Sunday, 22 November 2009

Daniel Hannan: swap one sovereignty-crushing force for another

Daniel Hannan's fight against the EU is all very well, but if he supports the WTO's 'Free Trade' system what the fuck is the point? What is his problem with the EU? Obviously not the destruction of national sovereignty. Just the usual right-wing winge about socialism, as if it's any better to have the 'socialists' out and the corporate cabal in. It's a false dichotomy, both factions are working towards the same endgame. The only difference is which individuals will sit at the big table.

'Free Trade' is a utopian fantasy, based on the premise that when there is perfect free trade, everyone will be happy and have enough. This ain't gonna happen, because as soon as the 'benefits of free trade' trickle down to the mass of the people, the 'free trade' will o' the wisp will depart to where the labour costs and the workers' rights are lower. So jobs move from Canada to the USA, then down to Mexico, then across to China, and if the Chinese ever ask for Sunday off, the factories will move on again.

'Free Trade' (and I use inverted commas, because it is a label, not a description) is the most common error in the minds of libertarian thinkers, grasped for like a glass of gin and tonic at the end of a hard day's work. Unfortunately, it's bullshit. It means, and has meant, the de-industrialisation of the West and the increasing enslavement of the populations to corporate interests. So much as I am happy to join Hannan as he battles the Beast of Brussels, we will be fighting for different objectives; his being to hand over the re-patriated power to another gang of crooked bureaucrats in the WTO, and mine being to keep these powers under democratic superintendance in this country.

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