How Britain Became the World’s Newest Banana Monarchy

Everything is changing very fast but it also feels like nothing is changing at all. Consider the following three statements:

  1. Labour have a 33 POINT LEAD with YouGov/Times, the biggest since 1981. That would give them a majority of 346.
  2. But it would also mean the SNP would win all the Tory seats held in Scotland and become the official opposition at Westminster. If the 33-point Labour poll lead were replicated in a General Election … “On a uniform national swing the Conservatives would win THREE seats, and Labour 564. The SNP would be the official opposition with 51 seats”, according to the Electoral Calculus website.
  3. Also, according to John Burn-Murdoch of the Financial Times, the Conservatives are now the most economically right-wing major party in the developed world:

Not only are they the most economically right-wing major party in the developed world – they are a government that nobody elected.

So, as with so much recently it feels like we are living though momentous crazy accelerated change, but it also feels like we are living in ennui – a sort of strange serenity in collapse.

The glee and relief with which the Labour polling landed yesterday was palpable. And why not? Who doesn’t want some way out of this madness? But look closer. Starmer’s conference was solid, unremarkable, well received. But what did he come up with? A publicly owned energy company. I mean, that’s great. We could have done with it forty years ago but sure. But is that it? Pretty much.

Starmer’s Labour party have surged to a huge polling lead by sanitising themselves to the conformity of the British tabloids, wrapping themselves in the Union Jack and saying nothing at all. They have inherited the crisis of the Tory revolutionaries. But even if this Safe Pair of Hands Party were to be elected (there is no path to this happening) what would they do? Not be the Tories.

And if the SNP were to become the official Opposition, what would they do? Nobody really knows.

Into this abyss we have the Truss government, which aren’t going anywhere soon and aren’t in any way repentant.

In a major essay for the New Statesman, Jeremy Cliff explains Truss’s ideological background (‘Liz Truss and the rise of the libertarian right. The free-market thinkers and ideas behind the most radical economic experiment in Britain for 40 years‘). In it he explains the cluster of ‘think-tank’s and lobby groups clustered around Tufton Street:

“Ideologically, the institutions and thinkers of this world share a common commitment to a low-tax, low-regulation, Anglo-Saxon social model, distinct from the social democratic “European” one. They tend to favour certain mechanisms for advancing that model, such as free-trade deals levelling down state intervention and demarcated zones pioneering extremely limited government (variously referred to as “freeports”, “investment zones” or “charter cities”). They instinctively prefer market-led solutions to collective problems, such as climate change, over state-led ones. Perhaps not unrelatedly, many of them draw on opaque funding from big private-sector interests. Cato, for instance, has received backing from corporations such as FedEx and Google, and, in the past, from the tobacco industry – which has also been a source of funding for both the IEA and ASI.”

This political project is Transatlantic and deeply anti-ecological.

Cliff outlines how during a September 2018 visit to Washington, Truss held off-the-record meetings on “regulatory reform” with representatives of Heritage as well as discussions with Americans for Tax Reform. “Her visit was immediately followed by Cato and Hannan’s IFT publishing an “ideal” UK-US free trade deal that included input from the IEA and Heritage. It promoted a greater role for private firms in British education and healthcare, an end to the “precautionary principle” in British food regulation as well as watered-down environmental rules.”

That UK-US free trade deal is on hold, or gone forever. It was part of the Brexit Fantasy. But so much of this is fantasy they really don’t care.

So this disconnect between change and stasis is real. Because what’s coming next ISN’T Starmer and Great British Energy it’s massive massive cuts.

Cliff again: “In Tuftonland, and in its US equivalent, the announcements of 23 September are seen as just the beginning, despite the reaction from the markets. Next up, it is hoped and anticipated: spending cuts to balance out the tax cuts. But where and what to cut? In 2015 Bourne and Kwarteng co-authored a book, A Time for Choosing, that proposed halving the number of Whitehall departments. During her leadership campaign, Truss floated the possibility of regionalising public sector pay (this idea was quickly dropped). In his statement, Kwarteng hinted at coming welfare cuts.”

