Sunday, 13 January 2019


Although my poor ant brain has a bit of dystopian fungal infection, I still struggle on, trying to make sense of the world.  I find myself inescapably swept off my feet by the powerful vortex of the current political storm.

When the EU referendum was announced I was against leaving the EU in the manner proposed.  The pro-Brexit characters and narrative were largely ignorant, brutish, self serving, and evidently deceptive.  Leaving the EU would be parochial and seriously problematic.  I didn't vote because I couldn't but certainly would have voted Remain.

This Brexit issue, the Trump phenomenon, and the current unrest in France are all illustrating that the old notions of simple binary polarisation in politics will no longer work as a functional collective discourse.  I suspect this is one of the benefits of the information age in spite of the fact we are struggling to understand or handle it.

Neoliberalism is our current biggest political problem.  At a glance the US, the UK, France, and Israel are pathologically neoliberal and, in that respect, form a very coherent alliance even if not written on paper.  It must be noted also that the IMF largely rules the EU and is also neoliberal, except they are the only ones to have admitted it and commented on its failures.  As such I would always tend to want to extract myself from the bureaucratic megalith that is the cumbersome EU.

It has always been my view that as humans we have to cooperate.  Other people have other opinions but my view is as stated.  The benefits of the EU are the number of rules and regulations that moderate and ease our cooperation as separate countries.  The problems with the EU are that it operates under authoritarian, hierarchical, and capitalist paradigms.  This means that internally there are seriously harmful relationships.  Greece being perhaps the most readily obvious example.  Ideally, with respect to the EU, the UK neither wants to be subsumed into a mega state nor to be detrimentally ostracised.

Within the UK there has been a frightening and damaging alignment with neoliberalism since the 1980s at least.  From 1979 the Tories have been in power with an avowed allegiance to neoliberalism except for a few years of Labour led by Blair who was and is an advocate for neoliberalism.  This results in a hierarchical structure of rule makers and rule takers resulting in a one way flow of economic advantage.  The UK is evidencing the catastrophic effects of these policies.  They are disguised for the unwary under statistical benefits such as the average national income.  It does take at least two brain cells to recognise that if 1 person gets £1 million pounds and 99 people get £1 that the average income, £10,000.99, is a fatal distortion of the reality of most people's lives.  So, statistically, the UK can be doing very well whilst the majority are in a critical state of penury.  Even mega corporations are beginning to realise the fallacy of this situation.

It would be beneficial for the UK to extract itself from the neoliberal controls and constraints of the EU if; 1, the UK ceases to adhere to the neoliberal ideology and becomes more internally equitable, and 2, the UK maintains cooperative and equitable relations with the EU.  It would be seriously detrimental for the UK to leave the EU so that the UK political elite can ramp up their neoliberal ideology.

Tories are inherently master servant orientated.  They believe it works.  Their approach to leaving the EU is arrogant and demanding.  The result will be an isolated Britain ruled by neoliberals.  Some of the political elite like this scenario; it will benefit them.  But there is no serious political opinion that it will benefit the people of the UK.  The very best that anyone can find to say is that we'll cope, and we might do quite well.  And it is quite disturbing to realise that the Tories only have one way to manage a difficult situation and we have seen the consequences of that.  The first thing they will do is ramp up their attempts to align with the US.  I'll say no more on that.

Labour has experienced a sea change since Momentum and Jeremy Corbyn.  That sea change has been a shift from the harmful effects of capitalism and neoliberalism and the realisation that we can only survive if we start to evolve a way to have a collective and equitable whole society conversation.  I unequivocally agree with that perspective.  That does mean listening to people you disagree with and trying to understand different people's different concerns.  It is precisely not about binary decisions and winning or losing.  A Labour exit from the EU would maintain most of the cooperative benefits whilst asserting the UK's ability to self determination.  In an ideal world that would clearly be a good thing.

A Tory exit from the EU would be an unmitigated disaster.

A Labour exit from the EU offers serious potential to extract ourselves from the IMF's undemocratic diktats and the heavyweight bureaucratic constraints of the cumbersome EU whilst maintaining many of the cooperative benefits.

If we remain in the EU we at least prevent the disruption of a disastrous exit and maintain all the benefits that we currently enjoy.

Either way there is still the fundamental question of the political hierarchy of the UK.  In over simplified terms we have a choice between the Tories or Labour.  I tend to avoid aligning myself with Parties because it is defining and limiting but I am 100% against the Tories.  They cannot see past analogising an individual's way to make money from the general rules for society.  They are wedded to a competitive and very harmful game of musical chairs with people's lives.  It is a priority for the survival of the majority of people in Britain to get rid of the Tories as soon as possible.  Given Labour's fundamental return to socialist principles and their avowed disowning of anything neoliberal then they are not only the best way to get rid of the Tories but they are a good way too.

On this level of discussion the options are: Tory Brexit, Tory Remain, Labour Brexit, or Labour Remain.  Neither I, nor the majority of people in the UK, can survive much more of the Tories.  It is therefore imperative to fight to get a Labour government into Parliament above probably everything else at the moment.  So any attempt to split the Labour Party over the issue of the EU is extremely dangerous and plays into the hands of the neoliberal and Tory vultures currently drooling on the edge of the current mayhem.

There is a lot of disinformation and confusion at the moment.  One or two points need clarifying.  Corbyn has been consistent in his views about the disadvantages of abdicating control to Europe and the advantages of cooperative actions with the EU.  He advocated and voted to Remain in the referendum.  He is pro-Europe.  He is also not a dictator and the Labour Party has had conferences and votes which have led to their current position.  In that respect he represents a party that by majority decision prefers to leave the EU under a Labour government.  There is a caveat to this and an important one.  A caveat that you would never get from the Tories as has been disgustingly illustrated over their disturbing resistance to allow a parliamentary vote on any proposed deal.  That caveat is that any agreement gained and proposed by the Labour government has to pass the Labour Party's internal voting system AND has to go to parliament to be approved.  It follows that if Corbyn cannot get a deal that is approved by the people of this country that article 50 will be revoked.  There is no such position with the Tories.  And that is what will hopefully bring them down.  But it is so important not to conflate the Tory/Labour binary with the Brexit/Remain binary.

First get rid of the Tories.  Then sort out this EU issue.  Any other approach is going to send this country into an inescapable maelstrom of decline and destruction.  I've said it before and it is a bit extreme but the danger is that the wealthy will live in a fortified London and the home counties whilst the rest of the country will become like the West Bank and Gaza.  They have the technology, they have the experience, they have the intention.  Why wouldn't it happen?

If you are feeling slightly voiceless do not vote for the Tory oppressors who will promise you everything and deliver nothing.  Support the Labour movement, support the opposition to the Tory Brexit plan, and support the best efforts to resolve the EU problem the best way we can.

A Labour Brexit is quite the opposite of a Tory Brexit.


  1. Despite being a Green Party member (although I, as acting Chair, have been informed by my local coordinator that for several reasons our local party of Boston and Skegness is now defunct and effectively wound up) I find myself agreeing with your analysis and conclusion.

    I consider it to be well reasoned, well presented and thoroughly sensible. I would be inclined to make an effort to spread this interesting and relevant article to as many as possible at this cusp in the affairs of Brexit Britain.

    1. Thank you Gordon_S.
      I suspect my blog, valuable though it may be, falls on deaf ears somewhat like a green party message would in the toxic wastelands of Boston and Skegness.
      According to Douglas Adams, in his book The Meaning of Liff, Skegness means: Nose excreta of a malleable consistency. Boston doesn't get a mention.