Another Europe is Possible, Anti-Imperialism, Brexit, British Empire, Caroline Lucas, Democracy, EU Referendum, Imperialism, John McDonnell, Nationalism, Opinion, Politics, Referendum Panic, Revolution, Satire, Vote Leave, Yanis Varoufakis
Tychy today publishes the founding statement of “Another British Empire is Possible.” This new campaign, which aims to get beyond the negativity and scaremongering of Leave campaigners such as Mahatma Gandhi, is supported by eminently trendy figures on the Left including the Greek economist Yanis Varoufakis, the shadow chancellor John McDonnell, the Green party MP Caroline Lucas, the journalist Owen Jones, the comedian Kate Smurthwaite, and the education reformer Cecil Rhodes.
Listen, the British Empire might not be perfect. Yes, there are the injustices which we are all familiar with: the lack of democracy, the unelected bureaucrats in London making decisions about what happens in Kuala Lumpur, the dominance of the capitalist agenda, and the austerity programme which has contributed to the Bengal famine. Nobody cares about these things more than us, and we all have a long track record of campaigning against them.
Yet we can’t just walk away. In an era of gobalisation, you can’t simply pull up the drawbridge and go back to the past. Mahatma Gandhi is selling you a dangerous fantasy – that you can somehow return to the days when India was self-governing. This India never existed and any attempt to replicate it will have a seriously detrimental impact on the free movement of people; trade union and human rights; environmental protection; international cooperation; and a host of other vital issues.
We owe so many of our social rights to the British Empire. Before it came along, everybody was living in mud huts and mating with their own siblings. Do we really want to go back to those days? Only the British Empire can secure the rights that workers across the planet currently depend upon. Petty nationalists such as the Mau Mau and Robert Mugabe want to scrap our social protection and the Human Rights Act.
The British Empire is in desperate need of a democratic overhaul. It must be radically reformed to serve the interests of its citizens, not its biggest corporations. But the problems this empire faces will not be solved by the natives turning their backs on them. They should work with other natives across the empire, in the same way that Indians and Pakistanis worked so well together during the Partition, so that we can together realise a common dream: that another British Empire is possible.
You might wonder how an institution which has been deliberately designed to be voter-proof, and to lock out any involvement whatsoever from the masses, can be reformed in this way. Where would you even begin? Let’s not talk about that! On our website, we constantly tell people that they have to stay in the British Empire, and we vaguely insinuate that it could be one day reformed, but we otherwise do not possess the barest idea of what to do.
To be honest, since abandoning the anti-imperialism which was once the ABC of the Left, we have had to sit in humiliating silence whilst politicians on the Right have started talking the exciting language of revolution. We are meant to be activists and anti-capitalist protestors but we can hardly go out into the streets and use the assessments of the IMF and the Bank of England as slogans. This has led to us setting up this new cross-party organisation in a desperate attempt to make ourselves seem relevant.
You can donate, download the campaigners’ toolkit, buy our exclusive tee-shirt at a solidarity price, and try to deck out our vision of naked conservativism in all the trendy apparel of student protest. We are progressives who are terrified of change – whatever you do, keep calm and blindly support the status quo!
Caroline Lucas MP Green party
Cat Smith MP Labour shadow minister for women
Clive Lewis MP Labour shadow minister for energy and climate change
Hywel Williams MP Plaid Cymru Westminster group leader
Lucy Anderson MEP Labour
Claude Moraes MEP Labour
Michael Mansfield QC Barrister
Molly Scott Cato MEP Green party
Julie Ward MEP Labour party
Manuel Cortes General secretary, Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA)
Marshajane Thompson Momentum National Committee (pc)
Steve Turner Assistant general secretary, Unite the Union
Luke Cooper Anglia Ruskin University and convenor, Another Europe Is Possible
Ann Pettifor Economist
Kate Smurthwaite Comedian
Owen Jones author and columnist
Zoe Williams Journalist
Richard Murphy Economist and tax justice campaigner
Neal Lawson Compass
Peter Tatchell human rights activist
Amelia Womack Deputy leader, Green party
John Palmer Former Europe editor, the Guardian
Billy Hayes Former general secretary, CWU
Paul Mackney Former general secretary, UCU (Natfhe)
Sahaya James NUS national executive committee
Nick Dearden Director, Global Justice Now
Lord Stewart Wood Labour
Deborah Hermanns National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts
Michael Chessum Journalist and Labour party activist
Zoe Gardner Refugee rights campaigner
Mark Perryman co-founder Philosophy Football
Janna Kenny junior doctor and EU migrant worker
Mohammed Ateek Syrian refugee, activist and PhD student
Sam Fowles Birmingham University
Salman Shaheen journalist
Marina Prentoulis University of East Anglia and Syriza (UK)
Professor Etienne Balibar Author, We The People of Europe
Sunny Hundal Journalist
Liz Davies Barrister and Labour party activist
Neil Faulkner Historian and archaeologist
Houzan Mahmoud Kurdish feminist activist
Bill Bowring Professor of Law, Birkbeck
Niccolo Milanese Chair, European Alternatives
John Christensen tax justice campaigner
Kate Hudson Left Unity
Derek Wall Green party international coordinator
David Rosenberg Author, Rebel Footprints
Maryam Namazie Human rights activist
Hannah Webb NUS national executive
James Elliot NUS disabled students campaign
Natalie Sedacca Human rights lawyer
Andrea Pisauro Sinistra Ecologia Liberta (London)
George Aylett Former Labour parliamentary candidate and Youth NC member