In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Soros changes tune on EU

Posted by seumasach on January 23, 2017

and provides the key to understanding May’s enigmatic speech

Cailean Bochanan

23rd January, 2017

After triumphantly hailing the disintegration of the EU for so long, George Soros now admits to some “exaggeration” behind the claim. To cover his change of tack he claims that neither Russia nor China want the EU to disintegrate and therefore it won’t. This is disingenuous to say the least. Russia and China never wanted the EU to disintegrate. It was Soros himself and the forces he represents in Western elites who wanted it. Funnily enough his most emphatic forecast of Eurodoom came right after the Brexit vote which, according to him, rendered “the disintegration of the EU practically irreversible”. But now the EU is safe from the soothsayer’s curse.

Could this have anything to do with the election of Donald Trump? It has everything to do with it. Soros clearly anticipates the defection of the Americans from the Atlantic Alliance and now looks towards Europe to take on the mantle of his obsessive, compulsive anti-Russian policy. I hadn’t considered this possibility before because it seems such a long shot: Europe can only look east now. This explains the curious feature of May’s speech last week: its eurocentricity. The election of Trump has left the Brexit project of a fortified special relationship taking a step back from a collapsing EU in total disarray. May’s speech was, in fact, a corrective, a reorientation towards an EU which is now the last great hope for our values and, in her distinctly fuzzy, despairing vision, a bulwark against “authoritarian” Russia. So she was telling the truth after all when she said she didn’t want the EU to collapse. She is now doing what the Kippers (UKIP) suspected she would all along: talking hard Brexit whilst trying to work out some satisfactory accommodation behind the scenes.

This looks like a tall order and, anyway, hard Brexit talk costs political lives. The most obvious one is that of Jeremy Corbyn who has quite pointedly failed to walk through the open door of opposing Brexit and has become instead the enabler of Brexit by failing to join a cross party coalition amendment to article 50. But May herself is now set to trigger the disintegration of the UK, a process she is certain not to survive (as Soros himself charitably points out). What is more the inevitable emergence of an English nationalism as opposed to a UK nationalism will see splits in both the major parties. We may never know what Brexit was about but its unintended consequence will make themselves felt only too painfully in years of chaos and utter confusion. The home of farce is about to live the mother of all farces.

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