Brexit Reveals Corbyn to be the True Moderate

The crisis has brought into sharp focus the fanaticism that dominates almost the entire British political class, writes Jonathan Cook.

(Christoph Scholz, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

By JonathanCook

If there is an upside to Brexit, it is this: it has made it increasingly hard to present Jeremy Corbyn, contrary to everything the corporate media has been telling us for the past four years, as anything but a political moderate. In truth, he is one of the few moderates left in British – or maybe that should read English – politics right now. The fact that still isn’t obvious to many in Britain is a sign of their – not his – extremism.

Brexit has brought into sharp focus, at least for those prepared to look, the fanaticism that dominates almost the entire British political class. Their zealotry has been increasingly on show since the U.K. staged a referendum in 2016 on leaving Europe that was won by the pro-Brexit camp with a wafer-thin majority. The extremism has only intensified as Britain approaches the exit deadline, due at the end of October.

The feud has usually been portrayed this way: The U.K. has split into two camps, polarizing popular opinion between those who feel Britain’s place is in Europe (Remainers) and those who prefer that Britain makes its own way in the world (Brexiters). But it has actually divided the British political class into three camps, with the largest two at the political extremes.

On the one side – variously represented by the new prime minister, Boris Johnson, and many in his Conservative party, as well as Nigel Farage and his supporters – are those who want Britain to break from Europe and rush into the embrace of the United States, stripping away the last constraints on free-market, ecocidal capitalism. They aren’t just Brexiters, they are no-deal Brexiters, who want to turn their back on Europe entirely.

Corbyn: A lonely moderate.

The other side – variously supported by many Labour MPs, including the party’s deputy leader Tom Watson, and the Liberal Democrats – are those who wish to stay in the secure embrace of a European bureacracy that is nearly as committed to suicidal capitalism as the U.S. but, given the social democratic traditions of some of its member states, has mitigated the worst excesses of free-market fundamentalism. These U.K. politicians aren’t just Remainers, they are Remainists, who not only refuse to contemplate any weakening of the bonds between the U.K. and Europe but actually want those bonds to tighten.

Suspending Parliament

And as the divide has deepened, it has become clear that neither side is prepared to pay more than lip service to democracy.

On the Brexit side, Johnson has suspended parliament, an institution representing the people, that is supposed to be sovereign. Like his predecessor, Theresa May, he has repeatedly found there is no legislative majority for a hard or no-deal Brexit. He has faced an unprecedented and humiliating series of defeats in parliament in the few days he has been prime minister. So now he has swept parliament out of the way in a bid to run down the clock on a no-deal Brexit without legislative interference.

Watson and the Remainists have been trying a counter-move, arguing that the referendum is no longer valid. They believe that new voters, youngsters more likely to support Remain, have come of age in the three years since 2016, and that more information about the true costs of Brexit have lately swung support to their side. They want to ignore the original referendum result and run the ballot again in the hope that this time the tide will turn in their favor.

The reality is that, if Johnson drives through a no-deal Brexit by ignoring parliament, or if Watson gets to quash the first referendum result to engineer a second, it is likely to trigger civil war in the U.K.

The first option will drive Scotland out of the union, could very well reignite the sectarian “Troubles” of Northern Ireland, and will have English urban elites in open revolt. The second option will ensure that large sections of the English public who voted for Brexit because they feel marginalized and ignored are up in arms too. Their trust in politics and politicians will sink even further, and there is the danger that they will turn in droves to a crowd-pleasing autocrat like Johnson, Farage or worse.

Zealotry vs Compromise

In these circumstances, anyone responsible would be looking to find common ground, to understand that political compromise is absolutely necessary to stop Britain breaking apart. And that is exactly what Corbyn and the largely ignored and maligned third camp have been trying to do.

They want to honor the spirit of the vote by leaving the EU but hope to do so in a way that doesn’t cut the U.K. adrift from Europe, doesn’t prevent the continuation of relatively free trade and movement, and doesn’t leave the U.K. exposed and vulnerable to serfdom under a new U.S. master.