Indeed The Times today had the headline ‘Defiant PM set to curb benefits to fund budget’:

I see people sharing D:Ream’s ‘Things can only get better’ this morning.

This isn’t true.

As the Portuguese writer Araci Almeida has put it:

“The world will not end tomorrow. But the world as we knew it is ending every day, every hour, and a little more. 2050 seemed far away and still is, but 2050 has arrived now. Or, as they say, all the catastrophic predictions of irreversible temperature increases, extreme droughts, and everything else we have become accustomed to living with are happening as I write these words. Simultaneously, as a result of all this tragedy, the winds of fascism everywhere are spreading like poisonous dust.”

Britain is a Dickensian failed state, but the routes out of it are unclear,

Comments (9)

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  1. James Mills says:

    ”Repent – The End is Nigh ! ”
    So these placards we used to see carried by odd looking individuals were not the ravings of some bonkers religious nut but were actually predictions of an unrestrained , right-wing Tory Government .

  2. Squigglypen says:

    Don’t worry about routes out of this mess……Putin is now looking at his nuclear option…guess who’s in the front line?


  3. SleepingDog says:

    George Monbiot spells out the anti-environmentalism, anti-science, anti-reason, anti-life behind this ideology of plunder and destruction:
    It should be clear that there are no ratchets in the UK’s quasi-constitution, beyond those that prevent the capstone elite from removal from power. There is no cement for the bricks that build progress, all political progress can be washed away in the next Tory turd-flood. Any Constitution for an Independent Scotland should be entirely different.

    In a weird echo of Rees-Mogg’s foul Victorian value blathers, during watching the Under Poisoned Skies documentary a reference was made to the discovery that child chimney sweeps were prone to cancers cause by skin contact with soot, yet instead of moving on from 1775, corporations like British Petroleum are still inflicting cancers on children in places like Iraq, from needless and climate-changing gas flaring. #biocracynow

    There is a bizarre kind of Unpopulism in Liz Truss’ pronouncements that echo Tony Blair’s hard choices or Margaret Thatcher’s harsh medicine. While it may be true that the optimal courses of action may be generally unpopular, it does not follow that unpopular courses of action are optimal. And you can look that fallacy up yourself. But presumably Trussites have committed themselves to the view that democracy doesn’t work, and plutocrats have the answers, which makes some of their foreign policy outbursts even more absurd (even if revealing rather than distorting the true picture of British imperialism).

  4. dave says:

    For Scotland the following quote was given yesterday from Alex Salmond:

    To the NU-S.N.P. ALL supporting MPs should prepare the SCOTTISH lifeboat now NOT manning the bilge pumps of the sinking ship ENGLISH BRITANNICA.

    Manning or Womaning the bilge pumps is exactly what the BRITISH F.M. NU-S.N.P. LEADER STURGEON HAS DONE SINCE 2014.

    Independence should have been declared years ago and now because of F.M. Sturgeon’s ‘kick the can’ delay tactics we Scots are still a colony of England and will pay a disastrous price.

    We all better get on board with ALBA as ALBA will deliver independence. The other option is to keep womaning the bilge pumps for as long as British F.M. Sturgeon is in power. All YES Scots have the obligation to get this critical message out to our fellow Scots. Time is running out.

    1. James Mills says:

      Oh dear ! The Verve sang ” The drugs don’t work !”- but I’m sure medication is available for your condition .

  5. James Dow says:

    For all those English people out there that for years been directing bile and vitriol towards Scot’s for in their eyes Scots having the audacity to consider exercising their free will to consider restoring Sovereignty AGAIN I take this opportunity to ask you to come up with one reason, that’s right just ONE reason why Scotland should remain conjoined to England because if Scotland does remain conjoined to England they will end up shackled to a putrefying corpse.

    A recent survey concluded that a Sovereign Scotland would be approximately the Worlds 16th wealthiest nation,
    and that’s why England is so desperate to maintain its influence and control over Scotland.
    From an English perspective they are engaged in a deathly battle of survival and the enemy map on the wall at Whitehall is
    SCOTLAND and its SNP governance. England requires no remedial training in the art of political Machiavellian bastardly, hopefully Scotland is well aware of this fact and responds accordingly. The gloves are off Scotland you also are fighting for the survival of your distinctive identity and that of your nation, and if that is not worth giving your all for then you are not entitled to carry the name of your land as a Scot.

