Thursday, June 16, 2016

Britsh Corporatist THOTing and Plotting Is Called Reluctant Remaining


Guardian |  Britain has become a powerbase for a legalised financial mafia, which strips the assets of healthy companies, turns the nation’s housing into a roulette table, launders money for drug cartels and terrorists, then stashes its gains beyond the reach of police and tax inspectors. Through privatisation, outsourcing and the private finance initiative, the public sector has been repurposed as a get-rich-quick scheme for friends in the City, licensed to erect tollbooths in front of essential services. The media, largely owned by members of the same class, directs our attention elsewhere: blaming immigrants for the ills it has inflicted.

It was British lobbying that sank Europe’s soil framework directive and the financial transactions tax. Without a mandate from either Parliament or people, the British trade minister wrote secretly to the European Commission, insisting that investor-state dispute settlement should remain in the TTIP. Wherever barriers to the power of money are being kicked over, there you will find Mr Cameron’s bootprint.

Since the first states were established, they have sought power by making alliances. The splendid autonomy we are told a Britain out of Europe would enjoy is an illusion: we would swap one transnational system for another. The demand to leave Europe in the name of independence has long been accompanied by a desire to surrender our sovereignty to the United States. If judged by their own standards, the Brexit campaigners who foresee a stronger alliance with the US are traitors, ceding the national interest to a foreign hegemon.

Sixteen years ago, the Conservative party published a draft manifesto in which it proposed that we should join the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This remains a plausible outcome of leaving the EU: it is hard to imagine the business class permitting the UK to stand outside a formal trading bloc. What this means is swapping a treaty over which we have had some influence for one in which we have had none.

How do we know that TTIP would tear down public protections? Because the same clauses in NAFTA have already started doing so, across Canada, the US and Mexico. A closer alliance with the United States means surrendering to a system which has been signed, sealed and delivered to the power of money. The US campaign finance system, a Congress bound and gagged with dollars, a police and military machine pressed into the service of plutocracy; a media that scarcely bothers to disguise its own corruption: the political power of money there is naked, unashamed, even proud.
I suspect that Trump, or at least Trumpery of some kind, represents the future of US politics, especially if the Democrats fail to connect with those who are catastrophically alienated from politics. Exciting as it will be to have a woman in the White House, Hillary Clinton is embedded in corporate power and corporate dollars, strategically unable to connect.

We do not release ourselves from the power of money by leaving the EU. We just exchange one version for another: another that is even worse. This is not an inspiring position from which to vote Remain. But it is a coherent one.