Post Brexit UK – EXZOOK – is building itself in future’s shadow. On the ship of state all is confusion, people with mouthfuls of nails. Someone cries Full steam ahead, Brokenshire to the forecastle. Someone else Captain Captain, it’s coming up thru the bilges!
Zoom to Southall: a black clad biker parks his machine across the traffic against the green light. Traffic lights embody give and take, fair shares. Not wanting to make a fuss the cars hold. Into the cross roads comes a horse drawn glass sided white coffin cart. Huge latest model limousines with shadowed glass nose behind followed by a chain of super-cars in close order. Shoppers stand and stare, some blocked drivers hoot. Local villains hold the road and not a thing to do about it. An old crone rounds on me, well why not she says let them enjoy their cash, it’s only a moment or two of bother, enjoy the display. Perhaps she is right, perhaps it is better to flaunt anti-social muscle openly so we get on quicker and elect these people Mayors.
The tide of crime rises higher. National Security Adviser Sir Mark Sedwill puts cost of serious and organised crime to the UK at £34 billion. Unserious disorganized crime is left to under-funded Pc Plod and the street barons, becomes sanitised by being called the grey or informal economy. The police are told to back off so that the poor may have enough cash to keep factory lights burning somewhere in the world. The flirtation or instrumentalisation of crime began with the black money put up for the referendum. This has morphed into the amused tolerance of the well protected, in its turn shading into incitement. Here is Charles Moore in the Spectator,
Perhaps it is time for a Brexit recipe book, like those comforting wartime rationing ones full of bright ideas for dull things. In our part of the south coast we have racier ideas. We have a centuries-old tradition of smuggling (‘brandy for the parson, baccy for the clerk’), and are ready to set out in our little ships to Dunkirk or wherever and bring back luscious black-market lettuces and French beans, oranges and lemons. Our Sussex and Kent smugglers used to be known as ‘free traders’, which is interesting and — if we have to sneak over an EU tariff wall — entirely appropriate for today.
There you are: two for the price of one, Dunkirk and smuggling. But it won’t be Charles Moore who pulls on his waders in the middle of the night and clambers over the rocks into his Zodiac or any of the people at the parson end of the chain. It’ll be the cocaine gangs of today getting out of Tooting at last and having a go at Littlehampton and Totnes. Adventure training, just what the doctor ordered, the press-gangs won’t be far behind so we can get back to an all Brit staffed merchant fleet again. The clever money is going into prison farm schemes to replace Eastern European seasonals, the marque to look for is BritpikBio. With all colours of poor trapped on the island and no fresh blood come in the English will be colonial masters in their very own land, the jovial brutality of power share between an oligarchy – the usual suspects – and the tecked up mobsters.
Whatever else it will be EXZOOK will be maritime. The high Arctic will call, the Irish sea will be a boiling and a bubbling with submarines and smugglers. The unacknowledged militia of little boats for the fish wars will be studded, hard tipped with military resources from Whitehall’s dodgy cupboards. Government vision nudges already at the theme, islands taking the place of ships. Here is Foreign Secretary Hunt speaking in Singapore,
Britain’s post-Brexit role should be to act as an invisible chain linking together the democracies of the world, those countries which share our values and support our belief in free trade, the rule of law and open societies.
Why invisible? So know one can tell? Might as well say occult liaison. And chain, well there you go you slave master you. Oh yes, Singapore, that place we once lost so stupidly and now we want to roll over on our backs to welcome in its modern masters. Home Secretary Javid speaking recently said,
My hon. Friend will have heard the Chancellor announce in the Budget that we will be expanding e-gates to five other countries—the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan—and we will now also be adding Singapore and South Korea to that list.
You can figure out the way minds at the top are going, protected by their costly security jobsworths who in their lower ranks merge with criminal milieu (think G4S). Shankar A. Singham (the brain of Brexit) is quite clear who should be inside the ring,
Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, UK, US.
That is to say the ancient Anglo-Saxon five eyes spydom plus two handy laundries. EXZOOK is emerging now from the Channel fog that cuts off the Continent. A flotilla of cleverly structured territorial interests as wide apart as Jersey, Diego Garcia, Bahamas. Land become islands become ships, hi-tech outposts of the motherland. A world-wide sea-based state expressed in variable lego-financial geometry.
If it wasn’t for the faces of its representatives I would be sorry not to be a part of it. Their pragmatic world view is that Johnny Foreigner won’t recover from the creative destruction of colonialism but will limp along in wot Britguv calls fragile states, unhappy sandwiches of business and tribal interests in a boxing ring marked out by colonial map makers.
More natural for those peoples to somersault forwards into the new diaspora based supa-tribes circling the globe and dangling their feeding tubes where they will, which brings us back to Hunt’s invisible chain or more kindly, linked pods, keeping watch on migrant flows.
And now a musical interlude channelled from Caradoc of Llancarfan,
…Britain, the fairest of islands, whose name of old was Albion, which lies in the Western Ocean twixt Gaul and Ireland, is eight hundred miles in length and two hundred broad, supplying the needs of its people with unending bounty. Its wide plains and rolling hills fill the land, and into its harbours flow the goods of many nations. It has forests and woods wherein are found all manner of creatures and wild beasts, and bees gather nectar from its flowers. It has beautiful meadows at the foot of rugged mountains, and pure clean springs with lakes and rivers teeming with all manner of fish. There are three great rivers: the Thames, the Humber, and the Severn, and these embrace the island like three great arms, along them being carried the trade and produce of lands across the seas. In ancient times there beautified the land three and thirty great and noble cities, of which some are now desolate, their walls cast down. But others are still lived in, and contain sacred places within them for the worship of God. And the land is now inhabited by five peoples: the Britons, the Normans, the Saxons, the Picts, and the Scots. And of all these peoples, it is the Britons who were its first inhabitants and who once filled the land from the Channel to the Irish Sea – until, that is, the judgment of God fell upon them for their iniquities…
Lovely innit? And the divine madness of … and in the hills. We shall never surrender… Cor blimey sir, that means we’re in the Final. The power of Britain uber alles. The children and grandchildren of The Few have this ache, you see, they want to be alone with their kin against the world like in 1940. They are defending investment territory that was lost to the Americans in 1945. If the EU ever invades they will set off like their Viking ancestors vaguely north west, arranging with Denmark to colonise Greenland and call it New Surrey. But mixed in also is the yearning to be alone of an animal that knows it is dying, that knows that all white no longer signifies all right.
Thatcher dissolved the English enigma into its parts there is no such thing as society making Englishness less than it was. Some mystic Gainsborough vagabond must have caught her on the raw. England suffered in return a hurt it couldn’t recover from. It is as though the extension of public well-being between the reform bill of 1831 and Attlee’s government had never happened. What ho the Lion, never mind the Unicorn.
The contradiction at the heart of the Welfare State – the more you improved the health of the poor the longer they would live to burden the other provisions to the point of collapse made it easy pickings for Thatcher. Public service had become bloated by political Trade Unionism. Certain economic theorists saw that you had to drive down the poor and drive up the rich, force a gap in which you built a security barrier. The castle, the moat and the wilderness. And in the moat you put all those who long for power but should never be given it. And you let them fight amongst themselves so no one dares cross. And you have perfect intelligence of all that happens in that mad muddy scramble.