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Collapse Cafe 6/26/2016-BREXIT!
« on: June 26, 2016, 04:45:41 PM »
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Re: Collapse Cafe 6/26/2016-BREXIT!
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2016, 06:55:16 PM »
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Brexit vote sends shockwaves across European Establishment
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2016, 08:41:00 PM »
http://www.defenddemocracy.press/brexit-vote-sends-shockwaves-across-european-establishment-2/

Brexit vote sends shockwaves across European Establishment
25/06/2016

By Alan Woods
Yesterday, 23rd of June 2016, the people of Britain made a momentous decision. After 40 years as part of the European Union they voted to turn their backs on it. This decision has immense consequences for the future of Britain, Europe and the world.


The referendum result was a crushing vote of no confidence in the Establishment. It caused shock waves in the markets which last night were confident of the victory of a vote to remain. The Leave side won by a margin of 52 % to 48%: more than 1.2 million votes more than Remain, with the English shires and Wales voting strongly in favour of Brexit. But Scotland voted massively against. Voter turnout was very high: in Scotland 67%, in Wales 72% and in England 73%.

Once again the opinion polls were shown to be wrong. Up until the last minute they were predicting a narrow win for Remain. But the pollsters got the result badly wrong, as they had done in last year’s general election. The reason for this failure is that the pollsters failed to understand the deep mood of discontent that exists in society.

The ruling class and its political representatives were in a state of shock. They have no understanding of the realities of life for the majority of people in Britain. The same lack of understanding was shown by the irrational behaviour of the stock markets on the eve of the poll. In the 48 hours before the referendum the stock markets were booming and the pound soared to its highest level for months, at one point reaching almost 1.5 to the dollar.

News of the referendum result immediately provoked sharp falls on the stock markets of the world and the pound slumped to its lowest level since 1985. These are early warning signals of the recession which will soon hit the British economy, the shock waves from which will rapidly spread throughout Europe and the rest of the world. The political fallout of this shock result was felt immediately. David Cameron, badly weakened politically, announced he will step down as prime minister by October.

The Blairite right-wingers who rule the roost in the Parliamentary Labour Party were equally taken aback by the referendum result. These Tories in disguise were enthusiastic in their support for the Europe of the bankers and capitalists, and were surprised when a significant section of the working class, including many traditional Labour voters, gave them a kick in the teeth.

Why?

The people who voted ‘Leave’ did so for many different reasons. Some progressive and some reactionary. The anger of former industrial and mining communities in the North that have been condemned to years of economic decline, loss of employment, poverty and marginalisation, was evident. Such communities feel alienated from a remote political class that rules them from Westminster, and even more alienated from a remote bureaucracy in Brussels that has done nothing for them.

When the Remain camp talked of being more prosperous inside the EU, large layers of working class people merely shrugged their shoulders. They have seen the rich people getting ever richer while they and their families become ever poorer. The benefits of the European Union – the rich man’s club – are for the few, not the many. This has led to a growing sense of injustice that created a feeling of anger and indignation against the Establishment, the result of which was manifested in yesterday’s vote.

The result reveals the existence of a seething mood of discontent in society. It also shows to what extent the political class is out of touch with the feelings of ordinary people. This is an international phenomenon. It was shown by the Scottish referendum on independence in 2014, the Spanish general election in December 2015, the rise of Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain, the huge support for Sanders in the Democratic Party primaries and, in a distorted way, even the rise of Donald Trump in the USA.

The argument of the Remain camp to the effect that membership of the EU meant prosperity and higher living standards for all had a hollow ring for many people in Britain living on low wages. For these people the EU promise of prosperity was a complete fraud and deception.

To people on the receiving end of the crisis of capitalism, the message of the Remain campaign sounded like the complacency of well-heeled middle class professional politicians in London. It was like a voice from people living on a different planet speaking a language that was incomprehensible to ordinary people. The fact that Labour MPs – overwhelmingly middle-class Blairite right-wingers – found this shocking shows how little they understand about the real situation in Britain. And these people consider themselves to be great realists!

On the other hand, the right-wing leaders in Britain are naturally euphoric. The referendum campaign has already had the effect of pushing the centre of gravity of British politics to the right – at least temporarily. Even though they have not gained their immediate objective, the Thatcherite right wing will continue to press for their reactionary policies inside the Tory leadership.

UKIP’s Nigel Farage, who last night thought that they had lost, said: “Dare to dream that the dawn is breaking on an independent United Kingdom.” Farage’s dream will soon turn out to be a nightmare for the British people. No sooner had he spoken than dark clouds began to gather around UKIP’s rising Sun.

Crisis in the Tory Party

“He who the gods wish to destroy they first make him mad.” This would be a very adequate epitaph for David Cameron and the leaders of the British Conservative party. Decades of inglorious decline have reduced Britain to a second rate power off the coast of Europe. This unpalatable truth has never been accepted by the right wing of the Conservative Party who dream about the restoration of Britain to its former greatness. Boris Johnson’s proud boast that 23 June 2016 would be “Britain’s Independence Day” shows just how far they are removed from reality. Now reality is about to teach them a very harsh lesson.

The British ruling class and its political representatives today bear no relation to the farsighted masters of the globe of whom Trotsky wrote in the past. They are ignorant, stupid and short-sighted. In that respect they are faithful mirrors of the bankers and capitalists who can see no further than the end of their own noses and are addicted to speculation, short termism and parasitism. These, and not Brussels, are the people who really rule Britain today and will continue to do so tomorrow.

The leader of the Conservative party Mr Cameron has many features of the class he represents. Like his friends the City traders, he seems to be addicted to gambling. But whereas they speculate in shares and equities, the Tory party leader gambles with the destinies of whole nations. He took a very reckless gamble with the Scottish referendum and narrowly won. Now he has taken an even greater gamble on Britain’s membership of the European Union and he has lost. The consequences for Britain and the Tory party will be incalculable.

The first victim is Cameron himself. Like the noble Romans of old he has fallen on his sword in expiation of his sins. The humiliated Tory Leader gave a statement in Downing Street at 8.15am, by which time the FTSE100 had opened with a 500 point plunge – the biggest on record. In his farewell speech he said: “I will do everything I can as prime minister to steady the ship over the coming weeks and months. But I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination.”

The rifts in the Tory party

The leaders of the Brexit camp are reactionaries of the worst kind. At best, they represent the traditional right-wing Tory Little Englander tendency that has always been present. It represents the views and prejudices of the Tory rank and file: the shopkeepers, retired colonels, estate agents and other reactionary riffraff that in the past was kept firmly under control by the ruling clique of aristocratic Tory grandees. This rabid chauvinistic rabble was let off the leash by Margaret Thatcher who herself came from this very layer.

Just as the right-wing leadership of the Parliamentary Labour Party is out of touch with its working class base, so the leaders of the Conservative party in parliament – respectable and well-heeled old Etonians like Cameron and Osborne – are out of touch with the Tory rank and file who come from a different class and have a different psychology.

The Tory leaders represent the big banks and monopolies and the City of London and look down with condescending contempt at the right-wing fanatics in the constituency parties. This is a fault line that was skilfully exploited by the likes of Michael Gove and Boris Johnson. People like Gove, the convinced right-wing Thatcherites and Eurosceptics, are a more faithful reflection of the opinions of the rank and file and fervently uphold their right-wing principles.

Johnson and Gove had repeatedly denied they have ambitions to replace Cameron as Prime Minister, but nobody believes them. After an intensely bitter and personalised campaign, the divisions will remain and become intensified. At a certain point, an open split in the Party will become a distinct possibility.

From the very beginning the referendum campaign was characterised by the sharpness of its tone. Virulent personal attacks became the norm, with Tory leaders hurling insults and publicly accusing each other of lying. These mutual attacks opened up deep wounds in the Tory Party that will not easily be healed.

The Conservative party is now clearly divided into two sharply opposed camps. On the one hand, there are the so-called “progressive” Tories represented by Cameron and Osborne. Ranged against them, and with strong support in the ranks of the Tory activists, are the right-wing Thatcherite free marketeers of the likes of Michael Gove and Iain Duncan Smith, aided by former Mayor of London Boris Johnson. The last named is now favourite for future Tory Party Leader.
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Boris Johnson

An extrovert, publicity seeking egotist and Old Etonian, Boris Johnson is a man with big ambitions. It is an open secret that he has been preening himself to step into the shoes of the present Prime Minister David Cameron. Having stood down from the position of Mayor of London, he manoeuvred himself into a leading position in the Brexit campaign, which he clearly saw as a stepping stone to number 10 Downing Street.

Johnson’s complete lack of principle was shown in an article by Michael Cockerell in The Guardian, on Wednesday 22nd June where we read the following:

“Johnson drove to his Oxfordshire bolthole [in February] to make up his mind. He was due to deliver his well-rewarded column for the Daily Telegraph. He wrote two articles – one putting the case for the status quo, the other for Brexit. I was told by someone who saw both drafts that the case for staying in was the more powerful and persuasive.

“When I put this to Johnson on the campaign trail, he huffed and puffed. ‘I don’t know your source, but it is true that I did write two articles,’ he said. ‘And the second one said that, irrespective of my objections to the way that the EU was going, in order to support my party and the prime minister it would be better to stay in. And I thought in the end that wasn’t a good enough reason’.”

Boris Johnson only knows one principle, and that is the career of Boris Johnson. He climbed on the Eurosceptic bandwagon as a means of ingratiating himself with the Tory rank and file and the Eurosceptic wing of the parliamentary party. This tactic seems to have worked rather well. Hours before the result was announced, prominent Tory leaders of the Out campaign signed a letter to David Cameron asking him to stay on as prime minister. This was a calculated tactic, designed to present themselves in a favourable light as loyal supporters of the Party Leader. It resembles the loyalty that was shown to Julius Caesar by his friend Brutus shortly before he stuck his knife in.

