An earlier version of this essay was published on 25 November 2014 in Daily Wales: New of a Sovereign Nation.
The British Wasteland:
The Toxic Coalition, the Vultures of the Right, and Beyond the Wasteland
The British Wasteland: The Meaning of Cameron
Through the vividness of our more recent memories of the near miss of the Scots, the emergence of the Anti-Austerity UK alliance of SNP, The Green Party and Plaid Cymru – The Party of Wales for the 2015 General Elections, the ‘Green Surge,’ the unprecedented and successful campaign (22 January 2015) by the Anti-Austerity UK alliance to have each of its parties included in the UK Leaders Debates, the momentous victory of Syriza in Greece, the astounding victories of the Anti-Austerity UK Alliance in the Leaders Debates (and the re-balancing of the political spectrum away from the far-Right UKIP), all we can now remember is that Nick Clegg was dreadful in his debate with Farage and failed to convey the very absurdity of UKIP policy on obvious grounds.
Clegg sold out his supporters for a pot of gold that never arrived, as his own Coalition “partner” actively and openly campaigned against, for example, AV (proportional representation). Clegg’s failure to break the Coalition at that time begs serious questions as to his judgement. Clegg propped up the Tories for five years and is complicit. along with his party, for the disaster of austerity. He and his party have paid a high price for its duplicity in the UK General Elections 2015, from which they maintained eight seats.
Indeed, due to Clegg’s miserable performance against Nigel Farage, UKIP was seen a ‘credible’ Party, even invited to the election debates by the BBC even though the Greens, Plaid Cymru and the SNP had been originally snubbed. The very fact that Nick Clegg stood on the same stage as Nigel Farage was a serious mistake and again revealed his lack of political judgment. Why were not the other parties represented, as an all UK debate? Or, was it, perhaps, merely a job interview for the junior partner of the next Coalition?
In the context of global instability and contradiction, the dark clouds moreover that constantly threaten the already over-worked working people of the UK, those of austerity, isolationism, permanent recession, and perhaps war, were made even darker by the weakness of Miliband as the Leader of the Opposition.
Instead of leading a movement that rejects the fraudulent and ethically indefensible politics of austerity and demands that policy be guided by considerations of social and political economic justice, he not only began to distance himself and his party further from the Labour Movement (says he will maintain Tory cuts, student loans, privatisations), but also, on 13 January 2015, his Labour Party voted with the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats for £30 Billion in additional austerity cuts and abstained from the debate on the replacement of Trident, worth £100 Billion, claiming that it was ‘meaningless’.
Miliband lost since he turned his back on the progressive SNP and its policies and offered the voters merely Austerity-lite, even though not only has the original economic research which prescribed austerity has been discredited, again and again, Krugman even with his “The Austerity Delsuion”, but the current budget deficit under the Coalition is actually higher than it was in 2010, a fact never reported in the mainstream media, including the now virtually private (marketised) BBC.
Miliband was the wrong man at a time of a resurgent Left, and he is now facing a serious challenge from the Left. Ed Balls, his economic chief, who had said just before the election campaign that he would not reverse any of the cuts in the Osbourne budget, lost his seat. The Labour Party did not lose due to left-wing policies, as Boris Johnson would have it, but due to its failure to offer a credible Left alternative.
Miliband could have been a leader who – like the Anti-Austerity UK alliance winning 60 MPs in the General Election, as with the Anti-Austerity movement across Europe and the world, such as the heroes of the Left Syriza – contends that public ownership is just that, properties and services owned by the people and ones that should be operated, and preferably self-managed, upon the principle of equality. Ed Miliband: are you an Alexis Tsipras? Are you willing to take on the oligarchs? Are you going to stand with the people? Which side are you on? Can you work with the SNP for the sake of a pragmatic progressive defense and augmentation of the Welfare State?
The Anti-Austerity UK alliance will fight in parliament for a progressive alternative to the status quo of the Westminster establishment. Such an alternative concerns not only basic human rights, such as a living wage, healthcare, education, child care, housing, insurance and legal aid (as a non-exclusive sample), but also with a profound concerns for the state and the future of the environment. But, Ed showed himself not to be such a leader, without real courage or credibility – perhaps, he should read some of his father’s books, and try again in ten years.
