Download PDF

In a prescient book in 2011, ‘Europe, the Grand Illusion’, Tony Judt suggested that the EU was making economic promises to its member states — promises of unsustainably high rates of growth, employment, and spending on social benefits — that were almost certainly going to prove impossible to fulfill. When those promises were broken, it would inspire an angry populist backlash.

We have seen just that in the Brexit vote. And in the rise of far-right Populist parties across the European Community. It is not just in the UK that disillusionment with the European Union is gathering momentum.

But it is the case that the Leave campaign has persuaded a small majority of voters to blame the EU for the failure to share prosperity across the UK. For the fact that the ‘trickle-down’ effect and the unregulated economy has not worked, blighting and demoralising formerly great regions, towns and cities. While as Judt says, the EU has its faults, particularly in making impossible promises to its member states, it was not the EU that:

  • Privatised British Gas, the Electricity Board and BT
  • Sold off our Power Stations, leading to the Chinese/French collaboration on Hinckley Point
  • Privatised British Rail leading to the highest fares and most overcrowded rail network in Europe
  • Privatised the Royal Mail, leading to disproportionate escalation of postal charges
  • Privatised the Water Industry
  • Shut down most of the UK coal industry
  • Legislated against trades unions
  • Sold British Steel to India
  • Sold British housing stock and failed to replace it
  • Underfunded Education and the NHS
  • Sold the country’s gold reserves
  • Brought in tuition fees
  • is surreptitiously privatising the NHS, because it cannot sustain it
  • is cutting jobs in the police and armed forces

This is a classic case of projection, where a remote, impersonal, easy to identify entity gets saddled with responsibility for actions that were in fact the depredations of successive UK governments.

So, what will happen next?

I predict that in spite of endless spin blaming the EU for intransigence in negotiations, it will be conveniently forgotten that we initiated this dispute. Next, those in the blighted communities who wanted their country back will gradually realise that NO benefits whatsoever will accrue to them, the broken windows and pound-shops will remain lining the potholed roads and once great cities and industries will continue their decline. While down at Westminster we will become accustomed to empty rhetoric about the ‘Northern Powerhouse’, now to be bigger than just Manchester, and an empty advertising concept if ever I heard one!


  1. Hello this is somewhat of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG
    editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise
    so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be
    enormously appreciated!

  2. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did
    you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like
    to know where u got this from. many thanks

  3. What i don’t realize is actually how you’re not actually a lot more neatly-favored than you
    may be now. You’re very intelligent. You realize thus significantly with regards to this
    topic, produced me in my view imagine it from numerous various
    angles. Its like women and men don’t seem to
    be interested unless it’s something to do with Woman gaga!
    Your own stuffs outstanding. All the time handle it

  4. First of all I would like to say fantastic blog!
    I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
    I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your thoughts prior to writing.
    I have had a tough time clearing my mind in getting my
    thoughts out. I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first
    10 to 15 minutes are usually lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any
    suggestions or tips? Thank you!

  5. Heya i’m for the primary time here. I found this board and I
    to find It truly useful & it helped me out a lot.
    I hope to provide something back and help others such as you helped me.

  6. Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like
    to send you an email. I’ve got some recommendations for
    your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great
    site and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.

  7. Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely feel this website needs much
    more attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more, thanks for
    the information!

  8. Thanks for your personal marvelous posting!
    I quite enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author.I will make sure to bookmark your blog and may come back
    at some point. I want to encourage continue your great job,
    have a nice evening!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here