Johnson has already achieved his objective in this campaign, currying favour with the right wing of the Tory party and placing himself in a good position to take over from David Cameron when the latter finally resigns his position as party leader in October. From that point of view, a small gesture of pretended loyalty cost him nothing and will gain him further points in the leadership of the Tory party.

Nigel Farage

On the extreme right wing of the Brexit tendency stands Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader who for years has attempted to push his xenophobic, anti-Europe and anti-immigration line. Until recently he was held at arm’s length by all respectable politicians. But the EU referendum campaign has placed him centre stage in British politics. This has serious implications for the future.

Just over one week before the referendum Farage proudly unveiled a huge poster depicting vast numbers of immigrants and asylum seekers – all of them with brown and black faces – with the slogan “breaking point”. This barely concealed racist demagogy was a crude attempt to distract workers from the real causes behind unemployment and the housing crisis. You have no jobs? Blame the immigrants! You have no houses? Blame the immigrants! The health service is in crisis? Blame the immigrants!

Here we have the entire content of the Brexit campaign. All other factors – sovereignty, democracy, an end to interference by Brussels – were entirely incidental to this main reactionary message. When asked about this poster, Michael Gove said: “when I saw that I shuddered.”

But as a TV interviewer pointed out to him, a shudder is a purely personal reaction that was not translated into action in the form of a public condemnation. This little incident adequately expresses the relation between people like Gove and Farage.

There is nothing new about the veiled racist message peddled by Ukip, of course. But there is something new about the way in which this poison, which was hitherto regarded as unacceptable by the mainstream political parties, has now become acceptable. A poisonous atmosphere has been introduced into British politics.

The mechanism whereby anti-immigration, xenophobic and implicitly racist views have become acceptable is as follows. Nigel Farage puts forward these views in a more or less open manner, which comes close to racism, albeit in a rather more subtle and disguised manner than the British National party and other openly fascist groups. Johnson and Gove cannot openly support Farage and his openly xenophobic views, but have gradually sidled over to him, repeating his message in a sly and underhand manner, while publicly protesting against his “excesses”.

In an interview on Channel 4 News Farage was asked what he thought of the fact that Tory MPs like Michael Gove and Boris Johnson, who previously regarded him with contempt, were now repeating his anti-immigration message, the Ukip leader replied that it made him very happy. When he was further questioned about rumours that Boris Johnson would be prepared to offer him a position in a future government, Farage protested that he knew nothing of any such proposal. But it is clear that such proposals are being discussed behind the scenes.

What now?

The victory of Brexit ought to trigger withdrawal from the EU by invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty (The Treaty of Lisbon introduced an exit clause for members who wish to withdraw from the Union, under Treaty on European Union Article 50). But these are unchartered waters. Such a thing has never happened before, and indeed was never intended to happen. The process of separation will be long and complicated, commencing with a minimum two-year negotiation period on the terms of the “divorce”. But as is generally known, divorce tends to be a highly controversial, bad tempered and bitter experience.

Ironically, pro-Leave campaigners say this does not need to happen immediately. They would prefer to have the UK out of the bloc by the general election slated for May 2020. However, these decisions are not entirely in their hands. In general, the anti-EU camp has had an excessively optimistic view of how things would proceed if Britain voted to leave. Now we will see the harsh reality of Britain’s position vis-a-vis Europe.

The reaction of other European leaders to Britain’s decision to jump ship will be one of shock, anger and resentment. The idea that Britain could establish friendly and cooperative relations with the EU once it had left is sheer utopianism. The plain fact is that Angela Merkel and the other European leaders cannot afford to do any favours to Britain, even if they wanted to, which they certainly do not.

Already there are growing reports of a general increase of Eurosceptical feeling throughout the continent. According to the opinion polls, anti-EU feeling is running higher in France than in Britain. Marien Le Pen is demanding a referendum. Other Eurosceptic parties will follow suit. This could lead ultimately to the breakup of the EU.

Therefore, if Brussels were to give Britain an easy ride, it would encourage others to follow their example. That is out of the question. The British ruling class will soon find that it is out in the cold. And it is the working class and the poor who will feel the draught more than anyone else.

The predictions of the Remain camp of a severe economic crisis are based on fact. A crisis in Britain is now being prepared that will hit the working class hard.

On the other hand, the promises of Johnson and the others that by leaving the EU the country could “take back control” will soon be seen to be without foundation. The negotiations would determine whether or not the UK remains part of the single market without being in the Union, as Norway currently does. However, this would mean the UK would still have to accept free movement of labour.

Other options include a Canadian-style free trade deal, a Swiss-style bilateral agreement, or reverting to the basic terms of commerce offered by membership of the World Trade Organisation. But all these options would require lengthy and complicated negotiations, which will be accompanied by increasing unemployment and falling living standards.

The pro-Brexit side has already signalled that they expect a short-term financial crisis. Boris Johnson tries to allay people’s fears by saying that the pound “naturally fluctuates”. However, the present fluctuation is clearly on a downward slide. And the billionaire currency speculator George Soros is warning that the impact will be bigger than 1992 crash.

These warnings are already coming true. The FTSE 100 crashed nearly 500 points within minutes of opening this morning. The drop immediately wiped around £124 billion off the value of the UK’s 100 largest listed companies. If it closes the day down that much, it could be the biggest one day drop in the index’s history. This is a warning of things to come.

The British economy will shrink. Business investment will fall, as will house prices and the pound. That will mean imported goods become more expensive, leading to a rise in prices. In other words, the working class of Britain have been deceived by the advocates of Brexit, just as they would have been deceived by the supporters of Remain. In either case the ruling class would make them pay for the crisis of their system.

Repercussions for Scotland

The result of this referendum has enormous implications for the future of Scotland. It deepens the fault line separating Scotland from the rest of the United Kingdom. Scotland has voted in favour of the UK staying in the EU by 62% to 38% – with all 32 council areas backing Remain.The Scotland Stronger In Europe campaign said the scale of the Remain majority in Scotland was “exceptional”.
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But this result will raise a lot more questions than it answers in Scotland. The problem is that the UK as a whole has voted to Leave – raising the prospect of Scotland being taken out of the EU against its will. The Scottish government’s external affairs secretary, Fiona Hyslop, said “all options were being looked at” in order to “protect Scotland’s interests” and warned there would be “consequences” if the UK made a decision against the will of the Scottish people.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland had delivered a “strong, unequivocal vote” to remain in the EU. Ms Sturgeon said the vote had made clear “that the people of Scotland see their future as part of the European Union”. She indicated that this result would place on the agenda a new referendum on Scottish independence. Her predecessor as first minister, Alex Salmond, was even more emphatic, saying he believed there should now be a second independence referendum.

Mr Salmond told the BBC: “It means that Nicola Sturgeon has to go forward with the manifesto, which as you remember said the Scottish Parliament should have the right to call a second referendum on Scottish independence if there was a material and significant change in the circumstances, like Scotland being dragged out of the European Union against the will of the Scottish people. Now that has happened and I’m certain that Nicola will go forward on that manifesto commitment”.

Thus, Cameron’s reckless gamble has once again placed in jeopardy the United Kingdom, which may well end up with Great Britain being transformed into Little England.

Reactionary implications

The victory of Brexit does not mean a strengthening of the revolutionary or left-wing tendency as some deluded people imagine, but on the contrary, a victory for the forces of reaction – albeit a temporary one – not only in Britain but also throughout Europe. Those who are celebrating such a development are Marine Le Pen, Alternative fur Deutschland and other reactionary chauvinist and anti-immigration outfits. Marine Le Pen the leader of the National front party has demanded a referendum in France, as have right-wing leaders in Holland and other countries.

In an attempt to answer the argument that Brexit would spell economic disaster, the other side stepped up the anti-immigration propaganda. The mood became uglier and more poisonous by the day. There can be no doubt whatsoever that this played a role in the brutal murder of Jo Cox.

The anti-immigration demagogy of Nigel Farage contains an implicitly racist and xenophobic message. Despite his anti-immigration views, however, Farage himself is not a fascist, but he is undoubtedly a pacemaker for fascism in the future. While it would be entirely incorrect to exaggerate the strength and significance of the fascist organisations in Britain, which at the present are reduced to miniscule, although virulent, sects on the margins of politics, the barely concealed racist tone of the anti-immigration lobby undoubtedly creates favourable conditions for the growth of such tendencies.

Consequences for Labour

As one could have predicted, the Leave vote is being utilised by the Blairites in the Labour Party to stir up a new campaign against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. These Blairite MPs claim that Corbyn’s efforts to keep Britain in the EU were “insufficiently enthusiastic”. Poor Jeremy! If they could blame him for the weather they would do so. The right-wing Blairites are determined to get rid of him no matter what he does.

Defending himself against the oft-repeated accusation that his campaign for remaining in the EU had been what many saw as “half hearted”, he said: “There were many people who were not particularly happy with the EU. The point I was making was there were good things that had come from Europe – working conditions and environmental protections – but there were other issues that were not being addressed properly – particularly economic inequalities in Britain…Therefore I said that my project was that we should vote to remain to change and reform the European Union.”

Unlike the party leader, the right-wing Blairites in the parliamentary Labour Party were extremely enthusiastic about the capitalist European Union. In this they were completely united with Cameron, Osborne and the City of London. But they were and are completely and utterly out of touch with Labour voters.

These well-heeled middle class carpetbaggers do not understand the mood of resentment, distrust, even hatred that is felt by ordinary working class people against the political establishment in Westminster – the right-wing Labour gang included. The fact is that most working class people now see no real difference between the Blairite MPs and the Tories. The referendum campaign has served to confirm them in this belief – which of course is well founded.

