Monday, 12 September 2016
The English are now the 'Natives' in the new British Empire
In his article “The revolt of the natives: Britain and Brexit”, published in Open Democracy, the Left-wing academic, Anthony Barnett writes:-
“The vote for Brexit was a brutally refreshing verdict on the autocratic way in which Britain is governed. It is a matter of attitude, culture and language as well as policy and can be illustrated here with one example. Jonathan Portes was Chief Economist to the Cabinet. He is a serious, well-meaning professional who despairs at the irrationality of Whitehall. He defended immigration in the Observer two years ago by writing that it is “likely to boost the UK economy without doing much, if any, damage to the prospects for native workers”.
He continued, “Immigrants have different skills and experiences to native workers, so they complement rather than substitute for natives, helping raise wages and productivity for everybody”. He quoted a government paper that refers to “native employment outcomes”. Earlier he co-authored a column in the Times with no less a figure than Gus O’Donnell, who as Cabinet Secretary from 2005 to 2011 was the most powerful civil servant in the land. The two of them shared the same insulting terminology, claiming immigrants “increase the incentive for natives to acquire new skills”.
“You can welcome immigrants as people as well as their positive impact while recognising that this language is a repugnant way of referring to the British people. Yet top policy makers regarded such language as normal.”
It is further, he says further evidence that England is now being seen as something like the 'last colony of the British Empire'!
Barnett also goes on to say:-
“It seems that globalisation has not just given a new lease of life to the machinery of the British state; it has also brought into the open its latent contemptuous view of the people. Brexit was not just a revolt of the natives; it can be seen in particular as a revolt of the English against being treated as natives. All successful anti-colonial uprisings have middle class leaderships. The attitude of imperial power is always to regard rebellious upstarts as stupid sheep misled by power-hungry adventurers and publicists.”
Barnett then gives this example:-
“Step forward, Patience Wheatcroft, the Baroness of Blackheath and former Editor-in-Chief of the Wall Street Journal Europe. She proposes that her fellow, so-called peers of the realm should overturn the referendum verdict. (So) her suggestion (is) that a few hundred appointed cronies (should) upturn a decision of the people (I mean, natives). Everything that is disgustingly cosy, self-regarding, privileged, corrupt and unaccountable about the way Britain is governed is represented by the House of Lords. The idea that it should claim a right to override the hoi polloi, shows a complete failure to understand what has happened. Patience Wheatcroft wins the Marie Antoinette prize for obliviousness if she thinks that she and her fellow Ladies and Lords can save Britain in Europe by reversing the referendum. Brexit does not just mean Brexit, it means the tumbrils are out for the Lordships’ house as well.”
(Here is a link to the original article>>> https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/anthony-barnett/revolt-of-natives-britain-after-brexit)