Part I: The European demise 1 Feb 2016
So, will Britain stay or leave the EU in 2016? To answer the question, I will summarise the points that I have made over the past few years about Europe and the position of Britain on the empire cycle and predict the most obvious outcome.
When applying the BTCH principals of social dynamics and system cycles, it is very clear that the EU is an aberration of the natural process of regionalisation. During this process, normally a nation is powered by demographic expansion, allowing it to grow powerful. It achieves this using agglomeration by force or the power of alliance with its neighbouring states; to build a powerful system that can help to move to the next phase of expansion into the outside world.
Without the arrival of nuclear weapons and the shield provided by NATO, the exhausted post-war nations of the old Super Western Christian Empire would in all probability have been invaded by the USSR and absorbed. Instead, the old central European states continued to exist past a point that in any other time in history they would have been snuffed out. The one silver lining was the youngest of the old European nations, Germany, only created in 1870 and still benefitting from positive demographics. This element, at least, provided a ghost of the demographic attractor, normally seen in this process.
However, when viewed in the larger context, the German engine was not powerful enough to tow the whole of Europe. Today, with the negative demographics of Germany, the last growth engine is failing and Europe is floundering. Like it or not, the European growth story is non-existent. The poor economic habits of the southern nations have exacerbated the situation resulting in the banks of the once healthy northern nations, such as Germany, now holding the can with mounds of bad southern debts quietly festering on their balance sheets. This process has completed the transfer of wealth from north to south, and has now drained the collective EU of its financial strength and most importantly, its political will.
Without political harmony, the half-pregnant financial unity is just not sufficient to rule the EU. The vacuum has been filled by bureaucrats that only create resistance to expansive economic dynamics. Thus, we can only conclude that in its current form Europe will fail. But when? Sooner than many think would be my answer.
Today, the EU faces its gravest risk with the acceleration of deflationary forces in the next 18 months coupled with the migration crises. After all, if you join a club to become wealthy, and all you do is become poorer, then why stay? As such, Europe may well not survive the next two years in its current form.
Part II: Britain’s choice 2 Feb 2016
It may surprise many to know that Britain, the once greatest empire within the Super Western Christian Empires, has been in a new national cycle of expansion since the Suez Crisis. It was extremely lucky to have Margret Thatcher to kick-start the process and inject vigour into a nation. She catalysed a much needed British new work ethic that separates us from Europe. From 1979 to 1997, over almost two decades, Britain enjoyed the policies of wealth creation and once more grew in economic status. By the end of the Conservative rule, the national coffers were in a remarkably good state. Then, the Labour Party arrived, cloaked as a neutral centre party, but, in reality, it was as ever orientated towards the policies of wealth distribution. It had taken 13 years before they left office, by which time they had emptied the nation's coffers. The situation was aptly described by the note left in the Treasury, which stated: ‘there is no money left’. In effect, the wealth distribution policies of the Labour Party gave back much of the progress that was created by the Conservatives, and they have responded to their fall from grace by moving further to the left away from the collectives needs of wealth creation. Hence, the collapsing mass appeal of the Corbyn leadership, a suicidal political choice by the Labour Party if ever there was one!
Similarly, to America’s presidential elections this year which will result in the election of Trump, Britain at its last elections, recognised that it was in a dire financial condition and chose the logical path of wealth creation as there was nothing left to distribute! That being said, the Conservatives are currently a relatively weak incarnation of this political ethos. They lead a nation with positive demographics which means that even with the average leadership Britain now enjoys, relative power and success will continue to grow compared to Europe. In effect, a rising tide lifts all ships. This British tide will make Britain once more the influential nation in Europe in the next two decades, replacing Germany. However, the degree of success will depend on the difference between average and outstanding leadership of the wealth creation ethos.
With this positive sentiment in the UK, the British people will not wish to be held back by a moribund EU, and the population in Britain senses this dynamic. This explains the current 50/50 polls for and against Brexit. This is despite the fact that Brexit’s advocates have so far failed to mount an effective campaign and that Cameron is seemingly overconfident in his belief that the fear campaign will keep Britain in the EU.
However, there are bigger forces at work in this referendum than the PM. I would forecast that with the current stock market weakness and a strong risk that the decline accelerates into the summer, the associated negative sentiment will drive voters to choose to leave the EU and this may well prove the deciding factor that causes Britain to exit the EU. Finally, with the state of the EU and the risk of collapse, if Britain does not leave the EU in 2016, there is every chance that EU will leave Britain in a potential collapse within the next two years. So surely, it is better to choose our moment, become independent and benefit from the flow of capital that will be inevitable as the EU breaks up.
Lastly, if Britain does choose Brexit, then Cameron in all probability will have to resign. This may well be an opportunity for the Conservatives to choose a leadership that will move from the centre politics to the right were the Conservatives and Margret Thatcher used to live. It will be vital to embody stronger policies of wealth creation and defence that are so desperately needed for Britain to grow economically strong and safe in a world with many grave challenges we face ahead.
