Welcome back, Ms Thatcher!

November 5, 2016 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain, only to see them re-imposed at a European level, with a European super-state exercising a new dominance from Brussels.
M Thatcher

Who benefits from Brexit?
Now that the Marmite crisis has been averted, the Sterling is falling, Brexit is the triumph of the nationalistic spirit, and European citizens are waiting for a verdict about their uncertain future. It is time to get serious because there’s one question that remains unanswered: who really benefits from Brexit?

From my standpoint – a European citizen living in London – the vote to leave looks like a self-destructive decision. The Government seems to just be a puppet and it looks like that the ones pulling the strings are hiding somewhere. Politics always has an agenda – it may be hidden but it is certainly there. All things done by the Government are just weapons of mass distraction to keep us all (including pro-Brexit voters) very busy with conversations about freedom and rights to avoid us focusing on the essence of the debate. Who really benefits from the self-destruction of this country? Speculators gain on account of the short-term mess. But this is a long-term disaster.

Who is losing, who is winning?
Most European citizens in the UK are able to move abroad again. We moved once, we can do it again. So, European citizens, in the worst case scenario, are not the main losers. The majority of the Brexit voters, fed by tabloids, are probably not educated or skilled enough to look for alternatives. They are already losing their purchasing power with price increases and inflation, but are finding nourishment in the hate campaigns and hope for additional NHS funding. So, they are amongst the losers of Brexit.

The older people that voted for Brexit are still living in a time of national pride when the UK was an Empire (this sounds ridiculous given that many of them were born when the Empire was already memory of the past). These pensioners are struggling to make ends meet as their grocery shopping is becoming more expensive and the luckiest of them will find it difficult to afford French wines or holidays abroad (where you spend dollars or Euros). So they are losers too. The farmers? They will lose all the EU contributions (around 60% of EU funding). Another set of losers.

Most companies, small and medium, will lose the chance of choosing the most skilled people to work for them. They said that Europeans are getting advantages over foreign nationals from outside the EU in competing for jobs. The advantage is (was) living next door and the lack of complex bureaucracy to hire other EU citizens. So, SMEs are probably losers too.

Banks, financial services, multinationals don’t care where their headquarters are. They are not losing (they never do), though they are also not gaining anything. Apparently.

So, who does benefit from Brexit:
Mr Cameron’s stupidly started this whole affair. The English population cast their votes to rebuild the nation “as British people want and demand it” with enthusiastic support. Because in modern societies, no rape of democracy happens without a consensus basis. And in the meantime, financial power sees the referendum’s result as a good opportunity to exploit the moment. It seems that it’s time to finish the job started by Margaret Thatcher in the eighties: selling out the rest of this Country. To do that, the same scenario had to be recreated with the same key ingredients: an economic crisis, discontent, anger, and possibly an enemy. In the 1980s, deregulation and privatisation were the medicines, and national pride (this is what the enemy is useful for) was used to sugar-coat the poison.

Within this scenario, a full privatisation (the NHS, the education system etc.) can be presented and imposed as THE ultimate solution. The privatisation of the NHS will easily be sold as the way to keep the promise they made about giving more money to the health service (and this is the masterpiece), without public spending. Universities will starve without EU funding, so private intervention will be seen as a salvation.

Privatisation will be presented, as ever, as the solution to the funding crises which following Brexit. But the media and government will state that people will benefit from privatisation: competition, they will say again, improves the quality of services and cuts prices. Can anyone boast about an improvement in the transport system since its privatisation?

So, banks, financial services, multinationals (pharmaceutical companies primarily) will move their headquarters abroad (they don’t care about the UK) and will concurrently find great opportunities to make money from the NHS and UK education system. When the deal is done, uncertainty in the market will disappear and the pound will recover. GDP will increase again. As happened under Margaret Thatcher. It’s just a shame there were also 3 million unemployed people and inflation was high.

Here we go: same guys pulling the strings. The Tories doing their job, while tabloids keep feeding public opinion. What about following the strings and connecting them to their untold interests? It will be more useful as an investigative report now than as an historic piece of research in thirty years time.

Thatcherism is back. In the 1980s, it was all about nationalist values: control over public expenditure, financial discipline, tax cuts, privatisation and populism. Margaret Thatcher weakened the unions, and by leaving the European Union we leave many of our existing rights behind. We will be forced to accept worse working conditions to save the country (or our jobs). And we’re not talking just about immigrants but about British people too. However, if I were British I would be mostly distressed by the idea of having workers with less rights, a weakened NHS, and an impoverished education system (that is the only way out for most). How long can an unbalanced society be kept under control?

Somebody told us about the thirties coming back. These are the eighties. So, welcome home Ms Thatcher.

Inspired by conversations on the Forum for EU Citizens (“The 3 Million”), an apolitical, democratic platform to support EU citizens living in the UK

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This post was written by Carlo Bughi & Patrizia Bertini

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