From a sterile Parliament to the real world which shapes our lives

27 February 2019

Another fortnight, another storm in the politicians' Brexit tea cup and another parliamentary grouping formed in the Commons.
    What do the 11 members (8 ex-Labour and 3 ex-Tory) of this "Independent" group aim to achieve?  They're against May's policy on Brexit.  Some of the group's ex-Tories are against May's austerity (about time, after all these years!!), while some ex-Labour hark back to Blair and are using this opportunity to have a go at Corbyn.
    But it's far more difficult to work out what they actually stand for.  Oh yes: they want to reclaim the "centre ground" of British politics!
    Strangely enough, though, these politicians who've been fighting each other for years, from opposite sides of the Commons, have suddenly seen the same light!  They are perfect examples of how the politicians of the capitalist class are interchangeable, according to their masters' needs.  And, indeed, in this case, the masters' need is what this is all really about: what these dissenters have in common is their support for the wish list of big business in the Brexit process!
    Needless to say, the working class has nothing to expect from these so-called "independents" who are so heavily dependent on their City masters.  In fact, there is nothing to choose between them and the other parliamentary parties, which, behind the bluster, are just as committed to the same capitalist interests.
    Ironically, though, because of May's fragile "majority", the mere emergence of this 13-strong micro-party, was enough to change the Commons' voting arithmetic.  And this is why its launch has been followed by sudden U-turns on all sides.
    So, after months of adamantly sticking to her guns and boasting that anyone wanting to postpone the B-date would have to climb over her dead body, May is now offering MPs a chance to vote for a postponement of said B-Day!
    Of course, May's position was just a device to placate her hard-Brexiteers.  Today, however, she has no option but to reconcile the irreconcilable.  To find a majority, she has to keep her hard-Brexiteer allies onboard, while preventing the "Independent" dissenters from rallying those who are determined to prevent a cliff-edge Brexit.
    Likewise, Corbyn's sudden U-turn in favour of a second referendum, has similar reasons: for him, this might well be the only way to win a no-confidence vote against May, but it is certainly the best way to stop Labour MPs from crossing over to the new Independent Group!
    Will any of these convoluted manoeuvres change the outcome of the Brexit saga?  No-one knows, because no-one can predict the irresponsible behaviour of self-serving politicians nor the impact that this Brexit chaos will finally have on the real economy.
    What we do know, though, is what we can already see with our own eyes:  that the "great bright future" the Westminster Brexiteers were promising after Brexit, thanks to Britain "regaining its ability to sign its own trade deals", has already proved to be a complete fraud.  Out of the 69 existing trade deals already underwritten by the EU that the government was meant to "copy and paste" for Britain's benefit, only 7 have been dealt with so far and mostly with very small countries.  So much for the benefits of Britain going it alone!
    What we do know as well, is that one after the other, the big car manufacturers are using the opportunity offered by Brexit to restructure their production and cut jobs here.  The latest announcement - Honda's plan to close down its Swindon plant with 3,500 job cuts and twice as many indirect jobs affected - is all the more ironical given that, according to Honda itself, its main reason is the recent trade deal signed by the EU with Japan - to which Britain is not party!
    Meanwhile, the big financial firms have nothing to worry about.  While May was negotiating every dot and comma in her withdrawal agreement with her hard-Brexiteers, the world's big international banks (from the US, the EU and Britain) were quietly finalising agreements to ensure that there would be no interruption whatsoever in their very profitable businesses.
    Just as we know that international finance will be shielded from the consequences of Brexit whatever happens, we also hear that Britain's richest fat cat - Jim Ratcliffe, the owner of petro-chemical group INEOS and a raving hard-Brexit supporter - has decided to move his home and assets to the tax-haven of Monaco (which is part of the EU) ahead of B-Day!
    In a nutshell, this is the reality behind Brexit:  whichever form it takes, the top layers of the capitalist class will always find ways to recoup their losses, if not to make even more profits out of the whole process.  But for us workers, there will be no such protection, unless we use our muscle to defend our collective interests.