July 08, 2022:
Information Clearing House
Empires end in ignominy. That of the United
Kingdom is drawing to a close.
A century from now, the dominant historical
narrative will be Chinese and Chinese
historians will puzzle over how a prime
minister, Boris Johnson,
fell from office
over a lie about what he knew of sexual
harassment by a very junior member of his
Learned papers will be written over whether
this was truly the cause, or whether the
underlying socio-economic crisis caused by
inflation and Brexit was the real
Chinese books (or their technological
equivalent) will be written on the crisis of
neoliberalism and how Western society
reached unsustainable levels of
concentration of capital and wealth
Acres have been written in the mainstream
media about Johnson’s lying and personal
immorality, but there is very little serious
effort to understand why so many in society
have been prepared to tolerate this. The
answer is that neo-liberalism has succeeded
in destroying societal values, to the extent
that anti-social and even sociopathic
behavior no longer appears peculiar.
In a society where authority condones, and
constructs a system to enable, personal
fortunes of $200 billion or more while
millions of children in the same country are
genuinely hungry and poorly housed, what
values is the socio-political structure
telling people to hold? What value is placed
on empathy? Ruthless ambition and resource
grabbing is applauded, encouraged and held
up as the model to be followed.
More and more, you are either part of the
elite or you are struggling.
In the U.K., the Thatcherite dream of mass
property ownership is abruptly canceled.
Social mobility and meritocracy are changed
from an opportunity for large scale social
advancement by multitudes, into Hunger
Games. Where significant numbers of young
people see their best shot at financial
comfort as selection for “Love Island,” how
do we expect them to be repulsed that
Johnson was having multiple affairs while
his then wife was struggling with cancer?
Johnson is explicitly a devotee of the great
man theory of history. But in fact his
startling political career is in itself
merely a symptom of the decline of the
United Kingdom, from great Imperial power to
the breakup of the metropolitan state (the
latter of course started to take formal
effect in 1921).
Brexit was just a convulsion, as the United
Kingdom went through the psychological
trauma of accepting its change in status
from great power to reasonably senior
European state. There is a great treatise to
be written on this and the consequent wave
of populist English nationalism.
You may like to note the constant Tory use
of the phrase “world-leading” in risible
circumstances; the fact that even yesterday
Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition, felt
the need to comment on government collapse
while planted between three Union Jacks; the
constant militarism and fetishizing of the
armed forces on TV, and the desire for
reflected glory by fighting a great war to
the blood of the very last Ukrainian.
Peter Oborne’s meticulous compilation of
Johnson lies shows how peculiar it is that
the crisis should come over a comparatively
minor lie about knowledge of bad sexual
behavior, in which Johnson for once was not
personally involved. But it is quite wrong
to think of Johnson as unique. Oborne’s
wonderful book The
Rise of Political Lyingchronicles
the massive attack on governmental standards
perpetrated by the charlatan Tony Blair, a
former prime minister.
Johnson is just a part of a process. As the
power of an Empire disintegrates, so do its
mores. Since the second world war, over 60
states have become independent of British
rule. The pink bits on the map (“this colony
is where your tapioca comes from”) they
showed me so proudly at primary school have
shrunk and shrunk and shrunk. Thank God
children are no longer taught to sing “Over
the seas there are little brown children” in
need of conversion (I really was taught
that, I am not making stuff up).
As the U.K.’s military, economic and
political power have collapsed, so have its
political mores — both for good and for bad.
Johnson is but a turd spewed to the top of
the gushing sewer of British decline.
Every one of those 60 states that have left
British rule, was warned that it would
struggle without the U.K. No state has ever
wanted to return to British rule. Fellow
Scots, take note.
I also want to make plain to my English
readers — and remember I am half English
myself — that I genuinely believe the
breakup of the highly artificial British
union will be very beneficial to England.
Scottish independence and Irish
reunification are coming soon. Welsh
independence is fast gathering support.
It will take the break-up of the U.K. to
jolt the great power nostalgia and silly
patriotism that underlies so much of Tory
support — and that of other right wing Union
Jack fetishists like Starmer.
Only the shock of the formal closure of the
British state will precipitate the
psychological change needed for England to
become a modern, forward looking,
middle-ranking European state with concern
for domestic and international fairness.
The U.K. has been in socio-political turmoil
since 2016 and is now entering profound
economic crisis. These very days are the
end-time of the United Kingdom. Rejoice!
I shall leave the last word to that great
radical Percy Bysshe Shelley:
Murray is an author, broadcaster and human
rights activist. He was British ambassador
to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October
2004 and rector of the University of Dundee
from 2007 to 2010. His coverage is entirely
dependent on reader support. Subscriptions
to keep this blog going are gratefully
This article is from
Craig Murray is an author,
broadcaster and human rights activist. He
was British ambassador to Uzbekistan from
August 2002 to October 2004 and rector of
the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010.
His coverage is entirely dependent on reader
support. Subscriptions to keep this blog
going are gratefully