Brexit is boring. The British, and no doubt our European partners, are fed up to the back teeth of it. Yet it is about much more than the UK or even Europe – it may be a defining moment in the future path of this world, our home, the one planet we have to survive on. Perhaps a moment we will look back on with hindsight and ask, “why did we not see it coming?”. Hopefully not.
The Labour party and the other progressive forces in British politics must not fall for Al Boris Johnson’s attempts to force an election before 31st October. If they do, Johnson, and his puppet-master Dominic Cummings, will take the UK out of Europe on that date with a so-called ‘no deal’ Brexit. The immediate shocks to the UK and EU economies will be bad. We would recover though. They will, however, be nothing compared to the long term effects of allowing this right wing coup to prosper.
It is time for a government of national unity with progressive parties working together. A deal with the EU should be negotiated – and then put to the people in a referendum. Such a referendum would be significantly different to that held in 2016: a known “leave” deal vs remain. The 2016 referendum was fundamentally flawed in nature due to the ambiguous and ephemeral nature of “leave”, which by being open to so many interpretations could, and was, manipulated to be all things to all people. Time has shown us that each and every version of “the sunny uplands” and “unicorns” sold to the populous were lies. There is no such thing as a good Brexit. Not for the UK economy, people and union.
This can be achieved, and is best achieved, before holding a General Election. There is every reason to believe that Mr Johnson will turn on a dime and do a deal with the Brexit Party to ensure his continued tenure as Prime Minister. This man, known to have lied to wives, his employers, and now the Queen and Parliament, cannot be trusted on any level. Labour are making a huge mistake by going for a General Election before working with the progressive majority in parliament to put Brexit to bed, one way or the other.
If the UK leaves the EU we will be forwarding a dark agenda which links the rise of “far right populism”, the rights of billionaires to rule and govern without restraint, and their underlying agenda of “the deserving rich and undeserving poor”. The backdrop to all of this is global warming – and the path we collectively choose to deal with the existential challenges it presents.
The Steve Bannon/Breitbart and Robert Mercer nexus of a global right wing elite are well documented in their efforts and success both in the Brexit campaign and the election of Donald Trump. Their links to a wide network of UK and primarily US ‘think-tanks’, aka propaganda machines, promoting far right wing economic and social thinking are equally well documented. The agenda they promote denies global warming and hijacks popular discontent at static wages, weaker social cohesion and growing inequality. This is not a side dish on the Brexit Menu but quite the opposite: it is the meat and potatoes.
Global warming is scientific fact and, as we increasingly are aware, it is an economic, political and social reality that we must deal with collectively, if we are to mitigate the worst effects of this human caused phenomena. The war for minds has been long fought, and at the moment the Machiavellian forces of right wing machinations are winning. Yet what has all this to do with The European Union and Brexit?
The European Union is seen by the hawkish right wing factions in the USA and elsewhere as a problem. It is a problem because of the stance it takes on values of social justice, the rule of law, and, critically, the attitudes held towards peace, sustainability and the environment – including truly tackling the causes of global warming. Russia too has a stake in undermining the EU, for it’s own geopolitical agenda, which accounts for the undeniable influence they exerted in the Brexit referendum. These agendas are highly aligned.
The European Union is a stabilising and civilising influence on the world stage. Perhaps it is the only block that can effectively counter the right wing agenda towards global warming and a host of other issues. The destruction of The European Union as an effective block is key to the maintenance of the USA as the global hegemonic power, and the advancement of the hidden and dark stance towards the future politics of our planet.
We live on a finite planet and infinite economic growth is not possible. As with any closed system there are limits, and we are starting to bump up against these in many ways. Global warming is the most dire and pressing of these.
We face a fundamental choice, and a stark one at that. Do we move quickly towards a world of peace and harmony, social justice, the best outcome for the greatest number? Or, do we move towards a planet ruled by oligarchs and billionaires, where effective action to tackle global warming is left too late, the ‘baked-in’ consequences fester, and, as a result, several billion humans are sacrificed to the god of money?
