Monday, June 12, 2017

COTW: Britain's Hung Parliament

Jeremy Corbyn can declare a Pyrrhic victory in Britain [chart above] since Tory Prime Minister Theresa May failed to achieve a mandate for her course to exit the EU in a snap general election. The loss of the Tories slim majority in Parliament indicates the depth of dissatisfaction with austerity policies among young voters. Two thirds of voters under twenty-four voted Labour. Half under thirty-four voted Labour. [see chart below, credit: Financial Times] Corbyn's party did not win an outright majority but pulled to within three points of the Tories' vote total. Many commentators are saying that the shocking outcome--once again the Murdoch dominated CMM got it totally wrong predicting a Tory landslide--leaves the Tory "Brixit" policy in ruins. It certainly gives EU negotiators more leverage over Britain's exit from the single market, if it ever materializes. Even the hardcore capitalist newspaper, Financial Times, has appealed to Jeremy Corbyn in its editorial pages to abandon a "hard exit" from the Union. How the British economy can successfully compete without the trade advantages of its natural European market is becoming increasing problematic. Estimates are that post-Brexit trade with the European Union may fall by 40 percent, and foreign investment by 20 percent.
the Queen addresses her subjects, Getty Images

May is attempting to cobble a working governing arrangement with the cranky Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland, delaying the Queen's Speech to Parliament [photo]. The Liberal Party has already ruled out a coalition government with the Tories having been burned once before. Speculation is rife that a deal with the extreme Unionists--founded by Ulster fundamentalist Rev. Ian Paisley--will blow up in the Prime Minister's face, and a second general election will have to be called soon. Whether Corbyn can provide a real alternative to the Tory financial war machine remains to be determined given his constant capitulation to the neoliberal Blairites in his party. His opposition to driving out the right-wing MPs who sought his removal, agreeing to free votes on military action in Syria, the renewal of Trident nuclear weapons, and then incorporating these retreats into his own manifesto indicate his wiliness to accommodate the ruling plutocracy at the expense of workers.

The take-away lesson from the recent general elections: Anglo-Saxon nationalists on both sides of the Atlantic are caught in a game of pickle between the globalized ruling elites typified by the former Rothschild banker and newly elected French President Macron.