jewish movement claimed Palestine as the ground of a Jewish state by Divine Right after two thousand years of absence. Imperial Britain supported the claim as a war tactic in 1917 and in 1919 it organised mass Jewish migration to Palestine and gave the Jewish Agency priority over the native population in preparation for the formation of a Jewish State. And that Jewish State is still engaged in the business of colonising Palestine at the expense of the Arabs, far beyond the territorial award made to it by the United Nations in 1948, with the support and encouragement of 'the West'.
The project of the Jewish State has involved, and still involves, extensive ethnic cleansing conducted under flimsy pretexts. If the Corbyn movement, under pressure of the ineffectual Blairites who lost the Election, goes into denial about the historical and contemporary realities of the Jewish State, accepts the ruling of the Chief Rabbi, and defames Livingstone as an anti-Semite because he mentions undoubted facts, all it will do is demonstrate its unfitness for the role in which it has been unexpectedly cast in the politics of the British state.
There is no pro-EU party in British politics. The case made by the Cameron Tories is that they have effectively damaged the EU, made Britain an entirely independent state within the EU by means of exemptions, and have established a position from which it can further damage the EU.
The Parliamentary Labour majority is entirely in agreement with this Tory position.
It does not even propose to rescind exemptions to European social protection laws which, at the time they were made, were held to be against the interests of British workers. While it says that the rights of British workers now depend on membership of the EU, it does not want Britain to enter into full participation in the system on which the rights of British workers have come to depend. It wants what the Cameron Tories want.
The PLP majority has also gone along with the story of the Cameron Tories about how Britain, through membership of the EU, has prevented the Europeans from making war on each other—a thing which they were always doing until Britain took them in hand.
It is true that there were wars in Europe over the centuries. Europe consisted of a number of large states. It is not unnatural for large states to settle their differences with each other by means of war/. The European states had land borders with each other and therefore had to maintain large standing armies to defend themselves from each other. But Britain, an island state with a Navy that dominated the seas of the world, took an active part in those European wars, even though it was not in danger from any of the European States. And, by its interventions, it prolonged those wars with its policy of adding strength to the weaker side in order to prevent a European system of accommodations being arrived at after trials of strength.
And, while keeping Europe in a state of war, active or latent, it also engaged in a great many other wars.
Britain the Peacelover and Peacemaker? That's the bad joke of the last 500 years.
The peace that there was in Europe from about 1946 to the 1990s was caused by the suppressed Third World War that was the outcome of the reckless Second World War instigated by Britain.
The policy of "Spreading the War", adopted by Britain after its defeat of June 1940 led to the defeat of Germany by Communist Russia and to the immediate emergence of a world conflict between the greatly expanded Communist system and Western Capitalism. Europe became small fry in the shadow of that impending world conflict. Anti-fascist leaders in Italy, Germany, France and Benelux (chiefly Christian Democrats) availed of the looming world conflict to establish the structure that became the EU. The purpose of many of those leaders was to exclude British influence from post-War Europe and ensure that it could never again play balance-of-power politics in Europe.
When Britain saw that a European organisation was becoming a going concern without it, it applied to join but was refused admission.
It applied again after the founders had retired. It was, incautiously, admitted, and set about subverting the project from within and shaping it to its own requirement, doing so with considerable success.
The great question now is whether the damage done to the EU by forty years of British membership has destroyed its original dynamic, or whether it can recover and construct a viable political system around the Euro.
The signs are that the Cameron Tories and the Labour PLP majority will try to overcome the Referendum result by delay, and use it as a bargaining counter by demanding even greater exemptions, and that Germany will support the attempt as much as it can.
The most representative British historian of the past generation, Andrew Roberts, has defended the wanton fire-bombing of the undefended city of Dresden by the RAF at the tail-end of the World War in 1945 by explaining that its purpose was to burn into German minds the moral principle that Germany must never again act contrary to British wishes. The immediately post-War German generation, guided by Adenauer's Christian Democratic Party, paid no heed. Adenauer's primary purpose was to negate British influence on the reconstruction of Germany. But the moral lesson of the Dresden and other bombings then kicked in and Germany has been an economically industrious political zombie, frightened of Britain's shadow, ever since. Its Christian Democracy is dead as far as foreign policy is concerned, and its Social Democracy was never weaned off Britain.
