sexta-feira, agosto 23, 2019

School Bully: "Heroic Failure: Brexit and the Politics of Pain" by Fintan O'Toole




I’ve pointed out previously that the main reason for Brexit is because Britain (or rather England) simply does not understand what the EU is about.

Johnson’s jokes about the EU and, Germany’s, and his expansionist plans, captures the general sense of distrust in England. I think the obsession with centralised power is really at the heart of Brexit and the British misunderstanding about the EU. And the reason for this misunderstanding is that British people seem to see the EU the same way that they saw the British empire or other European colonial empires. The single biggest difference between the EU and the previous European colonial empires (of which the British was one) was the degree of centralisation. The way the European colonial empires were set up was that all of the orders came from London, Madrid, Brussels and Lisbon and all resources and powers were repatriated back there. Eventually this level of piss taking caught up with the European powers who ended up going to war with each other and with their colonies. Between the two world wars most of these colonial powers, particularly Germany, were forced to realise a new humility. That humility has under-pinned most of the European co-operation since. The British Empire, to its credit, never really got its comeuppance. Therefore, there was never really a period of reflection. It's noticeable that most English people, in addition to their ignorance about the recent history in Northern Ireland, are also seemingly blissfully unaware of the British Empire's role in the build up to WW1. For them it was "Just them Germans doing what they do". We the Portuguese know all about large empires. Britain on the other hand, the largest empire at the time, was enjoying "Splendid Isolation", and was not stepping on anyone's toes. Large empires never step on toes. 

Nobody can actually tell when the British Empire ended (I can tell you when the Portuguese Empire ended though). People cite WW2, the Suez Crisis and the return of Hong Kong to China. Indeed Brexit might be its end. Because of the empire went out with a whimper rather than a bang there was never really a moment to reflect on the good and the bad. Both are key. Brexit has shown up the lack of confidence some British people have in their own country and culture. When your national dish is curry then it's more difficult to identify what is that makes you British. And this complex has prevented Britain from taking a more active role in the EU. But the country that was the center of one of the greatest empires should be full of confidence. Equally however many British are completely unaware of the negative aspects of the empire and seem to think it was some kind benevolent conqueror rather than actively engaged in ethnic cleansings (like all empires).

The result is this kind of uneasy arrogance. Like the school bully who is abused at home. Britain is about to get a good kicking thanks to people, mainly English, whose sense of superiority has not caught up with realpolitik.

Johnson seeks to define Britain's relationship with the EU as a war. So for Tosser Johnson, the EU is the enemy and anyone who isn't on Johnson's side is a 'collaborator'. So, the English should get ready for food rationing. Johnson is a fucking idiot. I am proud to say I am a citizen of the world and a collaborator with the EU. Tosser Johnson does not speak for me. At the coming snap Brexit election, were I English, I’d vote for a party that would unambiguously support remaining in the EU. And so should all Remainers.

Johnson has no intention of getting a deal. The deal that is acceptable to the Brexiter cultists does not and cannot exist, and is impossible to achieve because they are still fully immersed in their cake-ist delusion. The only option left for Johnson is to go for broke with a GE win by blaming the EU for not giving the British the cake that they voted for. By creating and repeating the same massive, but carefully focused, lie that No Deal is the fault of the EU they hope to attract enough of Brexit votes to get a majority. And given how easily fooled the leave voting public are he might very well win unless the opposition sort themselves out and stop their petty in fighting.

6 comentários:

Bookstooge disse...

Many 7th Day Adventists believe the EU to be the last kingdom in the statue that Daniel dreamed about (Daniel chapter 2), the feet that were made of of mixed iron and clay. I tend to favor that idea myself.

Of course, 30-40 years ago nobody knew what it could mean, as the EU hadn't emerged and even the proto-EU (I forget what it was called at the time) was so rife with problems that everyone involved openly acknowledged that it just couldn't work.

Today, and I don't know if this is media bias (as in, the media here in the US bends over and asks to be butt raped by the EU because they love it so much) or real, it seems that the EU is taking much more power to itself and leading the world. It is definitely becoming a world power.

So, all of that was just to lead up to the idea that I fully support any country that doesn't want to become part, or continue to be part, of an over-arching government. I am a big proponent of nationalism and not a fan of whatever you call the next step up (Unions, perhaps?). I fear that Unions will be the way the world is going to go though, even while the people inside spit and claw at each other. There is so much more power that a Union enables that the people who go after power will be all for it.

