Time to cut the poodle’s lead

WHEN Obama visited Britain to tell us that if we vote to leave the European Union on 23rd June we will end up “at the back of the queue” for signing any trade deals with the United States, he did us a very big favour. It means we would definitely escape TTIP (The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), which is a series of trade negotiations being carried out mostly in secret between the European Union (EU) and USA.

We already knew that TTIP threatened to give unrestricted opportunities to businesses to make maximum profits, with the right to sue governments at national or local levels that impeded them in any way with planning laws, health and safety laws, anti-discrimination laws, labour laws or any other by-laws. All our services, including the NHS, would be freely available for privatisation, which could not be reversed.

But last week a disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act confirmed officially that TTIP will have “few or no benefits to the UK”, according to information dragged from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills by the campaigners from Global Justice Now.

After visiting Britain Obama went on to Germany, where he asked for EU support in a possible war against Russia. He demanded active deployment of the Bundeswehr (Germany’s armed forces, including their Army, Navy, and Air Force) to NATO’s eastern borders in Poland and the Baltic republics, to join the quadrupling of America’s forces there, on and near those borders of Russia.

Obama is also planning to hold a “summit meeting” in Hannover in Germany with the leaders of Germany (Angela Merkel), Italy (Matteo Renzi), France (François Hollande) and Britain (David Cameron). The presumed objective of this meeting is to establish in NATO countries bordering on Russia, a military force of all five countries that are headed by these leaders, a force threatening Russia with an invasion, if NATO subsequently decides that the “threat from Russia” be “responded to” militarily.

No wonder the US is panicking about Britain leaving the EU. If Britain goes, many other EU countries may follow suit. Workers throughout the continent are suffering under the austerity measures and neo-liberal economic policies that emanate from the EU headquarters. The whole concept of the EU will begin to crumble and the US will lose its major ally in any military initiative in Europe.

The memory of the effect of two world wars has not faded among most European people and there is no appetite to go through that hell again. It’s all too easy for the Washington warmongers to be gung-ho from across the Atlantic where they imagine their homes and families will be safe.

Cameron never wanted to hold this referendum but he was forced into it by promises he made to his own far-right-wingers in order to keep their loyalty — but this division in the ruling class has given us a rare opportunity to deliver an almighty kick and possibly put a hole in one of the mainstays of western imperialism, and we must not fail to seize it.

Some left-wingers are afraid that after a Brexit vote and a Tory party collapse we could be left under the tyranny of the extreme far right Tories who have been campaigning purely on an antiimmigrant platform. There is little chance of that. Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson hate each other and will be too busy tearing seven shades of unpleasantness out of each other for either of them to head a government.

The Tory party will be in at least two pieces and unable to put together a government. There would have to be a general election and Jeremy Corbyn would probably win it.

That is when it will be our job to convince Corbyn that staying out of Europe is good because we escape TTIP and we escape having to be the US’s patsy in starting a third world war in Europe. That may not be as easy as it should be — Corbyn is a social democrat, not a communist. But it will be a lot easier than trying to extricate ourselves from Washington’s plans for Europe if Cameron wins a Remain vote and we are even more firmly anchored to the imperialist state construction that is the EU.

The US has regarded Britain as its poodle for too long. It’s time to cut the poodle’s lead.