Category Archives: neoliberalism

England will eat itself. And Scotland isn’t on the menu.

If you see Scottish independence through the double prism of English nationalism and disaster capitalism, Scottish independence seems tantalisingly close.  

The combination of English nationalism and disaster capitalism does not bode well for rUK, and no Scot should look at this sorry state and take any pleasure.

The xenophobic undercurrent of English nationalism has the potential to tear England apart, while ripping it from the international community.

The power of the disaster capitalists has the potential to damage the fabric of society even more than the right wing nature of populist Englishness.

So how can Scottish nationalists find solace in this awful situation for the rump of the UK?

English nationalism is no longer empire revivalist

The Tories would rather face Scottish independence than lose Brexit.  The poll taken in June, in reality, surprised no one (besides Ruth Davidson).

As Brexit has unfolded, it has become clear that nothing is more important than England taking its rightful international and sovereign place and acting as an independent nation.

The “unionist” part that currently sits beside the “conservative” bit, in Ruth’s party, seems to be fading as quickly as the summer.

So what led to the jettisoning of half of the Tory party moniker? Brexit.

Brexit

There were many forces behind the EU referendum result in 2016, but it seems that one of those forces, English nationalism, has come to the fore.

Brexit, for many, means a no deal, or what we were calling a “hard Brexit” only a few months ago. That deal will be hard for most, but for those disaster capitalists it will provide a feeding frenzy.

It means the UK (as it stands at the moment, led by England) acting unilaterally in many areas where once they sat with European partners.

It is England first.

And it puts the interests of Scotland and Northern Ireland in a distance last place.

So how does this impact Scottish independence?

Well, the simple fact is that if you won’t be missed, no one will bother too much about you leaving.

The idea that Westminster will close Holyrood and starve Scotland of democratic representation doesn’t fit into the narrative of English exceptionalism.

The Westminster elite know that Scottish independence is coming. They can slow it down, but they simply don’t have the power or the public support to stop it. English nationalism simply won’t allow the idea that England needs Scotland.

England clearly doesn’t need the EU and to most English nationalists, England does not need Scotland.

There is a new narrative in town: unions don’t work. They chain the beast that is England and it is better to break all unions. Bye, bye Scotland. England doesn’t need you.

This blind belief has come home to roost over the summer.

There just isn’t the political will in England for a “campaign war chest” to keep Scotland in the union. 

MORE money for the Jocks? Are you having a giraffe?

With a metropolitan narrative of Scotland as a subsidy junky (you do this by looking solely at what is spent, rather than the difference between income and expenditure) there is clearly little appetite to put more effort into a cause, that only leads to MORE money leaving England.

Despite the temptation for many Scottish nationalists to spend time correcting this subsidy junky narrative, the truth doesn’t play into our hands.

English nationalists need to know (ignorant of the facts) that England doesn’t need the other nations in the UK, and that should be just fine for us.

Scotland, the sooner rid, the better.

This belief in the unconditional power of England, is what sits behind English nationalism, and in the short term, it will see its way to lessening the fight to stop Scotland leaving the UK.

English nationalism won’t allow a space where it has to admit that England needs Scotland.

We will have to wait a couple of years for Scottish independence because the break up of the UK will be the second course for the disaster capitalists.

Westminster can only deny Scotland an exit until the disaster capitalists have fed on the carcass of the UK brought to slaughter, by the folly of Brexit.

Then and only then, will Westminster concede the inevitable.

There is no disaster, only change

According to English and British nationalists, Scotland leaving the “precious union” will not bring any financial disaster for rUK, but of course it will bring about change. It will be the disaster capitalists running the UK government who will have to react to that change.

With Scottish independence, England will have rid itself of the spongers from the North, in much the same way as England has jettisoned the EU gravy train in the east. When Northern Ireland rejoins the Republic, the spongers in the west will disappear too.

England will be ready to flourish again.

So how will it do that? Simple, give the neo-liberals a free run.

The first phase in the great UK mega sale, is Brexit. The second phase is the break up of the UK. And no UK government is going to pull that menu away from under the noses of the disaster capitalists.

Post Brexit

By 2021 the UK government led by disaster capitalists one and all (what role for arch neo-liberal Liam Fox?) will be ready to listen to Scotland’s demands, legal arguments, opinion polls, or even possibly a referendum result.

