Monday, May 27, 2024
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TCW’s Brexit Watch: A weak PM led by his ‘advisers’


IT IS becoming difficult for the public to discern what is really happening to Brexit. TCW has pointed to the extraordinary new establishment attacks on a clean Brexit in the form of rich Tory farming protectionism the covert subversion of the MoD towards integration into PESCO and away from the USA. Perhaps it would be worthwhile to look at the characteristics of remainerdom which still has the power to change Brexit into Brino and so give Theresa May her victory after all. 

We could listen to an outsider’s voice on the British establishment, that of Mareike Ohlberg whose book Hidden Hand: Exposing how the Chinese Communist Party is reshaping the worldco-authored with Clive Hamiliton, examines the covert tactics of the CCP in infiltrating the UK elite. You can watch the authors discuss this with the Australian Institute of International Affairs here.

In a serialisation of the book in the Daily Mail last week, Ohlberg points out that attempts to groom leading figures in business and politics are at an advanced stage in the UK, way beyond the sort of success the Chinese are having in other western states. She writes:  ‘To me, the UK has always stood out for the very advanced stage of elite capture compared with other European countries.’ She warns that numerous high-profile individuals linked to China’s ‘united front’ underground diplomacy network are embedded in the UK where they seek to influence politicians, and that Chinese companies such as Huawei have been able to succeed in Britain by establishing local stakeholders on the ground ‘who are invested in your success’.

Well, listen up, George Osborne, David Cameron, Theresa May, Boris Johnson, all your ‘permanent’ secretaries in Whitehall and all those mentioned by Bruce Newsome in his devasting expose for TCW of Huawei’s influence at the highest levels of the establishment – you have failed this country very badly indeed.

Only now, in the light of strangely disliked USA’s expose of Chinese state strategy, are our Parliamentarians properly putting the brakes on to this Huawei insinuation of the CCP into the UK’s spinal column and nerve centres. Even now our bone-headed governmental machine is saying that Huawei will not be eradicated till 2027. 

Sir Mark Sedwill told the PM that it was too late, that there was ‘no alternative’, till President Trump banged his shoe on the table.

What can we learn from this utter fiasco and massive cost to the nation about our governmental class? The same Daily Mail article reports Matthew Henderson, a former British diplomat in China, saying: ‘China had locked on to the way the British establishment works . . . China is basically replicating that. It has found vanities, it has found greed, it has found a sense of cosiness, people who like wearing funny robes and hats and free trips to China.’  

Vanities, greed and lots of free trips: is this also part of the reason for the passive aggressive resistance to Brexit? That our governing class, elected and administrative, simply don’t like change and are wedded to the cosiness (and gravy train) of the EU system? Democracy was a terrible nuisance, just when they thought they had suffocated it.

The same phenomenon appears with our energy supply policy. China and France are being given vast contracts for huge nuclear reactors though we have the technology and wherewithal to build our own small reactors instead. Has our elephantine government machine already poured billions into the hands of big corporations and ensured that it is ‘too late’? As with HS2, the interests of big corporations come before those of the taxpayer and consumer.

This same cosy protectionist vanity and greed might be discerned in the brand new Commission for Trade and Agriculture, a deus ex machina dropping on to the stage, full of Tory remainers and representatives of farming interests. If we look at the official announcement of this protectionist and anti-scientific lobby group, labelled a ‘Commission’, lo and behold our old friend the American chlorine-washed chicken gets a special mention: ‘Chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-fed beef are illegal in the UK. Any changes would need to be approved by Parliament.’ The release goes on to say that this Government will not compromise the UK’s ‘high environmental protection, animal welfare and food safety standards’.

It is wearisome yet again to point to the overwhelming counter-evidence on the Yankee Chicken. No mention of course of its Islamic sister, Halal Chicken, happily approved by our lobbyists although slaughtered unstunned against normal animal welfare regulation. Danish pork production also fails UK regulation on animal welfare, as Catherine McBride has pointed out, but hey, who cares if the EU approves it? 

Who are the guardians of our consumer choices appointed to this ‘Commission’? The members representing well-established interests are listed here. 

Peter Foster reports for the FT that as regards lorry drivers getting over to Calais the UK is not ready. Michael Gove admitted the same in the Commons, but so opaquely that it appears otherwise. 

Given that last October drivers were under constant instruction to have their post-Brexit papers in order, it is odd that these plans should still need ‘dusting off’.  Referring to them on Sky TV in March, former Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: ‘Ironically, I think a lot of the work we did last year preparing for the supposed no-deal Brexit on October 31 has stood the Government in incredibly good stead, looking at packages of support and how you might be able to help companies keep going should something dramatic happen.

In one amazing coup however the Conservative MP Dr Julian Lewis has managed to defeat the Government’s safe choice, Chris Grayling MP, to become chairman of the Security Select Committee. Hopefully he will open up to public gaze the MoD’s planned defence collaboration with the EU post Brexit. 

Once again the public is being taken up hill and down dale in the country’s tortuous journey towards Brexit. Above all we do not see a PM charged with the vision and determination to implement it. We see an inattentive, some say lazy, and diffident leader, far too easily led and nudged by his ‘advisers’ of the cosy and vain kind perhaps; all, including Dominic Cummings, content with recent Brino-ist protectionist developments.

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Timothy Bradshaw
Timothy Bradshaw
Timothy Bradshaw is a Theological lecturer and Anglican clergyman

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