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Archive for the ‘Battle for Europe’ Category

Exit Johnson, enter Gove

Posted by seumasach on April 18, 2020

 

Cailean Bochanan

18th april, 2020

For three years the news and media covered Brexit to the exclusion of everything else. Coronavirus was, therefore, something of a relief: exit Brexit, enter Covid 19. The question remains: what is the relationship between the new agenda and the old one?

On the domestic front the implications of the corona-coup are self-evident and self-declaratory: the suspension of civil rights, the destruction of what remains of British business (fuck business!) in favour of financial/corporate control of the entire economy and the imposition of total social control, especially medical control over the people. You could describe this as the fulfilment of the Thatcher agenda. I prefer to go back to the Elizabethan roots of the Anglo-system. The main goal of the novus homo, the new men, who had come to power via the great plague, the Black Death was to avoid being threatened by other emerging new men, notably the potentially wealthy and , therefore, dangerous peasant, yeoman class. This fear of this aspiring undercurrent of humanity gave rise to the overpopulation scare which obsessed the Elizabethan elite, the Raleighs, Donnes, Bacons etc. The solution was gloriously simple, although at the time it still posed logistical problems: take the land from the English natives and give them native land in the Americas. Just as today the elite fear those of independent means who may also be able to think independently. They hope to end this worry and also to reduce the working class, in as far was it still exists, to a situation in which they either work for them or don’t work at all. They will also be highly indebted, also to them, and their status will therefore be that of indentured servants. The rest of the population are surplus to requirement and they certainly can’t be exported as they were from the early 17th century.

That takes care of the home front but Britain continues to aspire to global power. This brings us back to question I posed at the start. What is Britain’s Brexit strategy in times of coronavirus? What brought this to mind for me was the strange disappearance of the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, remember? This after, his after enemy and nemesis, Michael Gove, announced, with all due solemnity, on the 27th of March that Johnson had tested positive for Covid-19. Despite having made a recovery after a spell in intensive care and appearing to be well and in good spirits as he reemerged form it, he is no longer in any way involved in government- not so much as a phone call to his replacement Dominic Raab. Am I the only one who finds this odd?

Has any change in foreign policy coincided with the absence of the Prime Minister? Yes, Dominic Raab has announced that there can no longer be “business as usual” with China. That is significant: Britain has a great deal of business with China which is a major investor in this country. Most notably Huawei is playing a large role in updating the UK’s mobile phone network, the so-called 5G development. That was Johnson’s controversial choice. Expect this now to be reversed. However, it wouldn’t be necessary to sideline the Prime Minister in order to get him to reverse that decision. Coronavirus and China’s alleged nefarious role in allowing it to propagate would suffice for that. However, joining a US-UK-French alliance against China might be. France , of course, is an EU member. Did we leave Europe with such a fanfare only to start re-engaging with it? Brexit populism, of which Johnson is the embodiment, was based on old wives’ tales about making trade deals with the Commonwealth, certainly not with the French. However, as I wrote back in 2016 after the Brexit vote:

“It may come as a surprise to little englander Brexit voters that they weren’t voting to leave Europe but to destroy it. It wasn’t a vote against globalisation but for Anglo-American globalisation. Neo-conservatism, the infection that just won’t go away, is back in the form of a new unelected junta about to take control of Britain. It’s chief ideologue is Michael Gove of the neocon Henry Jackson society. According to Gove:

“For Europe, Britain voting to leave will be the beginning of something potentially even more exciting — the democratic liberation of a whole continent”

So we are to leave Europe in order, subsequently, to meddle in it.”

So, are about to see the democratic liberation of Europe led by the chief ideologue of a new unelected junta about to take control of Britain? Absolutely not: democracy is now definitively off the agenda. But we are seeing a course correction. Brexit as conceived by the brexiteers never made any sense at all from the point of view of British imperial interests. It’s underlying programme, a union of English speaking peoples, or Oceania as portrayed by George Orwell, is simply not viable. It lacks a substantial industrial base, layed waste since the Thatcher years and the elevation of the financial sector at its expense. The Western block must, therefore, include Europe, more specifically Germany. The German, and European business elite, have increasingly been looking East, especially to China, the world’s leading productive economy. They have also been looking to Russia especially for oil and gas. Germany’s Ostpolitik is really it’s default position- the one it will follow unless otherwise constrained. It is now being aggressively constrained. US/UK policy, (yes, they’re together again despite MI6’s attempt to overthrow Trump!) is now to reincorporate Germany into the West aided and abetted by France whose own Ostpolitik failed in 1812. Is Boris Johnson the man to lead this new European policy? The question answers itself. Apparently, he is to be allowed out on May 7th to lead celebrations of the last time we got the better of Germany. He is being given a new role as a ceremonial head of state with the full blessing of the actual one.

