Sunday, August 06, 2017

The Brexit Coup

The Brexit Coup

The Bad Boys of Brexit, by Arron Banks; What Next?, by Daniel Hannan; All Out War, by Tim Shipman

review by Tim Barton



Back in the Eighties the beginnings of an ideologically 'American' coup began to roll out across the British economy. Channelling Ayn Rand and Nietzsche as much as Maggie's much vaunted but misrepresented Adam Smith, a neo-liberal agenda began to toxify our hearts and minds.

The first wave was influenced by a century-long tradition beginning with Charles Gide, and moving toward the present via Milton Freidman, Hayek and von Mises, and manifested in small true-believer organisations such as the ridiculously influential lobby group The Adam Smith Institute. The latter group was a guiding think tank behind Thatcher's neo-liberal clique in the Conservative Party - this strand of her policies almost destroyed the Party, saved at the last minute by the nationalist fervour whipped up during the Falklands skirmish.


This brand of new economic thinking became mainstream – so much so that Labour leader Tony Blair's rise to power witnessed his claim that it was the only way forward for Britain. The results have been economic disparity and collapse of basic infrastructures, but we have truly seen nothing yet.

Because we were sold a pup in 2016. The great British public, informed for decades that nothing was the fault of our government - it was all the fault of 'blacks', 'Poles', the unemployed, Brussels, Islam, etc - took the bait. A referendum based on a tabloid understanding of reality was always going to be a risky business. Immigration was clearly the red-rag vote-winner, with saner voices somewhat muffled.

The campaign to vote Leave had an interesting rogue's gallery at it's head. The motivations of frontmen like Farage may seem a little obscure, though their statements concentrated on the issue of free movement across borders. But the people behind the clowns on the stage were not mere xenophobes, they were a different breed altogether.

Several books have already arrived in print, two written by some of the true powers behind the campaign. I am betting that 90% of those who voted 'Leave' would not recognise the motivations of these men, men they could hardly empathise with socially either. Arron Banks – expatriate family (South Africa), privately educated, UKIP donor and co-founder of Leave.EU, massive funder of Brexit; Daniel Hannon – expatriate family (Peru), privately educated, Tory MP, UKIP apologist, senior member of the Vote Leave team... Hardly representative of the electorate, but a high-ranking part of an elite informal grouping that includes another important player: Douglas Carswell – expatriate family (Nigeria), privately educated, Tory then UKIP MP (friends with another Tory-UKIP defector, the aptly named Mark Reckless).

Their shared expat childhoods, followed by public school (obsessed with Platonic oligarchy, and the Spartans) then Uni, leads to their Empire2.0 attitudes to our supposed future Commonwealth free-market horizon. Totally disdaining ordinary people, they not only cynically ran a xenophobic campaign that did not reflect their true Brexit desires, but in reality sold us all down the river. Because they are the spiritual children of the Adam Smith Institute, but from an even more dangerous than average class 'bubble'. In these books they show no compunction at laughing at us all and boasting about their true motivations – UK(plc), a neo-liberal slave-plantation, asset-stripped and ecologically degraded, with the tax haven junta smugly walking away jingling the cash in their pockets.


The pronouncements of Liam Fox and Jacob Rees-Mogg - that we should remove workers rights, health and safety regulations, environmental protections... – are right on target for the Right-wing Brexit that was always on the table as our true 'out' future. The money and power behind this is illustrated rather bare-facedly in 'What Next?', and with complete disdain for us lot in 'Bad Boys'. The icing on the cake is Rudd and May attempting to add the UK to the short list of firewalled dictatorships: North Korea, Turkey, Iran and China. Come on guys, smell the coffee!

Meanwhile, whilst we read in the media about the Russian's hacking the US election, closer to home we have increasing evidence of collusion between Trump's mates Steve Bannon and Robert Mercer and our own Nigel Farage in using data analytics to manipulate floating voters on social media to get them to vote Leave (as exposed by Carole Cadwalladr in the Observer, May 7
th , 2017). And of the Saudi's, who paid, via a rather circuitous route (a Scot's foundation co-founded by the ambassador's father, donating to the DUP in Ulster!), for a £300,000 4-page 'Out' advert wrapped around the London Metro last May (Finton O'Toole, Irish Times, May 16th, 2017), pressured no doubt by Cameron and our arms industry, also manipulating our democratic process. A very British coup indeed.

Any right-thinking person should be declaring the referendum void and pushing for trials for treason for those behind the undermining of fair process (this would include press barons Murdoch, Rothermere and Desmond as well). The best evidence against them comes from their own mouths. Meanwhile, no doubt stuck as we are with Brexit, let's lobby hard for a protectionist Left-Brexit, or we are all screwed.

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