Instead, Miliband offered the public the advertising of an austerity-light policy, maintaining the Tory deficit reduction alibi, and proposes further cuts and privatisations – even though none of these policies have worked to bring down the deficit. Austerity, as it has been revealed, simply reduces economic activity and tax receipts and thus is self-defeating. The only clear result of Tory fiscal policy is the evolving disintegration of the public sector. Miliband failed to make a radical break from the entire paradigm of austerity politicsand that is why he lost. With the declaration of the Austerity Labour Party, they dug their own grave.
It cannot be the case that only the rich and their managerial agents should be able to obtain humane services and justice. Health facilities should remain free for all citizens and there should be never be charges either for doctor’s visits or for prescriptions. These are public services, owned by the public – but as is clearly evident, our possessions are being sold off without our direct and informed consent. Labour never puts up much of a fight (and began the privatisation of the NHS), and the Tories and the Liberal Democrats were secretly complicit in the plunder.
The vast majority of workers and their families, real everyday people, feel and are unrepresented and dissociated from any meaningful sense of self-government. Working people are not receiving a living wage, and people on benefits are being targeted for cuts by Coalition government Senior Managers who congratulate DWP employees who meet or exceed the cuts quota. The people are directly and clearly under attack by their ‘own’ government. Fellow citizens, lucky enough to have a job at the DWP, are being forced to not only attack their fellow citizens, but also, as with Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem, made to see human beings as mere numbers on a spreadsheet, in the fulfillment of mathematically modeled targets.
Britain is becoming, once again, a land of oligarchy, where the people’s interests are being cast aside by the powerful.
Voicing these concerns, let us ask several rhetorical questions. Should not every privatisation, for example, be subject to a referendum? In the event of a privatisation, should not everyone get a dividend cheque or reduction of her or his tax level? Is public property not ‘public’? Should not a sum of £50 million not be spent on those in society who are most in need and most vulnerable, instead of on a football team, as Osbourne recently errored? Again, such bizarre decisions, amid the difficult years of austerity, reveal, as with our Marie Antoinette, either the obliviousness or the sadism of the prevailing ruling elites.
Can a mere government, another one that comes and goes, sell off the good China and Silverware, and funnel the ‘revenues’ to debt finance their own priorities? The government, riding the crest of its inflated property market, is drinking champagne while millions of honest working people are making real sacrifices and are indeed suffering – and it is we and our children who will foot the bill as we return to the age of indentured servitude, from debt service, Zero Hour Contracts and unpaid internships, to the hyper-exploitation of the so-called ‘Third World’.
No government, especially a mere Coalition, should have had authority to pillage the public resources for its own benefit. They have made a mockery of representational democracy, turning the Executive into a five-year, ‘elective’ dictatorship. Indeed, such a reference to the outright authoritarianism of the Coalition is no mere rhetoric for a government which has consistently pushed to undermine the freedom of the press, suppress free expression on the internet, which currently seeks to criminalise good faith activists as ‘non-violent extremists’ and vowed to scrap the Human Rights Act if re-elected in 2015. Will the Tories now scrap the Human Rights Act?
And, beyond anyone’s rational expectations, the farcical though dangerous spectacle of the resurrection of a 1351 law on treason. This tendency toward overt fascism has been further augmented by a pre-election pledge at the Conservative conference by Home Security Theresa May of the deployment of ‘extremism disruption orders’ which could be used against free speech, freedom of assembly, due process and a host of other civil and human rights. Imagine, in this land, the so-called ‘cradle of liberty.’
But, this is nothing new, however: Thatcher, Blair, and Cameron, three waves in the same movement of a relentless sea – the dismantling, privatising, not only of the public sphere, but also of our intellects, of Modernity and the Secular, as they intentionally masquerade their pillage with their own self-serving versions of Tradition, the Flag and the Bible.