Ok, enough from me. Or I'll just keep on rambling on...

Manuel Antão disse...

The easiest way to get perspective on international relations is to imagine all the countries as individual people. Easy to see what's unacceptable and also how unacceptable it is when you do that. Makes all this shite clearer to my eyes, anyway.

And the issue is not only about Nationalism. It's got a different name which I won't name it here.

I’m lucky enough to have The Digital Concert Hall App, on my television. It’s the TV App of the Berliner Philharmoniker. I’ve, just, spent a wonderful hour and a half, watching and listening to an open air performance, by the Philharmonic, playing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. They performed live, in Berlin, from in front of the Brandenburg Tor. The audience, numbering in their thousands, disappeared back into the darkness, along the Unter den Linden. What struck me, as I was watching and listening, was the diversity of the Orchestra and the diversity of the Berlin Rundfunk Choir. The Conductor is Kirill Petrenko. He was born in Russia but now has dual nationality – Russian-Austrian. The musicians come from all over the world. Different nationalities, different ethnicities, different cultures. All coming together to make a wonderful sound, for our enjoyment.

The soloists were from Austria, Germany and Korea.

It was the same with the choir. The Choirmaster is Gijs Leenaars, from The Netherlands. Again, the Choir comes from all over the world. Different nationalities, different ethnicities, different cultures. Again, they come together to make a wonderful sound, for our enjoyment. The audience, itself, was, just, as diverse. All ethnicities, all nationalities, all cultures. Not only that, the audience was made up of young and old, men and women – black, brown and white. There were, even, very young children there. It all left me pondering. If all of those people can come together, to play, to sing, to conduct, to listen, to watch – to entertain and be entertained – why do we, in the UK - as a country – find it so difficult to do the same thing? We, as a country, are, just, as diverse as that orchestra, that, choir, that audience. They can do it. Why can’t we?

Businesses across the UK, relaying messages to their contemporaries in the EU: sorry have to cancel all orders, boris has decreed it...freedom..or taking back control or something or other. Now that would just be silly, wouldn't it? As silly as having someone of the calibre of boris johnston as pm. It will be the death of people who need medicines that won’t get through; it will be the death of democracy when parliament is closed down because the fat twat in number 10 wants it; it will be the death of The United Kingdom when Scotland leaves; and it will be the death of the GFA. But the Brexit cultists will re-elect Boris because he “got us out”.

What British people fear is the total wreckage of the UK economy coupled with violence because of shortages due to Brexit (I know a lot of them). The damage will last for so long until they rejoin the EU on terms less favourable than what they have now. What will really stick in the craw will be seeing those responsible wallowing in their accumulations of wealth. But probably we won't accept the British into the EU again...

Brexit is an act of relatively contained self harm. The damage and hurt will be overwhelmingly felt in the UK, for as long as it remains united. "They need us more than we need them" was always bullshit. Countless other nations will dislike the UK for decades to come, but they'll be considerably more concerned about climate change, economic downturn and conflict. On the global map, Brexit registers far less than English exceptionalists believe. The pain is all our own.

I'm gonna stop rambling. It's almost midnight here...

Bookstooge disse...

Thanks for commenting back. Appreciate that you read through my ramble and then rambled right back :-)

One clarification question. You keep mentioning the UK like you live there and are part of it. I was 100% sure you were from and lived in, Portugal? Am I missing something? Or is it just because you replied late at night?

Manuel Antão disse...

I studied over there.

And it pains me greatly to see Britain going down the drain...I'd say the lying, greedy,grubbing bastards who've reduced the British parliament to little better than a bunch of braying oafs who's only concern is lining their own pockets and scoring points off of each other while people die on the streets. The three main parties agree on so much they could easily be seen as one party. There are factions within it just as there are within individual parties and within "the party" in a single party state but the similarities outweigh the differences.

That's what the issue is. And ignorance of the masses. It is gaining because even "intelligent" people are getting all their news and information from selectively reporting echo chambers feeding entertainment more than information cravings. Group think of an echo chamber has lead to the activism seen over the last 5 years.

Manuel Antão disse...

I forgot to add I attended The British Council for 10 years.

Bookstooge disse...

Thanks. I remember now you saying you'd spent time there. I just didn't realize it was so much time there.