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Boris Border Clampdown Seals National Populist Tory Drift as Pro-Brexit Left Founders.

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Image result for regis debray eloge des frontiers

In Praise of Borders, and…..European citizens will be required to gain US-style pre-approval to enter Britain?

One of the divisions opened up by Brexit on the British left has been between the internationalists and those who imagined that leaving the European Union would pave the way for a ‘People’s Brexit’.

Sometimes this has been a straightward affair, those supporting ‘Lexit’, a ‘left Brexit’ want to create a version of the 1970s Alternative Economic Strategy that relies on an autonomous economy under social ownership and unshared national sovereignty.

Other times groups add freedom from the Nato imperialist war machine. They pontificate, ” Rather the wars, interventions and occupations of the past nearly two decades have helped to fuel terror and make it a more frequent occurrence in countries like Britain.” (Lindsey German. Counterfire today).

Recently German has also been concerned with the views of Leave voters,

…any report of canvassing in some of these areas tells a story of bitter disillusionment among Leave voters, all too often combined with the belief that some traditional Labour voters will switch to the Tories.

She continued, saying that it’s part of “the fallout from the 2016 referendum. These areas tended to vote Leave at least partly in protest at decline, and against the perception of being ignored and taken for granted by politicians.”

The Counterfire/Stop the War leader lays the blame on Remain supporters,

..the poll underlines the damage Labour Remainers have done with their relentless drive towards ignoring the vote of three years ago in favour of an new referendum in which they would want to back Remain. Jeremy Corbyn has been vilified for sitting on the fence, being neutral and so on, but his stance has been a response to precisely the feeling in the Leave areas. What has happened in this election is simply that Labour has found it much much harder to win back Leave voters than Remain voters.

Even some people who voted Remain are furious that Labour is ignoring the referendum result – and certainly that has been my impression in talking to people from different parts of the country.

Who knew: 52% of the population matter? – election briefing 29 November

Like others German does not look into the issues fuelling this fury, or what exactly this 52% is made up of, HIgh Tories to High Stalinists included.

Perhaps migration, perhaps ultra-strict border controls may be things that “matter” to them?

Polls indicate that’;taking back control’ means frontier controls above all.

Some of us have certainly not ignored this, we have argued against the Brexit concentrated hatred, and Brexit itself, lock stock and barrel.

It’s hard to deny this, and I too have been “talking to people”.

No doubt we are guilty of standing up for internationalism

Yet I have not heard anybody call for a People’s Brexit either…

The impression is widespread that the supporters for Brexit on the left have legitimsied the right-wing drift of some voters. That is that there is on result of German and friends’ activities. It is Lexit Cover for National Populism.

One thing that’s been striking over the last few years is the growth, across Europe, of those promoting nationalism, in a sovereigntist guise, on the left.

The ‘globalists’, the Blairite cosmopolitan elite, the Clinton Global Initiative,  ably described in Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas (2018), the philanthropists claiming to make the world a better place, the principal enemy today?

It’s not hard to believe that the Ford Foundation, TED talks and  MarketWorld  are a serious obstacle.

But Giridharadas also notes towards the end of his book the xenophobia racism of the Trump electorate, and one can extend this to one of the reasons for the Brexit vote – one that the Lexiters ignore, or try divert attention away from by whataboutery on EU migration policy – never mentioning the German decision to admit around 890,000 asylum seekers in 2015.

New Left Review, however, if not as directly as its promotion of the likes of anti ‘Jewish elite’ writer Norman Finkelstein, has soft spot for those prepared to defend borders. The left-wing critic of ‘neoliberal globalisation‘ and now national populist advocate of “a strengthening of national borders and immigration controlsWolfgang Streeck, is a leading contributor. He is a member of the Red-Brown Full Brexit front that brings together Brexit Party supporters and the ‘left’.

Régis Debray may not have got the book pictured into its pages, but his musings  have appeared, if only in extract from Civilisation. Comment nous sommes devenus américaines. 

It is full of self-pitying nationalism that marks out this current of thought.

Perhaps I am over-attached to this bizarre country where you can recite a poem in a meeting, where not everyone considers capitalism as the final stage of human history, where we do not fear dreaming of having an independent foreign policy, and where the writer has a role they do not have elsewhere. This particularity is fading away. I do not take any joy in this, but no one will stop me in my own corner from continuing to write in French.

Macron, or the coronation of America: A conversation with Régis Debray

It has been up to a New Left Review founding figure, Tom Nairn, to wallow fully in the Debray vision of the world.

Frontiers: a re-evaluation Tom Nairn.

Frontiers have become awfully unfashionable. The ideology of “globalisation” responds with its sternest frown: historical relics, left-overs from the age of competing nationalisms, they have  had their day and should be ignored, if not put down. Régis Debray is characteristically scathing about all this in his recent polemic Éloge des Frontières (Gallimard, Paris 2010). In the concluding chapter of this ‘Praise for Frontiers’ he points out that globaloney has as its fatal culmination what one might call ‘All-the-Sameism’ – to which a proper answer can only be “the right to frontiers”, or (more strongly) the duty of maintaining them, and where necessary creating new ones. Not ‘walls’ but (as Scots like to say) borders, gateways to and from differing cultures and outlooks.

Things have changed.

The left is no longer confronted, as the principal enemy, by globalists, by Bill Clinton and Tony Blair.

We live in the age, where we are confronted  as argued, by Justine Lacroix, with national populism,  and national neoliberalism (“Mais nous sommes ­confrontés à Trump, Bolsonaro, Erdogan, Orban ou, en Pologne, à Droit et justice, sans même parler de la Russie et de la Chine).

Nairn’s borders are being reinforced…..

And now, with Boris Johnson and Brexit Project, Domnic Cummins and all.

European citizens will be required to gain US-style pre-approval to enter Britain after Brexit in a fresh border clampdown to be unveiled by the Conservatives today.

In a move to shift the election debate to immigration the Tories will outline plans to make all visitors to Britain receive additional security clearance before they travel.

There is expected to be a charge for the checks, similar to the American Esta system. This requires visitors to gain clearance to enter the country three days before their arrival or be turned back at the airport.

The European Union is expected to introduce a similar scheme in 2021, meaning that after Brexit all travellers between Britain and Europe will face additional scrutiny and costs.

The Times.

Politics Home.

Under a raft of promises the party claims will improve border security if it wins the election, the Tories said a new visa waiver scheme called Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) would be brought in for EU citizens wanting to travel to the UK.

Under current EU free movement rules, travellers from the bloc only need an ID card to gain entry.

But the new regime will see them asked to bring passports and fill in an online form before travelling, a move the Conservatives said would allow officials to “to screen arrivals and block threats from entering the UK”.

The Tories are also pledging to gather more data on goods being brought into the UK in a bid to clamp down on smuggling – a move the party claims could save £5bn a year in lost taxes.

They are also promising to bring in new immigration regulations with “far broader powers” for the Home Secretary to stop EU foreign nationals with serious convictions from entering the UK.

Unveiling the plans, Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “When people voted to leave in 2016 they were voting to take back control of our borders.

“After Brexit we will introduce an Australian-style points based immigration system and take steps to strengthen our border and improve the security of the UK.

Written by Andrew Coates

December 2, 2019 at 1:10 pm