Cameron is a preacher for the Nobles (read ‘the rich’), his is a Christian Nation. Traditional Britain. Why do you think Cameron sought so quickly to annihilate, for instance, all government funding for Arts and Humanities, an urgent lifeline for one group among others smart enough to see through this whole tired charade – and are therefore considered to be merely weeds to be pulled from the garden?
Critical insight into this web of propaganda can come from stories such as The Tale of Two Cities written by Dickens, but perhaps needing to be read and consulted again, for our own times. Such statements of the idle rich, such as those made in a different story by Marie Antoinette, prior to the French Revolution, that ‘If the masses do not have bread, then let them eat cake’, are quite rightly, as with characters in Dickens, seen by the public as obvious proof not only of her utter lack of empathy, but also her obliviousness to the conditions of the poor.
‘Quite rightly’ – that means a culturally accepted meaning with its own history – our history. From the Chartist Movement and the Reforms of the Liberals to the achievements of the old Labour Party after WWII, the Modern Welfare state inaugurated a new era and landscape for our lives and memories, changing our understanding of ourselves and others – and the way we began to live and the expectation that we began to share – that the basics must be provided in any free, democratic society: health, housing, education, legal aid, decent jobs, a healthy environment, dignity.
The Modern welfare state was not only an achievement for the working class, but for society as a whole. We move backwards now, however, with the Coalition, backwards in time with the dismantling of another, passed generation’s nobler achievements. Erasing, demolishing the memory of the people, we return to the conditions and suffering of Dicken’s own time period.
If we look at this issue from a global perspective, the world of Dickens has never really left, as we contemplate entire nations turned into refugee camps or sweat shops (not to mention the profitable wars and the Prison Industrial Complex in our own Nations). The rich no longer see the poor since each exists in different habitats. One rarely sees the other, a caste system, perhaps a form of class apartheid.
In our case, Marie Antoinette is the government and its gated community over-class. They have truly adopted the philosophy of the Scrooge who felt that overwork and starvation wages would weed out the surplus population. As Mike Parker, Party of Wales/Plaid Cymru Candidate for MP in Ceredigion for the 2015 General Election, warned,
The reality of a class gated away from ‘ordinary’ people is very true and extremely alarming. These people have no need of the State for basics such as education and healthcare, for they can buy those privately. In some parts of SE England this is up to 30% of the population. They are – not surprisingly – generally hostile to state involvement in anything. (Interview 24/04/2014)
Such a trajectory threatens a return to the 19th century or before, prior to the modern welfare state, which was built as a social safety net, with humane provisions such as welfare, healthcare, and education. This has been of course executed as a brutal austerity programme with the target of a 57% cut in Government expenditure, together with the acceleration of the hyper-marketisation of the rest of the British economy.
Currently, however, there is an active anti-austerity political struggle, one that has placed its focus upon the secretive TTIP trade deal, between the USA, the European Union and other countries, which threatens to force the privatisation of the rest of the British economy. But, it is always important to remember that the advancements of social justice in the past were gained by the kindred struggles of ‘ordinary’ citizens for a better life. These struggles are currently and continuously occurring and the organisations fighting for a progressive transformation of the lives of the people, from the routine violence of the unjust social system, to the overt violence of the state, both internationally and domestically, have begun to unite across national boundaries.
The people have become the all-too-superfluous ones around whom the Coalition government would like to see enacted a new Enclosure. (Thirty percent of the workforce will be made redundant by the advances in robotics). But, they wish to hide in plain sight and build their enclosure with the rhetoric of setting free, of an opening up of resources from the shackles of government, yet ‘monies’ which predictably have not gone to build a ‘new commons’, but instead a new nobility, aristocracy, and oligarchy.
The original enclosure movement (1780-1820), coinciding with the Romantic period, locked the people out of their original ‘commons’, their long established world: the general public was forbidden common use of the land, refused a perennial symbiosis with the land in which they would have normally fulfilled their lives. But, they were locked out.
The alleged deathknell of enclosure arose nearly a century later with the Liberal establishment of a new public realm, not as free as before, but a new ‘commons’, which arguably contributed to the eventual establishment of the UN and the modern welfare state.