Part III: A glimmer of hope for mankind 2 March 2016
I was driven to overcome my dyslexia and commit my ideas to paper in “Breaking the Code of History” because I feared for all of our children's future.
That fear came from the repetitive, unconscious patterns of collective human behaviour that have driven our past to form our history and govern our present world. It was my hope that by exposing and understanding that behaviour, humanity could start to make decisions on a different basis. Naturally, I did not expect such a change to occur overnight, but realistically that there would be a rather more gradual shift. Thus, when there are signs that change is underway, it is important to recognise them. One such hopeful change is the upcoming Brexit referendum. It is no coincidence that this change is taking place in the oldest democracy in the modern Western World where the traditional structure of hierarchical leadership was replaced by a much broader based power structure, with collective representation and therefore much greater individual responsibility.
I have long argued that Britain is the only nation in the old Western Christian Empire that having lost its empire in 1955 has now started a new cycle. This first stage of the cycle of nations and empires is regionalisation which was accelerated by the Thatcher revolution and of which, consequently, Britain is now at or near the end. Typically, and alarmingly at this stage of development, there is a civil war. These civil wars are historically associated with a rigid and narrow power base that can only be changed by a conflict that is driven by the need of the majority to be enfranchised. The Middle East today is a prime example of this process in its most complex form. Going back into history, the English Civil War (1642-1651) placed a Catholic monarchy lead by Charles 1st against a more popular Protestant parliamentary system. This could be characterised by the rule of fear over the triumph of hope and aspiration. Interestingly, Charles believed in the divine right of kings and thought he could govern according to his own conscience. More recently, Cameron seems to have echoed this sentiment with the way he has attempted to employ the government apparatus to weaken his opposition and even threaten their jobs as ministers.
Indeed, the underlying energy of any such a regional civil war is a battle between fear and hope and aspiration of the majority. Today, thankfully, Britain's current new peaceful civil war will be fought under the construct of democracy rather than with weapons and at the cost of the nation's blood. This evolution in human affairs can only take place because the incumbent power is not hierarchical and rigidly emplaced in power, and thus does not require force to displace it. Conversely, power in Britain today is broadly spread out in the form of a modern democracy facilitating more peaceful power transitions. Lastly, Britain does not have the traditional massive demographic bulge of youth whose disenfranchisement usually supercharges such civil conflicts.
Thus, the Brexit referendum has to be one of modern democracies’ greatest achievements, to allow the voice of the majority to define peacefully the very values it wishes to expound going forward as it spreads out into the world once more. The Brexit referendum is in essence about nature and national identity of the New Britain in the decades to come. Most importantly, it is a milestone in human affairs and gives hope that humanity can aspire to escape the bounds of its unconscious history.
Part IV: Project “Fear” 3 March 2016
Cameron’s project ‘Fear’ is an ironic choice upon which to base his campaign, as it casts him in the classical role of the archetype monarch who governs from a narrow power base with coercion rather than empowerment. His use of government powers to strangle the opposition only reinforces these characteristics. This negative archetype will strongly resonate with the public perception that Cameron originates from the entitled ruling class and that his campaign is defending an EU that is governed by an unelected group of bureaucrats that bear a resemblance with the concept of a monarchy’s unelected right to rule.
Understandably, Cameron is repeating this fear strategy as it worked well in the Scottish referendum and, thus his reasoning is to apply the same but vastly enhanced strategy again. However, this is a fundamental mistake as the Brexit situation is completely different from the Scottish referendum. In the latter case a relatively small nation was voting on leaving a growing and expanding Britain and on losing the affiliation with this growing economic power. Conversely, in Britain's case a strong and growing nation is choosing to leave a larger but economically failing EU. By the rule of alternation in history, situations do not repeat themselves sequentially, due to the feedback loop of the first event into the subsequent event, and thus, Brexit will not end with the Scottish choice of the Uk staying in Europe.
Essential to this fear campaign is the security issue which Cameron claims will make us weaker alone. However, he has failed to point out that our security architecture is dependent on NATO, which predates the EU’s birth and of which we would remain a member. Most importantly and little talked about was the EU’s role in the Ukraine, which then forced Putin's interference that alienated Russia from the West. This was one of the greatest strategic disasters in modern time in which the EU had a driving role as it sought to expand eastwards. As such, it is hard to argue that the EU adds to Britain's security, but rather that it has detracted from it.
If Cameron's campaign proves successful he will have employed the chains of fear to tie Britain to what is effectively the sinking ship of the EU. However, Cameron's timing is very poor and he is facing an environment where exogenous shocks will all damage his case, i.e. the immigration pressures on the EU and the economic shock of stock markets that look ready to take a bungee jump. Any such wealth destruction process will only highlight the EU's underlying weakness, and move the undecided into a leave vote.
