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Book and Movie Reviews
The Great Brexit Swindle
By Paul Richard Harris, Axis of Logic
Axis of Logic
Sunday, Feb 5, 2017

The Great Brexit Swindle, by T. J. Coles. Clair View Books, available in print and ebook format.

T. J. Coles studies the philosophy of neurology and cognition at the University of Plymouth, UK, with reference to the aesthetic experiences of the blind and visually impaired. He is director of the Plymouth Institute for Peace Research (PIPR), editor and co-author of Voices for Peace and author of The New Atheism Hoax. His political writings have appeared in the New Statesman, Lobster, Peace Review and Z Magazine. He is also a columnist with Axis of Logic and in 2013 was shortlisted for the Martha Gellhorn Prize for journalism.

The Preface to this book opens with the sentence: “If you voted to leave the European Union, the chances are you’ve been swindled.” In this newest book, Coles delves into the Brexit machinations that were obvious, but also those generally hidden from view. He is able to uncover the forces that sought (and are now heading toward) uncoupling Britain from the EU.

The heart of any political movement – or political swindle – is the money behind it. Coles digs deep into the funding campaign, particularly as it has developed since the financial crisis of 2008. While leaving the EU was sold to the public as a once-only opportunity to get out from under the heels of European dominance, to bring back control of immigration to Britain, and to increasing the country’s wealth, Coles shows how the Brexit decision will lead to more job insecurity and increased immigration as Britain becomes unable to compete with cheap labour in far-off lands. As well, Coles shows that the belief of Britain's subservience to the EU is a myth; in fact, Britain had retained a great deal of sovereignty and was actually a leader of the EU's neoliberalism agenda.

Lest there be any doubt that the Brexit campaign was not an overnight whim, Coles references an article by Nigel Lawson (former Chancellor of the Exchequer) in the Financial Times (September 2016), entitled ‘Brexit gives us the chance to finish the Thatcher revolution.’ The move to decouple from the EU has been a work-in-progress for several decades. Mrs Thatcher haunts us still.

As with all his work, the research behind this book is brilliant. The book is subtitled ‘Why the Mega-rich and Free Market Fanatics Conspired to Force Britain from the European Union’ and Coles digs up documentary evidence to support his position that the whole Brexit movement was driven by, and solely for the benefit of, the ultra-rich. Names are named and the linkages between powerful individuals and groups are clearly drawn.

The book takes us through an analysis of the ‘mega-rich’ and demonstrates how the cause of global ‘free trade’ has been part of the swindle to separate common people from their money and to widen the gulf between them and their overlords. There is nothing pretty about this story, and it would be hard to read it without becoming very angry about the growing gap between rich and poor and how this has developed as the result of a deliberate campaign to enrich the rich.

The Great Brexit Swindle is a slim volume at 107 pages of text, but it is supported by a further 40+ pages of detailed footnotes and references. Coles is an engaging writer, making his message all the more easy to grasp; but the sources are also there for anyone who wishes to dig further.

The author says he is not an advocate or apologist for the EU, but he argues – convincingly – that the Brexit agenda was, and is, designed to serve only the interests of the wealthy and the increasingly powerful 0.1 percent of the population.

I highly recommend this book.

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