Now we know what “global Britain” means. Optimists have clung to Theresa May’s phrase in the hope that Brexit might avoid falling into insularity and isolation; that a hint of liberal England might survive Brexit. But with May in Saudi Arabia, Philip Hammond trying to build empire 2.0 in India, and trade secretary Liam Fox visiting Gulf tyrants and a Philippines president busy wiping out his own citizens, we can rid ourselves of such illusions.
History repeats itself first as tragedy then as farce, said Marx. Certainly there is something ridiculous about May, Fox and foreign secretary Boris Johnson scampering around the world as if the last 150 years hadn’t happened, dreaming of a military presence east of Suez while clearly desperate for a deal with any human-rights-abusing dictator that will meet them. But it is no less frightening for that. A ruling elite tortured by its inability to rule the world, which believes such a role is its birthright, can still make dangerous decisions.
“Global Britain”, the international component of Brexit, is just such a decision. It is a strategy that the hard right has dreamed of for decades. We will be the financier and arms merchant to dictators. We will be the trading centre for financial products too dangerous for European standards. We will be the premier investment hub for the emerging super rich of the developing world, where everything can be bought for a good enough price. Britain is for sale, and we don’t much care who is buying.
All of that running around the world may or may not be a good thing. Meeting lots of dusky Johnny Foreigners and asking whether they’d like to buy our lovely Maxim guns, agreeing that they can come and trade, no worries about skin colour or national origin, in our marketplaces.
Hey, make up your own minds about the desirability or not of that.
But it’s not exactly insularity and isolation now, is it?
Last week, development secretary Priti Patel opened the London stock market and promised to use British aid to expand the City’s financial tentacles into Africa as a great “development partner”.
That’s insular isolation?
And this is where Dearden shows he’s a twat:
And what sort of society is this is likely to create? While this pomp and wealth is enjoyed by the government overseas, it presides over a society where public services are collapsing, homelessness is more visible by the day, social divisions become deep canyons. The domestic implications of “global Britain” will only pour salt into these wounds. A service economy for the corrupt super rich has no need of well paid and fulfilling employment, or a healthy and educated workforce. It needs cleaners and baristas, and call centre operatives and fast food workers. It needs them to be cheap and plentiful. Everyone else will have to survive on jingoism and blaming migrants for their problems.
The best paid jobs in Britain are in the financial services in The City, nu? It’s our biggest export sector, most productive industry…..