There is no alternative, - abbreviated to “TINA”, - still rings in the ears of all those who experienced the two Thatcherite catastrophes, either as adults or as children living with the aftermath. While the Tories and other members of the establishment commemorated her in a state funeral, her victims danced for joy in the streets of the UK to celebrate her death.
By intent, her policies led to the de-industrialization of the UK and to the creation of a bloated financial sector in what was aptly named the “big bang”, because she considered a service-based economy more future-oriented. Millions were made unemployed, thousands of businesses were bankrupted. Many families and whole regions never recovered and the gap between the rich and the poor and between the north and the south widened.
She took back Britain for the ruling elite, not from the EU, but from the danger of regime change through strike action by the trade unions hell-bent on revenge for the great impoverishment which she had caused, and for this she is still worshiped by that same elite.
Despite the UK’s independence from the Eurozone, the Neo-Thatcherite Cameron used the deficits incurred in the rescue of the banking sector in 2007, to justify cuts to welfare at a time when Keynes taught us that the state should spend more to counteract a recession. . The Remain Campaign made the psychological mistake of telling the British people for their own good, that they had no alternative but to vote “remain”.
When the British hear Hegemona Merkel and her enforcer, Vogon Schaeuble, telling the nations of southern Europe that there is no alternative to austerity, they fear the rise of a Neo-Thatcherite EU. Berlin has been found guilty by association of the austerity inflicted by Cameron on his own country.
The taxes paid by the immigrants to the UK, who have significantly contributed to the expansion of the economy, have not been used to expand the public services or to combat a severe housing shortage, to accommodate an increasing population: austerity had a higher priority. Despite the UK’s exclusion from the Schengen Area, Berlin’s mishandling of the refugee crisis has also been exploited by the xenophobic and racist elements within the English population and the agreement with Turkey, as negotiated by Berlin, has exacerbated the situation.
When Cameron, in a vain effort to settle a feud between elements within his own party and to neutralize the threat posed by UKIP, gambled the future of the country on the ill-fated referendum, many people voted, even against their own interests, in a temper tantrum to give the hated Tories a poke in the eye. If the banking sector were to be wiped off the map in some sort of cataclysm, these people would probably dance once more in the streets, because it was to save the banking sector that they were made poor yet again.
The legitimacy of the referendum is somewhat in doubt. Only a few of non-British EU citizens resident in the UK and some but not all of British citizens resident in the EU had the right to vote. The Leave campaign was promoted by lies and deceit. The media was biased. Does this constitute a free and fair democratic process?
For many years the tabloid press and the Daily Telegraph, for which Boris Johnson wrote, have peddled disinformation on the EU, because untruth was more entertaining than truth. The BBC, currently under pressure from the right wing of the Tory party, has remained neutral between truth and untruth and has been too cowardly to call out the lies of the Leavers. It has been left Amanpour of CNN to do this.
General Message: never tell an abjectly poor person that there is no alternative to the policies that have made him poor, and never compliment a government on the “success” of the austerian policies, which it has been forced to accept, until the country has returned to normality, and where there is no hope of normality in the near future, stop the austerity now!
Specific Message: do not attempt to punish the British, because harm done to trading relations hurts all European citizens and far from discouraging others, will only reinforce the image of Brussels as an anti-democratic controlfrankenstein desperately seeking to extend its control. Do make special deals with Scotland and Northern Ireland to show appreciation and to hold up the British political system, which without checks and balances allows a government having a minority of the popular vote to carry out foolish doctrinaire extremist policies, to the ridicule and contempt that it justly deserves.