Sunday, 12 November 2017

James Dyson is promoting a ruinous "no deal" Brexit because he's insulated from the consequences

The billionaire James Dyson has appeared on the BBC to explain that he thinks that Theresa May and the Tories are blameless for screwing up the Brexit negotiations, and to demand that the Tory government conduct an extreme "no deal" Brexit in order to teach the EU27 some kind of lesson.

After absolving the Tory government of any blame for the Brexit shambles, and petulantly whining that Britain shouldn't have to make a financial contribution to cover the treaty obligations we signed up to during membership, he then argued that "we should walk away" because "that's the only way to deal with them" and "if we walk away, they'll come to us".

Anyone with children will recognise this kind of strategy from the behaviour of toddlers. It's the very small child refusing to eat their dinner in order to get parental attention isn't it? It's a classic from the if I sit here and starve myself for long enough, eventually daddy will come and spoon the food into my mouth making aeroplane noises school of negotiation.

One of the most glaringly obvious problems with this sub-juvenile approach is that a "no deal" Brexit will do way more damage to the UK economy than it will to the much bigger EU economy. 

Of course it would cause an economic downturn in the EU (for which Britain and the British people would be blamed), but the huge recession, the border chaos, the manufacturing and agricultural sector meltdowns, and the mass job losses would be happening in the UK.

This shockingly naive they'll come running if we collapse our own economy attitude relies on the fundamental misconception that they need us more than we need them. 

Dyson's faux outrage that it's "quite outrageous" that the EU are asking the UK to fulfil our treaty obligations with a financial settlement is utterly absurd too, because what sane nation would ever want to sign a trade deal with the UK after watching us tear up our deal with the EU and run away without fulfilling any of our obligations?

Why would anyone think that trade deals with Britain are worth the paper they're written on if we prove to the world that we just bail out without fulfilling our obligations whenever it suits us?

People like Dyson are living in an absurd bubble of delusion if they believe that deliberately trashing our own economy to prove a point, and visibly reneging on our treaty obligations will do anything but damage to the UK's standing on the international stage.

During the interview Dyson tried to add weight to his lunatic call for a ruinous "no deal" Brexit by claiming to have been having problems with the EU for 25 years. However what he somehow forgot to mention his history of demanding that Britain join the Eurozone. 

In 1998 he co-signed a fearmongering letter from British corporate executives claiming that failure to join the single currency would destroy jobs and cause a long-term blight on Britain as a manufacturing country, and argued that "if we delay too long there will be nothing left to save". And in 2001 he was still one of the most high-profile voices arguing that Britain should join the Eurozone.

It's extraordinary that this guy has gone from desperately fearmongering that Britain would be destroyed in an effort to coerce the UK government into joining the Euro, to pleading that the UK government inflict a massive act of self-harm on the nation by conducting an extreme "no deal" Brexit in order to teach the Europeans a lesson.

He's completely switched from being so rabidly pro-EU that he would have had us trapped into the Eurozone, to being so rabidly anti-EU that he wants to trigger a huge economic meltdown by quitting the EU with no agreements whatever on trade, customs, migration, the Irish border situation, security, aviation or anything else!

It's absolutely bizarre that anyone could take his political views seriously after such a ludicrous polar shift, but unfortunately it's increasingly the way in Brexit Britain that £billions in the bank and a propensity for spewing extremist rhetoric count for much more than stuff like evidence, analysis, coherence and consistency.

Dyson may be a billionaire, but he's clearly a clueless pillock when it comes to politics. He's absolving the Tory government of any blame whatever for the ridiculous shambles they're making of Brexit, and going along with the hard-right rhetoric that we need to trash our own economy and national reputation in order to teach the Europeans a lesson.

Not only is this kind of belligerent approach to the Brexit negotiations the diplomatic equivalent of a  toddler tantrum, it's also shockingly out of touch with reality.

The economic meltdown a "no deal" Brexit would trigger would make the 2007-08 bankers' crisis look mild in comparison. Hundreds of thousands of jobs would be lost, and the severe Tory squeeze on incomes and living standards would continue for many more years.

Dyson knows perfectly well that the Tories would do everything they can to protect the assets of the mega-rich in a crisis by loading the burden onto people like the working poor, the young, students, sick and disabled people, people who rely on social care and other public services, and the unemployed. After all, that's exactly what they've spent the last seven years doing in order to fund their lavish tax cuts and handouts for corporations and the super-rich isn't it?

Dyson has got £billions in the bank, so it doesn't matter how badly a "no deal" flounce out of Europe goes, he's always going to be insulated from the consequences. And he's got such contempt for the "little people" that he simply doesn't care if hundreds of thousands of workers lose their jobs, or millions more are condemned to poverty. To people like Dyson it's a price worth paying because he's not going to be the one paying it.

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