Part V: Project “Hope” 4 March 2016
In sharp comparison, Boris Johnson’s choice of project ‘Hope’ is perfectly positioned to resonate with which will almost inevitably be the winning side of this referendum. At its core is the belief and confidence that Britain’s creativity and drive will be strong enough to chart our course through the waters ahead. Critically, the vote will end Cameron’s career as a centrist politician who followed the path of Blair abandoning his party's traditional policies by seeking power for power's sake in occupying the middle ground. However, what Britain urgently needs are the policies traditionally associated wth wealth creation and the Tories. As such a vote to leave will also be a vote for a new conservative leadership that expounds such positive principals and Boris could easily be that leader.
On the positive side much had changed since 1972 when Britain joined The EU. Then the neighbouring EU was the only game in town and the emerging markets were years away from making their appearance on the global economic stage. Most importantly, Britain was only 17 years off its low and in a state of economic turmoil needing all the help it could receive.
Today, it is Europe that seems economically moribund while the new emerging world is where the dynamic growth will continue in future decades. As such leaving the EU would force Britain as the world’s 5th largest economy to reconnect with its global trading tradition and to increase its economic ties with nations that are desperate for British technology and services. Now, that is surely more than enough aspiration to negate project fear?
However, like all civil wars at their end, once the referendum has passed, either way, Britain will need a strong leader who can hold a divided ship together by appeasing the once warring factions within the Conservative Party and melding them into a single body. That is why historically most civil wars are followed by a period of dictatorship. With that in mind, Cameron as a weak populist leader is unlikely to survive even if Britain votes to stay in the EU. Thus, inevitably a new leader will appear who will preside over a more traditional Tory Party and wealth creation values. I would further argue that the EU in all probability is going to break apart within the next few years whether Britain stays in or not. Brexit would only accelerate the inevitable event of an EU breakup.
When viewed that way the risks of leaving are limited while the rewards for Britain are considerable. Thus, it would seem that whatever the outcome of the Brexit referendum, the Conservatives will move to the right and Britain will leave the EU one way or another. The question on June 23rd is “Will the Britsh people, the ancestors of the oldest modern democracy choose the short road or the long road to the same destination?” I can only conclude using the logic of BTCH and the five stages of empire, that Britain will choose the short road to Brexit; and become a safe haven to be surrounded by the many nations of a sinking Europe.
Part VI: The Obama card 27 April 2016
Obama’s recent visit to the UK and his intervention into the Brexit referendum represents an unprecedented American interference in British politics and will be undoubtedly proven as poor judgment by Cameron to enlist his support.
Although Britain has been slow to respond to the gradual incursion on its national sovereignty from the EU, threatening the British people with going to the back of the queue for trade in a post-Brexit deal was very poorly judged, even though Obama tried his best to justify it afterwards as procedural. He should have remembered that Britain’s national character remains that of people that do not respond to overt threats well. However, that been said, Obama’s views are of limited value, coming from a President who is at the end of his eight-year term in Office. However, his intervention does encourage a comparison between the United States of America and the un-United States of Europe, using the ‘Five Stages of the Empire’ model to better understand the fundamental differences between the two entities.
America was forged into a single federal entity after a massively destructive regional civil war in 1861-65 which marked the end of the first ‘regional’ stage of the American Empire. This new nation benefitted from positive demographics with a massive inflow of immigrants that had the living space to migrate westwards and ultimately become wealthy. Thus, the wounds of the civil war were healed by the subsequent expansion and wealth creation process. But most importantly, America had a federal and centralised political leadership creating a sense of unity that has only grown over time.
In contrast, Europe or the EU was formed after its 30-year civil war peak of the Super Western Christian Empire, which spanned between WW1 and WW2. The consequent stupendous economic drain of these great sequential wars accelerated Europe’s decline. Thus, the EU was conceived at the end of the decline of the fifth stage of empire from a legacy state under the military protection of America facing the USSR. Europe at this time, like all systems in legacy, had only weakly positive demographic drivers, while today’s demographics in the core states of Europe are marginal to negative. Most importantly, the great civil war peak was about each nation having its independent determination to govern itself, rather than expounding the vision of a pan-European political integration into the United States of Europe.
The vision of political unity came after 1945, driven by France’s fear of the fourth war with Germany which from the French perspective could only be resolved by political integration, effectively formed around Germany. The latter as youngest of the European nations, even after two wars continued to have considerable national energy, although today, Germany is now too in a state of decline and no longer able to power Europe. The French vision of political unity continues today and underlies the EU’s long-term goals. However, such expansion and integration are just not feasible. Instead, the EU is effectively in a legacy state in the context of the five-stage cycle and it simply does not have the national energy to hold together. Indeed, the post-Cold War expansion has made the EU too large and disparate, only worsening the instability with disintegration as the inevitable consequence.