    1. dave says:

      Hullo James Dow. Great post. Scotland is Sovereign but the constant references by of English Gov’t that there is a country called Britain i.e., England and Scotland, most Scots do not know that we are indeed Sovereign. Britain is not a country nor the UK for that matter.

      Very few surveys have been done as to how rich economically Scotland actually is. The English Gov’t collects all Scottish taxes and revenues and refuses to release these numbers. So, it is impossible to know what Scotland’s GDP/GNP is. Or is it? Yes, it is possible and here’s how.

      Using Scotland’s population of 5.6 million (+-) with our resources we do a comparison with countries with a similar population.

      Here’s a small sampling of the WORLD’S richest countries. #2 Norway, # 4 Eire or Southern Ireland, # 14 Finland.
      None of these 3 countries have anywhere near the resources that Scotland has.

      This critical economic information is deliberately BLACKED OUT by the English Gov’t and the NU-SNP leadership so that the NO voters only get the lies of how poor Scotland is from all the English owned Scottish media here. As you know F.M. Sturgeon says she is BRITISH, and Scotland will always be part of BRITAIN. Also, she has never stated that she is in favour of independence. She says it’s up to the Scottish people and then BLACKS OUT critical information to shut down our voices. The factual economic knowledge alone will result in an 80% YES vote. F.M. Sturgeon knows that and wants to keep the YES vote around 49% preferably even less. She has never said that she would hold a referendum but that she would TRY.
      Sovereign countries do not need a referendum, just a declaration of independence.

      Only 2 MPs are standing up for Scotland at Westminster, both from the true independence party ALBA. They were thrown out of Westminster
      as they stood up for our independence. The S.N.P.s there, led by Ian Blackford, just sat there wi heid doon, eyes tae the floor ashamed to be Scots as the English MP’s laughed and ridiculed them.

      The F.M. NU-S.N.P. leader Sturgeon and her husband NU-S.N.P. CEO Murrell are UNIONISTS. Yes, I am an EX S.N.P. (Alex Salmond) member and I left several years ago due to the realization that F.M. Sturgeon was a fake. Of course, she is well paid by the English Gov’t.

  6. Greg says:

    Sorry, but we need too admit that we are rapidly approaching a failed World, not just states. We’re on the cusp of nuclear war on TWO continents now and a winter that promises to be brutal for not only the World’s poorest, as usual, but most everyone else too all the way up through the upper middle classes.

    The invisible hand cultists in the conservative movements and parties are winning on most fronts. Ironically, the central column of their philosophy, that people will always and should behave in their self-interest, is astoundingly wrong and that’s precisely why they are winning (in the US anyways). Poor, rural, mainly white Americans consistently vote against their own economic interests when they vote for the Republican party. It is the ultimate Leopards Ate My Face!

    1. dave says:

      Yes Greg, your comment concerning poor Americans consistently voting against their own interests is absolutely correct.

      It is the exact same issue as we have here in Scotland. The poor as church mice Scots consistently vote for either the 3 English Branch parties oR the NU-S.N.P. which has a leader who has stated she is BRITISH, and that Scotland will always be ruled by BRITAIN / ENGLAND as long as she is F.M.

      F.M. Sturgeon’s begging agenda and her alliance with the English owned National Media up here is a disgrace. The F.M. along with her English allies have BLACKED OUT, in particular, just how rich a country Scotland is. So, in our Scottish case the poor have no idea of Scotland being one of the wealthiest countries in the world if not the wealthiest.

      ALBA is the only party which will deliver independence with the help of all AUOB groups.
      Why? We have a true Indy leader in Alex Salmond.
      The NU-S.N.P. have a British Leader in F.M. Sturgeon who has never, ever stated that she supports our INDEPENDENCE saying that it’s up to the Scottish people, while blacking out all the CRITICAL information we need especially the POOR.

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