For many months Corbyn has been calling for a general election as a way for the majority of the public, having chosen in the referendum what they want to do, to now decide who they want to negotiate how Britain departs from Europe. But even that realistic compromise has not satisfied the fanatics within his own party.

Because the zealots of the right and the immoderate center dominate the political and media landscape, this approach has barely registered in public debates. Corbyn’s efforts have been misrepresented as evidence of muddled thinking, ambivalence, or his covert opposition to Europe. It is none of those things.

(ChiralJon/CC BY 2.0)

Spider’s Web

The common argument that Corbyn is a Brexit wolf in sheep’s clothing draws on the fact that, like many democratic socialists, such as the late Tony Benn, Corbyn has never been enamored of the unelected European technocratic class that is misleadingly termed simply “Europe” or the “European Union.”

Rightly, socialists understood long ago that the more Britain was locked into Europe’s embrace, the more it would become caught like a fly in the spider’s web. At some level, most people have started to recognize this, if only because finding a way to leave Europe, even for Brexiters, has proved so inordinately difficult.

Just like banks were too big to fail in 2008 so they had to be bailed out with our, public money to save them from their private malfeasance, the publics of Europe have incrementally had their sovereignty transferred to an unelected and centralized bureacracy all in the name of pursuing freedom – of movement and trade, chiefly for global corporations.

We haven’t noticed, it is true, because for decades our own, domestic politics has come in one flavor only – support for our little corner of the global neoliberal empire. Till recently the consensus of Britain’s ruling elite, whether of the right or of New Labour centrists, was that being a player in Europe was the best way to protect their – though not necessarily our – interests on that global battlefield. Now, as the neoliberal empire enters a period of terminal decline, this same elite are bitterly divided over whether the U.S. or Europe is the best guarantor of their wealth and influence continuing a little longer.

Iron Fist in Velvet Glove

Ireland and the United Kingdom on May 26, 2012, during a heat wave. (NASA)

But Britain and the world’s problems – whether in the shape of impending economic meltdown or environmental collapse – cannot be solved from within the neoliberal paradigm, as becomes clearer by the day. New political structures are desperately needed: at the local level to foster new, more decentralized economic models, free of corporate influence, resource-stripping and unnecessary consumption; and at the global level to ensure that such models reverse rather than perpetuate the ecocidal policies that have dominated under neoliberal capitalism.

To start on that path will require the democratization of Britain. The fear of Benn and others was that even if a truly socialist government was elected, its ability to make real, profound changes to the political and economic order – by bringing much of the economy back into public or cooperative ownership, for example – would be made impossible within the larger framework of European corporate managerialism.

We have been given glimpses of the iron fist Europe’s technocrats wield beneath the velvet glove in the treatment of Greece over its financial troubles and the Catalan independence movement in Spain.

The attitude of Corbyn and other democratic socialists to Brexit, however, has been wildly misrepresented by the other two camps of zealots.

In Benn’s time, it was still possible to imagine a world in which neoliberalism might be prevented from gaining a tyrannical grip on our political imaginations and on national economies. But things have changed since then. Now the issue is not whether Britain can stop being locked into a European neoliberal order. It is that the U.K., like everyone else, is already in the stranglehold of a global neoliberal order.

Not just that, but Britain has willingly submitted to that order. As the zealotry of most of the political class demonstrates, few can imagine or want a life outside the neoliberal cage. The debate is about which corner of that suicidal, ecocidal global order we prefer to be located in. The Brexit row is chiefly about which slave master, America or Europe, will be kinder to us.

In this context, there is no real escape. The best that can be done, as the moderates in both the Brexit and Remain camps realize, is loosen our chains enough so that we have room once again to contemplate new political possibilities. We can then breathe deeply, clear our heads and start to imagine how Britain and the world might operate differently, how we might free ourselves of the tyranny of the corporations and heal our planet of the deep scars we have inflicted on it.