Today, only the UK within Europe is in the ascendant. Sadly, Britain's attempts to change the moribund structure of Europe from within the union have been met with immovability by the other nations. Thus, the inevitable consequence will be that Britain chooses to leave the EU on 23rd June. This will then commence the disintegration of the EU as we know it. However, it could allow a more viable European alliance to rise from the ashes centred around a stronger Britain. Once separate, Britain will create the demographic and economic attractors around which a new EU model could be formed of the breakaway from northern states. This would potentially create the most stable long-term European prognosis. Thus, Brexit could be the beginning of a new reformation of a functioning European alliance, rather than a union, based on Britain rather than Germany as its core driver.
As for Obama advocating Remain, his views are based on what the US wants and on America’s geopolitical architecture, not on what is good for the UK. He has failed to understand that the EU is structurally doomed to failure and that an independent and consequently vibrant Britain will be a stabilising influence when that happens and turmoil ensues. Notably, as Britain becomes independent once again and stronger, it will seek to renegotiate the so-called special relationship in which it has become a very junior partner. Considering that since the days of America’s post-civil war expansion, Britain was the cousin that America sought to supplant with its global empire, this would require a long-term shift in political perspective by America to accommodate Britain’s resurgence on the world stage.
Finally, at the end of Obama’s eight-year term, and in the light of the evidence that he has presided over and accelerated the greatest loss of American power in its history, should we in Britain do anything but the very opposite of what he recommends?
Part VII: a European power shift 6 May 2016
Long-term stability in global geopolitics is ever only fleeting.
Millennia ago, the major states of ancient Greece and their alliances lived in a permanent state of flux, as the Athenians, Spartans, Thebans and finally, the Macedonians all vied for regional dominance.
Similarly, Europe over many centuries endured the same process. First, it was the Spanish, then the French and finally, the Germans who all rose and fell from the throne of European power. Meanwhile, Britain historically sat apart from the continent and always ganged up against the strongest nation to prevent a monopoly of a single nation.
Today's EU was in reality focused around a German power centre. But since the EU’s formation, the German truck engine has run out of power, and the cart has grown ever heavier with the additional burden of new EU members. Meanwhile, Britain has after a long recovery road increased its power and influence. Naturally, it has tried to change the German EU from the inside to reflect its new circumstances. However, this overture for change was bluntly rejected by the EU. Leaving Britain with the only option but to leave the EU in Brexit.
So, what will a post-Brexit Europe look like? Recognising that history does repeat itself time and time again. Then, Britain will inevitably become the new power centre of Europe, with the appropriate demographic and economic growth to attract other countries to its new alliance. This alliance will inevitably grow stronger as the old EU breaks up, but will only include nations that can support themselves, i.e., the healthiest of the northern nations.
Thus, Brexit and the inevitable break-up of the EU should not be viewed as a great cataclysm, but rather as a renewal process that better represents the economic realities within Europe. One that will once more make Europe stronger, rather than stumbling along in its current zombie state, which is no use to man or beast.
Part VIII: Will Brexit increase the chance of a world war? 10 May 2016
Cameron yesterday made the rash statement that Brexit would increase the probability of WW3.
As one who has made the cause of war a major study, I have to say that this is a complete load of alarmist twaddle. His comments smack of desperation as Downing Street realises that they are losing.
Under the ‘Five Stages of Empire’ model wars have a range of causes and classifications. However, the most relevant are the wars of expansion that are only undertaken by nations in the second phase of the five stage empire cycle. These wars take place as a young expanding empire seeks to carve out a growing position of influence by challenging the current power structure.
Thus, during the 18th and second half of the 19th century, it was France with its powerful demographics that sought to challenge for total dominance in Europe and the world. In so doing, it caused numerous wars.
Next, it was Germany who elbowed its way onto the European scene in the mid 19th century. Driven by its expanding demographics, it started three major Europen wars in 1870, 1914 and 1939.
In today’s Europe, there is not a single nation within the EU that could be classified as being in an expansive state with commensurate demographics except Britain that is! Thus, the driving forces of any future European war are just not present now or in the foreseeable future. The nation closest to the EU's borders with potentially such energy is Turkey, but it is unlikely to turn west, before going south and it is also a member of NATO.
Furthermore, I would postulate that if a single nation within the EU construct underwent a similar demographic expansion as France and Germany once did, it would simply burst the EU from the inside and inevitably come to dominate the whole system.
Thus, we can conclude that the peace that has governed Europe was not brought about by the EU’s fraternity, or even the Cold War during which Europe was united by its common enemy the USSR. But rather by its peaceful politics as a result of the underlying low energy state of its constituent nations. Thus leaving the EU is not a risk factor in starting or even catalysing a long-term WW3.
However, if we are looking for the next realistic cause of WW3, then we need to look at no further than China. If the lessons of WW1 and 2 are absorbed, then it took the whole of Europe, America and Russia to subdue Germany which was not more than 10% of the European population. Thus, if China’s ambitions continue unabated, then it will require most of the free world to contain her. A vital part of that will be Europe's active and effective support, which under the current moribund economic reality will be most unlikely to happen.
I would argue that Brexit and the subsequent break-up of the EU would rejuvenate Europe allowing it to become more dynamic and independent. In such a form it could take a more active view of the importance of strong defence and deterrence policies. Policies which will be vital to deter any aggression from China in the decade ahead.