The Tories, however, in their Orwellian manner, has asserted that this relatively new public realm, public ownership itself, is to be regarded as the dreaded enclosure that needs to be eliminated, i.e., privatised. At the very least, the Tories should be charged with necromancy as they seek to bring the enclosure movement back from the dead – or was it only asleep?.
They will build a new ‘commons’ (read enclosure), under the slogans of ‘Compassionate Conservatism’ and the now defunct ‘Big Society’, currently under investigation for corruption, in the very act of dismantling the public realm. They will appropriate the rhetoric of their enemy by themselves speaking of a ‘new commons ‘- effectively attempting to remove the victim’s accusing voice.
Such ‘compassion’ would entail the mass privatisation of the public domain itself and the elimination of the notion of Open Rights, FOI, and any semblance of transparency. We can see this authoritarian tendency come to fruition in the ‘Gagging Act,’ which severely prohibits activities, such as national conventions or annual meetings of non-political party democratic organisations, such as NGO’s, Charities, and Trade Unions for an entire year before a major election. There is also a draconian limit upon campaign donation levels. Under the pretext of the curtailment of lobbying, it suppresses and bureaucratises democratic organisations, while flagrantly allowing massive corporations and political parties to operate unrestrained, business as usual.
Calling it liberation, ‘subsidiarity,’ they will blatantly give ownership of public goods (including the NHS) to private organisations in exchange for revenues which will be logged into the ‘budget’ under the line item ‘revenues’, into a black hole. In coincidence of these privatisations, there are also the all-too-frequently well-publicised ‘cuts’, the removal (again, “liberation”) of vital services and support from the public. In such a situation, ‘privatisation’ is clearly theft. Mr. Philip Blond, a darling of Cameron and Director of Res Publica, revealed this clever Orwellian political strategy in his highly deceptive, though conveniently influential, pamphlet Red Tory.
This toxic argument is exposed and refuted by reality itself. Not only can it be easily argued and documented that the welfare state was and continues to be one of the only true ‘commons’ that has been restored since the utter outrage of the original enclosure movement. It could also be argued, against the Red Tory that this seed of the ‘commons’ in the public realm, should indeed be extended and transformed through education, imagination and the arts, through investment in people’s lives. To add to our references to Dickens, it is interesting that Mr. Blond has recently been working to establish a network of military schools for youngsters, a project put into place in the wake of the 2011 riots.
This may after all be an investment in the lives of the people, but investment enacted in a crass and un-necessarily inhumane, militaristic manner, ruthlessly re-awakening a not very long sleeping enclosure, which once awoken will demand, as a system, a further regimentation of the lives of the poor directly and in every aspect – and they will be punished if they do not comply.
Or, thinking several steps ahead, perhaps they are only being prepared to become fodder for the burgeoning Prison Industrial Complex, a literal enclosure and system of neo-slavery. We are reminded of the events of injustice, pain and sorrow in our own lives as we contemplate one of many liberating icons in Dickens, burned into our memories: the child asks, ‘Please sir, can I have some more?, the Man barks back, ‘More? You want some more?!!’ Do we really wish to return to such a nihilistic and undignified way of life? Indeed, in a dystopic twist to the already dire world of Dickens, the Tories, now returned to power, will require that teachers identify potential terrorists among the toddlers in the class room. Toddlers.
But, if you think that you can still make the people believe in the integrity and compassion of the Westminster ‘system’, consider the complicity of the UK government in the USA CIA Torture Programme, another flagrant breach of international law and human rights that still goes unpunished in a world where ‘might makes right’. We cannot set aside such shocking revelations, moreover, when considering British domestic policy, as for instance in the torturous character of the austerity programme and the cross-party assault upon our civil liberties in the conveniently euphemised ‘Snooper’s Charter’ – now renamed ‘Emergency Legislation.’ Another word is fascism. We are all equal in our lack of freedom and our atomisation.
