Thursday, 18 May 2017

Post-Liberal Brexitland: Money Power and the Security State

'In a recent Times column Michael Gove described May as “post-liberal”. That line about responsibilities to others outweighing our rights as individuals helps to define what Gove meant'.

With Gove it's difficult not see dark ironies in him projecting a 'post-liberal' agenda on to May. May is a dull authoritarian functionary posing as a One Nation Conservative in the tradition, ironically, of Edward Heath in part, of Thatcher as regards 'batting for Britain', and Major, in being 'stable' and greyly banal.

It's difficult to know whether May means a word she says on the 'vision thing' about society being a partnership and a commitment to conserving communities and country against selfish and atomised individualism. It could just be rhetoric to assure voters that the future with be identifiably that of the country inherited.

This does not cohere, as Monbiot points out, with the use of Tudor period statutory instruments to push through global corporate control over resources. Conservatism under May could turn out to be anything but 'conservative' as regards building all over England with new bricky boxes and handing power to developers.

May's wearing of grey, choreographed 'Battle of Britain' pep talks in factories up and down the land positions her as though a head mistress from a school located somewhere in the 1950s, the sort of being that might appear on a Sunday evening murder mystery detective series. It's carefully contrived.

May is actually a calculating authoritarian who saw the chance to create a more powerful national security state and to draw in a pliant media and semi-democratic Westminster model of politics, to recreate the United Kingdom once more as a US satellite power along a British version of Turkey, Russia and the US.

The economic volatility and political discontent ahead could require a surveillance state and widespread use of spies to root out those 'enemies within' plotting to leak secrets to EU in order to sabotage Brexit negotiations. Gove has made himself of use as acting a chief propagandist for the idea of outing plots.

Gove is positioning himself as the key middle man and fixer between the May government and Rupert Murdoch's retaking of control over SKY News. There is set to be a lot of propaganda for and against Brexit as power elites battle to control public opinion once Corbyn has been eliminated by a Blairite Labour coup.

For all the rhetoric of Burkean conservatism, the reality is Britain is dominated by money power and the battle between pro and anti-EU elites in which 'the people' are regarded as a gullible herd to manipulated this way of that by their betters. The Leave verdict solved nothing and the elite conflict will continue.

The idea that politics in Britain is actually that democratic is a myth. Even Corbyn refuses to embrace electoral reform because he is thinking of party and self interest rather than what the country needs. But as Brexit proceeds, electoral reform and protecting the rule of law and liberty is going to become more important.

It is a pity that the times called for an opposition leader who was a real alternative and could only throw up Corbyn. Despite his weakness, there is a need for a grassroots movement to agitate for electoral reform and to reshape the state Britain is in away from the control of unaccountable corporate money power.

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