The Great Brexit Swindle: Why the Mega-Rich and Free Market Fanatics Conspired to Force Britain from the European Union by T J Coles
|The Great Brexit Swindle: Why the Mega-Rich and Free Market Fanatics Conspired to Force Britain from the European Union by T J Coles|
|Category: Business and Finance|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: What was behind Brexit - and who we're likely to be getting into bed with next.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 172||Date: November 2016|
|Publisher: Clairview Books|
Have you been mis-sold Brexit by posh men in sharp suits promising you free healthcare? If so, you might be entitled to compensation...
There wasn't much could make me laugh on the morning after the EU referendum but this spoof advert on Twitter managed it. Only, it seems that it wasn't completely a joke - well apart from the bit about compensation. In The Great Brexit Scandal T J Coles looks at the substantial core of free marketeers in the Conservative party who were determined to rid the UK of the Brussels red tape which was putting a brake on their activities. You might also know these views as neoliberalism, an ideology which looks to deregulate markets and maximise profits. On the surface that doesn't sound bad, until you realise that the benefit will go to the people who are already in the group which Coles refers to as the mega-rich and the losers will be working people.
Coles digs into how the Leave campaign was funded and it makes chilling reading. Even more frightening was the analysis of the countries we're likely to be getting into bed with after our divorce from the EU, when we're likely to be supporting human rights abuses and finding that jobs are being lost to countries where labour is cheap (and unprotected).
I found it difficult to tie down Coles' own preferences with regard to the EU: he's far from being an advocate of membership, but is clear sighted about the disadvantages of leaving. Many people voted to leave as they were sold on the idea that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take control over our own country, to control immigration and to save some money, but Coles is blunt about the little control which Brussels was able to exert over the UK, the fact that immigration is likely to increase and that there will be growing job insecurity. Global free market trade will leave Britain as a dumping ground for low quality products such as hormone-treated beef and GM foods. Planned trade agreements can only accelerate privitisations and I was left with a feeling of dread about the future of the NHS.
The book is short (we're told it is three times) - I would have liked more explanation in places and I wasn't entirely happy with the way in which information was presented. Lists within sentences are not the easiest to assimilate: a grid and reference to it from the text would have made much more comfortable reading, but what Coles has to say is important and deserves a hearing.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
The Great Brexit Scandal is accessible to the general reader: the specialist looking for more information on globalisation will appreciate The Great Convergence by Richard Baldwin. For more from Coles, we were impressed by Britain's Secret Wars. You'll also find The Establishment: And how they get away with it by Owen Jones interesting.
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You can read more book reviews or buy The Great Brexit Swindle: Why the Mega-Rich and Free Market Fanatics Conspired to Force Britain from the European Union by T J Coles at Amazon.com.
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