The Tory position is incoherent, in bad faith, and merely a perverse alibi for their plunder and corruption. All we have here, in our era of narcissistic falsity, is the wholesale dismantling of the public realm, an unwanted, unwarranted act that is bringing about a situation in which the vast majority of people will not only be locked out from direct essential services, but also from even the means of access to services at all. The people are vulnerable, under attack each day, and they need political representation that is truly willing to courageously sacrifice his or her own incumbency by simply speaking the truth.
If you think instead that we have somehow risen above the barbarity of the first enclosure movement, consider the most recent ‘crackdown’ by the police on ‘homelessness’ in which their possessions were taken from them. As creatures descended from apes, there is a deep abyss of savagery in our history. It is not necessary to repeat it.
A social problem demands a social and humane solution, like, for instance, allowing the homeless to settle already existing empty housing and building stock.
Indeed, it is the stated aim of the Anti-Austerity UK alliance between the Greens, SNP and Plaid Cymru – The Party of Wales to end austerity as it is regarded as a false crisis which merely served and serves to injure and disenfranchise the poorest and most vulnerable members of ‘Society’. There are massive income inequalities, as Thomas Picketty has again revealed to the mainstream and the policies of all the main Westminster parties is thoroughly saturated with Neo-Liberal dogma, the only point of which to provide a modicum of intellectual legitimacy to the full scale dismantling of the Modern Welfare State, which after all, was an achievement of the people.
The Anti-Austerity UK alliance is also committed to saving and augmenting the NHS, scraping the Trident replacement, which has a price tag of £100 Billion, and rejecting the American inventions of Fracking and TTIP as dangerous policy courses which will not only further damage the environment, but will also intensify, accelerate and indeed, codify privatisation, beginning with the NHS. The alliance contends that there is a progressive alternative to the politics of austerity and privatisation and argue that resources and revenues must be spent first and foremost on satisfying the basic needs of ALL the people.
The Anti-Austerity UK alliance will be a progressive parliamentary bloc of an emergent New Left, a left which has many sprouts across Europe and the world since the mass protests of 2010-2011, following the again fraudulent financial crisis of 2008. Syriza in Greece is another example of an Anti-Austerity party, and has decisively won the elections in Greece on 25 January 2015. The parties of the Anti-Austerity UK alliance have achieved 60 MPs in light of the mass disillusionment of the people with the current order. There is much anticipation that the New Left will sweep across Europe as it did in Latin America.
The Vultures of the Right – Realpolitik and the UKIP Fraud
In light of the systematic alienation of the vast majority of a people, there will always arise minority movements which work on the principle: ‘Our Day Will Come!’ and seek to build a network and following, with the intention of intervening politically in real time history.
Now UKIP (not to mention for the moment the fascist paramilitary organisation Britain First) is just such a movement, around for two decades, and it has a substantial number of MEPs, but achieved only one in the General Election. Farage lost his attempt to take Thanet. This organisation dominated the European elections, but it has failed to make a break through in the General Elections 2015.
Of course, the real and most urgent question that should have been asked by our incompetent and corporate media, is what sense, or logic, would compel or legitimise the candidacy for the European Union of a member of UKIP, a party which actively seeks a break with the European Union? Are we to believe their fantasy that the UK will return to its alleged former glory once it is independent from Europe? What does that say about the sincerity of the party as such, especially in light of the fact they could very well dominate the General Elections of 2015?
Again – what possible motivation could there be for UKIP to run for seats in an organisation to which they emphatically do not want membership? The same could be asked with respect to their involvement in government, an institution that they never cease to criticise. The only reasonable answer to these questions is that they are infiltrating the enemy organisations only to demolish them from within – the European Union and the government itself. What other logic is there? The Tea Party, for instance, has effectively made governance in the United States impossible. A united minority can have a disproportionately powerful effect upon political action on the ground.
In the United Kingdom, UKIP reach out to a population who feels justly alienated and exploited by an out-of-touch aristocracy that has no concern for the vast majority of people who endure a system which is so obviously and illegitimately unfair. Yet, while acknowledging the symptoms of poverty and oppression, UKIP, vultures at the scene, try to seduce the victim to see things their way, through their right-wing and anti-European lens. Their ‘self-evident’ philosophy becomes the answer for all the victim’s problems. And – the victim unconsciously begins to espouse an ideology that is not even in his or her own interests. UKIP gave you something to hate.