The Blairites are politically indistinguishable from the Cameron wing of the Conservative party. They come from the same social class, enjoy the same privileged lifestyle, are members of the same clubs and have exactly the same class psychology. During the referendum campaign they happily campaigned shoulder to shoulder with Cameron and Osborne, politicians that are hated by the working class for their vicious policy of cuts and austerity – a policy which in most respects is accepted by Labour’s right wing.

The pro-Corbyn rank and file movement Momentum issued the following statement this morning:

“We recognise that people voted ‘Leave’ for many reasons. Much of this vote reflected anger in communities which have experienced many years of industrial decline with the subsequent loss of secure employment. Many such working class communities have been utterly neglected for years by those in power. Millions appear to have chosen ‘Leave’ to vote against the unfettered globalisation that has seen living standards stagnate or fall, as the cost of living rises. We share this scepticism of big business dominance, austerity and distant elites, be they British, European or Global, and share that demand for a country where working people have control.

“Many ‘Leave’ voters usually vote for Labour or are working people Labour should represent. Now the Party and the whole labour movement needs to show the country that it alone can offer working people genuine control over their lives, workplaces and communities.

“Labour must clearly demonstrate how it will improve lives through policies that will increase wages, tackle the housing crisis, and give people a greater say at work and in their communities.

“If we do not, we will not only be failing to advance the policies that will benefit working people but also could enable the populist right, who blame immigrants, not the powerful for the problems in our country. Part of the Leave campaign empowered these racist, reactionary forces, who peddle hatred and offer false hope. We must redouble our efforts to stop migrant scapegoating, focus our attention on the needs and desires of the overwhelming majority, and offer a real programme of hope for our people.

“Although we will leave the EU, our movement remains an internationalist one. We must continue to work with our friends, partners and allies across Europe in the shared struggle against austerity, to tackle climate change and to build a sustainable economy with full employment for all the peoples of Europe.”

Many of these sentiments we can agree with. But it is high time that Momentum realised that the right wing of the parliamentary Labour Party has declared war on Jeremy Corbyn and will never rest until he is removed. The crisis of the Tory party, which has now deepened as a result of the referendum, poses the question of the general election in the near future. The right wing will now intensify its vicious campaign to remove Jeremy Corbyn before that occurs.

A period of political instability in Britain is now inevitable. Already there are calls for a new general election so that MPs from both sides can put forward their plans for what to do next. Conservative backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg said a general election in the autumn was “not impossible”. Others have suggested new elections in March or June 2017 is more likely.

Ever since Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party there has been a furious campaign in the media, fully backed by the Blairite faction of the parliamentary Labour Party, claiming that Jeremy Corbyn is “unelectable”. The real problem for the ruling class, however, is precisely the opposite. The Tory government is deeply unpopular and split from top to bottom. Yesterday’s vote was really a referendum, not on the EU, but on the Cameron government. The result is plain for all to see.

In the short term the likes of Johnson and Gove will most likely take over the leadership of the Tory party and form a new Conservative government. They will then go on the offensive against the working class. Instead of less austerity we will have more. Many people see the vote to Leave as an end to austerity, but they will get a shock and will feel betrayed. This will in turn provoke a worker backlash and eventually put class struggle back on the agenda in a big way.

If a general election takes place under these conditions, it is likely that Labour could win. This is a prospect that is viewed with horror by the ruling class. They will do everything in their power to prevent it. Using their stooges in the parliamentary Labour Party, they will move heaven and earth to get rid of Corbyn before any such election. If they fail, it is possible that the Blairites will organise a split in the party and move to link up with the Cameron wing of the Tories. On the other hand, it is not at all clear that the Conservative party itself will remain united.

Jeremy Corbyn says he will not resign over the defeat of the Remain campaign for which he does not bear the slightest responsibility. The blame for this should be placed firmly at the door of Labour’s right wing, which has lost all credibility in the eyes of working class people. We saw that in Scotland, where the right wing lead the Labour Party to destruction, and now we see it again south of the border.
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It is about time that Momentum made up its mind where it is going. It is necessary to pick up the gauntlet that has been thrown down by the Labour right wing and throw it back in their face. Let Momentum begin by campaigning for the deselection of those Labour MPs who consistently oppose, denigrate and attack the Party Leader, discrediting and dividing the Labour Party and aiding and abetting the Tories. That is the only way in which Labour can succeed in renovating itself and presenting a credible left-wing alternative to the discredited and reactionary Tory government.

What is not to be done

There’s an old saying: “A man who rides on the back of a tiger will find it difficult when he has to get off.”

During the referendum campaign we saw the development of a United Front. The dominant voice in this front was the voice of open, shameless reaction. The blatantly racist message of Nigel Farage received a respectable cover from Gove and Johnson, who in turn received support from certain Labour politicians who reflected the most reactionary and retrograde trends, tinged with nationalism, that are part of the negative heritage left behind by moribund Stalinism.

To these tendencies one must add a number of left groups, some of them calling themselves Marxists, who attempted to justify their support for Brexit with all sorts of peculiar arguments and intellectual juggling. To these we are entitled to ask a simple question and receive a simple answer: in what way did support for the Brexit campaign raise the level of class consciousness of the British workers? We would be very interested to hear the answer. We do not believe for a moment that a positive one is possible.

Some have tried to answer that the Brexit campaign was aimed at the establishment in general and the Cameron government in particular. There is just a grain of truth in this argument, which nevertheless is a striking example of sophistry that takes a small particle of truth and ignores the mass of information that completely contradicts it.

It is true that the Cameron government is hated by the working class which desires with all its heart to strike back at it, to weaken it and to overthrow it. That is a progressive instinct which we support wholeheartedly. However, it is not sufficient to pose the question of overthrowing the Cameron government. It is above all a question of what will replace it. At this point the falsity and hollowness of the arguments of the so-called left advocates of Brexit are glaringly exposed.

If Gove or Johnson take over the leadership of the Conservative Party, they would immediately intensify the vicious policy of cuts and austerity that was launched by Cameron and Osborne. They have already hinted at the fact that austerity must continue, backtracking on the promises they made during the referendum campaign. These are the advocates of free market economics in the Thatcher style. They would step up the campaign for privatisation of national assets, push forward the programme of privatisation of the national health service and make further inroads on the rights of the working class.

After the murder of Jo Cox, some of these left supporters of Brexit hastened to protest that they disassociated themselves from racism and xenophobia, advocating a campaign against racism. But how is it possible to do this while simultaneously continuing to participate in a campaign that is actively fomenting xenophobia and racism? This is the political equivalent of attempting to square the circle.

Of course, we have no illusions whatever in the role played by the EU regulations in defending the rights of British workers. But it is perfectly true, as Jeremy Corbin correctly warned, that the right-wing Tories would immediately utilise the breakaway from Europe as an excuse for making a bonfire of what they considered to be unnecessary and irksome regulations, starting with all those regulations that limit the hours of the working week, defend minimum rates for pay, pensions, holidays and the like.

In what way this can be interpreted as a movement to the left is a mystery to everyone except those sorry “Marxists” who so enthusiastically jumped on the reactionary Brexit bandwagon. They must now take responsibility for the consequences of their actions.

What attitude should Marxists take?

The answer to this question is really very simple. That is progressive which serves to raise the class consciousness of the working class. That is reactionary which tends to lower class consciousness. In what way did support for Brexit raise the consciousness of the British working class?

The reactionary nature of the Brexit Campaign was clear for all to see. It was based almost entirely on xenophobia, anti-immigrant sentiment and had clear overtones of racism. It appealed not to class consciousness but based itself on the most backward, retrograde and even reactionary sentiments of the most backward layers of the working class.

To pander to such a campaign, to support it in any shape or form, could not possibly be presented as raising the consciousness of the class but rather an opportunist attempt to curry favour with the most backward layers. But as Trotsky explains, the attempt to gain short-term popularity by swimming with the tide is the surest way to prepare a disaster for tomorrow.

Let’s get this straight. This was a row between two rival segments of the ruling class and the Tory party. There is not an atom of progressive content on either side of this argument. And there is nothing that says that the working class has to take sides every time there is a split in the ruling class, on the contrary.

It is true that there were many other factors involved in the massive swing towards Brexit that included significant sections of the working class. There is a powerful feeling of alienation from the establishment and its political representatives, the Tories and Labour’s right wing. There is a deep-seated feeling, particularly in areas of high unemployment and poverty, that “they do not represent us.”

Many people will have voted yesterday not so much on the question of whether Britain should or should not be inside the European Union but simply as a protest vote against the Tory government and all its works. This is an entirely understandable, correct and progressive instinct. However, even the most progressive instincts of the working class can be abused and used for reactionary purposes.

In the 19th century Karl Marx faced a similar situation when there was a split in the British ruling class on the question of protectionism or free trade. Marx considered the question and came to the conclusion that although in principle free trade was more progressive than protection, he nevertheless recommended that the workers should abstain from supporting either side in this dispute. That is a very sound class position, and one which we must adhere to at the present time.

I repeat what I said in my last article: “There is not an atom of progressive content in either the Brexit campaign or the Remain campaign. They stand for the interests of two wings of the ruling class and the Tory Party. Neither has anything in common with the working class. We can have nothing to do with either.”

Referendums, like elections, can tell us part of the story, but only part. They are like a snapshot that reveals the state of mind of the public at a given moment in time. However, it is impossible to arrive at a full picture of the process unless we take it as a whole. Like the waves of the ocean, we are only looking at the surface. In order to understand the real significance of the result, we must penetrate below the surface. Only if we look below the figures, it is possible to discern the deep currents that are flowing strongly in the depths of British society.

Only an independent class position could have cut across the fog of confusion, explaining that the real cause of unemployment and bad housing was the crisis of capitalism and the attempts of the Tories to put the entire burden of the crisis on the shoulders of the working class and the poorest sections of society.

Had Corbyn maintained a principled position of opposition to the European Union, explaining clearly its class nature, posing an internationalist and socialist alternative, there would not have been the confusion that we saw among large layers of the population. Instead, the entire question was reduced to a futile argument as to whether the working class would be better off inside or outside the capitalist European Union.