These are big matters that cannot be solved either by binding ourselves more tightly to European technocrats or by cutting loose from Europe only to chain ourselves to the U.S. The Brexit feud is an endless theatrical distraction from the real questions we need to face. That is one reason why it drags on, one reason why our political class revel in it, John Bercow-style.

Strangely, it is the Remainists of the immoderate centre – typified by commentary in corporate “liberal” media like the Guardian – who so often claim to lament the fact that the left has failed to offer a vision, a political future, that might serve as an alternative to neoliberalism. But how can such a vision emerge from deep inside the leviathan’s dark belly?

Ideological Life-Rafts

It goes without saying that the Atlanticists cheerleading Brexit are up to no good when they speak of “taking back control” and “reclaiming our sovereignty.” They demand those powers only so they can immediately surrender them to a U.S. master.

But the much-maligned leftwing, soft Brexit – a version that wishes to distance Britain from Europe without pretending that the U.K. can stand alone on the global neoliberal battlefield – also has use for such language.

This version of taking back control isn’t about spitting in the face of Europe, blocking the entry of immigrants, or reinventing the imagined halcyon days of empire. It is about recognizing that we, like the rest of humankind, are responsible for the crimes we have been, and still are, committing against the planet, against other species, against fellow human beings.

Chaining ourselves to an unelected, distant European technocratic class that simply follows orders – implementing the requirements of an economic system that must end in the destruction of the planet – is cowardice. We can more easily shelter from that truth when we cede our political and economic powers to those compelled to carry out the (il)logic of neoliberalism.

Standing a little outside Europe is probably the best we can hope to manage in current circumstances. But it might give us the political space – and, more importantly, burden us with the political responsibility – to imagine the deep changes that are urgently needed.

Change has to happen if we as a species are to survive, and it has to happen soon and it has to happen somewhere. We cannot force others to change, but we can recognize our own need to change and offer a vision of change for others to follow. That can begin only when we stop shielding ourselves from the consequences of our decisions, stop hiding in someone else’s ideological life-raft in the forlorn hope that it will weather the coming, real-world storms.

It is time to stop acting like zealots for neoliberalism, squabbling over which brand of turbo-charged capitalism we prefer, and face up to our collective responsibility to change our and our children’s future.

Jonathan Cook is a freelance journalist based in Nazareth.

This article is from his blog Jonathan 

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36 comments for “Brexit Reveals Corbyn to be the True Moderate

  1. Ted
    September 20, 2019 at 13:39

    It’s unclear how retaining the requirement to follow EU rules while forgoing our participation in the democratic process that decides those rules is any kind of a way forward. The answer to the problem of the EU is Europe-wide united action by the working class, as Marx advocated 170 years ago, not fostering the illusion that the UK can disengage.

    In the short term, the answer to the EU’s democratic deficit is to push for greater power for the elected parliament and less for the Commission (which in any event cannot make decisions). Diem25 have some useful ideas in this respect. Trying to overthrow capitalism by slicing it into smaller chunks is ultimately reactionary and futile.

  2. Drew Hunkins
    September 19, 2019 at 16:28

    “…This version of taking back control isn’t about spitting in the face of Europe, blocking the entry of immigrants,”

    There’s nothing morally or ethically suspect nor is there anything pathological about desiring that a nation-state’s borders be enforced. Of course it must be done humanely and reasonably.

    A tight labor market is beneficial to struggling working women and men; which is exactly why the Chamber of Commerce along with the Koch bros have been longtime proponents of essentially open borders.

    • Ted
      September 20, 2019 at 13:27

      “There’s nothing morally or ethically suspect [or] pathological about desiring that a nation-state’s borders be enforced”

      Actually there is. There were no immigration controls in the UK until 1905 and they were introduced due to pressure from racists alarmed at the arrival of Jewish refugees fleeing antisemitism in eastern Europe. The USA introduced immigration controls specifically to keep out Chinese people. And these controls only ever apply to the working class, not to the wealthy. Telling working class people where they can and can’t live is not compatible with socialism.