But, will UKIP really help you to better your lot, especially once they have left the European Union, a severance which will cause a judicial and political economic earthquake that will dislocate and throw out of work and benefits millions of individuals? Is this all a sick game to them? A vote for UKIP in the European Elections was not only a wasted vote, but also a dangerous vote for a party whose only intentions consist in destruction. They do not even function in their alleged roles as MEPs. They don’t want it to work. They do not want the government to work, either.
No room for reform or compromise, negotiation – only severance, cutting oneself off, to reject the entire nexus of EU law, of human rights, of social justice, of the principle of sharing and mutual aid… a UK outside of the thoughtful and necessary aspirations of the European Union, and one eventually free from the clutches of NATO, the nuclear occupation of Europe by the USA.
A breach with the European Union would be the explosive end to the welfare state in Britain, and such a devastation will necessitate that Scotland and Wales definitively break from such a bankrupt ‘system’ for the sake of the lives of their own peoples. If you want the European Union to be demolished from the inside – and that would mean the demolition of the United Kingdom – go ahead and keep supporting UKIP.
Yet, to be clear, you would be advocating the destruction of longstanding multi-lateral relationships initiated before the Second World War and established on the basis of many historical events, international agreements and cultivated in complex, dynamic contexts over the decades… and in the case of the United Kingdom, centuries. You would be inviting dangerous, damaging, and unpredictable possibilities into our world, such as, for instance, the rise of fascism as we can see in the case of Ukraine and France.
However, if you want to support the work of the European Union and the Modern Welfare State in the nations of the British Isles and beyond, you should vote for pro-European and progressive parties. Beyond the stability and dignity of the national welfare state, there is certainly the common sense logic of remaining a positive part of a prosperous and open EU, and there is also the humanist satisfaction that we are all working together to build an organisation of democratic governance in a region of the world which has been subject to centuries of warfare in which hundreds of millions have died. We should not forget the Hobbesian world of a centuries-long bellum omnium contra omnes (the war of all against all) from which we as ‘good Europeans’ have only just narrowly escaped.
In many ways, UKIP, in its present strength, is a Frankenstein monster created by the Coalition government, which allowed the very question of a referendum on continued membership of the EU to arise in the first place. The Liberal Democrats must own their complicity in the Coalition government, and admit that they have indeed allowed the Tories to enact their reckless and damaging policies – in the hope of a few policy trinkets (which they did not even end up getting). The Liberal Democrats did not deserve your vote and neither does a Labour Party which will continue the Tory policies of austerity and international interventionism. That is why both were destroyed in the General Elections.
Across the UK, UKIP exploited fear and exhaustion for the purpose of ACTUALLY ACCELERATING AND INTENSIFYING (Americanisation) the damaging policies of Thatcherism. Nigel Farage said that he was the ONLY real heir to Thatcher. No one will ever forget the damage and destruction (de-industrialisation, smashing the union movement and the principle of collective bargaining, PEOPLE’S INCOMES) that Thatcher served up to Wales. No one will ever forget, and since Mr. Farage is her only true heir, then NO ONE in Wales or anywhere else should be fooled into voting for UKIP.
The General Elections gave each citizen a chance to either affirm or deny our relation with Europe and the basic premise of the welfare state. The choice was clear, however, and it has never been more clear. A vote for UKIP or the Tories was a vote against Europe and the modern state; a vote for the Tories or Labour will be one for continued austerity and uncertainty around the subject of the European Union. At the end of the day, it ws truly irresponsible of UKIP and the lunatic far right to waste so much of our limited time on its counterproductive anti-European agenda and demagoguery with regards to immigration, used as a tool to frighten and enrage an overworked and alienated citizenry. It is thus completely illogical and cynical for UKIP to have participated in the European Elections. And – to have won? People need to wake up and take their vote more seriously.
