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This topic contains 362 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by  ALB 5 days, 8 hours ago.

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  • #190319

    alanjjohnstone
    Participant
    #190565

    rodshaw
    Participant

    Meanwhile, Parliament is back…no, that is, it never went away…anyway, there can now be a full and frank discussion about Brexit once again. Just what we all want.

    #190583

    Brian
    Participant

    You must be kidding?  If parliament was to have a full and frank discussion on Brexit the first item on the agenda would be on the question whether or not the capitalist maximise the rate of surplus value in or out of the EU?

    That is not going to happen because it would reveal an unwelcome truth that in actual fact the proposition on the table is to gain the support of the working class on how best they can be exploited.

    #190586

    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Sarcasm (and other nuances of speech) doesn’t work well on the internet, does it, as Rod now finds out with Brian taking him seriously. Or is it I who misread the comment?

    #190588

    Brian
    Participant

    Alan gazing at his navel and failing to recognise that I took the opportunity to stoke up a message that relates to why we don’t take sides on issues which are are not of our concern and not in our interest.  The capitalist class are divided on the issue of maximising the rate of surplus value.  However, whichever direction they eventually decide to take – in or out of the EU – they require the support of the working class.

    This being the case we need to focus on the message that socialists are not interested in any arguments concerning our exploitation.  But we are interested in how to end exploitation.

    #190641

    ALB
    Participant

    Corbyn is sitting on the fence over Brexit so as to keep the Labour Party together. But he is also trying to do something with which we can have some sympathy — to take current political debate away from this issue and discuss the problems ordinary people are facing. While we say Neither Brexit not EU but socialism he is saying Either Brexit or EU we need reformism. It seems that in the current political atmosphere he is facing the same uphill task as us.

    Meanwhile the Brexiteers are employing the dangerous language of surrender, treason and betrayal. As Andrew Sparrow commented in the Guardian’s daily live coverage of the issue on Thursday (at 11.20):

    ”The argument against such language is that it is inflammatory because it frames Brexit, an issue that is supposed to be about trading relationships with friendly countries, in terms of warfare, with the EU depicted as an enemy power.”

    Yes, Brexit is basically all about trading relationships and so, as far as working people are concerned, not worth getting worked up about either way.

    #190648

    rodshaw
    Participant

    Yes, Brian and Alanj, of course I was being sarcastic in my post above about Parliament. Incidentally I got my October SS today and the article on Parliament puts things nicely into perspective.

    Interesting about the Supreme Court ruling on prorogation though – a unanimous decision and one in the eye for Johnson, from eleven staunch upholders of the legal system, hence the capitalist class as a whole.

    #190654

    ALB
    Participant

    Here is the answer to the question posed in an article in next month’s Socialist Standard “Who would benefit from a no deal Brexit?” given by Philip Hammond who until a month or so ago was the Chancellor of the Exchequer, i.e. the treasurer of the British capitalist state, who we must assume knows what he’s talking about on these matters:

    “Johnson “is backed by speculators who have bet billions on a hard Brexit — and there is only one outcome that works for them: a crash-out no-deal Brexit that sends the currency tumbling and inflation soaring,” Hammond wrote in the Times on Saturday.

    This is similar to Corbyn’s claim that no deal would be a”bankers’ Brexit”, though more accurate in that it those involved, and who financed the Leave campaign in 2016, are not so much bankers as speculators, hedge fund operators and vulture capitalists who don’t want to be subjected to EU regulation of their particular financial axtivities.

    Hammond represents the mainstream UK capitalist view which wanted to Remain but, in view of the result of the result of the referendum,  now wants to settle on a deal which would keep Britain in the frictionless single EU market. It is clear from Hammond’s statement that they recognise that the Leave campaign was financed by a maverick section of their class in its own sectional interest.

    More grist for our view that the whole  business is a dispute within the British capitalist class in which the working class has no interest and should not take sides. But what a sorry sight to see so many workers getting so passionately involved on one side or the other.

    #190656

    ALB
    Participant

    For the record, here is a list of some of the people Hammond is referring to, together with their agenda:

    https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/2016/2010s/no-1345-september-2016/cooking-books-who-funded-brexit-campaign/

    #190657

    robbo203
    Participant
    #190671

    ALB
    Participant

    It’s not just or even essentially financiers betting that the pound will fall, which a no-deal Brexit would result in. Someone like Odey will be equally prepared to bet on the pound rising through Britain not leaving. In fact he probably has.