    • Drew Hunkins
      September 21, 2019 at 17:00

      @ Ted,

      It’s interesting that you bring up Jews and anti-Semitism and also the Chinese. Both of these states have very restrictive immigration policies, much more restrictive than the United States. They certainly feel no compunction in enforcing their borders — especially Israel.

      Any progressive-populist movement must first be concerned with advancing the interests of its domestic proletariat by 1.) making sure they’re not off fighting imperialist wars, and 2.) at home ensuring that they’re not facing global labor arbitrage which depresses wages.

      Caesar Chavez knew the score on this and more progressive-populists need to face this stark reality with clear eyes and righteous hearts.

  3. Northern Observer
    September 19, 2019 at 09:47

    1. Wafer thin does not really describe a 2% plurality with a 72% participation rate in the 2016 western democracy. That’s fairly robust. Robust enough that if it had gone the other way you would no be hearing about leaving the EU for the next 50 years.
    2. The real extremism has come from how the EU chose to negotiate with Teresa May. In their intransigence and bad faith they have forced a no deal brexit; the machinations of the remainer quislings are just so much muttering, however…
    3. We should not fall for the anti democratic agitprop narrative of the remain camp. If you know anything about Parliamentary procedure and English constitutional history you know that the proroguing was legit and standard. If you want to look for anti democratic tendencies they truly live in the remainer camp.
    4. Which brings us to the icing on the cake, the remain camps refusal to allow a General Election to proceed to resolve the crisis. That my friends is true anti leadership.

    All the Marxist versus Capitalist, save the planet, save humanity, America vs China talk is all so much blah blah. The bottom line is that the EU is an impediment to ANY change in political orientation or policy. Will the UK try to be like Singapore, will it continue on its path to Swedenization, we don’t know, but we should give its people the choice and the ability to speak on it and decide. So leave the EU already and let politics be real again.

  4. Sveinn Rúnar Hauksson
    September 18, 2019 at 19:24

    One more excellent analysis from Nazareth. Thank you, Jonathan

  5. Gerard
    September 18, 2019 at 16:44

    Thank you for thiswise and insightfull article. Very necessary to hear these thoughts.

  6. countykerry
    September 18, 2019 at 13:54

    It was a pleasure to read an article regarding Jeremy Corbyn not besmirching his reputation with utterly false anti-semitism claims.

  7. Monod-Broca
    September 18, 2019 at 06:13

    Keeping a distant relationship with European Union would certainly be a good issue to the debate.
    But the EU doen’t accept it. And maybe they are right : you must be in or out of a union, not in between.

    The Union itself has to be redesigned.

    • Dk
      September 18, 2019 at 20:36

      The TECHNOCRATIC, UNDEMOCRATIC EU=EUSSR needs to be dissolved.

  8. John Wright
    September 17, 2019 at 22:57

    I think what Mr. Cook critically fails to consider in his analysis is the role that the rise of the China-Russia-India economic block plays in the thinking of the English.

    With Chinese projects in Greece, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Serbia and Hungary, the EU has already clearly signaled that it is willing to integrate with the New Silk Road (BRI) dynamo in order to maintain some semblance of its standard of living as the U.S. economy fades.

    Nord Stream 2 is a further proof that the EU is quite happy to work with the East to keep its economic future from going south.

    The Oxbridge crowd, however, still clinging to their proud memories of Empire can’t stand the thought of becoming truly subservient to the Chinese and the Indians, who they once ruled over and exploited ruthlessly. It seems that much of the downtrodden white working class in England, long crowded out by the Indians and now having to compete against hustling Eastern Europeans, want to kick out the latter, have no interest in more of the former and really don’t want to hear, let alone learn, any Mandarin at all.

    Perhaps most would prefer to align with the U.S., at least they almost speak the same language, they did rescue Mother England twice and there’s always Disneyland and Hollywood!

    There are those in the City of London who will go wherever they will get the highest return, and they are going to sit on their wallets until the last moment to see what the new currency will look like before making their move.

    These crowds love their pound notes, too.

    The Remainers want what most of those on the continent want, for some form of the endless cafe life to continue. Afraid of change, almost all are oblivious to the hard economic reality quickly approaching.

