The last few weeks here in the UK have brought us the entertaining spectre of party-political conference season. It is the time of year when the media provide constant coverage of a mixture of sycophancy, confusion, Shakespearean power plays, awkward speeches by baby-faced politicos in the puberty of their political career, and displays of arrogant demagoguery by political dinosaurs at the end of their own. It has also marked the start of what looks likely to be a particularly hyped-up race for next years general election.
First, it was the turn of our third largest party, the Liberal Democrats, to provide the bulk of the confusion:- bungled policy announcements, in-fighting, and backtracking on issues were expected… and then swiftly delivered.
Second came the Labour conference (providing the sycophancy), and the sickening sight of loyal party members giving Emperor Gordon Brown a standing ovation for seemingly no other reason than being the ‘dear leader’.
Finally, this week we had the Conservative Party conference, with smug-faced Tories parroting the same old vacuous lines about ‘public spending efficiency’ (an oxymoron if you ever heard one) and ‘personal responsibility’ (code for: “we’re going to cut all those welfare services that make capitalism bearable for you dirty, feckless peasants. Now where’s that massive farm subsidy that entrenches feudal distributions of land, and ‘charitable status’ for my child’s private school that only the privileged can afford?”)
But I’m not really interested in writing about what this corrupt and hypocritical lot have to say in their desperate attempts to gain power. No; what interests me most is what they tried their best to not talk about. For this very same week we witnessed the the full force of the EU propaganda machine in action against our cousins over the sea in Ireland.
Having once already rejected the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty in a referendum last year, the Irish people fell out of favour with the political overlords in Brussels, and as a consequence were kindly given another chance to vote on the issue.
This time round, the campaigners in the ‘Yes camp’ had the bogey man of economic ruin to let loose on the public. And, in the sheer panic of wanting to avoid a return to 1980s style unemployment and general existential bleakness, the Irish people voted to ratify the treaty.
Briefly speaking, the Lisbon Treaty is a repackaged version of a proposed European Constitution, which, in its original incarnation, was rejected by a number of countries in 2005. Since then, the powers-that-be have changed its name and forced the issue again. Unlike the US constitution, however, which at least plays lip-service to ideals of freedom and democracy; the EU constitution is merely an attempt to streamline the monopoly-capitalist state.
The EU’s origins lie in the ‘European Coal and Steel Community’, an institution that was set up in the post-WW2 period to effectively control the markets, and since then it has grown, treaty after treaty, into a monster of a bureaucracy that culminates with the constitution. In fact, the Lisbon Treaty/Constitution is essentially 3000 pages of amendments to previous treaties, and it is easy to understand why the constitution is so verbose when you realise that the the EU is just a governmental arm of the corporate nexus.
With a bewildering array of councils, commissions, committees, working groups, advisory panels, a ‘parliament’ and god knows how many other back room civil servants, the structure of the European Union seems to be designed with obfuscation in mind. In reality, this hodge-podge arrangement is a natural reflection of its origins in hierarchical, cartelised capital.
So whilst the provincial masters of UK Inc. squabble over who is to ‘lead’ us after the next election, the Lisbon Treaty provides the means through which localised power will be usurped by the state-capitalist centre. What is more, under the newly reformed EU, a new Emperor will be crowned as ‘President of Europe’, and the name of this latter-day Caesar is rumored by many in the media as being non-other than Antonius Charlemagne Lynton Blair. You heard it folks, the prince of darkness is back from the wilderness to rule again, and may be doing so before the month is out.
Media conjecture aside, whoever is appointed to this post will assume the role of spokesman for half a billion people – none of which will actually have voted for him. Welcome to democracy, kids – the biggest lie that was ever told.