The vote is a sublime right that should be a task of education and action – even Russell Brand, who spent years “talking about a revolution”, not voting – changed his stance, but capitulated to endorse the Establishment, in the form of the British National Labour Party (although he has come out in favour of Caroline Lucas in Brighton). Indeed, if the young actually did vote, the world could change overnight.
Russell Brand, who has since admitted his support for Labour was a moment of madness “in the thick of it”, did recoil from the abyss of a truly democratic revoution to endorse a monarchist and colonialist centre-right party, hardly a revolutionary act. And, if a Labour government would have been more likely to listen to the grassroots, then why did Tony Blair not listen to 30 million people in 2003, protesting in the streets of London, who tried to pre-empt the entry of the United Kingdom into George W. Bush’s illegal war in Iraq ?
As I have intimated, UKIP and their ilk seek to disrupt and demolish the EU from within as is the case with myriad right wing parties, who, across Europe, specialise in inciting anti-immigrant violence, separatism and isolationism. An attack on Europe is a crackdown upon the established freedom and liberation of movement of people and goods across the Continent, and the re-assertion of authoritarian and merely national relationships no longer guided by the progressive agenda and rights guaranteed by the European Union.
Is this something that you want? (hopefully another rhetorical question)
It is time to embrace Europe and to defend our relationships with all the member countries of the EU, working together, pooling resources, promoting equal development, and eliminating redundancies and multiplied expenditures. It is surely time for Europe to unite on its own ground, warts and all, and begin the difficult task of bringing democratic coordination to the EU as a whole.
An example of such coordination is the case of the armed forces of Europe, which is theoretically the second largest military force in the world. Yet, it is not coordinated in its own way, but has been high-jacked by the American controlled NATO. This is a relationship of occupation which must be dismantled to its root. Otherwise, the European Union will never be able to function as a sovereign political state.
Moreover, NATO, pushing us into a war with Russia, has not only severely tainted the reputation of the European Union with its illegal intervention in Ukraine, but has helped to reveal in Europeans a willful ignorance, the people of Europe having shamefully acquiesced to a lie, and having orchestrated to this very second a forced and slavish collective silence about the fascist involvement in the Ukraine events. The designs of NATO on Russia, which includes its short-sighted sanctions regime, has continued to do severe damage to the European economy. It is clear that ‘Europe’ will not yet truly be Europe until the occupation force of NATO is withdrawn.
NATO creates fictitious or unnecessary enemies to continually justify its existence. NATO is seditious in relation to the International Community and is subversive of International Law. NATO must be dismantled, de-constructed, in order for Europe to be a sovereign political state and for the emergence of a multilateral system of global democratic governance, dedicated to peaceful, cooperative, and sustainable development.
The democratic coordination of the armed forces across Europe alone will lead to the savings of trillions of Euros.
The future is in Europe. An independent, sovereign Europe. As independent nations, with equal national rights within the EU. Don’t trust those who tell you otherwise. A Europe which participates with the BRICS nations and their friends in the creation of a global polycentric democratic order of governance, peaceful cooperation, and sustainable development.
There is no logic for the peoples of Britain to have voted for the vultures of the Right – except for the self-refuting logic of one who seeks only to obstruct and destroy, which they have openly admitted to be their strategy. They may well be very honest as to their intentions toward the EU and the Modern Welfare State, but what they advocate is not in our or anyone’s interests at all (except perhaps their own, assuming that they are ‘rational’).
Beyond the Wasteland: The Anti-Austerity UK alliance of SNP, Greens and Plaid Cymru
Wales has suffered drastically from the austerity and privatisation policies of the Coalition government and before that for centuries and decades, especially the most recent attack being the forced de-industrialisation of Wales and the brutal crack down on the 1980’s Miner’s Strike by the Thatcher government. From the enthusiasm of the people for the newly devolved Welsh National Assembly in 1999 to what is now being called a suicide epidemic, the people of Wales have been under attack by a government which does not represent the country. There are only 8 Tory MPs and 4 Liberal Democrats MPs in Wales. Wales seeks an urgent alternative.