    I think Mr. Corbyn knows very well what’s coming and just wants to remain politically viable until he can reinvigorate the working class to overthrow the predatory financial class, hopefully before the currency reset takes hold and the “new” bosses continue the same old rigged game. He also knows that smaller is easier to organize than larger.

    To think this whole Brexit fiasco was due to a basic political miscalculation, or was it?

  9. Tom Kath
    September 17, 2019 at 20:42

    I feel some poetry coming on, and appeal to our “site poet” to polish my vague sensation – Let’s call it Suspicion & Mistrust.

    I suspect the zeal and fervour
    Of the Born Again Non smoker
    And mistrust the displayed anger
    Of the vegan climate changer

    I suspect the tale of fear
    Of the Europhile remainer
    And mistrust the large retainer
    For the MAGA brexiteer

    As for Corbyn, I actually hold out considerable hope for some unpredicted support for him due to suspicion, mistrust, and resentment about the obviously dirty media campaign against him personally.

  10. Jeff Harrison
    September 17, 2019 at 19:18

    Yes, sweep away the last remnants of the old constitutional monarchy and replace it with a new unelected monarchy. A monarchy just as ruthless, callous, and self centered as the monarchies of old, only this monarch will be called oligarch.

  11. hetro
    September 17, 2019 at 18:08

    By a ratio of 2:1, voters think it’s “fundamentally undemocratic” for some MPs to try and prevent Brexit.

    In view of which spider web is the biggest, why is it unreasonable to let the voters take whatever next steps are needed following, finally, the Brexit voted for three years ago?

    My problem with this piece is its absolute undefended certainty that Brexit is doomsday on steroids due to the American influence, versus merely doomsday due to the EU influence.

    Let me have further argument on this assumption.

  12. LJ
    September 17, 2019 at 18:02

    Great Britain isn’t the only Democracy that has a political crisis that seems impossible to resolve because of the intractable positions of the main parties groups in control of the process.. Look at the USA, Italy, Spain, France,even Germany let alone European countries like Montenegro or Ukraine. The politics of Divide and Conquer have set the people who work against themselves while the ultra-rich, banks and corporations take even more of the pie. Corbyn understands this so he has been demonized by Britain’s media with the support of the Government. Unfortunately for you Brits, there is no answer. Corbyn cannot work a miracle. He won’t have the votes so I would guess Independence for Scotland is inevitable and Britain and Wales will have to form new political parties and create a new consensus. Is this possible?. Unlikely not just in England, In Spain , in Catalonia, in Kosovo, in Northern Italy, etc. Democracy is failing,,,, finacialized/ disaster capitalism is on a march and the process has been gamed . Until people actually start to suffer and there is rioting in the streets in many countries at the same time you won’t see politicians do what is necessary. Tax the rich and make a correction in the Political Economic Infrastructure that pays for necessary social costs and spreads the burdesn fairly.. Neo-liberals don’t want to do that. . Hard for Corbyn to do that , hard for Bernie Sanders, Hard for anybody. More finger pointing and whining for at least one more election cycle I’m afraid.

    • Tom Kath
      September 17, 2019 at 23:58

      Farage is absolutely correct in one regard – The population(not only in UK) is no longer divided along traditional lines (Toff/worker, conservative/liberal, employers/labour, republican/democrat) but with increasing clarity along the lines of global/national, ideological/territorial, multi cultural/cultural. The catch cry “democracy” is used equally by both sides, and not surprisingly, the alignment is very close to 50/50.

      A serious thinker can see some other originating and supporting 50/50 divides !

    • DH Fabian
      September 18, 2019 at 14:26

      Many ARE suffering. They’ve just been disappeared from the media and public discussion. The crises in the West are the consequences of what began with the Reagan/Thatcher era. In the US, it will be necessary for more of the working class to be pushed into poverty, to be perceived as a potential threat to liberals and the political establishment. I can’t speak about Corbyn, but I can (pointing to his own record) note that Sen. Sanders leaned well to the capitalist right, picking up support from the media marketed to middle class liberals. There aren’t enough of those left, to win the 2020 election. Yes, the middle class do call for taxing the rich, to the benefit of the middle class. It’s precisely this deep split among the “masses,” middle class vs. poor, that makes it so difficult to anticipate what will happen next.

