I don’t want the UK to fragment, not because of any great love of its badly-frayed institutions, but because I’m afraid of becoming an isolated outpost of “The Free World” as envisaged by great global corporations and the states that spawned them. Donald Trump may imagine that he is “The Leader of The Free World”, but if the real power brokers decide to cut his strings, he will collapse into the crumbling ruins of Trump Towers and they will continue to quietly rule the roost as they have done for decades.
Fortunately, our local exemplars: the Scots, the Irish, and the Welsh, have very strong feelings of their own nationality and independence; and, maybe because of years of subjugation, recognise that their self-determination will be aided rather than hindered, by fostering good relations with their closest neighbours, rather than switching masters to Global Corporations or to those dancing to transatlantic jigs. They also have an historical external enemy, the English.
We English, on the other hand, are neither fish nor fowl. We are a disparate bunch of societies, riven by age, politics, and race, split by our attitudes to Europe and to community; essentially determined by tribe.
We need the Scots, the Welsh and the complications of the Island of Ireland to keep us honest. I use the term honest loosely because we are a great nation of deniers. We imagine that the world holds us in great esteem, that nations we held under the cosh for many decades will not seek to take at least a few ounces of flesh when it comes to trade talks, that The Great American Mouth across the Atlantic gives a flying fuck what we think. We like to kid ourselves that global corporations will take heed of our protestations as they ignore undertakings they gave our government when they were gobbling up our national assets; that the World Bank and the IMF will stop acting as the agents of the powerful and start doing the job they were set up for; that “Friendly” states will not incarcerate our citizens on trumped-up charges and humiliate us by hanging on to them; that our “Allies” will not abuse their power and resources to make us toe the line whenever it suits them.
In short, we imagine that we are someone who counts.
In reality we are not.
We are a small nation, claiming empty bragging rights, trading on our past and desperately trying to curry favour with the big boys in the playground.
Unfortunately, waiting for the bell sounding the end of playtime doesn’t really cut the mustard.
We have seen “upright” parliamentarians laying the groundwork for their chums by “predicting” a run on the pound should Jeremy Corbyn get into power. Presumably they are setting-up a self-fulfilling prophesy based on taking positions on the pound. After all, it worked right across South American, and in Greece, it is hanging over Italy, and essentially it means do as “The economics of The Free World” dictates or we will collapse your economy, and so, your government.
While that is happening, they will be encouraging our people to believe that poverty is an essential stage on the path to riches and that the real culprits are the apostates who oppose “The Free World Order”, oh, and foreigners, of course, or state spongers, or whatever demagogues are in vogue at the time. We may think we have been living through an age of austerity but we ain’t seen nothing yet. Wait until Austeria really arrives! There’s nothing quite as good as a disaster for the fat cats and if one isn’t naturally forthcoming, they’ll just create one.
If we are not very, very, careful we can look forward to the continuing rape of our planet; a free market, completely unfettered by ethical constraints; the increasing irrelevance of democratic controls, and the increasing concentration of power in the hands of the unaccountable few. We can dine on Chicken in Chlorine Sauce Ready meals; on antibiotic beef with GM maize from your friendly Green Giant; on Monterey Jack on toast and Mac ‘n’ Jack (replacing old fashioned Welsh Rarebit and Macaroni Cheese). We can entertain ourselves with Apple products commanding pound for dollar prices; and live with trade barriers put up by The anus-mouthed comb-over frog from the US against any non-US products (like Samsung, Airbus, Rolls-Royce, etc).
What’s not to like?
With control and power in the hands of the mega-rich, whose only interest is in increasing their sway over world events, what do we dare do?
Can we afford to elect a government that is prepared to rock the boat?
Can we seek out these low life creatures and expose their web of deceit and power?
Can we make their lives so difficult that they have to temper their ways?
Maybe – but not for much longer.
The Horsemen of the Apocalypse are more than halfway out of the stable and we are pathetically waving a ballot paper in the hope that they might have second thoughts about bolting.
Let’s all get off our arses and do something, eh?
Before it is too late.