The whole question was posed in the wrong manner. In fact, it makes little difference to the working class whether Britain remains in the EU or not. Either way, the capitalist class will continue its attacks against living standards and workers’ rights. The real alternative is to conduct a vigorous struggle against cuts and austerity, for the socialist transformation of society in Britain, Europe and a world scale. That starts with the battle to defeat the Blairite right wing in the Labour Party, to strengthen Corbyn and get a Left Labour government elected to carry out all this. That is the only hope for the future.

London, 24 June, 2016
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Re: Collapse Cafe 6/26/2016-BREXIT!
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2016, 10:03:13 PM »
WOO HOO!  Now past 200 Views!  :icon_sunny:



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Brexit Is Really a Vote Against Washington Control Over Europe
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2016, 04:30:49 AM »
Not surprisingly, Pepe Escobar sees this the same way.

Brexit Is Really a Vote Against Washington Control Over Europe

Posted on  by WashingtonsBlog

It is historically documented that the European Union was largely created by the CIA, U.S. State Department and other Americans interests.

The U.S. has used the EU to push pro-bank, pro-austerity, anti-little-guy policies throughout the European continent.

And the U.S. has used the EU to back American regime-change campaigns in Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, Syria and beyond … causing the flood of refugees into Europe in the first place.

Indeed, a global poll shows that the U.S. is considered the greatest threat to world peace by the rest of the world.  The Reuters poll revealed that many European countries – including the following nations – consider the U.S. to be the world’s top threat (Table 6):

And the UK itself considers the U.S. as essentially tied with Iran as being the biggest threat to world peace.

Michael Hudson, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, who has advised the U.S., Canadian, Mexican and Latvian governments as well as the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, notes:

Almost all the Europeans know where the immigrants are coming from. And the ones that they’re talking about are from the near East. And they’re aware of the fact that most of the immigrants are coming as a result of the NATO policies promoted by Hillary and by the Obama administration.

The problem began in Libya. Once Hillary pushed Obama to destroy Libya and wipe out the stable government there, she wiped out the arms–and Libya was a very heavily armed country. She turned over the arms to ISIS, to Al-Nusra, and Al-Qaeda. And Al-Qaeda used these arms under U.S. organization to attack Syria and Iraq. Now, the Syrian population, the Iraqi population, have no choice but to either emigrate or get killed.

So when people talk about the immigration to Europe, the Europeans, the French, the Dutch, the English, they’re all aware of the fact that this is the fact that Brussels is really NATO, and NATO is really run by Washington, and that it’s America’s new Cold War against Russia that’s been spurring all of this demographic dislocation that’s spreading into England, spreading into Europe, and is destabilizing things.

So what you’re seeing with the Brexit is the result of the Obama administration’s pro-war, new Cold War policy.

***

The right wing was, indeed, pushing the immigrant issue, saying wait a minute, they’re threatening our jobs. But the left wing was just as vocal, and the left wing was saying, why are these immigrants coming here? They’re coming here because of Europe’s support of NATO, and NATOs war that’s bombing the near East, that is destabilizing the whole Near East, and causing a flight of refugees not only from Syria but also from Ukraine. In England, many of the so-called Polish plumbers that came years ago have now gone back to Poland, because that country’s recovered.

But now the worry is that a whole new wave of Ukrainians–and basically the U.S. policy is one of destabilization–so even the right-wing, while they have talked about immigrants, they have also denounced the [inaud.] fact that the European policy is run by the United States, and that you have both Marine Le Pen in France saying, we want to withdraw from NATO; we don’t want confrontation with Russia. You have the left wing in England saying, we don’t want concentration in Russia. And last week when I was in Germany you had the Social Democratic Party leaders saying that Russia should be invited back into the G8, that NATO was taking a warlike position and was hurting the European economy by breaking its ties with Russia and by forcing other sanctions against Russia.

So you have a convergence between the left and the right, and the question is, who is going to determine the terms on which Europe is broken up and put back together? Will it simply be the right wing that’s anti-immigrants? Or will it simply be the left saying we want to restructure the economy in a way that essentially avoids the austerity that is coming from Brussels, on the one hand, and from the British Conservative Party on the other.

And again, you have Geert Wilders, the leader of the Dutch nationalists, saying, we want Holland to have its own central bank. We want to be in charge of our own money. And under Brussels, we cannot be in charge of our own money. That means we cannot run a budget deficit and spend money into the economy, and recover with a Keynesian-type policy.

So the whole withdrawal from Europe means withdrawing from austerity. If you look at the voting pattern in London, in England, you had London to stay in. You had the university centers, Oxford and Cambridge, voting to stay in. You had the working class, the old industrial areas of the north and the south. You had the middle class and the industrial class saying, we’re getting a really bad deal from Europe. We want to oppose austerity. And we don’t want Brussels to give us not only the anti-labor, pro-bank policies, but also the trade policy that Brussels was trying to push onto Europe, the Obama trade agreement that essentially would take national economic policy out of the hands of government and put it into the hands of corporate bureaucracy, corporation courts. And the bureaucracy in Brussels, then, is largely pro-bank, pro-corporate, and anti-labor.

***

So you could say that the vote to withdraw from Europe is, it’s really a vote of the British middle class, the working class, to withdraw from the U.S. neoliberalism that has been running Europe for the last ten years.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3661631/John-Oliver-calls-Boris-Johnson-shaved-orangutan-David-Cameron-pig-f-er-nine-minute-anti-Brexit-rant-TV.html

John Oliver calls Boris Johnson a 'shaved orangutan' and David Cameron a 'pig-f***er' in nine-minute anti-Brexit rant on US TV

  • John Oliver savaged pro-Brexit camp on comedy show Last Week Tonight
  • The foul-mouthed satirist made startling remarks about prominent figures
  • David Cameron's alleged molestation of a pig's head was mentioned twice
  • Boris Johnson and pro-Brexiter Nigel Farage were called 'idiots'
  • And Donald Trump was called a 'buffoon' after taking a pro-Brexit stance
  • Oliver warned his viewers that Trump was as much a 'danger' as Brexit

John Oliver came out swinging in the latest episode of his HBO satirical news-comedy show Last Week Tonight, as the expat Brit tackled the Brexit vote

Oliver's avowedly pro-EU stance is at odds with his home country, which unexpectedly voted to leave the European Union on Thursday.

'Let us begin straight away with The United Kingdom,' Oliver at the top of the show, 'a place whose very name, after this week's events, is beginning to sound a bit sarcastic.'

For the next ten minutes he relentlessly pummeled the pro-Leave lobby - whom he characterized as oafs and liars - and also ex-British Prime Minister David Cameron, whom he called a 'pig-f***er'.

'Pig-f***er': David Cameron (pictured top-left), who proposed the Brexit vote and resigned as Prime Minister afterward was described as a 'pig-f***er' in the foul-mouthed, nine-minute rant against pro-Brexit figures

'Pig-f***er': David Cameron (pictured top-left), who proposed the Brexit vote and resigned as Prime Minister afterward was described as a 'pig-f***er' in the foul-mouthed, nine-minute rant against pro-Brexit figures

'Shaved orangutan': Ex-London Mayor and possible future Prime Minister Boris Johnson (top-left) was described as being a 'shaved orangutan with Owen Wilson's hair' and an 'idiot' for promoting leaving the EU

'Shaved orangutan': Ex-London Mayor and possible future Prime Minister Boris Johnson (top-left) was described as being a 'shaved orangutan with Owen Wilson's hair' and an 'idiot' for promoting leaving the EU

'The UK this week voted to leave the European Union, a decision that has shaken the world,' Oliver said. 

'And not in a "Muhammad Ali beating Sonny Liston" kind of way - more in a "those Ikea meatballs you love contain horse" kind of way.'

The results of the vote, Oliver said, were 'swift and significant' - including the resignation of British Prime Minister David Cameron, who supported EU membership, but had made the Brexit vote an election platform in the last British general election in recognition of growing anti-EU sentiment.

The fiercely anti-Cameron comic remarked that for him the ex-PM's resignation was 'like catching an ice-cream cone out of the air because a child was hit by a car. I mean, I'll eat it - but it's tainted somehow.'

But it was when he explained the origin of Brexit that Oliver really let the venom flow.

'Cameron proposed the "in or out" vote himself,' the bespectacled host explained, 'which he normally only does when he's deciding whether to f*** a pig's mouth.'

'Punchable': Prominent pro-Brexit politician and leader of the UK Independence Party Nigel Farage was savaged as having a 'punchable face'

'Punchable': Prominent pro-Brexit politician and leader of the UK Independence Party Nigel Farage was savaged as having a 'punchable face'

That was a reference to claims made in 2015 - and denied by Cameron - that the former PM had put his penis in the mouth of a severed pig's head as part of a hazing ritual to enter an elite club while at Oxford university.

Oliver's vitriol didn't end there. US viewers were introduced to Nigel Farage as 'leader of the UK Independence Party and three-time cover model for Punchable Face magazine'.

And ex-London mayor and Prime Ministerial candidate Boris Johnson was described as looking like 'a shaved orangutan with Owen Wilson's hair'.

He then played clips of both Johnson and Farage saying that June 23 - the day of the Brexit vote - would go down as Britain's own Independence Day, in a reference to the Bill-Pullman-starring action movie of the same name. 

'First,' Oliver said, eyes flashing, 'Britain was already independent. In fact, it's what many other countries celebrate their independence from.

'Second, the sequel to the movie they're quoting actually opened this week, and features the wholesale destruction of London, which is beginning to feel pretty f***ing appropriate right now.'

