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|From: Church & State: Articles|
|Date: August, 2020|
|By: Angela Clifford|
A Look Across The Water!
|A Look Across The Water!
The great problem in Liberal Democracy is how to prevent the majority from ruling. That problem is clearly stated by Lord Patten, the last Viceroy of Hong Kong, in an article on the Free Trade capitalist, Peter Sutherland, in the current issue of the Irish Jesuit magazine, Studies. If the majority rules, the outcome will not be liberal. And Democracy which is not liberal is a very, very bad thing as it deprives the progressive minority of its directing function in public life.
(It is axiomatic that Progress is the prerogative of minorities—of quite small minorities.)
In routine matters the problem has been dealt with adequately by means of the hierarchical structure of party-politics in Britain, combined with the political apathy of a third or more of the electorate. The British party system—a system of two parties with practical arrangements made to inhibit the emergence of parties beyond the two—is an elite structure derived from the aristocratic structures that were in place for a century and a half before the first Reform Act.
The applecart was upset four years ago, when the bipartisan elite called a referendum on the issue of membership of the European Union in order to crush with the voice of the people a movement for leaving the EU that had arisen. It was taken for granted that, with the three political parties in Parliament united, with control of the propaganda apparatus of the state, all telling the populace to vote Remain, the result would be Remain.
But a referendum is not the election of a Party to govern. Party concerns were not at stake. The people were told that they were being given a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity to determine the course of the state.
A very small minority within the ruling elite advocated Brexit. It urged the populace to use this one and only opportunity of exercising power to come out and vote for a resumption of British sovereignty instead of letting Britain drift into subordination to a Europe which it had been saving from itself for three centuries.
All of Britain's many Great Wars were wars for the freedom of Europe from European forces that were destroying that freedom—Weren't they?
Would anybody dare to say that they were not?
And, after all those altruistic wars that Britain had had to fight in Europe to keep it from perdition, was it now to lose itself in the European morass brought about by the Treaty of Rome—yes Rome!
It was a very fair question, given the ideology regarding Europe with which the elite had been saturating the populace for centuries. And the populace gave the appropriate answer, in the biggest ever voting event in Britain's history.
The elite was astonished. It was disgruntled. It was disorientated. How did the populace escape from it after being so obedient for so long?
It set up a Parliamentary Committee to investigate. The Committee has now issued its Report. The Report explained that the Russians did it!
The two most powerful propaganda forces in the world today are the propaganda forces of the two dominant democracies, the UK and the USA. They brought about the collapse of the Soviet system, and then, in combination with a NATO which changed its purpose from Defence to Expansion, they brought Russia to the verge of extinction.
Russia did not have anything that could reasonably be called a State for about fifteen years after the collapse of 1990. It had an anarchy of billionaires, called Oligarchs, whose billions came from the seizure of the assets of the Socialist State. They went into alliance with Western capitalists. That plutocratic anarchy was hailed as democracy by the West at the time.
And now we are told by the Westminster Parliamentary Committee, and by the Irish Times (July 25) that Russia, having achieved a degree of effective national government under Putin's leadership, is an imminent danger to the democracy of Britain and the USA—and that the British Tory Government, headed by a Brexiteer, is complicit with Putin because it directed the British security services away from investigating the subversive danger of political opinion inspired by the Kremlin.
The Committee's Report was launched at a Press Conference addressed by two MPs: Kevan Jones, Labour, and Stuart Hosie, Scottish Nationalist. They said they could present no hard evidence, because the Government had not allowed it to be discovered, but that they were certain that a Russian campaign of "disinformation" was undermining British Democracy.
And what they were demanding sounded like an Inquisition into the holders of un-British Opinions on the lines of McCarthyism in America in the early fifties.
The agents of Putin's subversive action against British democracy were the Oligarchs. Some of them had come to Britain bringing their billions with them and investing it in the British economy. They appeared to have become ordinary capitalists but they were not. They were Putin's agents of influence with a mission to subvert British democracy.
The leader of this conspiratorialist campaign against covert Putinist influence is the new leader of the Labour Party, who has begun a purge of Corbynism in the Labour Party. It seems that Corbyn, like the Prime Minister, is a Russian agent. Putin is buying British politicians wholesale.
Starmer has called for the TV Channel Russia Today to be closed down. Presumably he wants to silence dissenting voices, such as those of Alex Salmond and George Galloway, who both have their own programmes on the Channel.
There are Russian Oligarchs in Britain because Putin began to make the Russian State effective in the economy. He had to begin by negotiating his way through the Oligarchs who were dominant. Some of them saw the way the wind was blowing and agreed to get out of his way if they could take their ill-gotten gains with them. Others believed that in the end Money determines Politics and that therefore Putin would fail. They were obdurate. Some of them were charged with tax-evasion—of which there is no doubt they were guilty—and were imprisoned.
Of the more astute oligarchs, who went to Britain with their money while the going was good, the main one in a position to influence opinion is the owner of the London Evening Standard, which gives staunch support to Keir Starmer.
It now seems certain that Britain is out of the EU, presumably without a deal. A Brexit which left Britain half in the EU was a real possibility. Prime Minister May agreed it with the EU but could not get it through Parliament because the Ulster Unionists and the Labour Party opposed it—including Keir Starmer. Labour Remainers would agree to no half measures. They wanted a re-run of the Referendum, and Starmer was particularly influential in ensuring that Labour went into the Election with something other in mind than making the best of Brexit as an accomplished fact.
It is now certain that Ireland will be alone in the EU. It will be there absent the UK. When it joined the EU following Britain, it used EU membership as a means of evading the Northern Ireland issue. In a sense, it escaped from itself into the EU, and in some respects its presence in the EU was Anglicising rather than Europeanising. It now faces the prospect of being in the EU without British guidance, and with the only newspaper that counts at home being the paper whose heart is in the home that it came from. That was not the case when it joined.