Changes in China, turbulence in EU, geopolitics in Brexit


Liberty has missed the boat. The fate of the decency cause is now in the hands of others

Overnight in China, the Shanghai index fell another 5.3%. The PBOC was hoovering up every share it could find to buy, but it made little difference. Significantly, this time there was no early closure of the Chinese markets…but the Shanghai Communist Party boss Han Seng ordered a crackdown on all media speculation.

As it happens, a lot of the speculation has been about…um, Han Seng. But most sources now see him as a man strengthening his position in the Beijing Politburo as several older leaders ‘retire’….and he doesn’t want any ‘rogue’ news raining on his parade. It’s clear that a major Politburo reshuffle is imminent; it’s going to make Jeremy Corbyn’s look positively well-organised.

In the light of what it sees as a very likely change in currency and economic policy in China, Washington is now moving to – if nothing else – ensure that nothing is left to chance in the EU. Angela Merkel will be feeling suitably chastened: mass migration problems, mass rapes and now a massed attack on the Dax. The message seems to be “No dalliances with the man to the East, and no sh*tting on the Limeys”.

24 hours later, we see David Cameron looking confident, predicting a solid EU deal in February and virtually naming a Referendum in June. No wonder he’s feeling chipper: Dave has been assured that nothing will be allowed to get in the way of Britain’s continued EU membership.

I hate to admit this, but there is not going to be a Brexit. Even a late surge for the Vote Leave camp is not going to make any difference. We have now entered the realm of Whatever it Takes, and – at least in the West – I fear we must accept that the tide is irreversible.

During the last three days, a great steaming pile of ruthlessness has  come to light: the source of the smell has been established. Some Tory Eurosceptics and UKIP inner circle are grudgingly accepting reality. Even the ClubMed rebellion has lost face, and is losing heart.

A brick wall is being built around NATO membership as solid as any Berlin Wall. Only the Brics are now in a position to undermine a planetary hegemony for US neoliberal corporatism.

They wouldn’t be my first choice as allies. But the days when we had a choice are now over. So, bon courage as we say in these parts.