    • elmerfudzie
      September 20, 2019 at 12:07

      LJ, In a round about way, the basic principles of democracy are thriving in the EU (Eurozone). The general consensus (I heard a figure of 78% of the citizenry at large) seems to be that, after all the street riots, discontent and sufferings, the average prole still supports the concept of the Euro. Greeks, Italians, Spanish, none of them, wish to return to their domestic currencies despite the high unemployment and attendant miseries. The average European is fed up with German and French bankers who got bailed out at the expense of individual European governments. Seems as tho, the working class share a mutual discontent with the leadership in Brussels in that, they have yet to resolve the problem of a devalued Euro in one country over another member country. This parity issue results in trade imbalances and exacerbates high unemployment in various spots throughout the EU. Looming limitless over the EU and the Euro is the possible collapse of the Chinese economy and very few “experts” are talking about it.

    • LJ
      September 20, 2019 at 14:54

      Elmer the bankers always get over, always will. Though banks operate under the auspices of the American flag and Pax Americana and Pax Europa , the now enshrined truth of the matter is that “They” are too big to fail. . Its a problem see reparations: WW 1. Now, who is the dominant force in the EU > Germany without a shot fired and German dominance is growing with every new Regime Change that the US ( With German and French backing) can engineer. What happened to Great Britain and Churchill and Montgomery having won WW2? England is different. A true Brit doesn’t prefer a roll of Euros in their pocket. They prefer Pounds. Point 2, if we could trust polls Trump would not be President and David Cameron would still be Prime Minister and May would have won a decisive majority and Jeremy Corbyn would sure as hell not be positioned to be voted into Number 10. Thirdly, the Chinese economy will not collapse. The West will collapse if China builds a 2.0, 5g New Great Wall and stages a virtual Boxer Rebellion with the Yuan or Cryptocurrency and kicks out foreign investment. They do not need you or me or Investment from the West . With Russian Oil, Gas and Defense Tech their future is without bounds They have more consumers than the USA EU Canada Aastralia combined and they are leapfrogging US Industrial technology.. Finally , the way I see it in the last 3 if not 4 elections Populist anti EU forces have been making gains in Brussels and the Euro Centrists have been circling the wagons. The EU Parlimentary system is like England . It takes 3 election if not more to get someone out who has entrenched themselves even when it is obvious that they have lost public support. Without Merkel change is imminent, Watch as the worldwide Recession unfolds how much faith the common man has and in the EU resists Populist , nationalist tendencies when his own pants are on fire. Just my opinion.

    • Josep
      September 21, 2019 at 11:47


      Now, who is the dominant force in the EU > Germany without a shot fired and German dominance is growing with every new Regime Change that the US ( With German and French backing) can engineer. What happened to Great Britain and Churchill and Montgomery having won WW2? England is different. A true Brit doesn’t prefer a roll of Euros in their pocket. They prefer Pounds.

      “Great” Britain didn’t win WWII as is parrotted by the MSM. It was Russia who did the heavy lifting.
      At least one other column on this site has discussed Churchill’s misconduct, most notably how Churchill dragged Britain into an unnecessary war like WWII. Just like WWI, this was yet another example of the UK meddling in continental European affairs. Little has changed since then.
      After the war, Britain and West Germany received millions in Marshall Plan aid. Britain received more money than West Germany did and yet staggered economically (my best guess is that Britain squandered it, but yours is as good as mine).

  13. elmerfudzie
    September 17, 2019 at 17:37

    De Gaulle of France didn’t want England in the Common Market (EU) because he knew that the Brits would be uncooperative and slow to participate (actively). Some things never change! there was no misjudgement and his forecast proved to be spot on. It’s all in full view now, the UK was the only country within the EU outside of Schengen and also failed to embrace the Euro as a common currency.

