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Re: <nettime> England leaves Europe
Keith Hart on Sun, 26 Jun 2016 20:06:36 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> England leaves Europe


Hi Brian,

I can't offer proof, far from it. It is a story that I have been building
up for decades. No doubt its source is a Manchester man's loathing of how
London stole our industrial revolution and turned it into mercantile
colonial empire, wrecking the British economy in the process. This
sensibility perhaps allows me to make more pointed use of Shaxson on the
City than others might. A consistent theme has been the UK's creeping
constitutional crisis as a revolution waiting to happen. I often get the
timing and substance wrong. For example I predicted the destruction of  the
Labour party in the last general election. But one constant is the idea
that the UK will break up and decentralising politics will take many
unexpected forms, paving way for the long awaited post-imperial hangover to
materialise.

So I assemble bits and pieces on the City, the Tories, the FT and so on. I
live in Paris and have in-laws in Switzerland, so I pick up more than
average doses of anti-City rhetoric. A major factor is that I spent a
quarter century in Cambridge and have a good feel for the British secret
state and its active wings in finance and espionage. I don't take my news
from the standard sources. All of which adds up to a fabrication. But I was
struck in your piece by how abtract and homogeneous your account was. I
don't think capitalism comes in predictable slices. In pushing for an
upbeat version of the story, you too were highly selective, as now in your
response. It was perhaps the breathless rationalism that led me to produce
an extremist alternative.

In the end, what each of us has is the ability to shock readers with
something fresh. I  know that I haven't yet produced my sharpest
perspective and you do it  all the time. Let's continue the conversation,
but don't ask me for the facts. That's a Blairite tactic.

Keith



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