'Bulls***': Oliver also attacked the 'Vote Leave' bus as 'b***shit'. It promised £350million for the National Health Service if the country left Europe - a figure Farage admitted was impossible after he vote

'Bulls***': Oliver also attacked the 'Vote Leave' bus as 'b***shit'. It promised £350million for the National Health Service if the country left Europe - a figure Farage admitted was impossible after he vote

'A**hole': Oliver said that if Farage 'will not correct factual errors' on buses, Britain should take out bus ads reading 'Nigel Farage has spent hours trying to put his own penis in his a**hole'

'A**hole': Oliver said that if Farage 'will not correct factual errors' on buses, Britain should take out bus ads reading 'Nigel Farage has spent hours trying to put his own penis in his a**hole'

Oliver moved on to the pro-Brexit tour bus, which was emblazoned with the message 'We send the EU £350million a week. Let's fund our (National Health Service) instead. Vote Leave.'

Farage was then shown admitting to UK news anchors that the National Health Service would not be able to receive £350million a week and that the message was a 'mistake'.

'It does seem that Farage will not correct factual errors when they're on the sides of buses. I therefore would encourage Britain to take out bus ads reading "Nigel Farage has spent hours trying to put his own penis in his a**hole."'

Oliver then through a series of worst-case scenarios, including Northern Ireland and Scotland leaving Britain to join the EU, the EU punishing Britain with hard negotiations to scare off other member states from leaving, and non-British long-term UK residents having to leave.

'I don't know how to explain to my children what is going to happen to their future,' said one non-UK national, whose children have grown up in the UK, in a video clip.

'It's easy,' Oliver said, 'just tell them that they might be screwed because a pig-f***er called for a vote, a bus had some bulls*** written on it, and then two idiots called Nigel and Boris quoted President Bill Pullman.'

And a news clip of a British woman saying that if she could vote again she would choose to stay was met with a sharp-tongued rant in which the host shouted to the audience that she wouldn't get a 'do-over'.

'Idiots': Oliver called Farage and Johnson 'idiots' for quoting the film Independence Day in their pro-Brexit speeches, and said that the sequel's depiction of a ravaged London was 'f***ing appropriate right now'

'Idiots': Oliver called Farage and Johnson 'idiots' for quoting the film Independence Day in their pro-Brexit speeches, and said that the sequel's depiction of a ravaged London was 'f***ing appropriate right now'

But it wasn't just UK politicians who got it in the neck - Oliver also had the knives out for Donald Trump, who had flown into Scotland at the time of the Brexit vote to, in the comedian's words 'promote his f***ing golf course'.

Characterizing Trump's Brexit comments as meaningless - 'if he had simply breathed audibly into the microphone the same amount of information would have been conveyed' - Oliver then pointed to a post-Brexit Tweet by Trump.

The Tweet read: 'Many people are equating BREXIT and what is going on in Great Britain, with what is happening in the US. People want their country back!'

'You might think, "Well that is not going to happen to us in America,'" Oliver said, accompanied by a still image of Trump speaking in Scotland. 

'We're not going to listen to some ridiculously haired buffoon peddling lies and nativism in the hopes of riding a protest vote into power.

'Well let Britain tell you, it can happen,' Oliver said, as the image switched to the famously mad-haired Boris Johnson, 'and when it does there are no f***ing do-overs.'

'Buffoon': Oliver concluded by calling Brexit supporter Donald Trump a 'buffoon' and warned that he presented a danger to US voters equivalent to the imagined danger caused by the Brexit vote

'Buffoon': Oliver concluded by calling Brexit supporter Donald Trump a 'buffoon' and warned that he presented a danger to US voters equivalent to the imagined danger caused by the Brexit vote

'No f***ing do-overs': Oliver said that, as with Brexit, Trump's election to president would have 'no f***ing do-overs'

'No f***ing do-overs': Oliver said that, as with Brexit, Trump's election to president would have 'no f***ing do-overs'

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Collapse Cafe 6/26/2016-BREXIT!-500 Views
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2016, 06:09:24 PM »
500 Views on Opening Day!  Another Record!  :icon_sunny:

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Bow Tie Bearish.

Nice 2 C these guys finally catching up to me.  :icon_sunny:

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http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-06-27/jim-rogers-brexit-blowback-worse-any-bear-market-youve-ever-seen

Jim Rogers: Brexit Blowback "Worse Than Any Bear Market You've Ever Seen"

by Tyler Durden
Jun 27, 2016 7:15 PM

When it comes to being direct and offering up some truth, one can rest assured that Jim Rogers is a prime candidate to do both.

In an interview with Yahoo! Finance, the legendary investor had some candid and quite unnerving things to say about the global market in the aftermath of Brexit.

    "This is going to be worse than any bear market that you've seen in your lifetime. 2008 was pretty bad because of debt, well the debt all over the world is much, much higher now. Stocks in the US for instance have been going sideways for 18 months, 24 months. That's called distribution by many people, so when you have distribution for a year and a half, it usually leads to bad things."

If that was too upbeat, Rogers unveils his bear scenario:

    "The bear scenario, the bad scenario is that Scotland now leaves and takes the oil money, the city of London gets whacked by Europe, they lose a lot of income. The UK already has huge international debts, and it has balance of trade problems, budget problems, so the bear case is the pound disappears and England becomes Spain, or Poland, or Italy or something."

     

    "It won't happen anytime soon but the deterioration will continue, it makes stocks go down a lot. Remember, stock markets are anticipating the future, they see that happening it will now lead to many other separatist moments in the EU. This is going to encourage a lot of separatist movement, I'm not saying it's good or bad I'm just telling you what's going to happen, or what the bear case is, that if all that happens we all should be very worried."

Regarding where EU will be five years from now, Rogers doesn't believe it will even exist:

    "The EU as we know it now will not exist, the Euro as we know it will not exist."

On how to play this market now,

    "I'll tell you what I'm doing, people have to make their own decisions, going into this I'm long the US Dollar, I'm short US stocks, I own some Chinese shares, I own agriculture around the world. These are things that might do well no matter what happens going forward. These are going to be perilous times, I hope I get it right
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Re: Collapse Cafe 6/26/2016-BREXIT!
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2016, 09:57:13 PM »
Now UP on Global Economic Intersection!  :icon_sunny:

http://econintersect.com/pages/opinion/opinion.php?post=201606272314

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BREXIT! BoJo Backstabbed by Gove!
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2016, 03:56:41 PM »
Straight out of Julius Caesar!

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Sc7Ax0QJxnE" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Sc7Ax0QJxnE</a>

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http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/06/30/brexit-leader-boris-johnson-decapitated-in-brutal-fight-to-be-britain-s-next-prime-minister.html
Nico Hines

Brexit Leader Boris Johnson Back-Stabbed in Brutal Fight to Be Britain’s Next Prime Minister
The favorite to become Britain’s next prime minister has been forced to pull out of the race after a stunning act of betrayal by his own campaign manager.


LONDON — The battle to become Britain’s next prime minister has descended into a blood-spattered Shakespearean epic within 24 hours of the nominations being opened. Betrayal, intrigue, and back-stabbing gripped the Conservative Party at the end of the most dramatic week in the history of British politics.

Boris Johnson, who was favorite to win the contest earlier Thursday, was forced to pull out of the race when his own campaign manager betrayed him in spectacular fashion.

Johnson is widely thought to have campaigned for Britain to leave the European Union in last week’s referendum as part of a cunning plot to seize the leadership of the Conservative Party from his old school friend David Cameron.

That plan was dramatically accelerated when Britain unexpectedly put its faith in Johnson’s vision for Brexit and followed him off the economic cliff.

Cameron announced that he would quit as financial markets tumbled all around him and suddenly Johnson was the one left to deal with Britain’s biggest political emergency since the Second World War.

At times of great crisis, true leaders step forward. Boris hesitated, then prevaricated, and then angered his Conservative colleagues with a mealy mouthed newspaper column that appeared to show he was wavering about fully pulling Britain out of the European Union.

Michael Gove, who ran the Leave campaign with Johnson, was always more of a true believer. In a statement that shocked Westminster on Thursday, he announced that he would quit his role as Johnson’s campaign manager and put himself forward for the party leadership.

“I have come, reluctantly, to the conclusion that Boris cannot provide the leadership or build the team for the task ahead,” he said.

Within minutes of the statement, members of parliament who had pledged their support to Boris Johnson were abandoning him in favor of Gove. Alex Salmond, Scotland’s former first minister, described Gove on Thursday as “Lord Macbeth.”

Frantic phone calls from what was left of Johnson’s team confirmed what they feared most: Their supporters were pulling away in droves. Johnson’s leadership announcement was initially delayed. Eventually he took to the dais and began to fulminate in trademark Boris style. He said this was “a time not to fight against the tide of history but to take that tide at the flood and sail on to fortune.”

At this point only the most well-tuned literary ears would have noticed that Johnson was paraphrasing the words of Brutus from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, who says: “There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.”

For those of us who missed Johnson’s scholarly reference to the fatal treachery of Brutus, he finally turned to the question of who should be Britain’s next prime minister.

“I must tell you, my friends, you who have waited faithfully for the punchline of this speech, that having consulted colleagues and in view of the circumstances in parliament, I have concluded that person cannot be me,” he said.

Johnson’s surrender after being outmaneuvered by his No. 2 has left senior figures in the Conservative Party enraged by his cowardice.
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"I have never seen anything like it. He's ripped the Tory party apart, he has created the greatest constitutional crisis in peacetime in my life. He's knocked billions off his value of the savings of the British people. He's like a general who marches his army to the sound of the guns and the moment he sees the battleground he abandons it,” said Lord Heseltine, the former Conservative deputy prime minister and Thatcher-era cabinet member.

“I have never seen so contemptible and irresponsible a situation. He must live with the shame of what he has done.”

This unprecedented public squabble was a boost for Theresa May, the imperious Home Secretary who is now in the pole position to become Britain’s second female prime minister.

