Boris’s blonde ambitions
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
A Tale of Two Cities. Charles Dickens.
As the 77th Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, will Boris Johnson modify the Anglophone world as Australians and citizens of the United Kingdom, presently know it?
The answer of course depends upon whether Prime Minister Johnson can achieve Britain’s Exit — BREXIT — from the European Union.
Three years short of a half century ago, on December 2 1972 Gough Whitlam is elected Australian Prime Minister. Then on January 1 1973, Conservative Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath leads the United Kingdom into the European Economic Community.
Denmark and the Republic of Ireland also join.
Now 47 years later, with an ambitious blonde in residence at 10 Downing Street, it is fair to ask: is a multitude of profound changes to the political, social and economic destinies of so many peoples and nation’s, about to occur?
Judging by the blathering’s of a coterie of incompetent blonde-headed rulers elected by a largely disengaged global electorate, the world seems set to regress to a pre-GATT era.
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade – GATT – is an accord between most nations to promote international trade. It achieves its aims by reducing or eliminating trade barriers such as tariffs or quotas.
Twenty three nations signed the first GATT in Geneva on 30 October 1947. The new world order began on 1 January the following year.
When GATT begat the World Trade Organisation, the partial redistribution of global wealth resulted in the world we recognise today.
Back in the day Ted Heath and Gough Whitlam understood the significance of GATT and its subsequent iterations. However the current crop of blond himbos, strutting the world stage, clearly does not.
And Australia’s God-Botherer-in-Chief residing at Yarralumla, does not appear to care either.
With Johnson now in Number 10 the world’s conservative leaders can set about destroying the institutions created in the post GATT era, and its greatest achievement, the European Union.
Once BREXIT is finally ratified, the theory goes the United Kingdom reconstitutes the British Commonwealth of Nations, and recommences free trade with Australia and other British ‘colonial’ nations.
Gone are those pesky Continental rules and regulations.
Problem is post BREXIT the United Kingdom might find itself short a key constituent – Scotland
If the Scots vote to leave the Union, what remains of a disunited kingdom might at best, slip into a full blown recession, at worst sectarian war.
A frightening economic prediction comes from the Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney.
The irony of a Johnsonian post BREXIT era is the uncomfortable fact Europe initially blocked the United Kingdom from the European Economic Community.
The principal reason for keeping the UK out of Europe cited by President Charles De Gaulle in the early 1960s was its cosy relationship with its former colonies.
Chief among these is Australia.
De Gaulle was a great hater. He loathed the United States of America and conjured a special place in a Gallic hell for the United Kingdom.
There are too many reasons to go into De Gaulle’s animus, but author Thomas de La Marnierre of the University of Québec, Montréal Canada, posits trade and tariffs as central to De Gaulle’s rationale for exclusion.
In an online essay published in June 2019, de La Marnierre quotes De Gaulle, including incorrect spelling and grammar thus.
“How can we do to make England, as she lives, as she produces, as she trades, be incorporated to the Common market as it was designed and as it works? For example, the means from which eats the people of Great Britain and that are actually the importation of food supplies bought cheaply in the two Americas or in the old dominions, meanwhile giving, granting considerable subsidies to the English farmers. This mean is obviously uncompatible with the system that the Six designed naturally for themselves. The system of the Six, it consists to make everything with the agricultural product from all the Community. To rigorously set their price. To forbid they be subsidised. To organize their consumption between all the participants, and to impose to each of these participants to give to the Community every saving they would make by importing food from outside instead of eating those the Common Market would offer”.
The full text of de La Marnierre essay is here.
The notion of offending Commonwealth nations rankled both Conservative and Labour ranks from the time De Gaulle stymied the UK’s Common Market entry.
And though much has changed, much remains the same.
“How can we do to make England, as she lives, as she produces, as she trades, be incorporated to the Common market as it was designed and as it works? Charles De Gaulle.
Once BREXIT occurs in what ever form, the United Kingdom will never be readmitted to the EU again. Instead its place will be filled by eager nations such as Turkey, or Ukraine or Albania or perhaps Moldova.
And so to the current Australian Government with its non-existent political agenda.
The inheritors of the legacy of Australia’s champion of tariff’s Black Jack McEwen are firmly in control.
Government subsidised coal-fired power stations, and the old agrarian chestnut of nuclear energy, are up for serious consideration. And prepare for an influx of hard done-by white South African farmers.
As for La Belle France I would not be at all surprised if another blonde, Marine Le Pen, takes up residence in the Elysse Palace.
The United Kingdom is Europe’s great pacifier, but deserting the EU at the urging of a band of chronic liars, might mean the end of its illustrious tradition as one of the world’s great civilisations.
Henry Johnston is a Sydney-based author. His latest book, The Last Voyage of Aratus is on sale here
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