In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Europe 26- England 1

Posted by seumasach on December 11, 2011

Cailean Bochanan

11th December, 2011

For weeks now the mantra repeated ad nauseum in the British and English language media has been that the collapse of the Eurozone would be a disaster for Britain and that, therefore, it is overwhelmingly in our national interest that the euro crisis be resolved. And yet David Cameron, breaking, as I understand it, a previous pledge not to use the eurozone crisis as an opportunity to renegotiate the EU treaty, went to the Brussels summit and made a brazen attempt to do just that. This surely brings into question all the seeming concerns about the survival of the Eurozone: had these been genuine Cameron would have gone there in good faith, not to play another wrecking hand. Was it just that he was a hostage to the europhobes in his party? Surely, in the event of overriding British interests being at stake he could have faced them down. The truth is that overriding British interests as understood and represented by David Cameron are antagonistic to the eurozone and to the very existence of the euro.

What are these interests? They are the interests of the City of London. Not a very inclusive group and hardly one which can be equated with the nation but certainly one which can be equated with David Cameron and indeed the British political class in its entirety. If this crisis has done one thing it has laid bare the real power structures at play, but the fact that our political leadership is quite explicitly in tow to the same people who are availing themselves of what is left of our public and private wealth hasn’t prevented a certain national euphoria, orchestrated of course by the media, about the outcome of Friday’s summit. You’d  think Cameron had won a great victory and despite our imploding economy we can enjoy a “feel good factor” in not being part of the supposedly doomed euro. Does this mood have any foundation in reality?

Before pouring scorn on this wave of misguided euphoria it is worth drawing attention to the breadth, the depth and the intensity of the media campaign against the euro. Virtually every pundit, presenter and journalist has joined in; the flower of Britain intelligentsia is of one mind that the Euro is doomed. Who is the average Brit to contradict them? Karl Marx was right when he said the the predominant ideas in society were those of the ruling class. Thanks to Cameron we now have confirmation who these gentlemen are: they are the City gents. One can only say that they have been particular assiduous in assuring that their point of view is the only one in town; a monolithic press for a totalitarian democracy.

It is also true that this euphoria is not very deep, not very convincing. There is an underlying dissonance, an uncertainty, hints even of division. After all something dramatic has happened and that is not the British way. We’re not muddling along in Europe anymore- we’re definitely on the outside and the question of our role in the world has come under focus.

The fact is that Cameron was ejected ignominiously from the summit having been heard with a resentful silence. He must have known France and Germany would oppose him and, most likely, the entire eurozone. But he would have been hoping for some support from Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and others. A 21-6 vote would have been satisfactory and kept our game of sniping from the sidelines active. He would no doubt have been familiar with Rumsfeld’s theory of the new Europe of free-market friendly, pro-American democracies tilting the balance in Europe and would have been dismayed to see its premise disproved. Strangely, no one has pointed out that quite apart from the dismissal of Cameron the summit was an overwhelming vindication of the euro project: 26 nations, no less, committed themselves to it and all the sacrifices that membership implies. They did so, to Cameron’s despair, not on ideological grounds but on pragmatic grounds, based on calculation, on enlightened self-interest.

So Britain now stands alone having gambled on geo-political ascendancy through universal divide and rule. This is what we have always gambled on, we always play the same cards, the same tricks, since in the past they’ve always worked. A look at the system of alliances we’re at the heart of is very revealing: the USA, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Dubai and the white former colonies. We’ve placed ourselves clearly outside the great state-building and supranational structures of both Europe and the Global South and we’re betting on the failure of all of them, starting with the Eurozone. Sure, this is not a passive bet: we are actively engaged in their subversion but success looks like a long shot. My bet is that the anti-Euro campaign did no more than buy a bit of extra time for Anglo-Saxon, dollar/pound ascendancy in the world. The forces arrayed against us, especially the big emerging economies, the BRICS, will prove too strong and will decisively intervene  on behalf of the euro since it is overwhelmingly in their interests to do so.

2 Responses to “Europe 26- England 1”

  1. jon said

    The treaty was very undemocratic, where the British financial market and economy was to be controlled by Brussels. Greece has already been shafted by a Europe dominated by France and Germany, the same will likely happen to Italy, Spain and Portugal, and possibly Ireland. When dealing with the European Union, Britain needs a tough, vicious opportunists like Cameron. Its’ no place for the Browns and Milibands of this world who would have caved in.

  2. Plossignac said

    Britain has no economy besides the City witch is just the biggest offshore tax haven in the world.

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