While the Leave campaigners were arguing over whether to support Gove, Johnson, or another leading Brexit figure who is standing for the leadership, Andrea Leadsom, May was holding a formidable press conference.

“Some need to be told that [politics] isn’t a game. It’s a serious business that has real consequences for people’s lives,” May said. “If ever there was a time for a prime minister who is ready and able to do the job from day one, this is it.”

She announced support for her leader’s Remain position at the start of the referendum campaign, but she cleverly avoided getting involved in the rough and tumble campaigning that threatened to tear the Conservative Party apart.

George Osborne, the chancellor of the exchequer and another early favorite to be next Tory leader, had his prime-ministerial ambitions extinguished by running an aggressive and ultimately failed bid for Britain to stay in Europe. May made no such mistake.

Polling of the Conservative Party’s roughly 125,000 members suggested she was still trusted by the Leave voters.

Respected by both sides within the Conservatives, she was able to claim today that she was the only figure who could bring a bitterly divided country back together. “We need leadership that can unite our party and our country,” she said. “I’m Theresa May and I’m the best person to be prime minister.”

Once Johnson had pulled out, the bookmakers made May the clear favorite.

Anna Soubry, the Business Minister, apologized to the country for the state of British politics and pledged her support to May. "We've had enough of these boys messing about," she said.

It is notoriously difficult to predict Conservative leadership contests, however, even in relatively stable times. The early favorite rarely prevails; there was no Prime Minister Michael Portillo; outspoken civil-liberties campaigner David Davis was expected to assume the role in 2005 until an upstart named David Cameron staged a slick campaign.

The 330 Conservative MPs will be responsible for whittling the candidates down—one by one in a series of staggered votes—until the last two standing are entered onto the ballot paper which is sent to the party members. Those members will choose between the two before the result is announced Sept. 9.
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Brexit and the Derivatives Time Bomb
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2016, 05:38:22 PM »
Ellen Brown once again proposes her solution to the global financial mess, Goobermints should just print new non-debt money and use that to pay off the old debts.  I have yet to see Ellen recognize there is a resource depletion or population overshoot problem anywhere in her writings.

If you could really solve problems just by changing the monetary system and making virtually unlimited money available, it would have been done long ago and everybody would be rich.  Money gains its value by its relative scarcity, and her new money would be less scarce, and thus less valuable.

I also still don't see a distribution method to get this new money out to J6P, except the Helicopter solution.  At this point though, who knows what TPTB will try.

RE

https://ellenbrown.com/2016/07/01/brexit-and-the-derivatives-time-bomb/

Brexit and the Derivatives Time Bomb
Posted on July 1, 2016 by Ellen Brown

Brexit could trigger a $500 trillion derivatives meltdown, by forcing the EU to allow insolvent member governments and banks to write down debt. Italy is in financial crisis and is already petitioning for that concession. How to avoid collapse of the massive derivatives house of cards? Alternatives are considered.

Sovereign debt – the debt of national governments – has ballooned from $80 trillion to $100 trillion just since 2008. Squeezed governments have been driven to radical austerity measures, privatizing public assets, slashing public services, and downsizing work forces in a futile attempt to balance national budgets. But the debt overhang just continues to grow.

Austerity has been pushed to the limit and hasn’t worked. But default or renegotiating the debt seems to be off the table. Why? According to a June 25th article by Graham Summers on ZeroHedge:

    . . . EVERY move the Central Banks have made post-2009 has been aimed at avoiding debt restructuring or defaults in the bond markets. Why does Greece, a country that represents less than 2% of EU GDP, continue to receive bailouts instead of just defaulting?

Summers’ answer – derivatives:

    [G]lobal leverage has exploded to record highs, with the sovereign bond bubble now a staggering $100 trillion in size. To top it off, over $10 trillion of this is sporting negative yields in nominal terms. . . .

    Globally, over $500 trillion in derivatives trade [is] based on bond yields.

But Brexit changes everything, says Summers. Until now, the EU has been able to reject debt forgiveness as an alternative, using the threat of financial Armageddon if the debtor country left the EU. But Britain has left, and Armageddon hasn’t hit. Other Eurozone nations can now threaten to do the same if they don’t get debt forgiveness or a restructuring.

The First Domino – Italy

That has evidently started happening, with Italy as the first challenger of EU rules. On June 27th, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard reported in the UK Telegraph that the first serious casualty of the Brexit contagion had struck. The Italian government is preparing a €40 billion rescue of its financial system, as Italian bank shares collapse. The government is now studying a direct state recapitalization of Italian banks, to be funded by a special bond issue. They also want a moratorium of the bail-in rules and bondholder write-downs, although those steps are prohibited under EU laws.

According to a June 28th editorial on ZeroHedge titled “The First Casualty of Brexit”:

    The likely outcome is that Italy’s [prime minister] Renzi will be “forced” to take matters into his own hands and enact a unilateral sovereign rescue of the Italian banking system in defiance of the EU, unless he wins concessions soon from Brussels. Those who know him say he will not go down in flames for the sake of European ideological purity.

    As a result, Brexit will be just the scapegoat used by Renzi and Italy to circumvent any specific eurozone prohibitions. And if it fails, all Renzi has to do is hint at a referendum of his own. Then watch as Merkel scrambles to allow Italy to do whatever it wants, just to avoid the humiliation of a potential “Italeave.”

Behind the Italian Collapse: Brexit or Bail-ins?

The ZeroHedge editorial questions whether Brexit was actually the cause of the Italian collapse. The banks were already in serious trouble. A good crisis was just needed so that EU rules could be suspended without admitting they were unworkable all along; and Brexit fit the bill. But the real trigger of the collapse seems to have been the bail-in scheme implemented in January 2016. According to ZeroHedge:

    The new bail-in reform this year has brought matters to a head, catching EU authorities off guard. It was intended to protect taxpayers by ensuring that creditors suffered major losses first if the bank gets into trouble, but was badly designed and has led to a flight from bank shares. The Bank of Italy has called for a complete overhaul of the bail-in rules.

    . . . The banking squeeze has become politically explosive in Italy after thousands of small depositors were wiped out at four regional banks late last year. They were classified as junior bondholders even though most of them were just ordinary savers who did not realize what was being done with their money.

The bail-in scheme was supposed to shift losses from governments to bank creditors and depositors, but it has served instead to scare off depositors and investors, making shaky banks even shakier. On top of that, heightened capital requirements have made it practically impossible for Italian banks to raise capital. According to Lorenzo Cordogno, former director general of the Italian Treasury, the result has been that the ECB is “unwittingly destabilizing the banks in an overzealous attempt to make Europe’s banks safer.”

But EU rules have been flexible in “emergencies.” Before the Eurozone debt crisis of 2011-12, the European Central Bank was forbidden to buy sovereign debt. Then Greece and other southern European countries got into serious trouble, sending bond yields (interest rates) through the roof.  But default or debt restructuring was not considered an option. The ECB finally got on the quantitative easing bandwagon and is now buying government debt along with other financial assets at the rate of €80 billion per month.

According to Evans-Pritchard, Brexit has not yet caused serious trouble in the debt markets, because this new QE policy has allowed the ECB to cap bond yields. Rather than deal with a very awkward Italeave, the EU could cave on its bail-in and bailout rules as well.

Time for a Reset

That may get Italy out of the woods, but the system is clearly broken. A $500 trillion derivatives time bomb poised atop a $100 trillion mountain of debt is not a stable situation. It’s time to push the reset button, but how? Bailouts and bail-ins have been tried and proved wanting. But a debt “jubilee” – simply canceling the debt – would devastate creditors and collapse the massive derivatives bubble.

All else having failed, it may be time to do what should have been done all along: convert “sovereign debt” into “sovereign money.” The “event of default” triggering a derivatives meltdown can be avoided by simply paying the debts with money issued by the government.

A government oppressed by “sovereign” debt is not really sovereign. A sovereign government has the power to issue money and need not go into debt at all. But EU member governments have lost that sovereign power. They are unable to issue their own money or borrow money issued by their own central banks. If they leave the EU, they can get that power back for future expenditures; but their existing debt is in euros, and only the ECB has the power to convert bonds into euros.

In fact that is what it does when it buys government bonds with QE. The problem with QE as currently practiced is that the bonds remain on the central bank’s books, “sterilizing” their effect on the market. The idea is to be able to sell them back into the market should inflation become a problem. But that means the bonds are still counted as debt for purposes of balancing national budgets, forcing continued austerity, cutbacks and privatization. If the bonds were bought back and voided out, national governments would be free to spend again. QE doesn’t need to be unwound by selling bonds into the market. If the money supply grows too large, money can be pulled back with taxes, interest or fees.

The invariable objection to paying off the debt with central bank-issued money is that it would lead to hyperinflation. But would it? Government bonds are already classified as “near money” – so liquid that they are readily exchangeable for cash. Turning them into cash is little different from moving money from your savings account to your checking account. One draws interest and the other doesn’t, but cashing out the savings account doesn’t make you any richer than before. It doesn’t propel you to spend more on goods and services, driving consumer prices up.

If  people and governments were incentivized to spend more, however, that would actually be a good thing. Consumer markets need more demand today. The way to stimulate economies is to get money into the pockets of people who will spend it. Demand (money) stimulates supply (productivity). Before QE can stimulate the real economy, it has to make it into the real economy. If the goal of the EU is to hold itself together and avoid a derivatives meltdown, some QE that actually got into the hands of the people could be just the ticket.

——-

Ellen Brown is an attorney, Founder of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books, including the best-selling Web of Debt. Her latest book, The Public Bank Solution, explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Her 300+ blog articles are at EllenBrown.com. She can be heard biweekly on “It’s Our Money with Ellen Brown” on PRN.FM.
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Offline RE

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Why the British said no to Europe
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2016, 05:54:10 PM »
http://johnpilger.com/articles/why-the-british-said-no-to-europe

Why the British said no to Europe
25 June 2016


The majority vote by Britons to leave the European Union was an act of raw democracy. Millions of ordinary people refused to be bullied, intimidated and dismissed with open contempt by their presumed betters in the major parties, the leaders of the business and banking oligarchy and the media.