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Vector of the European political agenda is changing: Russia is becoming a necessary partner

Posted by seumasach on February 20, 2020

As the conference proceeded, negotiations between the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and the Head of the Russian Foreign Ministry were held. They paid special attention to “practical issues of developing a dialogue between the EU and the EAEU with the prospect of creating conditions for the formation of a common economic and humanitarian space from Lisbon to Vladivostok”

Anastasia Frank

The Duran

19th February, 2020

One of the main political events of the past week was the Munich Security Conference, which brought together more than 150 heads of state, senior diplomats and prime ministers in the Bavarian capital for an open discussion of burning issues of the current political agenda.

A topic important for discussion was the vector of further interaction between Russia and the countries of Europe. French President Emmanuel Macron, whose current aspirations were assessed by Sergei Lavrov, who was in charge of the Russian delegation, as “pragmatic” and “politically discerning”, has repeatedly called for the need to resume a sustained dialogue with Moscow, noting the fact that it was extremely difficult to predict economic benefits from sanctions in Russia and the retaliatory measures in the foreseeable future.

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Europe’s gas alliance with Russia is a match made in heaven

Posted by seumasach on November 5, 2019

M.K.bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline

3rd November, 2019

Amidst the excitement over the killing of the ISIS chief Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, a development of much impact on international security passed by when Denmark made the innocuous announcement on October 30 that it would permit the proposed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to pass through its exclusive economic zone. 

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Russia, Turkey, Iran: Adversaries of the West’s NATO alliance

Posted by seumasach on August 7, 2019

Telegraph hawk Con Coughlin laments the demise of the Western Alliance. But don’t they still have Oceania- as in Orwell’s 1984? If so, it’s a motley crew under the erratic leadership of Trump with Dad’s Army bringing up the rear under Captain Johnson, Brazil’s thirty families representative Bolsonaro hoping for some rich pickings and an increasingly sceptical ANZAC division hoping they don’t completely destroy good business with China.

Con Coughlin

Gateston Insitute

5th August, 2019

Germany’s outright rejection of Washington’s request [to support Washington’s proposal for a maritime protection force in the Arabian Gulf to protect shipping from attacks by Iran] is likely to inflame tensions further between Washington and Berlin. U.S. President Donald J. Trump is already at odds with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on a range of issues, from Germany’s obstinate refusal to meet its Nato funding commitments to its pursuit of closer energy ties with Russia through the construction of the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

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China seeks to reassure Europe at Croatia summit

Posted by seumasach on April 22, 2019

Addressing the session in Dubrovnik, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras described the decision to join the Chinese initiative as “a very crucial moment for global and regional developments.”

“We have to leave behind the crisis and find new models of regional and global cooperation,” he said, adding that it must be done with “full respect” of the EU rules, Tsipras said.

Yahoo

12th April, 2019

DUBROVNIK, Croatia (AP) — China’s prime minister promised Friday that his government will respect European standards and fair trade, seeking to allay concerns that it is flouting European Union competition rules with huge investments on the continent.

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China’s belt and road continues to win over Europe while technocrats scream and bowl

Posted by seumasach on April 22, 2019

Mathew Ehret

Strategic Culture

20th April, 2019

On April 10th, China’s Premier Li Keqiang celebrated the completion of the 1st phase of the 2.5 kilometer Chinese-built Pelgesac Bridge in Croatia across the Bay of Mali Ston alongside Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic. This ceremony marked a striking victory as the following day ushered in an important 16+1 Heads of State summit that saw Greece inducted as the newest member of a new alliance of Central and Eastern European nations who wish to cooperate with China. At this summit held on April 12, Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stated that this was “a very crucial moment for global and regional developments” and “we have to leave behind the crisis and find new models of regional and global cooperation.”

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Britain in purgatory

Posted by seumasach on April 14, 2019

Cailean Bochanan

14th April, 2019

At last, some clarity is coming to Brexit. We now know that Theresa May wasn’t just running down the clock for a no-deal departure and that the EU is prepared to give extensions without any plan or clue to a plan being on offer. Even if the EU isn’t heaven a no-deal Brexit would certainly be hell and the UK has therefore entered a sort of purgatory to be purged of the sin of hubris.

We are learning still more about the British constitutional system: it doesn’t , as claimed, rest on the sovereignty of parliament. An attempt by parliament to seize control has failed miserably. How can a mere aggregation of constituency I.e. local representatives act decisively on national issues: they voted to save their seats. It was the great elitists the Whigs, who despised the people with a vengeance, who extended the franchise in order to make sure the spectre of Stuart monarchical power, which had raised it’s head once again under George the Third, could never again return to haunt them. This led to the gradual emergence of the executive, prime ministerial power through the two-party system  within the legislative itself, in contradiction to the much-vaunted doctrine of the separation of powers. Such a system worked at it’s peak during times of nations consensus such as the the two world wars and Cold War, the famous post-war consensus. So even the British constitution works when there is consensus but what happens when the country is split down the middle, from top to bottom? Nothing happens by the look of it.