This may sound hyperbolic, yet it is not. It is the logical conclusion of the facts we see around us every day. Unfortunately, like a crab being slowly boiled to death, the normalisation of the status quo over the past five decades or so has left us blind to see that which is in plain sight.
There are two opposing attitudes towards global warming. One serves the greater good and the other sacrifices that good upon the altar of right wing ideologies, based upon neo-Darwinian theories that can be summed up in one sentence: “those who have accumulated vast wealth deserve to rule, whilst those who have not must pay the price”.
Serving the greater good means taking vital action to mitigate further global warming as soon as we can. It means a shift towards more equitable society both within individual nations and across the globe. It means an end to blaming the poor for their poverty (perhaps the most pernicious kind of victim-blaming that exists). Most importantly, it means an end to obscene great fortunes – and the inevitable distorting influence such fortunes have on politics both nationally and globally.
The right wing fantasy sucking up the dissatisfaction of the rich world’s poor and disenfranchised, to their own ends, is that the rich “deserve” to rule. They pervert the truth using vast wealth and networks of think tanks. Anti-science is well funded and it’s practitioners well rewarded. It is all straight out of the play-book that the tobacco and fossil fuel industries have employed for decades to maintain the status quo, and largely still do to this day. It is the combination of Edward Bernays’ desire to control the masses and Ayn Rand’s “law of the jungle” views expressed in ‘Atlas Shrugged’.
In the case of the far right agenda to solidify control amongst wealthy elites, global warming is denied so that the consequences are seen as collateral damage. This means immense continuing damage to ecosystems, though they will ultimately find a new balance, and the utterly foreseeable deaths of a few billion human beings, mainly from the global South.
All your efforts to be a good citizen, recycle, buy wisely, and use less energy are nothing under the shadow of the neo-Darwinian theories that are driving this global geopolitical agenda.
Brexit will damage the EU, perhaps fatally – that is the hope of the right. The European Union is not without it’s faults, yet these can be solved. Brexit will lead to a US-UK axis of disaster capitalism. That axis is designed to put the final nail in the coffin of The European Union as a balancing force on the global stage. This is why Brexit must not happen. The British people are, despite appearances over the last three years, largely a well meaning and stoic folk. Many have been mislead about the malign nature of the club we are in, and about the reasons behind the drive for us to leave.
This brings us to the date of the now believed to be imminent UK General Election. If progressive parties delay the election and work together, Boris’s fuel will be spent. His promise broken, like so many of his promises before. The right wing vote will split and there will be a coalition of progressive parties that win the election. One way or another, the ultimate outcome is almost certainly that the UK will revoke article 50, something best done after confirmatory referendum based in facts, not fairy tales. An election after the Brexit issue has been dealt with is the only way to ensure Johnson and Cummings do not force us from the EU into American servitude.
Boris’s game-plan at the moment is to win the election at any cost and whatever lies he must play with. He will do anything to win that election, and with the backing of Cummings he most likely will do so. It is not too late for him to keep his promise to remove the UK from the EU “do or die”. Any law passed beforehand by parliament will not stop him. This is why the Government ceased filibustering the passage of the legislation in the Lords forcing Johnson to seek an extension. They have game-planned their way around it. In their eyes, when Johnson is returned to power he will remove the UK from the EU without a deal, though it will lead to immense pain for all concerned.
This is a defining moment in the stark choice we face: it is much bigger than Brexit, the EU, or Boris and Cummings’s political games. Ultimately, it is about choosing a path for humanity that puts great accumulated wealth at the service of all, and shifts us towards facing up to global warming for real. Alternatively, it is about leaving the right wing cabal in charge, keeping the rich rich, doing little to mitigate the effects of global warming, and consigning a large part of humanity to die as a result of the ensuing catastrophe.
Corbyn, his Labour party colleagues, and other progressive politicians facing these decisions will go down either as facilitating one of the greatest moments of healing in the history of human-kind, or a pivotal moment in the “law of the jungle” becoming the law of the planet.
They must not fall for the Johnson-Cummings trap. The General Election must be delayed and Brexit dealt with to deny the dangerous right wing vision of the future holding sway amongst the wealthy on both sides of the Atlantic.