If as I believe parties emerge and are sustained by real material interests then it is a no-brainer. A new “centrist” anti-Brexit party modelled on the movement of President Macron must emerge in Britain. And before very much longer.
! RED ALERT !
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As I have said many times, there is no serious political expression for what is an urgent priority for a powerful section of Britain’s ruling class, namely a scuppering of Brexit with just 20 months to go and counting.
Finance capital in Britain, the most powerful section of our ruling elite, is utterly implacably and urgently opposed to Brexit.
Big industrial capital, such as it now is, is equally opposed.
Britain’s deep state, Whitehall, the BBC, the “serious” media from The Guardian to The Times, most of the House of Lords, most (despite appearances) of the House of Commons, in other words all the forces of globalisation, of the liquidisation of the nation-state as society’s basic building bloc, remain absolutely opposed to Brexit.
In these circumstances it is inconceivable that such powerful interests can accept that they have no party to speak and vote for them. As a matter of brute logic, one must emerge.
They have two problems. The first is that all the signs are that public opinion is moving apparently ineluctably not just towards acceptance of the decision to leave the EU but towards really leaving it, in other words a “hard Brexit”. But this makes their task even more urgent.
Secondly, there is a remarkable stability about the British party political system. Whilst there were several great ruptures in the 19th Century it is the best part of a hundred years since a break-away party prospered in any sustained way.
Sure, both the SNP and UKIP made breakthroughs, and they may not be finished yet, but today it looks like both have passed their peak.
Nonetheless the ruling class currently has no Conservative Party which serves its interests (even though from Downing Street downwards it would like to, but cannot) and Labour has a leadership struggling to square the circle with the great majority of its MPs on this and other issues. Labour has an alternative leadership, from Ummuna to Cooper and at least a hundred Labour MPs in between all dressed up with nowhere to go.
Its true there is a Liberal Democrat dirty dozen or so but the last election showed that for a variety of reasons – recent, historical and a lack of star-power – they are not up to the job. Sir Vince Cable is not Macron and neither was Tim Farron before him. They are doomed to be a small part of the re-alignment, not the re-alignment itself.
The putative new party has, as will be obvious from the gallery of sectional interests objectively requiring it, potentially unlimited financial power behind them. Tony Blair’s £10 million pounds or so should be seen as merely seed money. A £100 million pound war-chest would be the very minimum that such a grouping could bring to the table. After all, the ruling elite which needs them consider themselves exposed to far greater losses than that.
Launched with a splash, with tens of millions behind them, with what passes for star-power in Britain’s shrunken political class at their head they will hope they can buck the historical trend. Britain’s sink estate, hitherto known as the fourth estate, will strain might and main to try and ensure their success.
There are certainly many trigger points easily enough envisaged.
A cabinet resignation might be one. If you thought Sir Geoffrey Howe was the most unlikely (and boring) destroyer think Philip Hammond. A resignation of the Chancellor is always damaging and if pitched as a “soft-Brexit” resignation it could trigger others. Formal or informal detachment from the government whip of scores of Tory MPs could follow.
A purely parliamentary coalition of those Tories, the 100 anti-Brexit Labourites, the Lib-Dems and the SNP etc would then constitute the second largest group in Parliament and thus could become Her Majesty’s Official Opposition.
The breakdown of negotiations in Brussels could easily be engineered by the Eurocrats with whom the new party will be working hand in glove as a kind of fifth column. That could be another trigger.
There could be others, say the announcement by, say, a major car-maker that they were pulling out of, say, Sunderland. Some “game-changing” event is not hard to hypothesise.
Of one thing, I’m sure. The British ruling globalising elite have not accepted their defeat in the EU referendum. And they will not go quietly into the goodnight they believe Brexit to be.