BREXPULSION, OR BREXIT?: CHOICES AHEAD FOR GREAT BRITAINAugust 14, 2015
I've been suggesting in some recent blogs that Great Britain would be a crucial country to watch in coming European geopolitics, not the least of which is because Britain has had a long history of holding aloof from schemes of continental union. From a strictly personal point of view, I have always had reservations about British involvement in the latest schemes, from the Common Market to the current European Union, for like it or not, the old great power rivalries in Europe still simmer below the surface, as the most recent example of Greece seems to demonstrate. Beyond this, as I've been attempting to argue - how successfully is for the reader to decide - that Britain is in a unique cultural position vis-a-vis global geopolitics and the increasingly cultural turn that they are taking, especially given Russia's efforts to point out shortcomings and hypocrisies in American leadership not only of the western alliance system, but in its wider cultural influence and deep domestic cultural crisis manifest in the rampant corruption and unipolarism of Washington's foreign policy.
Britain's unique position comes from its cultural position as the head of the British Commonwealth, a largely defunct notion, and as it has also constructed the largest off-shore banking havens around the world.
More importantly, as Catherine Austin Fitts has pointed out, the BBC's recent and highly thought-provoking Worricker Trilogy, and specifically the second episode thereof, Turks and Caicos, seems on the surface to be a typical political thriller, but whose message, on deeper analysis, might be a clear case of London sending messages to Washington that it is clearly unhappy with the direction American policy has gone since 9/11. As I pointed out recently, Britain's Economist magazine - a mouthpiece for the British oligarchy - ran a lengthy op-ed piece on the calcification of the American oligarchy by pointing out the re-run of the Bush-Clinton dynasties yet again in the upcoming presidential (s)election cycle. For the moment, Mr. Trump appears to be tapping into popular cycnicism in America, but whether this can be translated into actual electoral power and governing policy remains to be seen.
In that respect, Mr. T.M. shared this thought-provoking article of analysis of Mr. Cameron's attempt to renegotiate the terms and conditions of Britain's continued presence in the EU:
While the article is quite lengthy, I want to draw attention to these paragraphs towards its end:
In UK labour law there is a concept of ‘constructive dismissal’ which refers to circumstances in which the employer makes life so unpleasant for the worker – for example by giving them demeaning tasks, or subjecting them to forms of bullying – that the latter quits. Where it is proven in an industrial tribunal, the employer becomes liable for having unfairly dismissed the employee, even though an actual firing did not occur.
This concept may be useful in examining how a Brexpulsion might occur. If the UK repeatedly finds its position on key political or policy issues rebuffed, or is excluded from decisions, it may be the Brits who pull out, but it will be for reasons akin to constructive dismissal. The UK government’s advice to employees who think they have a case for constructive dismissal therefore makes interesting reading:
If you do have a case for constructive dismissal, you should leave your job immediately – your employer may argue that, by staying, you accepted the conduct or treatment.
If the constructive dismissal parallel holds, the implication may well be that the UK should jump out of the EU before being pushed, but there should be no doubt that it would still constitute Brexpulsion, rather than a reasoned choice to exit, because the patience of the UK’s partners will have become exhausted. We are still some way from such a scenario, but the illusion that the forthcoming referendum on Brexit is a choice for the UK voters alone needs to be dispelled. We have to talk about it.
In other words, the core issue seems to be the behavior of the Eurocrats in Brussels, and the fact that, beneath the surface, Britain is being told what it must do, rather than having a real voice. This brings home a point I tried to make in my most recent book, The Third Way: The Nazi International, The European Union, and Corporate Fascism, the actual structure of the EU has very little in common with an actual democracy or republican or parliamentary system, since the European Parliament has very little real power, that power being invested in a commission whose commissioners are appointed by the various national governments of Europe.
In effect, this means that the European Union is essentially a Franco-German axis, and when push comes to shove, as we've seen recently with Greece, the ultimate final decision-making power lies in Berlin, not Paris or Brussels. Even France, readers will recall, expressed its displeasure with Berlin's (read Herr Schaueble's) handling of the Greek situation. And, turning the clock back further, it was Mrs. Thatcher who warned of similar dangers before the Eurocrats in her own Conservative party turned on her and brought her government down. That process - one involving the then Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson John Major et al. - is too long and complicated a story to review here, but the point seems to be that the chickens have come home to roost, and now Mr. Cameron has to deal with it, yet again.
My high octane speculation - and prediction - is that Mr. Cameron might successfully negotiate more favorable terms for Britain's membership in the EU, but that in the long run, without fundamental structural changes in the EU mechanism itself, Britain will simply face "more of the same." Fundamentally, the French bureaucrats and technocrats and the German corporations will remain in charge. As I pointed out in The Third Way, it was fundamentally those French cultural and German financial fears of the corrupting Anglo-American cultural and financial influences that led to the current situation in the first place, and hence we had the flurry of secret negotiations between then French President Valery Giscard-d'Estang and Chancellor Helmut Kohl leading to the eurozone and EU.
And that means Britain will face the choice once again. Maybe it's time for Britain to consider its own "third way." In a sense, it certainly seems to have been sending some very peculiar signals across the pond. Maybe it needs to send some across the Channel as well.
See you on the flip side...