    It’s that they don’t want such activities strictly regulated by the EU. The Tory MEP Daniel Hannan (re-elected in May) listed the sort of things that the financiers who funded the Leave campaign objected to:

    “a financial transactions tax, a ban on short selling, restrictions on clearing, a bonus cap, windfall levies, micro-regulation of funds.”

    #190725

    robbo203
    Participant
    #190730

    ALB
    Participant

    Boorish seems to be proposing basically that Northern Ireland stay in the Single Market but not the Customs Union, which is quite a big concession since it will involve regulatory controls on goods entering NI from the mainland.  It meets the EU demand that the integrity of its single market be retained.

    If NI’s land border with the Republic had not historically been a bone of contention there wouldn’t be a problem with NI leaving the Customs Union and so customs controls to check that any tariffs due had been paid. But this is a political not an economic problem.

    There is no economic reason why the EU needs to support the aim of a united Ireland. In theory there could be some compromise solution. We will see. In any event no change is proposed before the end of next year.

    #190742

    ALB
    Participant

    Very revealing article in today’s Times by Simon Nixon, their chief leader writer, explaining the split in the capitalist class over Brexit. After pointing out that there is more to it than short-term betting against the pound, here are extracts of what Nixon points out:

    “One of the surprises of Brexit has been the strong support for leaving the European Union in some parts of the City and among a handful of Britain’s wealthiest entrepreneurs. This support is in contrast with the continued anxiety over Brexit among the bulk of Britain’s business leaders. Yet this division among Britain’s business elite is perhaps not so surprising when one considers the extent to which the two groups sit on different sides of an important faultline in global capitalism. What makes hedge fund support for Mr Johnson significant is not that they are representatives of disaster capitalism but that they are manifestations of what might be dubbed “oligarchic capitalism”.
    The hedge fund industry sits at the apex of the shadowy world of offshore finance that emerged in London in recent decades. This world is quite distinct from the traditional business of the City, which is serving as a domestic capital market for British and, since the creation of the single market, EU companies. Titans of the hedge fund industry insist that they owe their fortunes to their unrivalled acumen for trading. In reality, they owe much of their success to the unique conditions that made London such fertile ground for the development of their astonishingly lucrative activities. They are the beneficiaries of the explosive growth in global offshore finance that followed the dismantling of exchange controls around the world, the collapse of communism and the emergence of a new global class of super-rich seeking to shield their wealth from national authorities. (…)

    Crucially, London possessed the expertise to make the most of the opportunities presented by offshore finance. Over time, it has developed an entire economy designed to service the needs of oligarchic capitalism, from lawyers to accountants to art dealers.

    Nor is it surprising that prominent hedge fund tycoons have turned out to be enthusiastic Brexiteers. The hedge fund industry likes to operate in the shadows. It manages private pools of capital and believes that this entitles it to be exempt from the more onerous rules that govern the rest of financial services. What turned much of the industry so virulently against the EU was the introduction of the Alternative Investment Managers Directive in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, which imposed modest reporting requirements on the sector. Although the impact of these rules was close to nil, this shot across the bows was deeply resented. Whereas the EU’s status as a regulatory superpower has bought benefits to most sectors, creating opportunities to reap economies of scale across a single market, for the hedge fund industry it poses a threat.” (emphasis added)

    They used a part of their wealth to fund the Leave campaign in 2016 and Johnson’s Tory leadership campaign and are now expecting to reap the benefits. Whether the representatives of what might be called mainstream UK capitalism in Parliament will be able to stop this remains to be seen. Given that elections are the key to political power it seems that in the end it will be up to the working class to decide, either in a general election or a referendum. But why should we take sides? It won’t be the People v Parliament, but “oligarchic capitalism” v “mainstream capitalism”, cholera or the plague.

    #190801

    DJP
    Participant

    ALB Wrote – “But why should we take sides?”

    Because a Brexit that puts limits on freedom of movement and makes it harder for people to come into the UK will have a negative effect on the thousands of people who have trans-national family lives. Reason enough to oppose it. But of course it all depends on what “Brexit” actually comes to mean..

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