Thursday 19 January 2017

What on earth are 55% of British people thinking?

It's becoming increasingly clear that huge numbers of people didn't even understand what Theresa May was actually saying in her woeful Brexit speech. They just bought into all the flag-waving patriotism, delusionally over-optimistic fantasies and vacuous self-contradictory gubbins and ignored the main economic points entirely.

She's clearly demanded that the EU give preferential access to favoured corporate sectors of the economy (the financial sector and vehicle manufacturing were mentioned by name) while small and medium businesses, start-ups, independent traders, local shops and the like (both in the UK and in Europe) suffer the economic damage of the new trade barrier she's intent on erecting.

Towards the end of the speech she made it clear that if she doesn't get this pro-corporate wishlist fulfilled, she's going to turn the UK into a vast bargain basement corporate tax haven in retribution.

Thus the choice is between a deeply divided country where the banks and major corporations with the economic might to bribe/coerce the Tories into actually representing their trade interests get to keep access to the Single Market, whilst the rest of us suffer the consequences of being forced out of it, or the Tories follow through on their threat and turn the UK into a corporate tax haven then set about wrecking the remaining vestiges of the social democratic model (the NHS, schools, other public services, public infrastructure, the social security system, Legal Aid ...) to cover the cost of bribing multinational corporations to relocate here.

This choice between two Tory corporate dystopias won't even be in our hands either. The choice will be in the hands of our 27 former European allies, and given the icy response to Theresa May's Brexit speech on the continent, they're hardly going to allow the Tories to cherry-pick the best bits of Single Market access for their favoured corporations. They're almost certainly going to call Theresa May's bluff and say "go on then, turn yourselves into a basket case corporate tax haven and see who comes off worst".

There remains a strong suspicion that the Tories have deliberately put an impossible proposition on the negotiating table so that they can cry victim when the EU rebuffs it. "we don't actually want to do this" they'll claim as they slash corporation tax to near zero and set about gleefully trashing what remains of our public services "but the nasty, evil, foreign EU concentration camp guards made us do it as punishment for trying to escape".

Astoundingly a post Brexit Speech YouGov poll found that 55% of British people actually think this ludicrous pro-corporate threat-based posturing from the Tories is going to eventually turn out well for Britain and 47% of us still have faith in Theresa May's negotiating skills, even after she's just had a foot-stamping toddler tantrum on the international stage while dressed in a tartan clown suit!

Given the overwhelming public support for this ludicrous "give our favoured corporations special advantages over the rest of the UK economy or we're turning ourselves into a tax haven" stance, I can't help thinking that the British people are going to end up suffering the appalling consequences that so often befall gullible people who can't/won't engage their critical thinking skills, even when their entire future depends upon it.

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