But there is no shame in being dysfunctional: there are plenty of other dysfunctional countries. Spain continues to be divided along exactly the lines of the civil war fought over eighty years ago and torn apart by regional division. Similar entrenched divisions are evident in many other European countries: that is one reason why they are so committed to the EU. The EU enables them to transcend irreconcilable local feuding and move to a new, higher terrain. The political stability of Britain post- Good Friday Agreement also depends on EU membership.The Greek crisis was largely blamed on the EU and was widely cited by left-leaning, Brexiteers. But they failed to note that Greece didn’t actually leave: Greece will eventually resolve it’s economic and political problems within the EU.

But we have boldly set out to go it alone and we’ve got as far as complete paralysis. We desperately want to move, “to just get on with it” in our fabled, no-nonsense, everyday, down to earth sort of way. To keep ongoing to the end of the road!

But the UK is already at the end of the road.The factors which have enabled our essentially parasitic, imperial  economic model to serve the needs of our people are no longer there no matter how we seek to escape EU financial regulation, protect our tax havens and enable illegal money flows into the country.And extraditing Assange or jumping on the anti-Maduro bandwagon won’t stop US competition in the offshore game. Under Trump “business” trumps the Special Relationship.

 The world has left us behind. China is leading the way with the greatest project of economic construction in human history, the Belt and Road Initiative. The EU-China summit shows that Europe is buying into it. Trump is already boasting about his big deal the with China, the grandfather of all deals, the greatest deal in human history etc.- so he tells us. It is a sad delusion that Brexit Britain will be global Britain. Outside the single market the UK is economically insignificant. Thatcher destroyed the UK’s industrial base but at least her single market idea enabled the UK to become , to some extent, a hub for incoming investment.. March 31st didn’t see Brexit but another historic event went largely unnoticed: the Basil 111 accords came into force changing the status of gold within central banking reserves. In other words, the beginning of the return of gold as money and the beginning of the end of the dollar reserve fiat system introduced in 1971. This in turn threatens the status of the pound which hung onto the dollar’s coat tails under that system.

With a no-deal Brexit looking like a leap into the abyss rather than just a leap in the dark it would appear to be off the agenda. The other imagined forms of Brexit constitute a huge mass of fudge best epitomised in Corbyn’s membership of “a” customs union and close alignment with the single market, whatever that’s supposed to mean. If only the problem were a disconnect between the people and the political class as it has become fashionable to claim. The vagaries of Labour Party policy are the result of an attempt to connect to the people, a people itself hopelessly divided and confused as would be expected when you reach a fork in the road, when you face a historic shift in the status of the UK, something which can’t be grasped within the parameters of the everyday.

The remain option is now the only logical one but may still be politically impossible. Unable to leave and unable to remain our stay in purgatory may be a prolonged one. Another extension may be necessary. It is a national humiliation.

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Pompeo, Pence & the alienation of Europe

Posted by seumasach on February 25, 2019

Patrick Lawrence

Consortium News

19th february, 2019

What a job Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did in Europe last week. If the objective was to worsen an already critical trans–Atlantic rift and further isolate the U.S., they could not have returned to Washington with a better result.

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Gavin Williamson’s post-Brexit military plans are a dangerous fantasy

Posted by seumasach on January 15, 2019

Coinciding as it does with appeals for a hard Brexit from senior security state people, Williamson confirms Brexit as a neo-imperial project gone wrong.

Peace Pledge Union

30th december, 2018

UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has been accused of living in the nineteenth century after promising to build new military bases around the world following Brexit.

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Ex-MI6 and defence chiefs warn Tory MPs to vote down Brexit deal that ‘threatens national security’

Posted by seumasach on January 15, 2019

Explaining why they oppose the new relationship with the EU in the agreement, they write: “Buried in this Agreement is the offer of a ‘new, deep and special relationship’ with the EU in defence, security and intelligence which cuts across the three fundamentals of our national security policy: membership of NATO, our close bilateral defence and intelligence relationship with the USA and the Five Eyes intelligence alliance.”

The geopolitical stakes in Brexit couldn’t be put more starkly. However, short of Trump’s removal from office, they appear totally unrealistic.

Sky News

10th January, 2019

A former top spook and an ex-defence chief have taken the unprecedented step of urging Tory constituency bosses to order their MP to vote against Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

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Probes involving Trump associates are becoming difficult for the president to ignore

Posted by seumasach on December 15, 2018

Britain is descending into political chaos as May is seemingly playing for time. Meanwhile, attempts to unseat Trump reach a crescendo at least in the press. The impeachment of Trump would restore the Special Relationship and perhaps put Brexit back on the road to Oceania.

 

Independent

15th December, 2018

The interview that Michael Cohen gave ABC News on Friday morning should show Donald Trump one thing; that until he surrenders to begin a three-year prison sentence next March, he is unlikely to go away.

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