Richard Seymour

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The Fantasy of Brexit Britain Is Over

The Boris Johnson era is over. But the turmoil has only just begun.

For the third time in under a decade, a crisis at the top of the Conservative Party has ousted a sitting prime minister. Where his predecessors had been brought down by Brexit, Mr. Johnson’s reign  was broken by a series of crises. Some, such as chronic labor shortages and a surging cost of living, were material. Others, notably Mr. Johnson’s rule-breaking through the pandemic, were ethical. By the end, the problem was fundamentally electoral: A string of defeats and miserable polling convinced Conservative lawmakers that Mr. Johnson’s electoral pulling power was at an end.…  Seguir leyendo »

Kyle Rittenhouse, a “Blue Lives Matter” fanatic, Donald Trump supporter and militia member, has been charged with murder. It is alleged that having travelled from Illinois to Wisconsin to point his assault rifle at unarmed protesters, he shot two people dead. He was later heard claiming: “I just killed somebody.”

While the Trump campaign quietly disavowed this enthusiastic supporter, insisting he had “nothing to do with our campaign” (as though anyone had suggested otherwise), the president himself defended Rittenhouse, saying he appeared to have been acting in self defence. Message boards such as Reddit and 4chan are humming with commentary supporting Rittenhouse.…  Seguir leyendo »

The moment has arrived. Britain is out of the European Union. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his “People’s Government” — it scarcely calls itself Conservative at this point — has fulfilled the promise on which it was elected in December and “got Brexit done.”

There are difficulties ahead. Mr. Johnson has promised impossible and contradictory things on Brexit: Maximum regulatory freedom where it suits his government, maximum frictionless trade where it suits the British economy. The European Union is unlikely to give him what he wants in the months of negotiations to come.

But by fulfilling his pledge, Mr. Johnson has won enormous good will from nationalist voters across England and Wales.…  Seguir leyendo »

Nigel Farage is the British crisis in human form. His party, the unambiguously named Brexit Party, which is hardly a party and didn’t exist six months ago, won nearly a third of the British vote in the recent European Parliament elections, putting it in first place and driving the shattered Conservative Party into fifth. Long underestimated, Mr. Farage has done more than any politician in a generation to yank British politics to the hard, nationalist right. He is one of the most effective and dangerous demagogues Britain has ever seen.

With his last political vehicle, the U.K. Independence Party, or UKIP, Mr.…  Seguir leyendo »

Bullet holes marked a sign post at the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland last July. Charles Mcquillan/Getty Images

The Democratic Unionist Party, the hard-line Northern Irish Protestant party that essentially has both Prime Minister Theresa May and the Brexit process in a death grip, is not merely stupid or fanatical. The party understands that its fortunes depend on an increasingly threatened British nationalism.

Unionism is dying in Northern Ireland. During the 30-year war, the Protestant majority was mostly loyal, even though Northern Ireland was one of the the poorest parts of the United Kingdom. With a dwindling industrial base, it was subsidized by war, infused with money for an occupying army and giant, garrisoned stations full of police officers.…  Seguir leyendo »

All Cyprus banks will remain closed until Thursday, having been shut since 15 March. There is a real risk of collapse for the country's banking system, which has gambled recklessly with both small savings and "money of uncertain provenance". And it is a cardinal principle of the current global economy that the financial system must be protected at all costs.

It is tempting to ask, "Why not just let it crash?" But the obvious answer is: because it would be grossly irresponsible. Workers' savings would be destroyed, and homes would be repossessed. It would accelerate a tremendous economic crisis not just in Cyprus but in much of Europe, which would destroy living standards.…  Seguir leyendo »