    • Josep
      September 20, 2019 at 12:13

      The UK also continues to have speed limits in miles per hour, unlike the rest of Europe. Heck, Ireland finished its switch to kilometers in 2005.

      Whatever the moral failings of the EU, the term “Inselaffe” (“island-monkeys”) starts to sound more factual than prejudicial, if the UK’s foreign policy, in lockstep with the USA’s, is anything to go by.

    • elmerfudzie
      September 21, 2019 at 23:39

      Reply to LJ from Elmerfudzie. Your reply to me had one too many moving parts in it so I’ll just zoom out and provide a bigger picture, this, in response to your many comments.

      After England no longer “ruled the waves” it deliberately chose to substitute this power loss with a financialist-banksterism AKA money laundering, tax evasion schemes, domestic privatization programs (ripoffs of publicly owned trusts) and the like. A world wide fiat currency system only compounded this substitution when fictional capital became all the rage. The two London banking centers or CBD’s were a buzz with fractional reserve strategies and now the entire enterprise is coming home to roost, namely the Panama Papers, the 2007-8 financial crisis, the Northern Rock collapse. The error being, the use of cash from international money markets in lieu of customer deposits as the source of monies to lend to homeowners. When this voodoo book keeping failed, the banksters were rewarded not punished. So, when the books couldn’t be balanced at Northern Rock, it was nationalized in February 2008. ditto, privatizing national health care, ditto, cutting down half the (publicly owned) trees in London because the projected long term maintenance costs were more efficient that way. The raw lumber? pocketed by some damn corporate entity of course! Natural beauty was subdued by financial practicality…The Brits would have done much better sticking to the Labor culture found in Clement Attlee’s (the UK’s PM following WWII) socialist ideals. After all, the banskters knew where to run when all their capitalist, knavish maneuverings failed, run to Uncle Sam for a bailout, let the peoples tax revenues pick up the tab! this same crooked thinking appeared during Gordon Brown’s stay at 10 Downing, let’s plunder Iceland. Order them to pay off debts incurred by our Bankster classes in the CBD! I’m not offering high praise for Wall Street either, their up to the same bankster shenanigans!

  14. bill
    September 17, 2019 at 15:03

    Is this the real motivation behind Johnson no-deal strategy? See:
    “BREXIT DISASTER CAPITALISM: £8 Billion Bet on No Deal Crash-Out by Boris Johnson’s Leave Backers”
    Byline Times Team, 11 September 2019

  15. Litchfield
    September 17, 2019 at 13:02

    A very helpful analysis.
    Thanks, Jonathan Cook.
    I hope that many in the UK will read it.

    And, glad to see Cook here an CN.

    • Frederike
      September 17, 2019 at 23:59

      I agree. And I , too, am glad to see Jonathon Cook’s contributions here at CN.

  16. Donald Duck
    September 17, 2019 at 11:31

    Since 1945, Europe has not been separate from the United States, it has effectively been run by the United States. Operation Gladio ring a bell? Europe as a whole as well as the UK is doubly occupied. Firstly by Washington -the Boss, and then Brussels, the sub-contractor. The main instruments of control have been the financial institutions, IMF, World Bank. World Trade Organization, and of course the global reserve status of the US$. Neoliberalism was after all and American export to Europe. Then there is NATO, another instrument whereby the US effectively controls Europe. None of the establishment political parties – right, left or centre – object to this arrangement, apart from Atlanticist knuckleheads like the UK, Poland and the Baltics who actually want more of it. Imagine, the Poles are intent on building a ‘Fort Trump’.

  17. evelync
    September 17, 2019 at 11:15

    Great article!
    Sounds like we’re headed towards a perfect storm of self destruction.
    The “best and the brightest” lemmings are racing us towards the cliff.

  18. Drew Hunkins
    September 17, 2019 at 10:02

    Just so we’re clear — the E.U. is a major part of the exploitative capitalist global empire.