This was, in great part, a vote by those angered and demoralised by the sheer arrogance of the apologists for the "remain" campaign and the dismemberment of a socially just civil life in Britain. The last bastion of the historic reforms of 1945, the National Health Service, has been so subverted by Tory and Labour-supported privateers it is fighting for its life.

A forewarning came when the Treasurer, George Osborne, the embodiment of both Britain's ancient regime and the banking mafia in Europe, threatened to cut £30 billion from public services if people voted the wrong way; it was blackmail on a shocking scale.

Immigration was exploited in the campaign with consummate cynicism, not only by populist politicians from the lunar right, but by Labour politicians drawing on their own venerable tradition of promoting and nurturing racism, a symptom of corruption not at the bottom but at the top. The reason millions of refugees have fled the Middle East - irst Iraq, now Syria - are the invasions and imperial mayhem of Britain, the United States, France, the European Union and Nato. Before that, there was the wilful destruction of Yugoslavia. Before that, there was the theft of Palestine and the imposition of Israel.

The pith helmets may have long gone, but the blood has never dried. A nineteenth century contempt for countries and peoples, depending on their degree of colonial usefulness, remains a centrepiece of modern "globalisation", with its perverse socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor: its freedom for capital and denial of freedom to labour; its perfidious politicians and politicised civil servants.

All this has now come home to Europe, enriching the likes of Tony Blair and impoverishing and disempowering millions. On 23 June, the British said no more.

The most effective propagandists of the "European ideal" have not been the far right, but an insufferably patrician class for whom metropolitan London is the United Kingdom. Its leading members see themselves as liberal, enlightened, cultivated tribunes of the 21st century zeitgeist, even "cool". What they really are is a bourgeoisie with insatiable consumerist tastes and ancient instincts of their own superiority. In their house paper, the Guardian, they have gloated, day after day, at those who would even consider the EU profoundly undemocratic, a source of social injustice and a virulent extremism known as "neoliberalism".

The aim of this extremism is to install a permanent, capitalist theocracy that ensures a two-thirds society, with the majority divided and indebted, managed by a corporate class, and a permanent working poor. In Britain today, 63 per cent of poor children grow up in families where one member is working. For them, the trap has closed. More than 600,000 residents of Britain's second city, Greater Manchester, are, reports a study, "experiencing the effects of extreme poverty" and 1.6 million are slipping into penury.

Little of this social catastrophe is acknowledged in the bourgeois controlled media, notably the Oxbridge dominated BBC. During the referendum campaign, almost no insightful analysis was allowed to intrude upon the clichéd hysteria about "leaving Europe", as if Britain was about to be towed in hostile currents somewhere north of Iceland.

On the morning after the vote, a BBC radio reporter welcomed politicians to his studio as old chums. "Well," he said to "Lord" Peter Mandelson, the disgraced architect of Blairism, "why do these people want it so badly?" The "these people" are the majority of Britons.

The wealthy war criminal Tony Blair remains a hero of the Mandelson "European" class, though few will say so these days. The Guardian once described Blair as "mystical" and has been true to his "project" of rapacious war.  The day after the vote, the columnist Martin Kettle offered a Brechtian solution to the misuse of democracy by the masses. "Now surely we can agree referendums are bad for Britain", said the headline over his full-page piece. The "we" was unexplained but understood - just as "these people" is understood. "The referendum has conferred less legitimacy on politics, not more," wrote Kettle. " ... the verdict on referendums should be a ruthless one. Never again."

The kind of ruthlessness Kettle longs for is found in Greece, a country now airbrushed. There, they had a referendum and the result was ignored.  Like the Labour Party in Britain, the leaders of the Syriza government in Athens are the products of an affluent, highly privileged, educated middle class, groomed in the fakery and political treachery of post-modernism. The Greek people courageously used the referendum to demand their government sought "better terms" with a venal status quo in Brussels that was crushing the life out of their country. They were betrayed, as the British would have been betrayed.

On Friday, the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, was asked by the BBC if he would pay tribute to the departed Cameron, his comrade in the "remain" campaign. Corbyn fulsomely praised Cameron's "dignity" and noted his backing for gay marriage and his apology to the Irish families of the dead of Bloody Sunday. He said nothing about Cameron's divisiveness, his brutal austerity policies, his lies about "protecting" the Health Service. Neither did he remind people of the war mongering of the Cameron government: the dispatch of British special forces to Libya and British bomb aimers to Saudi Arabia and, above all, the beckoning of world war three.

In the week of the referendum vote, no British politician and, to my knowledge, no journalist referred to Vladimir Putin's speech in St. Petersburg commemorating the seventy-fifth anniversary of Nazi Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union on 22 June, 1941. The Soviet victory - at a cost of 27 million Soviet lives and the majority of all German forces - won the Second World War.

Putin likened the current frenzied build up of Nato troops and war material on Russia's western borders to the Third Reich's Operation Barbarossa. Nato's exercises in Poland were the biggest since the Nazi invasion; Operation Anaconda had simulated an attack on Russia, presumably with nuclear weapons. On the eve of the referendum, the quisling secretary-general of Nato, Jens Stoltenberg, warned Britons they would be endangering "peace and security" if they voted to leave the EU. The millions who ignored him and Cameron, Osborne, Corbyn, Obama and the man who runs the Bank of England may, just may, have struck a blow for real peace and democracy in Europe.

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Offline jdwheeler42

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Re: Collapse Cafe 6/26/2016-BREXIT!
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2016, 06:08:37 PM »
An alternative explanation: Who Benefited from Brexit and how it was Orchestrated by FerFAL
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Offline RE

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Roots of the EU in Nazi Germany
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2016, 06:34:56 PM »
Old Nazis never die, they just take up economics.

RE

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/7Nf5KeC4dAs" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/7Nf5KeC4dAs</a>
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BREXIT – Let the UK Screw Itself
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2016, 10:46:11 PM »
Andre is not too pleased with European History.  :(

RE

http://www.greanvillepost.com/2016/07/02/brexit-let-the-uk-screw-itself/

 

BREXIT – Let the UK Screw Itself

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 2.38.28 PMAndre Vltchek
 Itinerant Philosopher and Journalist
 

british-imperial-whitemansburdenlrg1b

Aah! The burdens of bringing civilization to ungrateful savages!


Oh that poor old United Kingdom! Armies of political commentators based on all continents are now feverishly trying to define to what extent the Brits got fooled, or how severely they will soon get punished for their ‘bold move’.

All over Europe, the neo-Nazis and other right-wingers are celebrating, while most ‘liberals’ are panic-stricken, running around like a herd of headless chickens, or howling at the moon at night in despair. The Euro-left (as pathetic and bogus as “Euro business class” on domestic European flights) is trying to put the recent referendum into some sort of philosophical perspective, blabbering something about a working class rebellion against the ruling elites.

Some Europeans are even blaming Mr. Putin for the outcome of the referendum, while others see behind the outcome of the vote the specter of an “American conspiracy” or even a “Zionist lobby”.

Things are much more simple. A few million bigoted British voters, many of them old retirees and traditionally conservative, even a racist bunch, got scared that their country was soon about to be invaded by unkempt hordes of refugees, or more precisely – by ‘un-people’ (to borrow from George Orwell’s lexicon). While for others, the referendum became a way to express their frustration with the fact that the British working class has lately been getting an increasingly awful deal (read: an increasingly smaller cut from that enormous global loot plundered by both Europe and North America).

Don’t search for any flickers of internationalism or traditional Left-wing ideals in the hearts of those who voted for “Exit”. A great majority of the anti-EU warriors was simply demanding better benefits for itself (the “British people”), as well as “Britain for the Brits” (whatever that really means in this increasingly multi-racial nation).

Of course, the same can be said about the opposite camp! Those who were voting for remaining in the Union were doing so for strictly practical reasons.

Almost no commentator bothered to notice what was truly shocking about the entire referendum process: an absolute lack of progressive ideology, of internationalism and concern for the world as a whole. Both sides (and were there really two sides there) presented a fireworks of shallow selfishness and of pettiness. The profound moral corruption of the West was clearly exposed.

The United States is nothing but…a “super-European monstrosity.”—Jean Paul Sartre

Everybody in Europe now wants more, more and more. Screw austerity! “Give us more benefits!” Provide us with better wages, job security, and shorter working hours!

What is shocking is that (oh so innocently!) those demands are only made for the chosen bunch – for the (Western) Europeans and North Americans – not for the rest of the globe that is actually paying the bill… and has been paying it for hundreds of damned years; suffering horribly from everything, slavery, colonialist plunder- now replaced by multi-national corporate looting, genocides triggered by Europe, and state terrorism against its liberation struggles.

It is high time to re-visit Fanon and Sartre, but in that comfortable, lazy and sclerotic Europe, no one seems to be in the mood for old, solid left-wing internationalist, anti-colonialist ideologies.

Dickens' London: the city was already throbbing with the energy of a vigorous mercantile capitalism.

Dickens’ London: the city, which exhibited abysmal class divisions, wealth and poverty side by side, was already throbbing with the energy of a vigorous mercantile capitalism.

Yes, the global decolonizing process was never completed, but that is not on the agenda of those referendums-seeking Europeans. All they want is to have a better life, live longer, and to grow richer! They find it thoroughly unfair, that in the UK, France, Spain or Greece, those big corporations and banks are keeping most of the loot. They want their share. They want a much bigger share. They want it now! That is why they hate capitalism, the “system”. Not because it murders millions of innocent people in all corners of the globe, far away from Europe (such ‘stuff’ doesn’t bother Europeans one tiny bit). Not because it ruins cultures, kills the freedom of the “others”, oh no! They hate it because the “system” is too stingy with its own members!