In the movement for an alternative vision of the future of the United Kingdom, Plaid Cymru joined with the SNP in Scotland, it is the SNP, and in the Greens in England, to form a strategic election alliance which will, as the current lingo goes, seek to ‘hold the balance of power’, though a ‘New Politics’ which builds its power base by cultivating links and giving support to activist, community and trades union organisations. The alliance which won 60 seats in the General Election will continue to work to fight the politics of austerity, privatisation, and nuclear weapons as the non-negotiable conditions for the formation of an anti-austerity government.
Leanne Wood, Leader of Plaid Cymru, is a socialist, republican, and green, and refers to her position as a progressive ‘civic nationalism.’ The key reality for the voters of Wales and Scotland is that the only viable parties to the left of Labour are Plaid Cymru and the Scottish National Party, respectively. With this Westminster strategy, the alliance seeks to save the Modern welfare state, and simultaneously, make sure that the devolution arrangements coming from Westminster insure parity and a re-balancing of wealth from London to the periphery.
It should also be remembered, especially in Scotland and Wales, that it was the Council of Europe which threatened sanctions against the UK if it did not sign and comply with the ‘European Charter of Local Self-Government’. In this light, it was the European Union which made devolution possible, together with the millions of people who voted in their own respective referendums for self-government. As we can see clearly in Whispers of a Forgotten Nation: The Writings of Dr. D. Ceri Evans, Labour only grudgingly signed up to devolution, just as they were, along with the other Westminster parties, little concerned about the Welsh Language issue.
Plaid Cymru also intends to take over the Welsh National Assembly from Labour in 2016, so the General Election is one step in the process of rejuvenating Wales, Welsh small business, jobs, a living wage for Wales, a robust NHS, and a sustainable development policy backed up with real taxation powers. Plaid Cymru – the Party of Wales seeks to form its own National government, but will in the interim continue to seek and build proactive relationships with its allies, the SNP, Greens, SDLP, and the left of Labour within Westminster, all the time remaining upon the path of an eventual European aligned independence. (Hence, the seeds of Jeremy Corbyn).
The Scottish referendum should remind us of the psychological and historical power of the British state, the last imperial state. One must study this state, explore its hidden depths, but understand that it is the people who will decide independence or subjection (as with the Master/Slave dialectic in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit). It is the question of the equal recognitions of human beings in a state of freedom OR the subjection of one ego to another Ego, to annihilate the ego, to consume it, to take away from it that which makes it what it is. We as a people are now participating in the death struggle for freedom and decency.
The problem with the Tories, Liberal Democrats, UKIP and Labour have become, in both Wales and Scotland, their complicity with the politics of austerity. These parties think within the British nationalist mindset of Westminster, with its Neo-Liberal agenda and its narrow horizon of possibilities.
The Anti-Austerity UK alliance of SNP, The Green Party and Plaid Cymru – The Party of Wales will work in parliament to continue what Leanne Wood, the Leader of Plaid Cymru, has described as a ‘democratic revolution’.
The victory of Syriza in Greece shows all too clearly that there is an alternative to Austerity and Neo-Liberal cynicism. The Anti-Austerity Alliance intends to work to build a left, anti-austerity, anti-trident opposition bloc in the new parliament, regardless of the outcome of the election. Such a bloc would include disaffected Labour MPs, SNP, Plaid Cyrmu, Greens, as well as SDLP, Sin Fein (if they take their seats).
The Anti-Austerity UK Alliance, having won 60 MP seats in the UK parliament, will work with other Anti-Austerity MPs, from the SDLP, Left Labour, etc. in a Progressive Parliamentary bloc fight for the end of austerity, privatisation and Trident and for the protection of our social services and public property. Democracy is a battle that is unending and the latest shift in the political landscape provides a vast opportunity for the Left.
Effective progressive politics unites electoral politics with the street, and that is why the Anti-Austerity bloc will maintain its already fruitful solidarity with the Peoples Assembly, Left Unity UK and other civic organisations.
As Bobby Kennedy, the tragic American progressive politician once asked before he was assassinated, ‘There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why… I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?’