Saturday, 18 February 2017

The Brexit Collection

My five star review of Ken Bell: 

Bell makes a powerful case for Brexit as the revenge of a working class that has been marginalised and dispossessed since, not only the Thatcher years, but the turn to monetarism under Callaghan.

He argues for strong immigration controls while the present economic system remains in place, in order to prevent the undercutting of wages and the undermining of workers' hard-won rights.

Now resident in Scotland, he calls for Scottish independence outside the EU, pointing out the absurdity of the SNP's opposition to rule from London but support for rule from Brussels. I do not agree with Scottish independence, but Bell's is the logical articulation of that position.

 "The Durham Miners would never wear it," were the words that the British Government of the late 1940s wrote across the plans for the EU's first precursor, before duly sending them back.

That was that. "The Durham Miners would never wear it." So the United Kingdom's answer was no.

That meant the Durham Miners' Association, with its vast network of national and international contacts. But it also meant the miners themselves, who were the basis of that Association's wealth and power.

Yet on the day of the EU referendum, Thursday 23rd June 2016, we learned that in 2015, for the first time on record, more people had died in the North East of England, from which I write, than had been born here.

County Durham voted Leave, and Sunderland, which had been part of the Durham coalfield in the 1940s, shook the international money markets by doing so.

Albeit from a perspective partly in the North West and partly in Scotland, Bell explains why.

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