Germany is now a headless monster at the heart of the EU—a powerful, mindless economy.
Edmund Burke said he did not see how a people could be guilty. The post-Adenauer German elite does see. It has constituted the entire history of the German state into a collective crime, at Britain's behest. If the respectable parties cannot pull themselves together, re-enter history as a political state (being at present an apolitical state, which is a contradiction in terms), and historicise its past in the realistic context of actual world history (in which British world history has pride of place), then the outlook for the EU is not bright.
And if the respectable parties cannot bring themselves to do this, preferring to luxuriate in the spurious goodness of perpetual penitence, which excludes them from their political obligations, then some disreputable movement will eventually arise and take the matter in hand.
Fortunately there are other political tendencies at work in Europe and, after the immediate shock of Britain's Brexit vote, these have asserted leadership. There does not seem to be any sign of any attempt to keep Britain within the EU at the cost of core principles. On the contrary, the inclination is to hold Britain to a two-year exit period and to consolidate the position of remaining members. Such an approach was essential if the EU was not to start splintering.
As for Ireland in the Brave New Post-Brexit World, in January of this year we wrote:
"An Opinion Poll published in the Irish Times revealed that 74% of the people of Ireland considered that, if Britain left the EU, Ireland should not follow. That is a significant figure and it shows that the Irish sense of destiny survives.
Well, the British working class in parts of the country devastated by Tory and Labour de-industrialisation policies, and the favouring of Finance Capital at the expense of manufacturing production, voted overwhelmingly in favour of Leave. It saw this as the only way to revive manufacturing and re-establishing meaningful conditions of existence.
Fianna Fail is calling for Scotland to be fast-tracked into the EU, if it votes to separate from Britain.
With Britain outside the EU and Scotland in it, the mood in Northern Ireland would be strongly to remain in Europe. A Border-Poll looks very likely in the course of the next two years. By campaigning strongly for Remain, Sinn Fein put itself in a good moral position to call for such a poll—which will be supported by Catholics. And, in those circumstances, it is hard to see large numbers of Protestants voting to isolate themselves from both the EU and Scotland.
The effects of the Brexit decision will be to force Ireland to cut the final strings binding it to Britain. After this, Ireland and Britain will be no more than 'just good friends'!
Brexit: Britain Takes The Plunge. Editorial
Keane, OBE, Raises An Important Issue. Brendan Clifford
Brexit—reality bites. Sean Owens
Brexit and Northern Ireland: Result
European Integration And Brexit. Dave Alvey. Irish Political Review Group
The case for creating a 1916 ‘battlefield site’. Dave Alvey
The Citizen And The Special Criminal Court. Nick Folley
Shorts from the Long Fellow (The Anglo Trial Part 1; The Anglo Trial Part 2; The Anglo Trial Part 3; The State Conspiracy; The "Green Jersey")
The Forged Irish Bulletins. Jack Lane
Guilty Germans!. Pat Walsh
That Man Called Pearse. Manus O’Riordan
A Lordly View. Jack Lane (Review: Bew's Churchill & Ireland)
War Of Independence In Howth. Feature on Philip O’Connor's The Road to Independence: Howth, Sutton and Baldoyle
Readers' Letters: In Defence Of Casement. Dave Alvey
Warming Earth. Freezing Hearts. Wilson John Haire (Poem)
Biteback: Casement and A.M. Sullivan Tim O'Sullivan (Unpublished letter)
Does It Stack Up? Michael Stack (Water Charges; Bin Charges; Abortion)
Labour Comment: The Irish Rebellion of 1916. V.I. Lenin
British Labour Wars
1. Rules for the election of Labour Party leader by David Morrison
2. Jeremy Corbyn: Supporting our elected leader by John McDonnell
3. Corbyn On Referendum Result