    The E.U. is part and parcel of the parasitic financial elite and their global capitalism which is intent on austerity across the entire industrialized world. The IMF, Wall Street, City of London, World Bank, E.U. and the Fed will do absolutely nothing for everyday working people struggling with exorbitant housing costs; low wages; shoddy infrastructure; non-existent workers’ rights; debt peonage via credit cards, student loans and child care. They sat back and didn’t do anything — in fact, helped foster it — in the face of the stunning inequality that’s been growing across the industrialized world. Deaths of despair are up and so are hedge fund profits.

    The E.U. is a villain regardless of how many all-knowing cool headed liberals tell you otherwise. These same intellectuals NEVER lifted a finger to call out the rapacious exploitation we’ve been suffering under since the 1970s. They never uttered a word when our manufacturing jobs were shipped abroad, when our unions were destroyed, when our public schools were underfunded and the social safety net was eviscerated.

    • John Wright
      September 17, 2019 at 21:56

      The Germans were quite vocal when Reagan began destroying the U.S. industrial sector in earnest, as were the Japanese.

      As I recall, the French smirked.

      It was the City of London which egged on their Wall Street colleagues, knowing full well how quickly capital could accumulate in the hands of the well placed.

    • Seamus Padraig
      September 18, 2019 at 13:14

      Yup. Greece should have been a wake-up call for these lefty Remainers; but they just keep on cooing about how the EU ‘gave us our rights’. Sad …

  19. Skip Scott
    September 17, 2019 at 09:43

    This is the absolutely best article I’ve read yet about the possibilities for Brexit. The question is whether anything can be done to mitigate the coming collapse of empire and ease us into a less traumatic evolution to a more localized and citizen controlled future. These things can’t even be discussed in the corporate controlled MSM, except around the perimeter with people like AOC proposing a Green New Deal. Tulsi’s expulsion from the debates exposes the real limits of acceptable discussion for the corporate controlled media.

    Thank you CN and Jonathan Cook.

  20. Fug
    September 17, 2019 at 06:00

    Jeremy Corbyn has already signed his Political Death Warrant. I can remember some of Jeremy Corbyn’s anti European Union rhetoric before him been elected as head of the Labour Party. Why would anybody want to vote for a Turncoat, Especially when he seems to think Integrity is spelled m.o.n.e.y I am sure Jeremy Corbyn can get his appointment to the European Council especially for all the good work he did for the them either unwittingly or through design. He would make a good replacement for Donald Tusk and can give us more mendacity about how he will reform the unelected organisation. I can honestly say i am a little bit disappointed. I would have loved to see Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister and him selling the Public his first War, or Humanitarian Intervention as the would put it. Good riddance Jeremy ‘Hussein’ Corbyn.

    • bevin
      September 17, 2019 at 21:29

      What you [Fug] say is not just unfair but unsubstantiated. Corbyn today made it clear that he respects the decision of the referendum and that he would not campaign again for Remain.
      The problem is that people expect Corbyn to act as if he were not a democrat who regards his ‘leadership’ position as binding him to pursue policy set by Conference and agreed by the membership’s NEC.
      As to the suggestion that Corbyn has sold out or would accept a job in the EU that really is an infamous slander not just on him but the hundreds of thousands of members who support him and trust him.
      Clearly you did not read the outstanding article by Cook.

  21. RobertB
    September 17, 2019 at 05:33

    Good stuff, although warning of the imminent “destruction of the planet” is a bit off the mark. Mass extinctions do bring on colossal death among animals and plants, but the planet itself survives. If even a scrap of algae makes it through the extinction event, life continues as well, albeit in different forms than before the event. The planet will come through this upcoming extreme die-off just fine. It may take 150K years to rebalance the carbon cycle and refreeze the poles, but what is 150K years to a planet? Conflating the end of humanity with the destruction of the planet is hyperbolic.

    • Litchfield
      September 17, 2019 at 13:06

      “Conflating the end of humanity with the destruction of the planet is hyperbolic.”

      Cook may be using “the planet” as a metonym.

      “The planet” stands for “a planet habitable by humans and other species that currently cohabit the planet with us.”

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