Wednesday 13 June 2012

The End Of The Affair

It was thirty five years ago, not long after the Franco regime had ended that I drove through the centre of Spain heading for the Lines of Torres Vedras in Portugal, also then going through political upheaval.

One feature seen on some buildings was stick pictures of a gallows with someone handing from them with a names or names.  There was always a degree of tension in the air.  There were monetary problems and it was useful to be carrying pounds and dollars.

We have not been back for a number of years and in that time it has all changed and for a while when the money was flushing in there was a surge of apparent prosperity.  Many British moved there confident that the good times would continue to roll.

The question now is how bad might it get and what tensions might erupt or re-erupt in a country that has known too much bitterness in the past and had too many governments inclined to forms of repression that have induced revolts’

But this is Spain which has existed as a nation since the 15th Century and Portugal for longer.  Italy and India, however, have both had shorter periods of nation hood.  Italy’s is from only the mid 19th Century and India since 1947, born from the British Raj.

The British Raj in turn had brought together the disassociated elements of the former Moghul Empires with other territories into a vast Imperial possession.  It is arguable at what date could the Raj be said to have been almost complete, but the 1860’s is one period. 

In 1947 and since there have been separations, both Pakistan from India and then Bangla Desh.  Essentially, what has remained is large powerful nations which have apparently their own identities.

These have been based on economic growth, some degree of peace, internal controls and a willingness to accept the many differences between elements of peoples in various territorities.

Both Italy and India, the latter a key state in the BRIC group of economies that are supposed to be propping up the world economy, are heading for trouble.  Automatic Earth has an item.

If there is to be a major contraction in world trade and all economies are to be affected one way or another then what political entities will last in their present form and which ones could begin to disintegrate?

We are fixated on Europe, supposing that the EU and Euro can somehow remain intact although damaged.  What is not considered is that not only could the Europe project fall apart but states within it could face separatist movements and others outside could experience severe stresses leading to some form of disintegration.

In the UK we are cutting our Army to a level when it can only sustain a small force in active service and moreover one that will provide an insufficient base for training and commanding any rapid expansion if necessary.

The Great Game is about to begin again.

1 comment:

  1. We'll still get the spin though. Jamie Oliver soup kitchens - sponsored by Heinz.