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Monday, 20 November 2017

Germany's Second State

It is a commonplace assertion that a cabal of German bankers and industrialists fixed Hitler's appointment as Chancellor in January, 1933, at a time when support among the electorate for the Nazis was waning. The business figures were scared that the Communists in alliance with the Social democrats could take power: then the Social Democrats would be dealt with and a Communist revolution would be achieved. To forestall that possibility, an alliance of the Nazis with other right-of-centre groups in parliament was cobbled together, and vonPapen was installed as vice-chancellor to provide a restraint on Hitler. vonPapen was easily set aside, but the Nazis followed policies that were endorsed, broadly, by both the bankers and the industrialists who got the orders for rearmament and the construction of the motorways.

Over the last weekend, as Mrs Merkel struggled to cobble a government together after her disastrous loss of seats in the parliamentary election, a cabal of German industrial and commercial bosses put out a statement to the effect that Brexit must be prevented. It looks likely that Germany will have to go through another election, in which the anti-immigrant, eurosceptic Alternative for Germany is likely to retain [or even improve] its share of the vote. If that election is to be avoided, Mrs Merkel must find coalition partners who will agree with the agenda suggested by the business lobby. If that election becomes necessary, Mrs Merkel will be replaced and a new coalition will have to be formed - probably on the lines of past left-right 'Grand Coalitions' that will start with the business sector resolution high on their agenda.

Several other European states want the EU to cut a deal with the UK, including the central European countries that have never submitted to Mrs Merkel's instructions to accept a share of the immigrants whose admission to the continent has caused her to loose her electoral power.

Unfortunately, the shambolic British Brexit secretary, David Davis, will flatter himself that his address to a business group in Berlin last week influenced at least the timing of this exercise of the influence of German's Second [or Secret] State's muscle; which has always been powerful within and behind Germany's politics. The massive economic success of Germany since the utter devastation of the country in 1945 has been driven by the lineal descendants of the people who put Hitler into power, and that lobby remains hugely powerful. Their recent announcement included a reference to the need for flexibility on the EU's principle of free movement of people, since it is well understood that immigration was a key element in the British people's vote for Leave; as it was the key to Mrs Merkel's electoral disaster in Germany itself.

Britain voted to 'leave the European Union'. The 'Tories for National Self-Destruction' [aka the headbangers] interpret that vote as meaning that the UK must leave the political club of Brussels and the Common Market. I have always assumed that it is only rational to split those two: we must leave the antidemocratic political institutions, but remain in the economic community [whether formally, or under the guise of a new trade deal]. That now looks feasible.

The Tories spent much of last week excoriating the MPs who have argued for such a solution. They will soon be vindicated. Then the real target for contempt, those who plan the economic devastation of the United Kingdom by quitting the European Economic Area, must be exposed and defeated. 

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