In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Team GB, Arise!

Posted by seumasach on August 9, 2012

Cailean Bochanan

9th August, 2012

For a long time British radicals of various hues have voiced fears of Britain becoming merely a US aircraft carrier off the coast of Europe, a proxy for our transatlantic cousins, the “airstrip 1” of Orwellian fame. At the same time some US radicals saw Britain as the dark, hidden hand manipulating the US government. Both may be right in as far as the real power centres lurking behind the scenes of both governments are translantic and transnational: they constitute an imperial elite rather than a national one. Thus the time may be approaching when the above-mentioned fears of radicals of both nations are to be realised.

If there is a project afoot to rationalise the special relationship by subverting its distinctive national components the latest financial scandal may be part of it. Commenting on the accusations levelled against Standard Chartered that it was involved in sanctions busting trades with Iran John Mann, a member of parliament’s finance committee, said:

“I think it’s a concerted effort that’s been organised at the top of the U.S. government. I think this is Washington trying to win a commercial battle to have trading from London shifted to New York”

If this is really a Wall Street attack on the City of London then they have chosen a very soft target and a very unsuspecting one. The City’s modus operandi is hardly beyond reproach but then neither is Wall Street’s. But you do get turf wars between mobsters. Further to this interest of the greater mob is the question of the completion of the oligarchical takeover of Anglo-America. On the American side this is well advanced with the Patriot Act, Homeland Security, Northern Command and the end of Posse Comitatus and the massive addition to presidential power at the stroke of a pen. In Britain, House of Commons reform will further knobble it, and subordinate it to the Tory Party, following on from the massive MP’s expenses scandal. Such a house will never challenge the bank bailouts or illegal wars. It was Disraeli who sought to emancipate both the House of Commons and the head of state from what he called the Venetian system. In his novel “Conningsby”, Lord Eskdale, at an aristocratoc dinner responds to claims that the House of Commons is undermining the country with the memorable retort “Don’t abuse our property”. The house will become once again the property of the elite and the prime minister will be the Doge subordinate to the committes of the oligarchy, its Council of Ten, but now straddling the Atlantic. The decentralisation of the state into more manageable units, the strategy of the Girondist anglophiles in the French Revolution, is the emblematic theme of oligarchy. Under the pretence of seeking an independent Scotland Alex Salmond, a creature of Murdoch and an enthusiastic Atlanticist, is in the vanguard of just such a strategy for Britain. To follow will be devolution to England or to English regional assemblies as well, all competing for corporate favour, all under the banner of NATO and all subordinate to the City of London or perhaps , in the light of these latest developments, Wall Street. The wave of “patriotic” enthusiasm surrounding Britain’s Olympian exploits and our brand new Team GB logo  would be an ironic, post-modern backdrop to such developments.

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