In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

We need to talk about Britain

Posted by seumasach on December 14, 2011

Cailean Bochanan

14th December, 2011

To use the language of the US State Department Britain could well be characterised as “a state of concern”. Concerns that we are making too many enemies, that we have rashly antagonised our European partners, that our machinations in the Middle East are leading nowhere but we push ahead regardless, that we are banking all on an Atlantic alliance just when Obama has dropped his “Asia first’ policy  bombshell, that we are hanging out with types like Israel, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain who don’t share our declared values, that we are over-reliant on security organisations like NATO which have long since passed their sell-by date etc.,etc.

In short, we have become to resemble to the perfidious Albion everyone knew and despised before the post-60s makeover which made us trendy. We are trouble makers but; “So what”, we might retort.

So…. when the awfulness of our financial and economic position becomes patently obvious there will be no one to help us. So… no one will be concerned when the run on sterling begins and in fact everyone will gleefully ditch their pounds all the quicker. So…. no one will want to enter into deals with a country that can’t be trusted. So… in the globalized world we have been lectured on ad nauseam we will be out in the cold. So…. inward investment to a country permanently outside the Eurozone will be curbed.

This is what our bulldog spirit in action last week in Brussels has brought us to. Evidently we are resting on our laurels but what exactly are they? Only the City it seems. The City of London is a vehicle for global domination not an economic asset in any real sense Are we going to dominate the world? No, although amazingly it appears to have been the assumption behind the policies of the last thirty years. This delusion has lead us to believe we don’t need a real economy, that we don’t need to produce the things we consume- someone else can do that, but on whose terms and in exchange for what? Our quantitatively eased pounds? This delusion has lead us to believe that there will always be enough bread and circuses to keep the proles at bay. This delusion has lead us to believe we can cohere a nation around shared contempt for others. This delusion has lead us to believe our plots and schemes will never be exposed. This delusion has lead us to believe that our pugnacity is proof of the justness of our cause.

So globalisation means nothing except the inevitability of our own ascendancy and has simply blinded us to the reality of multipolarity. We collided head on with that reality last Friday. It was painful. It must spur us to reasses ourselves and our conduct if we are to avoid or at least to mitigate the horrors already awaiting us. We need to sit down and talk. We need to talk about Britain.

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