Brexit IX: The economic question 11 May 2016
Listening to the hypothetical arguments from the UK government about the damage to the economy that Brexit will cause is an obvious attempt to sow fear. An argument that has reduced the credibility of its advocates. However, most of the electorate are naturally asking what is the realistic appraisal of our economy when we choose Brexit?
To be very blunt and put it simply, whether we stay or leave, there is an economic storm coming that will hit Britain, Europe and the whole world with great force. This storm will be driven by the tail end of the current deflationary cycle that is only due to end in 2018/19. This will cause asset prices to fall significantly from current levels both globally and in the UK. What is critical for the electorate to note is that this storm is both inevitable and independent from the Brexit decision. However, its onset will undoubtedly be brought forward by the Brexit decision, as Europe starts to break up under its own weight which will then have knock-on effects globally.
For the UK, this means that London property prices are falling, and this will accelerate as the previous peak was a bubble driven by foreign investment and most importantly, global money laundering. Naturally, the general UK housing market will undergo a similar decline. Meanwhile, global stock prices will also fall especially in Europe. This will be an overt trigger to a more negative national and European mood of protectionism and nationalism. Under this circumstance, the EU will break up under its own weight by 2019.
Once we recognise the storm is going to hit the UK, we have two choices. The first is to stay and sink with the EU. However, we are stronger than our neighbours with our own currency and so we will recover faster, but we will, without a doubt, have sunk deeper and undergone suffering that could have been avoided.
The second option is Brexit, and to become independent and the beneficiary of the capital flows from a declining and collapsing EU. This would in effect kickstart the UK’s economy absolutely and relatively, by to some extent insulating it from the inevitable deflationary storm.
So with respect to the economic question around the EU, now would be a prudent time to launch the lifeboat Brexit, batten down the hatches and leave the good ship EU to her inevitable fate.
Part X: The biases of UK demographics 13 May 2016
In previous Murrinations we have discussed the two opposing energies of the Brexit debate that echo the 1642-1651 English Civil War.
On the one side, for the cause of status quo, there is the energy of fear:
• Fear of change
• Fear of the risk losing wealth
• Fear of stepping out of line within society’s social order
On the another side, is the energy of aspiration:
• Aspiration for greater freedoms
• Aspiration for greater expression of individual freedoms
• Aspiration for the future of the nation and our children
However, to a large degree, these emotions are also linked to age. Naturally, as we become older, we become more cautious and conservative and as such migrate towards the fear camp. However, in contrast, youth is all about aspiration and the future. That is why all civil wars in the regional phase of empire are driven by a youthful demographic bulge that seeks a better future. This subset of society, driven by aspiration, is prepared to take significant risk and fight for what they see as their future.
Thus, within the Brexit debate, the demography of the voters in the UK has to be a critical factor in the outcome. If we make the assumption that voters over 50 become more conservative, while those below 50 tend to be more risk orientated, then there is a far greater body of voters that will be prepared to favour the risk of Brexit, than those governed by arguments based on fear.
Additionally, Boris Johnson has great appeal to the younger voters with his style and differentiation from the political establishment, favouring him over Cameron.
This simple analysis, when placed in the context of what appears to be at the moment a neck-and-neck campaign, implies that the British population based on collective emotional responses will choose Brexit.
Indeed, I would go further to say that Brexit will be voted not by a close margin, but rather by a much larger majority than anyone currently expects.
For more information on the UKs demography see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demography_of_the_United_Kingdom
Brexit XI: The polarisation process 18 May 2016
In “Breaking the Code of History” I dedicated a whole chapter to the process that precedes arguments and conflicts, which I called ‘polarisation’. This process takes place as two people or groups compete over the same ground. Such a process is very clearly demonstrated today in the context of the Brexit debate; the following will be familiar.
As competition increases between the two groups lead by Cameron and Boris, there has been a withdrawal from amicable relations as differences harden. This is obvious in the political arena, but it may also take place in the homes of Britain and between friends as emotions run high. In the past, this would have inevitably led to an armed conflict, but, thank goodness, in Britain today it will be decided in a referendum.
The critical question is who in this process will follow which cause? Henceforth, I will refer to the remains of the enfranchised leadership group and the Brexiters as the disenfranchised group.
The Enfranchised The Remain side is typified by the members of the government, associated institutions and big businesses who seek a continuance of the status quo and the benefits of being a part of the EU. What is interesting is how coherent and united this group appears to be. Cameron must have initially believed that with such apparent collective wisdom, singing from the same hymn sheet, the outcome was a forgone conclusion as the electorate fell into line. However, that has not been the case. Instead, something very powerful is unfolding in Britain today. Cameron has come to epitomise a leader with a sense of enfranchisement and a disregard for the common sense of his electorate. He became detached from those he represents, like the majority of politicians around him at times in history that preceded sweeping change.
