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Opinion Op Ed 01 Feb 2020 In Disunited Kingdom ...
In his words: "I am just a professional writer, which means I don't do blogs and try and get money for whatever I write."

In Disunited Kingdom, Brexit’s pain may be felt most by those backing it

Published Feb 1, 2020, 6:42 am IST
Updated Feb 1, 2020, 6:42 am IST
The massive irony inherent in this breach is that the majority of people who voted for Brexit will feel the brunt of its disastrous consequences.
Boris Johnson (Photo: File)
 Boris Johnson (Photo: File)

“It’s only decent not to judge
But stupid to have no judgment!”
From Pesi’s Pessimism by Bachchoo

So the bakras voted for Bakr-Id and on January 31, 2020, without the clear sight which that number betokens, Britain seceded from the European Union. In the leadership of the bakras is one Sajid Javid, the present chancellor in the UK Cabinet who is photographed on social and other media holding a 50-pence coin which he has had, in celebration of the departure, minted.

 

The coin has some homespun text on the “tails” side, a homily which says “Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations.” I expect the government paid millions to the PR firm that thought up this slogan, which the likes of Deepak Chopra might envy and cause the likes of Kahlil Gibberish to turn in their graves. And I bet Sajju (as a fellow-subcontinental, I feel entitled to address him affectionately!) had both hands behind his back with fingers crossed when he commissioned it.

Sajju and his boss, now PM Boris Johnson, have “Got Brexit Done” for their own ambition and that of their financiers, friends and associates, including, they hope, Donald Trump. In so doing they have alienated half (okay, let’s not niggle — 48.3 per cent of) the population of the United Kingdom and certainly won the puzzled antagonism of the 27 countries of the European Union. This was a Union, we who voted to remain in it contend, which, as the old nursery rhyme goes “never did the UK any harm, but killed all the mice in its now-precariously-held-together barn.”

We “remainers” will rain on this parade. Absent from it will be Scotland, which voted with over 60 per cent to not leave the EU. The representatives of Northern Ireland have vociferously stated that they may support Brexit but don’t support the deal which deals in its customs and tariff rules in a way which necessitates a sort of border between the UK and Northern Ireland.

The Scottish Assembly’s leader, Nicola Sturgeon, has made it clear that she will ask Westminster to hold a second referendum on Scottish Independence from the UK so that, as an independent country, Scotland can rejoin the European Union. Of course, BoJo has declared that his government will not sanction the holding of any such referendum, but the clash goes beyond that of the wills of Ms Sturgeon and Mr Johnson. The Scots have consistently increased their support of Ms Sturgeon’s secessionist Scottish National Party and, at the least, Scotland will agitate for greater alignment with Europe.

So, gentle reader, welcome to DK — the Disunited Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The massive irony inherent in this breach is that the majority of people who voted for Brexit will feel the brunt of its disastrous consequences. There is every indication that international capital which invests in Britain as a part of the European Union will feel the loss of its European markets as tax barriers are imposed by Europe on imports from the UK. Will, for instance, the Japanese car firms pull out of England? The unemployment that would result won’t devastate the communities of London who voted in the main to remain in the EU — they will affect in brutal economic consequences the constituencies who voted to leave it.

The other massive irony is that the left wing of the Labour Party and those who consider themselves further left, labeling themselves Trotskyists and Stalinists, but seem willing to use the Labour Party as their base of activity, were vociferously for Brexit.

They went around the country urging students, trade unionists and whoever would listen to support leaving the European Union, which they characterised as a “capitalist club”. Substantial sections of the working class, for their own reasons, which were not the dancing-on-a-pin-sophistic rejections of the “capitalist club”, but rather a desire to keep European workers out of Britain, voted for the party that would achieve this. They won the Brexit the Trotskyists argued for.

Yes, yes, now the cry will be “this is not the Brexit we wanted”. Ah, but Britain is out of the capitalist club and that’s what you argued for.

Now that Britain is free of the capitalist club, its first task will be to keep the capitalists in Britain and to attract more of them from the rest of the world to invest in it. What my Trotskyist comrades did not, would not, or could not see is that any Brexit, under any government or dispensation, would have to do exactly that if they were not to devastate the towns and communities that voted for it.

Brexit will do to British agriculture and manufacturing — what there is left of it — what Margaret Thatcher’s government did to the mining communities and the mill towns of Yorkshire and Lancashire.

Sajju has already said that when inflation is higher than the rate of interest, the treasury gains by borrowing money, which his government will use for infrastructure projects in the very same areas that Tory policies of the past have turned into British Detroits.

No good pointing out that Japan tried this in the last decades and it ended in economic disaster because it didn’t have the stimulating effects that were predicted. Through abject ignorance in matters of economic prediction, I wish Sajju luck with the plan. Fingers crossed.

Now BoJo has announced that when his Brexit bans the hoi polloi of Europe freely entering Britain, he will increase the quota of visas that Britain will give to scientific researchers, mathematicians and the like, so that Britain becomes a magnet for discovering talent and technological innovation. The Liberal Party labels the announcement “cosmetic”, pointing out that scientists from across the world haven’t rushed in numbers to fill even the quotas that already exist.

So, opening paths for horses to the trough may quench the thirst of Brexiteers for positive propaganda, but the horses may still not drink. Jai Vilayat!

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