Buzzfeed has revealed a new, internal UK government analysis which claims “growth” across the United Kingdom will slow regardless of what sort of Brexit deal is struck. The argument once again brings to the fore the fool’s gold of what constitutes a successful nation state.
The report suggests, per Buzzfeed:
- Almost every sector of the economy included in the analysis would be negatively impacted in all three scenarios, with chemicals, clothing, manufacturing, food and drink, and cars and retail the hardest hit. The analysis found that only the agriculture sector under the WTO scenario would not be adversely affected.
- Every UK region would also be affected negatively in all the modelled scenarios, with the North East, the West Midlands, and Northern Ireland (before even considering the possibility of a hard border) facing the biggest falls in economic performance.
- There is a risk that London’s status as a financial centre could be severely eroded, with the possibilities available under an FTA not much different to those in the WTO option.
- On the plus side, the analysis assumes in all scenarios that a trade deal with the US will be concluded, and that it would benefit GDP by about 0.2% in the long term. Trade deals with other non-EU countries and blocs, such as China, India, Australia, the Gulf countries, and the nations of Southeast Asia would add, in total, a further 0.1% to 0.4% to GDP over the long term.
Let us set aside for a moment the fact that almost every national and international claim made over economics or “growth” has been embarrasingly wrong for the political establishment since the start of the Brexit debate, though it is worth keeping in mind:
UK GDP grew +0.5% in Q4'17 i.e. AnnualGrowth +1.8%
Morgan Stanley 1%
EU Commission 1%
(Monkey with a dartboard would do better than the above)
JPM, BNS, CMZB 1.6%
— Manish Singh👨👩👧 (@Manish_05Singh) January 26, 2018
Instead, let us analyse the premise of the subject: growth.
“Growth” we are told simply amounts to the expansion of the economy across its key sectors. How much is being produced, and in turn what is added to our balance books.
This, to me, does not seem like the be all and end all of growth. Especially when so much of “growth” is a falsehood, much of it predicated on debt passed down to the next generation, and a lot of it entailing cash flowing back out from domestic companies that are eventually foreign-owned.
The establishment notion of “growth” i.e. straight up GDP numbers, fails to take into account how much a nation is happy, or at ease with itself. It fails to account for identity, values, communities, or social cohesion.
Most strikingly, it fails — intentionally — to account for what the public actually wants.
All public polling — the good, the bad, and the ugly — suggests that the British public wants drastically lower rates of immigration. That includes immigrant communities themselves declaring the necessity for a slow down or cessation of uncontrolled migration.
But these are immeasurables that neither the government, nor the likes of Buzzfeed wish to dabble in. Because they are discomfiting to the political and media class’s ideas of “progress” — another red herring or linguistic trick.
Speaking on Radio Clyde in 1977, former Conservative Party Member of Parliament Enoch Powell lamented the same notion when it comes to measuring a nation’s well-being. He told the audience:
How angry it makes me to be told that Britain does not grown like other nations. Well they say the figures show that Japan grows 10, 15, 20 per cent to our 2 per cent or 0 per cent. All I can say if this is growing, what I see and understand of the way that the Japanese live, well give me nil growth.
This amounts to outright heresy in 2018, and indeed was becoming so back when the speech was made. Today, this idea of putting people and their families concerns ahead of the financial bottom line of the corporate-administrative state is perceived as either fanciful, or extreme, or buffoonery.
Powell went on:
The things that this country’s great in are things the majority of which you can’t measure on these statistics. And I resent those who, well its their choice let them have their own choice, go for the things that can be measured in quantity, turning round and saying to us because we went through, 100 years ago, the stage of economic development that they are going through, turning round to us and saying you are lagging behind. You must imitate us if you wish to catch up with us.
I do not believe there is any catching up to be done but I do believe that we shall lose that in which we were great unless we are prepared to be true to ourselves and we cannot be true to ourselves unless we are both free and self-governed.
Herein lies the very essence of Brexit.
It is why a majority of Leave voters said they were happy to take an economic hit for a return to national sovereignty, with 61 per cent of them saying they think that “significant damage to the British economy to be a price worth paying for bringing Britain out of the European Union”. The results obviously palpably skewed by the inclusion of the subjective word: “significant” and indeed “damage”.
The Brexit voter doesn’t see an fiscal downturn for predominantly major corporations as being “damage” at all.
YouGov didn’t ask the same question of Remain voters (about leaving, it only asked them the same question about remaining) but I suspect the answer would have seen a significant, though not comparable, number of them agree.
Growth as we currently understand it — or are led to understand it — is just another establishment cudgel by which we are beaten around the head. I say if the argument is for national sovereignty — the right to make our own destiny, and maybe even our own mistakes ourselves — versus “growth”, well give me nil growth.
Raheem Kassam is the editor in chief of Breitbart London