Dr Alf brings us an interesting post about world media reaction to the UK General Election result.
His analysis appears to equate what some of the world’s media thinks about the UK’s General Election with what the World thinks about Britain’s position and I think these two are not necessarily the same. The German press wrongly assume that David Cameron cannot win an in/out referendum and that the likely outcome will be Brexit from the EU. To begin with the Conservative majority which no-one except the Paddy Power mathematicians predicted is just 17 seats. It only takes a flu epidemic or something unforseen to happen for that to be wiped out. Troublesome Eurosceptics can be bought off with promotions and in some cases the “little black books” of the Government whips which contain details of all manner of indiscretions which MP’s who are hardly saints, have got up to and would prefer not to be revealed. Then there is David Cameron’s stated position which is that he plans to stay for the whole of a second term (i.e. until 2020) and then step down after handing his “crown ” to one of 3 named successors. The reality is that he will have to step down well before that date to allow his successor to be groomed and as a Bilderberg member does not want a UK exit from the EU.His successors could potentially include George Osborne who is another Bilderberger and who would therefore not want to leave the EU and Boris who probably wouldn’t want to leave either. David Cameron has already been offered a big UN job and could when the Government runs into choppy waters decide to take it before 2017 which means he wouldn’t even be around to keep his promise. If he remains and keeps his promise we can be sure that the Referendum wording and conditions will be such that the outcome will not be a vote for Brexit and even if the UK voters do vote to leave there is no guarantee that the result will be accepted by the EU. This has happened before whereby when individual members did not vote for a particular EU Treaty the recalcitrant country has been made to vote again and again until they voted the “right way”.
The Scots under the SNP represent another problem because if they were to vote for independence they would have to reapply for EU membership in their own right. The Scottish economy is not self-sufficient and is being bankrolled by the English taxpayer under the Barnett Formula plus Petroleum Revenue Tax, EU budget rebates, Regional Selective Assistance and a disproportionate amount per head of NHS spending. David Cameron is being urged to be “generous” to the Scots by giving them Devo Max but at a time when we face 2 more years of hard slog and benefit cuts those south of Hadrians Wall may be less inclined to be so generous to their kilt wearing cousins. His mandate with a majority of just 17 does not extend to being able to issue the Scots with a blank cheque although he might like to think it does.
Even if the UK remained in the EU, there is a strong possibility that the entire edifice could split anyway, if the Greeks and one or more PIIG countries or one of the Eastern European accession countries were to leave.
What other countries think of us is dependent on what foreign leaders and global financial markets think of us rather than elements of the foreign press.
The Americans have grave doubts about our military capabilities want us to commit to spending 2% of GDP on defence and have said publicly that they will use us as a “plug and play” component in future military operations. They also have taken on the French with their much bigger forces, aircraft carriers with aircraft on them etc as their military partner of choice. This has happened despite the protestations of a succession of British Generals and Admiral Lord West has cited the number of escort protection vessels for our shipping (17), as a national disgrace.
Russia which has just unveiled its new Amata tank which will soon be fully automated and manned by robot sends warships into the English Channel, circles the planet with space based weapons and presses its bombers up against our airspace with the UK powerless to do anything about it other than apply and encourage sanctions.
We even lack a coastal protection vessel with which to stop drug smuggling, have no control of our borders (E-Borders was scrapped and the £2 billion gbp costs written off at taxpayers expense).
The Chinese are buying up our companies, control much of our vital infrastructure (Port of Felixstowe and the company which provides the infrastructure support for the London underground) and by 2016 Hong Kong will be the world’s premier financial centre, Singapore will be number 2, New York will be 3rd leaving the City of London at 4th. They are in the process of creating the three largest insurers on the planet with the help of Price Waterhouse Coopers and are building floating military bases in the South China sea which we can do nothing about.
Foreign money has flowed into the UK to buy Government issued gilts but beyond that the UK’s economic fundamentals such as productivity, exports and a modern industrial base with an intelligent motivated workforce is still not there.
Germany wants the UK to remain in the EU to help pay for it as a net contributor and as part of an emerging European Army but Chancellor Merkel, another Bilderberger is not worried about where David Cameron’s sympathies lie despite the musings and navel gazing of the German press as cited by Dr Alf.
In short the UK is seen as a small offshore island off the coast of mainland Europe with a diminishing global role, an interesting history and as a place for foreign plutocrats, foreign dictators and sovereign wealth funds to invest money in off plan developments and appreciating real property in London and English major cities.
It is not seen as a great military power as it once was, nor as the natural home of finance and insurance, venture capital and innovation with the exception of Cambridge and possibly Edinburgh.
WHAT THIS SHOULD MEAN
1) An end to delusions of grandeur,”punching above our weight” or any pretense that we can make the traffic lights turn green in Beijing or Washington
2) A relentless focus on making,selling and exporting things that people want and exporting those things all over the world
3) Up-skilling the workforce and driving up productivity per worker
4) Transforming public services, healthcare and education to best in breed levels and reducing the costs of service delivery to Singaporean levels
5) Reintroducing National Service for the young and equipping them either for academia or employment or self employment (either here or overseas)
6) Workfare for the long-term unemployed and the disabled unable to work conventionally
7) Strong law and order with a maximum of 15 Chief Constables and a flat responsive structure
8) Low taxes and little red tape