On the other side are the little people of the lower and middle classes, with small businesses and normal existences which have struggled under EU laws and current central political policies (and who suffer from mass immigration in their neighbourhoods).To them, not only is the EU a negative influence but also, they have lost faith in their nation's leaders and politicians of all parties. They have suffered under two decades of poor leadership from the Labour Party under Blair and Brown, the Coalition under the Conservatives and Liberals and now a Conservative Party that is sitting on the centre ground. Thus, the more examples of leaders from other nations who are wheeled out to sing from the same song sheet, the more negative sentiment will be polarised against them. This is exactly what happened as the Republican Party tried to unseat Trump, but all they achieved was to make him stronger. The enfranchised camp has missed this key driver and is intent on sticking to their plan of a campaign focused on fear. This is having the effect of not only making this referendum a question about the EU, but all so a vote of no confidence in Britain political class.
Boris has understood this energy and is seeking to capitalise on what is essentially a modern day equivalent to a peasant revolt. Additionally, his knowledge of Churchill’s life (the importance of Churchill’s leadership in Britain’s history will be further elaborated in the next blog) and his use of emotions to rally his people against the odds is already hard at work to good effect. This group contains all those that still believe in Britain as an independent nation, rather than one suborned to a higher power.
These two sides of the debate represent a bifurcation of British society that we have not seen in any recent election for decades. Thus, the data gathering for the poles should not be trusted, as proven in the last general election.
Most importantly, with six weeks to go to the referendum, we should expect the arguments to reach parts of the UK population never seen before in the voting process. Going back to the early history of the English Civil War, it should be remembered that the two sides did not start with a mass of supporters. Instead, it took many, many months to mobilise the full support of the Parliamentarians, which ultimately led to victory over the less numerous opposition. I would make a similar analogy to the Brexit camp that will only grow larger as we approach June 23rd.
In my previous blog, I described those under fifty being on average more likely to vote for Brexit in an age bias to take the risk. Some of you correctly pointed out that, according to the papers, it was the younger voters who were pro-Europe, rather than, as I claimed, the electorate over 50. However, my reference was to where we would be at the time of the referendum, rather than today; and I stand by my observation that with an inevitably increased level of polarisation the younger voters will swing to the Brexit vote as part of a larger and irrevocable swing.
Brext XII: What would Churchill really have thought? 19 May 2016
Polls show that there is still a large group of the electorate that are undecided because the arguments are still not clear to stay or leave. Echoing this confusion, both sides have quoted Churchill’s hypothetical thoughts on Europe over the course of the referendum. In so doing, politicians are attempting to garner the legacy of Britain's greatest modern hero to their cause. This begs the question, if he were alive today which way would he have voted on 23rd June?
Churchill’s incisive mind would have quickly clarified the implications of voting to leave or stay. He would have noted that staying is not just a vote for the current relationship with the EU to continue, but rather a choice to commit Britain to further political integration within the EU. The obvious outcome of which wil be that Britain in time will cease to be a sovereign nation and this sooner than we might imagine. Even if the benefits clearly outweighed the negatives, which at present they certainly do not, then what form of political structure governing the EU will replace it? Currently, this is not clear at all. In effect, Britain would be giving up the known for the unknown in a national game of Russian Roulette.
In contrast, leaving is a vote to continue Britain's long history as a sovereign nation and as a champion for democracy and freedom. As such, it could act as a centre of gravity for a European alliance founded on true democracy and a less controlling form of government within each nation.
There are some very clearly defined perspectives that Churchill expanded during his long and productive life in serving the British people:
Churchill was an imperialist who believed in the British Empire and who did everything he could to hold it together in what was effectively its phase of decline. By implication, that means that he believed in our island nation, its people and their potential for greatness. Indeed, he imbued Britain with great courage, when at the time he was surrounded by the majority of politicians who could have easily capitulated in 1940. His call to never surrender our independence echoes through the decades to today’s referendum.
Thus, we can only conclude that Churchill would always have backed Britain against any odds to succeed and never yielded our sovereignty willingly.
Additionally, Churchill was a massive advocate of the “English-Speaking Peoples” and the role of democracy within our societies. England’s democracy was the first in Europe for reasons that I have often postulated that are linked to the ratio of seafaring people to land folk. Seafarers, being people with a more independent disposition beyond what is forced upon them by the environment they live and work in. Consequently, with greater levels of individuality, sea folk were more ready to assume the individual responsibilities so vital for a democracy to function. While, at the same time, they are less attached to the collective behavioural patterns linked to hierarchical leadership structures. Churchill’s history of the “English-Speaking Peoples” and their impact on the world, then and today, made him allergic to the slightest whiff of authoritarianism.
We can thus assume with little ambiguity that Churchill would always have advocated freedom and democracy compared to the bureaucratic and German-led authoritarianism of the EU today.
