BY PAUL NEWALL
The reopening of pubs on Saturday put me in mind of a 4th of July from several years ago, when I hit the town with a guy I went to school with. I’d offered to take him out because he was what would be termed these days as an InCel (involuntary celibate). I thought I could help him with his confidence issues by taking him to a few pubs and a club and he could make the same discovery as I had some years ago – that everyone is in the same boat to one degree or another in that we all have confidence issues and lingering self-doubt.
I was regretting my charitable gesture when I discovered he had been doubling up on his round and was absolutely smashed off his face by 10 pm. Worse still he was an aggressive drunk. I managed to break up one scuffle before I got blindsided by a sucker punch. As I picked myself up off the sticky carpet I saw my drunken companion being bundled out of the door – I imagined him getting a shoeing, as even when sober he couldn’t fight sleep. So I walked past the bouncer who tried to stop me going out – he thought I wanted to continue with my bushwhacker. I explained that I was with the idiot in the pale blue suit and I had best get him home so was eventually freed.
Everyone knows someone who has a sniff of the barmaid’s apron and wants to fight the world. But what happens if that associate is a huge country?
China isn’t drunk but one would think that Xi Jinping has been using something noxious because he seems to be dishing out nose tweaks and elbow digs across the geopolitical map. Border incursions with India, building islands in the South China sea, veiled threats to Japan and Taiwan, invading Hong Kong and not forgetting the Chinese lying through their teeth over the spread and infectiousness of Covid. So what is going on?
Since his election as the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump has pushed back against China, the primary reason being that vulture capitalists bought up American-based profitable manufacturing concerns, asset-stripped them and then moved production to the people’s republic, where the goods were produced cheaper and everybody won – barring the American worker who became jobless while Chinese workers did the job for a fraction of the pay. The US isn’t alone. Much of the West, under pressure from environmentalists to reduce pollution, allowed western industry to be hived off while pursuing a service-based industrial strategy. For three years Trump was on his own, other western elites were happy to ignore the human rights record of China and the precarious rebalancing of their economies. Enter stage left Covid and the economic fallout that is about to accompany it, and bearing in mind China’s fork-tongued response to the outbreak which has made the fallout worse, word has it that the Huawei contract for UK 5G is about to be torn up, as are several other UK/ China collaborations. There’s been no mention of Hinckley Point yet but the word about town is that it won’t be happening with Chinese involvement.
Certain observers are suggesting that the People’s Workers Paradise is a bit of a paper tiger – that since the China-US accord signed under Nixon, much of the growth in China exists only on balance sheets. Years of fiddling exchange rates and narrow margins have created lots of paper money while not creating sustainable wealth for the country. The Chinese business model, critics argue, is something of a Ponzi scheme and if the flow of foreign capital slows or stops then the whole system falls on its derriere. Fearing the fall of the income stream that is making everything else possible, it’s believed that Xi has put his foot to the accelerator, trying to push all of the long-term geopolitical aims to completion before the roof falls in. This might seem pointless but for example if the Chinese Quadrant of the South China sea is annexed then China will effectively control all trade in SE Asia, so even from a position of economic ruin, it would be much easier to create a more sustainable economic model.
In January this year the Doomsday clock was moved to 11:58.20 based primarily on concerns over the South China Sea, so it’s as bad as the Cuba crisis of 1962 but without the TV coverage. It has to be said that there’s a great deal of Chinese money in the American media, so I guess the only visible enemy for China right now is the Orange God Emperor – which is why the American financial elites want his removal.
We live in shaky times, all we can do is support British produced goods and I assure you that if the demand is there then the industry will grow to service it. Every bit of Chinese Tat that you don’t buy is a nail in the coffin of a system that has killed tens of millions of people. Resist the temptation.
Paul Newall is a child of the 1960’s from a traditional Labour-supporting household. Paul dabbled with Trotskyism in the 1980’s but then “grew up and thanks to having responsibilities I slowly migrated across the political spectrum until instead of hating Maggie Thatcher I admired her for beating my side in the miners’ strike”.