A disaster capitalist profits from abrupt and wide-ranging changes in a country.
An example of such an abrupt change was the end of the Soviet Union. State control of public services in Russia ended when the Soviet Union ended. All the associated public infrastructure – buildings, land, vehicles and, crucially, all future income – was handed over to vultures, charlatans and gamblers, at fire-sale prices, who have subsequently become billionaires at the expense of the Russian people. It was a one-off extreme form of privatisation that provided huge wealth for a tiny elite (oligarchs) indefinitely because public services are a necessity.
A no-deal Brexit would be a hugely abrupt jolt to Britain’s economy. Imported goods would be much more expensive due to tariffs and due to the decline in value of the pound. There would be a consequential sharp increase in unemployment and large increases in prices of basic goods.
The Tories don’t care at all about the immediate effects of a no-deal Brexit. How injurious a no-deal Brexit would be to people, particularly those without wealth, has never been problematic for the Tories. On the contrary, an abrupt disruptive Brexit would be an opportunity for the Tories to pretend that there exists a need to raise fiscal capital quickly and that the only way to do that is via a fire-sale of public infrastructure to their salivating disaster capitalist friends who hope to acquire public buildings, land and services.
In the mire of the aftermath of a no-deal Brexit the Tories would claim that, for financial reasons, all workers’ rights and all health and safety rules and regulations should be removed. A no-deal scenario would help the Tories to easily enact such policies because all EU workers’ rights and EU health and safety regulations would have been set aside.
Dominic Raab was appointed as Brexit Secretary because of his strong longstanding links to disaster capitalists via his employment by secretly funded right-wing think-tank Institute of Economic Affairs. He wrote a paper for another secretly funded right-wing think-tank Centre for Policy Studies called ‘Escaping The Straitjacket‘ wherein he proposed a bonfire of workers’ rights.
Tory MEP Dan Hannan, via his right-wing think-tank Initiative for Free Trade, has demanded that, post a no-deal Brexit, private US healthcare vultures should be handed part of the NHS and that food regulations in Britain should be removed to allow imports of some US foodstuffs that are currently banned: Hannan on Brexit. Hannan’s demands on removal of food safety regulations have been backed by International Trade Secretary Liam Fox: Fox on chlorinated chicken.
All Tories (and DUP) want a no-deal Brexit precisely to assist disaster capitalists. The latter are their true employers, not the British people. Everything else regarding debate and discussions about Brexit is a pantomime. All the statements from the prime minister and all the meetings and exchanges with representatives of the EU are part of the pantomime. If the current prime minister sometimes appears to be embarrassed or even humiliated by various developments then that is also just part of the pantomime – May has no concept of shame.
Peter Geoghegan on Legatum Institute and disaster capitalists: Geoghegan on Legatum