There was a crackerjack piece by enfant terrible Ed West in the Sarkograph this morning, pointing out with much insight that while the Irish fought with weapons to get rid of the British (and wouldn’t take 1% of the crap Brussels is giving them were the imperial power Britain) only a low turnout will deliver a No vote today. It’s a sort of ‘go figure’ piece, but makes enormous sense about how and why culture is central to the issue…and how Britain is the only true bastion of euroscepticism in Europe.
While absolutely on the money this new bit of Westiness, I will offer a dimension I think needs adding. In 1916, the Irish knew that freedom was more important than money. In 2012, they just don’t want the money turned off. It’s the same in Greece, and that’s both supported and reflected by something else I read today.
Pour encourager les voteurs, the international creditors and Troikanauts associated with (aka in pursuit of) Greece were laying it on with a trowel again yesterday – along with the National Bank of Greece. But as always, the threat was the same: ‘…the Troika putting up $325 billion in two bailouts to prop up the country’s essentially-dead economy, said the next Greek government must pursue budget cuts with “determination” to be eligible for emergency aid…’
Or put another way, don’t vote for that nasty Alexis Tsipras, or we’ll cut the munneeee off. (Tsipras wants to stay in the ezone, but to have the austerity rescheduled).
Picture the scene that misty morning in 1916 on O’Connell Street. As the Irish patriots exchange sporadic fire with the imperialist British either side of the main Post Office, Paddy comes down the street carrying a large white flag, and yells at Sean just as he’s about to launch a grenade, “Put de fecking ting down Sean, Downun Street’s gonna cut off de munneee.”
This is as much down to Reagan, Thatcher, Friedman, and their follower clowns who’ve been insisting on trickly wealth, decisive markets and the rest of the bollocks for the last thirty years. Neo-liberalist economics has but one criterion: de munneeeee.
How ironic it is, therefore, to see the values of the High Priest of Laissez-faire free markets propping up perhaps the most illiberal, protectionist, social-democratic crock in history.