With regard to the concept of the United States of Europe, there is no doubt that he wished for peace in Europe having fought two major wars to stabilise the continent. However, I am sure that he saw that the role of Britain was to continue its 200-years national policy of always seeking to contain the strongest European power by supporting the weaker nations, i.e. a policy of promoting balance within Europe. The vision of a United States of Europe would have in effect created a self-controlling mechanism of the strongest power which was obviously Germany and would have allowed Britain to avoid future military interventions. However, it is very clear that Churchill did not envisage Britain to be within the United States of Europe, but rather to be alongside it. Remember at this stage, Britain still had the remnants of an empire, and so saw itself as a global power not limited to Europe.
Thus, Churchill would never have advocated Britain being as integrated as it is today in Europe, or on a path to be subsumed by it.
Indeed, Churchill’s views were shared by the majority until 1973, when at the bottom of our empire cycle, Britain was forced to join the EU by economic expedient. Although it was even then known to those that took the time to understand the EU proposition that the ultimate goal was political integration, the economic survival was naturally considered of higher priority. Remember that at the time the Cold War was at its height, the emerging markets were still below the horizon and proponents argued that the political integration issue was decades way, so they kicked the can down the road. Well decades later, the issue is now upon the British nation.
Looking at the structure of the EU and who benefits from it economically, it is clear that Germany is by far the greatest beneficiary mainly due to the low value of the Euro that has been averaged down by the addition of so many weak nations within the EU. With the result that German exports are highly competitive and that Germany was given a disproportionate political say in EU affairs. If an empire is effectively a monopoly designed to draw wealth from the periphery to the centre, then the EU, although not an empire, has had a similar positive effect for Germany at its centre. Germany, rather than overtly, has been wielding power so covertly that it has only in recent years become a focus of resentment. I suspect that Churchill would be somewhat indignant that a nation that started two wars was once more in control of Europe through a backdoor mechanism, with the effect of a third incarnation of modern German power in Europe. That been said, he would have understood why Britain had joined in 1973 and needed to reconstitute its strength having lost its empire. However, he would also have recognised that having bided its time, Britain had once more grown strong, and more importantly would soon be stronger than Germany. The nature of the objective of EU political integration has been made clear to all and is at odds with core British democratic values. These two core elements have melded to force Britain to stand up to the EU, not just for itself, but for all the nations of Europe, who seek democracy, security and economic prosperity.
Lastly, Churchill was the First Sea Lord in command of the most powerful navy in the world before and during the first part of WW1. In this position, he could witness, comprehend and safeguard the world's greatest trading network. A network, that relied on secure sea lanes, strategic planning and a powerful navy.
If you gave him the limited choice of Britain being an island linked to Europe or a nation with the unlimited potentiality of an island at the heart of a global commerce network, he would always have chosen the sea, and thus the globe. There can be no doubt that with these clear and hard guidelines provided by Churchill's actions, Churchill would unreservedly have voted for Brexit, driven by three key elements:
· Continuance of sovereignty and independence
· Continuance of our long-standing democracy
· Prosperity based on a global maritime trading economy
Churchill delivered his most famous speech at the low point of the war, after the fall of France in 1940, when Britain was left alone to resist the enemy. He exorted his nation never to surrender, and yet today a stay vote should be considered as just that. A surrender of our proud nation state; its light extinguishing silently in the night. Brexit
XIII: Brexit and beyond 20 May 2016
Conventional methods of predicting the future are normally so inaccurate as to be worthless. Thus, any conjecture for the British economy made by our politicians and institutions like the Bank of England post-Brexit has very little meaning.
However, if we employ the “five stages of empire model” and place Britain accurately on the curve, we will have a much better chance of understanding the forces at work in our society today. From that point forward we can then paint a picture of Britain's potential future outside of the EU.
We have for many months outlined that the Brexit vote was in effect a democratic civil war, similar in energy to that seen in the English Civil War some 350 years ago. When we first outlined the concept, we were a voice in the wilderness, but as the polarisation process has progressed, it is now a more common articulation in the press. As such, we feel confident that Britain is at the end of its phase of regionalisation, with the referendum acting as a shadow war of regionalisation. The Darwinian purpose of any such civil war is to decide the very nature of the leadership and the charter of the nation going forward. Thus, the Brexit referendum will act as a coalescing agent in the process of Britain’s expansion, to be followed by the next phase of the cycle called ascension to empire. In Britain's case, it will be ascension, perhaps not to empire again, but certainly to a much broader economic power base. There are very clear hallmarks of nations in ascension that allows us to predict the following hallmarks over the next decade. Naturally, some of these hallmarks will manifest almost soon and others later.
Strong political and military leadership (soon)
Post the civil war or in this case referendum, we must expect Cameron to go and to be replaced by Boris Johnson. The need for a strong form of leadership and definitive action will be required to hold together the two fractions of the Conservative Party. The Conservative Party will also move to the right as it adopts traditional wealth creation policies. One would expect the policies to be reminiscent of the Thatcherite period, with greater attention to the economic prosperity of the lower and middle classes whose economic wellbeing needs immediate attention for the stability of the nation. The key will be a low taxation environment that attracts global capital to invest in the nation's expansion.