True, those who are sustaining Europe often have nothing left, not even a few huts, not even the right to keep their own native plants or trees. True, many unemployed Europeans are still driving their cars, flying all over the world in search of perfect vacations, enjoying virtually free education, medical care, parks, cultural institutions, public transportation and countless other benefits. True, most of the refugees are escaping from once rich and independent countries, raped and exploited by the West. But all that is not worth mentioning, there is no need for referendums discussing such ‘irrelevant’ moral issues. And anyway, what would such referendum be exactly about: “To loot or not to loot”? And where are those millions of European citizens who should be signing petitions, demanding it?

Almost no commentator bothered to notice what was truly shocking about the entire referendum process: an absolute lack of progressive ideology, of internationalism and concern for the world as a whole. Both sides (and were there really two sides there) presented a fireworks of shallow selfishness and of pettiness.

It is never pronounced, but there is no one, virtually no one in the European left, who would want to change this present global system, from top to bottom, and to stop the plunder of the “insignificant others”!

***

The European ‘left’ is as selfish and hypocritical as the ‘right’. In fact, there is no real ‘left’ there, anymore, if the ‘left’ actually means demanding absolutely equal treatment for all the inhabitants of our Planet.

Many Europeans like to blame the United States for the present state of the world (mostly abstractly, anyway). Such accusations are thoroughly hypocritical, bordering on being intellectually deranged. For the United States is nothing else other than a grand European ‘project’, or to quote Jean-Paul Sartre, a “super-European monstrosity.”

In the so-called “New World” (what a chauvinist term anyway; as if the ancient world of native people who were crushed, matters nothing), European settlers robbed natives of their land first, and then exterminated almost all of them. To increase ‘productivity’, they brought millions of slaves from across the ocean. When it suited them, they declared independence, but independence still strictly based on European exceptionalism and racism, on traditions of superiority complexes and on fundamentalist Christian beliefs.

No matter how barbarically the United States has been behaving abroad, in both the 20th and 21st centuries, it has never really managed to catch up (although it certainly has tried hard) with that unbridled European savagery, with those horrific extermination and ransacking campaigns ‘the old continent’ has been undertaking for centuries, in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the Indian Sub-Continent and virtually in all corners of the globe.

“European workers are now victims of US imperialism and the capitalist system,” the pseudo-left constantly tells us. Oh, is that so?

Actually, how thoroughly ridiculous!

What is the ‘capitalist system’ really, if not the legitimate (although philosophically and ethically perverse) brainchild of the West, unnaturally and violently forced down the throats of people on all continents of our Planet?

Capitalism is a direct product of European culture (not vice-versa), and was later adopted and ‘perfected’ by the United States.

British Imperialism in its heyday: the sun did not set in it.

British Imperialism in its heyday: the sun did not set in it.

There is no doubt that Europe is the closest ally of the United States. Or, more precisely, there is hardly any difference between the two, as they were both created on the same conceptual lines (the European ones), on the same religion and on a chauvinistic world-view (open spite for everyone who is not white and religiously/culturally Christian, and on the glorification of expansionism).

Let us finally face the reality: a great majority of Europeans would never want to change the global world order! Western imperialism feeds them, makes them live much richer lives than anyone else on the Planet, while allowing them to work pathetically little. Subconsciously, even those ‘deprived’ (what a joke!) European workers are deeply grateful to both Washington and its gladiators. Their main demand is ‘only’ that ‘ordinary Europeans should be getting an even better deal’ than the one they are getting now. The commonly voiced grievance is that ‘the deal was much better and more satisfying some 20 years ago than it is now’.

A better deal at the expense of ‘the others’, of course! But that is never mentioned.

‘Fewer shillings for those at Goldman Sachs or HSBC, and a bit more for the “common folks” of Europe please!”

All the rest is fine, really! “Those Americans are actually really nice people. Like us, Europeans… Hey, we went there last year, on vacation…”

“Oh, and remember: we don’t want those bloody niggers and dirty Arabs in our cities and villages. They belong where they are, working for us, plundering their own lands so we can retire early, have access to free top medical care and fly to Southeast Asia to shag their young girls after we retire! You give all this to us, and more, or else: screw you, we will leave the European Union which does not care for its people, anymore!”

Of course it is almost never articulated like that. But one has to read between the lines.

Or do my readers really think that those countries ‘ready to follow the British example’ actually care much about anything else other than their own selfish, petty interests?

I have talked to Greeks! I have talked to Spaniards. Most of them really hate ‘foreigners’. Most of them know nothing, absolutely nothing, about what the West is doing all over the world. And frankly, they don’t want to know anything.

And what do the East Europeans want? What about those “poor” and “disappointed” Czechs, Poles and Hungarians? Well, they also want more and more and more, as they always have done. Does anyone really believe that in the 1980s they were dreaming about ‘freedom and democracy’? They were dreaming only about one thing: how to get rid of that Russian romantic idea of internationalism, and how to “return to Europe”, read; how to stop helping the deprived and robbed parts of the world, and instead join the West – the real masters of the world – how to become part of the imperialist and neo-colonialist clique. The consumer paradise! Those nations, (let’s be honest) are racist to the core, while almost all now members of the EU, are simply loving and admiring the United States! And they are showing open spite for the victims of Western imperialism.

How sorry can one really feel for any of them – for those European ‘victims of the system’?

Protests in France: the Americans have hardly heard about any of this.

Protests in France: the Americans have hardly heard about any of this.

Forgive me, but I feel absolutely no sympathy for them! Perhaps it is because I have spent too much time in the Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, the sub-Continent, Oceania, in Brazilian Amazonia and Peru; with those people that I consider are the ‘real victims’ of the system, of the globally enforced Western regime.

Therefore, I only feel growing outrage over the cynicism that covers, like a thick blanket, those discussions about the British referendum (and all other potential European referendums). I am shocked by the shallowness and hypocrisy.

It really appears that the entire continent consists of stubborn ‘global holocaust deniers’, people who sit in front of the chimneys of crematoriums, where their victims are being burned alive, unable to think about anything else except their own comfort and privileges.

For as long as such a mentality prevails (and it has been prevailing for endless centuries), to the rest of the world it will matter very little or nothing whether one or two or five countries opt to leave the European Union.

Whether it is more centrally run, or decentralized, the continent will continue plundering the Planet together with its mighty North American offspring.

It will continue, because the European people want the fruits of that plunder; they actually indirectly demand it! Like some spoiled, heartless and thoroughly immoral brats, Europeans shout ‘more, more and damn more!’

british-empire_mainbritish-empire-civilization

And they hate, with naked fanaticism, each and every country on Earth, from China to Russia, which are standing on their feet and refusing to accept Western dictates. It is not like that ‘primitive’ racism that one can detect in some parts of the United States; European racism is as profound, fundamentalist, cultural, and institutionalized, as it is vitriolic and ancient. ‘Thanks to it’, dozens of cultures and nations have already been annihilated all over the world, and dozens are being ruined right now as this essay is being written.

The referendum in the UK has proved all this, and more.

Back to Fanon and Sartre: it is clear that the world will not change because the Europeans suddenly got enlightened, realizing that they are living off theft. It cannot be expected from them. There is no remorse. There is not even any recognition of guilt! Look at those thousands of European ‘experts’, sitting in all the UN and ‘development’ agencies, or flying all over the world, preaching to the world about how it should be governed, or those Protestant preachers who are helping to overthrow progressive governments. They do it with absolutely straight faces and no shame! Look at those schools and universities in Europe and the US, giving scholarships to the elites of colonized countries, brainwashing them, and conditioning them for the purpose of committing treason.

Western empires (in the past) and now “the Empire” have already destroyed most of the world, and the masses in Europe and even in North America, have been greatly benefiting from those countless heinous crimes against humanity. This terrible process still continues. The world will have to return to the unfinished ‘business’ of the de-colonization struggle if it wants to survive.

There can be no morally acceptable discussion in Europe about the future of the world, of Europe, of the UK or any other European country that would not begin like this:

“We ruined the world. We robbed the world. We are still ruining and robbing it. Because of the West’s imperialism, fundamentalism and greed, hundreds of millions, perhaps a billion human lives have been lost. We are not qualified to govern the Planet and we never were. We cannot indefinitely reward ourselves with ridiculously generous benefits and outrageously high standards of living, as they have been financed by many centuries of looting, genocides and holocausts. Our present-day institutions, from NATO to the EU, are helping to sustain such criminal global order. Some of us now want to dismantle them, on strictly ethical grounds, in the name of the humane race. Therefore we are calling for a referendum…”

Unthinkable, of course! And that is why that entire ‘Brexit’ charade is thoroughly irrelevant for our Planet.

No change will come ‘from within’. ‘The wretched of the Earth’ cannot count on the compassion, on kindness and the decency of the Western public, or on its solidarity. They will have to expose what is behind the ‘civilized’ mask of European culture – a horrible, gangrenous skull reflecting greed and a pathological lust for power. Then, ‘the wretched of the Earth’ would have to demand, in one united voice, what is truly theirs. Not beg, not ask politely, but demand! And eventually, they’d have to take it!

Whether the UK, one of the cradles of Western imperialism and colonialist bigotry, leaves or remains in the EU may have some influence on how the booty is to be divided ‘internally’, but not on much else.

Both sides of referendum, ‘Exit’ and ‘Remain’, gave their clear middle finger salute to the rest of the world. And it is really the right time for the world to return the courtesy.

 

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Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 2.38.28 PM

Andre Vltchek
andreVltchekPhilosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His latest books are: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and “Fighting Against Western Imperialism”. Discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western Terrorism. Point of No Return is his critically acclaimed political novel. Oceania – a book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about Indonesia: “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Press TV. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and the Middle East. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.
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