"The pith helmets may have long gone, but the blood has never dried. A nineteenth century contempt for countries and peoples, depending on their degree of colonial usefulness, remains a centerpiece of modern "globalization", with its perverse socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor: its freedom for capital and denial of freedom to labor; its perfidious politicians and politicized civil servants.
"The most effective propagandists of the 'European ideal' have not been the far right, but an insufferably patrician class for whom metropolitan London is the United Kingdom. Its leading members see themselves as liberal, enlightened, cultivated tribunes of the 21st century zeitgeist, even 'cool'. What they really are is a bourgeoisie with insatiable consumerist tastes & ancient instincts of their own superiority. In their house paper, the Guardian, they have gloated, day after day, at those who would even consider the EU profoundly undemocratic, a source of social injustice & a virulent extremism known as 'neoliberalism'.
"The aim of this extremism is to install a permanent, capitalist theocracy that ensures a two-thirds society, with the majority divided & indebted, managed by a corporate class, and a permanent working poor. In Britain today, 63 per cent of poor children grow up in families where one member is working. For them, the trap has closed. More than 600,000 residents of Britain's second city, Greater Manchester, are, reports a study, 'experiencing the effects of extreme poverty' & 1.6 million are slipping into penury.
"Little of this social catastrophe is acknowledged in the bourgeois controlled media, notably the Oxbridge dominated BBC. During the referendum campaign, almost no insightful analysis was allowed to intrude upon the clichéd hysteria about 'leaving Europe', as if Britain was about to be towed in hostile currents somewhere north of Iceland.
"On the morning after the vote, a BBC radio reporter welcomed politicians to his studio as old chums. 'Well,' he said to 'Lord' Peter Mandelson, the disgraced architect of Blairism, 'why do these people want it so badly?' The 'these people' are the majority of Britons.
"The wealthy war criminal Tony Blair remains a hero of the Mandelson 'European' class, though few will say so these days. The Guardian once described Blair as 'mystical' & has been true to his 'project' of rapacious war. The day after the vote, the columnist Martin Kettle offered a Brechtian solution to the misuse of democracy by the masses. 'Now surely we can agree referendums are bad for Britain', said the headline over his full-page piece. The 'we' was unexplained but understood — just as 'these people' is understood. 'The referendum has conferred less legitimacy on politics, not more,' wrote Kettle. ' … the verdict on referendums should be a ruthless one. Never again.'
"The kind of ruthlessness Kettle longs for is found in Greece, a country now airbrushed. There, they had a referendum & the result was ignored. Like the Labour Party in Britain, the leaders of the Syriza government in Athens are the products of an affluent, highly privileged, educated middle class, groomed in the fakery & political treachery of post-modernism. The Greek people courageously used the referendum to demand their government sought 'better terms' with a venal status quo in Brussels that was crushing the life out of their country. They were betrayed, as the British would have been betrayed.
"On Friday, the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, was asked by the BBC if he would pay tribute to the departed Cameron, his comrade in the 'remain' campaign. Corbyn fulsomely praised Cameron's 'dignity' & noted his backing for gay marriage & his apology to the Irish families of the dead of Bloody Sunday. He said nothing about Cameron's divisiveness, his brutal austerity policies, his lies about 'protecting' the Health Service. Neither did he remind people of the war mongering of the Cameron government: the dispatch of British special forces to Libya & British bomb aimers to Saudi Arabia and, above all, the beckoning of world war three.
"In the week of the referendum vote, no British politician and, to my knowledge, no journalist referred to Vladimir Putin's speech in St. Petersburg commemorating the seventy-fifth anniversary of Nazi Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union on 22 June, 1941. The Soviet victory – at a cost of 27 million Soviet lives & the majority of all German forces – won the Second World War.
"Putin likened the current frenzied build up of Nato troops & war material on Russia's western borders to the Third Reich's Operation Barbarossa. Nato's exercises in Poland were the biggest since the Nazi invasion; Operation Anaconda had simulated an attack on Russia, presumably with nuclear weapons. On the eve of the referendum, the quisling secretary-general of Nato, Jens Stoltenberg, warned Britons they would be endangering 'peace & security' if they voted to leave the EU. The millions who ignored him & Cameron, Osborne, Corbyn, Obama & the man who runs the Bank of England may, just may, have struck a blow for real peace & democracy in Europe."
The original article can be seen here:
John Pilger: Why the British Said No to Europe