A trial by economic fire (soon)
The inevitable global economic storm in the year ahead will inevitably wash up on Britain's shores and test the new leadership. However, at the same time it could in its adversity bring Britain back to a more united state. The best analogy is to imagine the effect of 1929 on the whole of the Western world, and all the social ramifications therein on the majority of weak Western nations.
Release of a wave of innovation (soon)
Free from EU regulations and protectionism, the natural energy of innovation, normally evident in this phase of the cycle, will be unleashed. Britain once more will be a source of global innovation and entrepreneurship. This may include a flat tax structure that will encourage risk taking and ultimately increase tax receipts.
A new global trade network (later)
When Britain joined the EU in 1973, it effectively abandoned its maritime heritage. However, this policy will be reversed. Driven by necessity, once more Britain will seek to trade with the growing nations of the globe in the emerging world. Its commonwealth will represent a powerful trade network if it can rejuvenate these linkages. New bilateral trade agreements will appear much faster than the naysayers expect. This expansion will promote a more engaged global perspective from British leadership and hopefully drive the rebuilding of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office by returning to the view that the sea lanes are Britain’s arteries.
Resource acquisition strategies (later)
Britain will take a more strategic view on global resource acquisition as its stands alone. This is both a survival response and the reaction of a nation in ascendancy tending to plan the future. This will be of vital importance when the next inflationary wave of the Kondratieff cycle starts post-2018. With good planning, this could give Britain a major boost relative to nations who are unprepared.
Great maritime presence (later)
This new maritime commerce network will revive the need for a mercantile fleet and for a strong and global navy. It could spark a new automated ship building industry in the UK without the current constraints from the EU. This, in turn, will revive the need of the nation’s reliance on a larger and more capable navy with a genuinely global reach.
Expansion of the nation's military (soon)
After years of degradation, the armed services will finally be rebuilt and modernised in line with the many profound revolutions in military affairs that are changing the face of the battle space. Traditionally, it was the regional civil war that ultimately militarised a nation before it leapt out into the world and expanded. However, with a peaceful referendum replacing the bloodshed of a civil war this dynamic will be absent. Yet, it could be replaced by the sense that we stand alone and thus cannot rely on other nations. This healthy fear could be the driver, especially combined with the obvious threats posed by Russia, ISIL and most of all China. With respect to the latter, once Britain resumes closer ties with Australia and better understands its perspective, the threat from China will fall into stark relief.
New national identity (later)
There is nothing like success to increase pride and a sense of national identity. Thus, the success of Britain outside the EU will inevitably bring a new sense of national pride and national identity as to what the British values are in a new multicultural England. In time, the Anglo-Saxon and Christian apologists will fall away. However, it is vital that the new Britain introduces a clear set of clear values as what it is to be British, placing secular support of the nation above any religious loyalty much as America’s demand today.
New alliances (soon)
Northern European nations will break away from the EU and create a loose alliance around the UK with its relatively strong economy as the centre of gravity. This UK/alliance network should extend to key allies around the globe to include the ex-commonwealth nations such as India, Australia and Britain’s old friend, Japan. These positive changes will not appear overnight, but rather I suspect will be seen clearly over the next 5 to 10 years. Importantly, Britain with a new national identity could be a powerful force for good in the world. A force that will be a vital element of world peace, if the free nations are to be able to meet the rise of China as a dictatorial global military power.
Brexit XIV: Protectionism 23 May 2016
Like so many dynamics in the world, when it comes to global trading policies there are two polarised approaches.
On the one side, there is the doctrine of free trade, where governments reduce as much as possible the barriers to trade. On the other side there is the doctrine of protectionism which seeks to restrain trade between countries. Methods such as tariffs on imported goods, restrictive quotas and a variety of other government regulations are effectively designed to protect the domestic economy.
When these two policies are located on the ‘five stages of empire’ curve, it should not be surprising to note that free trade, with its implied confidence of taking on all competition, is the policy of expanding nations. In contrast, systems in decline that no longer can compete globally revert to protectionism.
Having identified that the Super Western Christian Empire is collectively in the last phase of decline, one should not be surprised to notice that the EU is one of the greatest exponents of trade protection in the world. Meanwhile, Trump's protectionist policies are synchronised with the steep decline in American power. It is interesting to note the irony of the disapproving response of many Europeans to Trump’s proposed protectionist policies, when the EU has been enacting such policies for decades.
While protectionism might appear to work in the short term, it inevitably kills competition and creates barriers for smaller business to succeed and grow. In short, it kills the creative process and future of the economy. This only exacerbates the decline process further. Thus, EU and potential US policies will not create healthy long-term economies with protectionist policies. Meanwhile, the UK is the only nation in the Western world on the ascendant. As such the rejection of protectionism and the promotion of a policy of free trade with the rest of the world are an ideal strategy to accelerate Britain’s growth outside the EU.