And listen they will because the prizes available after the breakup of the UK are just too large.

The chance to open up the defence industry? Too good to miss. Just imagine the bounty for private firms as they fight over the contract to move nuclear weapons, store them and build a base?

How can those disaster capitalists pass up the chance to re-evaluate the infrastructure of rUK, when its biggest neighbour becomes independent?

Imagine the size of the government fracking contracts to replace the flow of oil and gas from the north?

rUK loses a lot when Scotland leaves.

However, the break up of the UK keeps 90% of it under control of the juiced up neo-liberals. And that is more than enough to feast on.

Scottish independence is in the interests of disaster capitalists and it plays into the narrative of English nationalism.

MPs who display these two traits will be in a position of power in the coming refreshed UK government, and those Ministers will not stand in the way of Scotland’s independence.

The next few years will be tough but Scottish independence is coming, not because the UK Government doesn’t want it, but because it does.

A hard Brexit will not be hard for everyone

There isn’t now a scenario where the short to medium term health of the UK economy improves. The lead up to a hard Brexit has already done its damage to a fragile British Economy.

Even the softest Brexit (remaining in the customs union) according to the UK Government’s own figures, and backed up by the first macro analysis of Brexit which was carried out by the Scottish Government, confirms a dire situation. And of course we are heading for a much harder Brexit.

Let’s get one thing clear: a hard Brexit will not be hard for everyone. After the 2008 financial crisis which started the wave of “austerity” across Europe, the wealth of the top 1% has been on an upward trajectory ever since.  With wage growth pretty much stagnant, it is the earnings from assets (the top 10% own almost half of UK wealth) that set this group apart.

As some do better when most do worse, it is clear that for the last ten years we have not in fact, “all been in this together”

A hard Brexit will not be hard for everyone

Most Economists suggest that the Brexit which is likely to play out will be considerably worse than the crash in 2008. Of course the pain will be felt by some, while others will be shielded by their wealth.

This disparity of pain will be obvious to most UK citizens. They will see inflation rise and wages, at best, remain moribund. Not only will the cost of living rise but the quality of life will deteriorate. Things that seemed easy to do, like trips to Europe and common like eating Iberian Ham, will be truly foreign.

Already sparse shelves will empty quickly. Run down roads will worsen. Teachers will be more stressed. Across the whole of society the fabric that holds us together will strain. And this will all exist in the same world where the stock market stays buoyant, executive bonuses stay high and international companies use the falling pound to buy back shares to increase shareholder payouts.

FTSE 100 Brexit
A steady growth that sees those who earn from investments continue to do well.

So how will society function with such obvious levels of disparity and despair? It is simple. We will blame other people and then we will blame ourselves. This is the natural progression of a society irrevocable damaged.

A ‘no deal’ or an exceptionally hard Brexit will lead to a nationwide overdose of Europhobia. The main stream media, with the few exceptions which prove the rule, will be baying for European blood. This kamikaze approach by the Tory Government can only work with the complicit support of the foreign based media owners and their lackeys at the BBC. The song sheet is already being rehearsed.

It will read like a racist playlist:

“We will be in this state because of the unreasonableness of the EU”.

“The Irish, the Irish, our supposed friends have been the worse. Those thick Irish.”

“The Germans have been waiting 70 years to get back at us”

“Isn’t it time to send those Poles back?”

I shudder to think of the racist riffs and bigoted melodies that will be played by The Mail and The Express.

Open veins of the U.K

In those long sought after trade deals we will find new enemies. The reality of international trade will all too quickly play out. When two Nations play this game the larger holds all the cards. The UK will be dwarfed by scores of Countries as it seeks an impossible “level playing field”: in international trade it does not and has not ever existed.

The UK will find the conditions will be like the ones they set for South American countries in the nineteen century when Great Britain blockaded their ports, banned domestic production and flooded their markets with cheap produce then, of course, racketed up the price.

It will be pay back time for Nations across the globe. The “Open Veins of Great Britain” will give the xenophobes new life, especially when former colonies truly rebel, “The Indians, the Indians, our supposed friends have been the worse”

But of course the blaming of others can only last for so long. Soon enough we will run out of headlines and Nations to attack.

It will become harder to blame others, so we will naturally and easily blame ourselves. Like a recalcitrant skelf our anger will sit just under our skin and we will scratch and scratch until we bleed.

