Workers on oil rigs in the British North Sea have begun a wildcat strike that is affecting oil production. Employers and unions are pressuring them to give up the struggle. And yet the strike continues to spread. It could mark a turning point in the workers’ response to the crisis across Europe.
The British government announced yesterday a unilateral review of the Northern Ireland Protocol. The EU has responded immediately with a threat of sanctions. Beneath, the historic breakdown of balances between Northern Irish factions and the prospect of the annexation of Ulster by Ireland. The opening of a period of intra-European trade war could however be the prologue to a new phase of low-intensity wars on the continent.
The Falklands/Malvinas is definitely a new flashpoint in the global imperialist conflict. While Britain is forcibly militarizing the islands and Argentina is hastily reinforcing defenses, China is pressing against the British, South America is splitting in two, and the EU, encouraged by Spain and Germany, is increasingly tempted to open a new diplomatic front against London.
Supply crisis in Britain, closed gas stations, empty shelves, electricity sector bankruptcies, meat sector on the brink of collapse. Waste and unnecessary shortages are rampant everywhere as the contradictions of capital become exacerbated.
Britain is militarizing the Falklands/Malvinas at full speed. Argentina is building its largest military base in Ushuaia and its senate is preparing to create a new crime of opinion: doubting or belittling Argentina’s claims to sovereignty over the islands. And in case the increase in tension was not enough, Chile is unilaterally extending its southern borders, calling into question the already tense balance in the control of the Mar de Hoces/Drake Passage that separates South America from Antarctica. Why are this dance of positions and this apparently gratuitous increase in tension as well as the most crass nationalism happening right now?
The G7 summit kicked off in Cornwall with Biden warning the EU and Britain: “Don’t jeopardize peace in Northern Ireland”. Is he exaggerating? Not so much: the European Commission says it has “little patience” left with the British government and openly threatens a trade war. Meanwhile, the British services whip up the ultra unionist groups and use the media apparatus of the very US Democratic Party to sow discord between Dublin and Brussels.Welcome to the “sausage wars”, a supposedly amusing name for an imperialist feud that may well claim lives this summer.
Boris Johnson unveiled before the British Parliament his Global Britain strategy. A true militarist nonsense which increases the UK nuclear weapons arsenal by 40%, bares its imperialist teeth at such tenuous threats such as Spain and Argentina, will fill sea trade routes with nuclear warheads and openly plans to destabilize South America and Asia in order to gain weight in the trade war. All in a context in which its American and European allies are fueling a new conflict in Northern Ireland.
So what’s going on with the Brexit? Is the bluffing between Brussels and London getting out of hand? Underlying the debate about the future of the Irish border there is actually a struggle over the conditions to sell on the European market. But there are consequences that go far beyond that and a risk… that goes even further.