A new double album of material will be released by the UK Government and welcomed by their super fans in the Great British Press. We Brits Are A Lazy Bunch will be accompanied by Our Economy Needs Modernising.

The scene has been set with the ever increasing focus on “Productivity” over the last few years. The UK economy is the least productive in the G7 countries (by a big margin) and it has nothing to do with laziness.

So it’s easy to find alternative facts to evidence that this is down to the lazy Brits attitude and application to work rather than the short term nature of investment and the sucking of profits offshore. “If you want things to improve you have to work harder AND longer” will underpin the discussions on the UK’s productivity.

In a worsening economy it’s not a large leap for this to take a much darker turn, “Maybe YOU are working hard, but the person next to you isn’t” With that, the societal descent will be almost complete.

Disaster Capitalism

The final piece of the absurd national catharsis will be to blame our institutions. Modernisation will be super changed as a sense of national panic, built by the Government and willingly supported by the media, will take the sacred cows into the slaughter house.

With trade deals will come the opening up of the entire British state. Liam Fox and his bunch of buccaneers will be courting American multi nationals to run every facet of the UK economy. The 1% will see wonderful new investment opportunities and will be in on the ground floor.

The USA is the promised land for these charlatans. They look on the shallowness of the state and go misty eyed. They see the state retreat from every aspect of life and mirror in that a dreamscape for the UK.

In a short few years after a hard Brexit the neoliberal ideal will be realised in Great Britain. Disaster capitalism will rule.

The state will shrink. The common wealth will be in private hands. Taxation will be low.

America will finally have its GREAT 51st state. And most of us will have nothing at all.

Neoliberals – the real fundamentalists

Last weeks speech by David Cameron was not the first time he had a speech written for him around the hook of the “struggle of our generation”.  He used this back in 2005 while he was Shadow Education Secretary. The struggle then as now is against fundamentalism and I couldn’t agree more. However.

He focused on the evil of islamic fundamentalism. I have another view on the vilest form of extremism affecting the globe. So in that speech I replacing the following:

– Islamist terrorism
– Global terror
– Terrorists
– Islamist
– Jihadist

With “Neoliberalism”. It’s a vast improvement.

Neoliberals – the real fundamentalists

Here’s my highlights.

“And there’s no better example than the subject I would like to focus on today: the threat from extremist Neoliberalism. In recent weeks I have been outlining some of the challenges I believe we face as country – and the need to foster a new sense of shared responsibility to deal with them.”

“The challenges of Neoliberalism require exactly that kind of response. We’re all in this together, and we must act together to defend our security.”

Anti Extremist March in Edinburgh
Anti Extremist March in Edinburgh

The global threat

“Britain has joined the long list of nations to be directly targeted by Neoliberalism: Indonesia, India, Tunisia, Algeria, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar, Russia, Kenya, Tanzania and the United States of America.”

“The range of nations targeted by Neoliberalism underlines the global nature of the threat – as does the background of the attackers.
It is profoundly shocking to learn that those responsible were British citizens.”

“It is clearly right to say that there is no list of demands we can accept and no group of Neoliberalism we could meet and negotiate with – even if we wanted to – to stop the attacks.”

“But we can and should try to understand the nature of the force that we need to defeat. The driving force behind today’s threat is Neoliberalism. The struggle we are engaged in is, at root, ideological.”

“During the last century a strain of Neoliberalism thinking has developed which, like other totalitarianisms, such as Nazism and Communism, offers its followers a form of redemption through violence. The seeds of this ideology are various.”

“But the Neoliberalism programme is not limited to these goals. They work, like Trotskyist “transitional demands”, to rally support among the disaffected and radicalise them for the greater struggle”
“This is the establishment of a single, puritan, fundamentalist strain of Neoliberalism across the world, and the eventual advance of Neoliberalism influence across the globe.”

“Neoliberalism feeds into the bewilderment, alienation and lack of progress felt by many in the world. The corruption of many states. The lack of democracy. The concentration of power in the hands of elites whose lifestyles. All these things create resentments.”

And my personal favourite: “Those resentments are very far from being restricted to the poor. Neoliberalism, like Nazism and Communism before it, often bewitches the minds of gifted and educated young men.”

I think his latest speech could do with the same treatment.