X Close

The EU is turning into a Remainer nightmare In a cruel twist of fate, Brussels has shed its progressive skin

Protestors in Georgia in March (AFP via Getty Images)

Protestors in Georgia in March (AFP via Getty Images)


May 9, 2024   5 mins

With the EU elections less than a month away, one can only imagine the cognitive dissonance that the pro-EU, anti-Brexit crowd must be experiencing. In a curious twist of fate, the EU is turning into everything Remainers feared Brexit would bring to the UK.

For years they’ve been painting Brussels as a beacon of progressivism, peace and democracy, as opposed to the far-Right, racist and economically suicidal project of Brexit. Yet, ironically, it is the European Parliament, not the British one, that is about to swing firmly to the Right, as several European governments already have. Meanwhile, in just over six months, Britain will almost certainly vote Labour back into power — making it one of the few countries in Europe to have a centre-left government.

Across the Irish Sea, by contrast, an anti-immigration backlash has spiralled into country-wide unrest, while several EU governments — and even Ursula von der Leyen’s European People’s Party — are contemplating Rwanda-style asylum deportation deals. Meanwhile, the EU is aggressively cracking down on free speech, both online and offline. Over the past few weeks alone, the police have intervened to break up peaceful assemblies on at least two occasions — a pro-Palestine conference in Berlin and the NatCon conference in Brussels.

On the economic front, Germany, the most important economy in the EU, is mired in stagnation, and facing outright deindustrialisation, along with several other EU countries — all while the EU announces the return of harsh austerity measures. Angry farmers have been laying siege to the bloc’s capitals for months. As for the EU’s “peace project”, all European governments are now on a war footing, while Macron is leading the charge to send Nato troops into Ukraine, lurching Europe closer to an all-out war with Russia.

All this clashes with the Remainers’ rainbow-tinted view of the European Union. But their vision was always predicated on a fantasy: everything that is happening across the Channel is not a betrayal of “EU values”, as they are probably telling themselves — it is an inevitable consequence of the EU’s architecture itself.

Even though Remainers have always tended to view the EU as a bastion of social and workers’ rights, the reality is that the Rightward drift across the EU has its roots in the Brussels-driven assault on the post-war European social and economic model following the 2008 financial crisis. High unemployment rates, stagnant wages and austerity measures implemented in response to the crash exacerbated existing inequalities, fuelling resentment towards the political establishment.

To make things worse, the EU attempted to prevent any democratic backlash to these policies by restricting the scope of democratic decision-making by democratically elected governments, focusing instead on quasi-automatic technocratic rules imposed by undemocratic bodies. The European Union effectively became a sovereign power with the authority to impose budgetary rules and structural reforms on member states — not exactly what you’d expect from the “bastion of democracy” often portrayed by Remainers.

“The European Union effectively became a sovereign power…”

This, however, only exacerbated the disillusion of many Europeans with both mainstream political parties and the EU institutions themselves, which were perceived as beholden to global financial interests and disconnected from the needs of ordinary citizens. Meanwhile, the EU’s handling of the refugee crisis, which peaked in 2015, further galvanised anti-immigrant sentiments and fuelled the rise of Right-wing populist parties across the continent. The influx of migrants, primarily from war-torn regions in the Middle East and North Africa, strained resources, fuelled social tensions and demonstrated once more the failure of the EU’s top-down approach to policymaking — exemplified in this case by the idea of relocation quotas, which several countries refused to comply with.

Today, immigration has once again moved to the forefront of the political debate. The EU’s border agency, Frontex, detected over 350,000 irregular border crossings into the EU last year — the highest total recorded since 2016. EU countries recorded more than 1 million new asylum requests, a 20% increase compared to 2022 — on top of the almost six million refugees taken in from Ukraine since the start of the war. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, to learn that seven out of 10 Europeans believe their country is taking in too many immigrants — and that governments, faced with the prospect of serious social unrest, are running for cover.

On Monday, representatives of several European governments met in Denmark to discuss various types of “durable solutions” to immigration, including plans to relocate asylum seekers to third countries, reminiscent of the UK’s government’s Rwanda scheme. Even more astonishingly, von der Leyen herself admitted in a recent presidential debate of being in favour of third-country migration deals with places such as Tunisia and Egypt, even though this would not be possible under the EU’s recently approved Migration Pact. Ironic, considering that just a year ago several EU governments and senior EU officials were castigating the British government for proposing the exact same policy.

But then consistency has never been a valuable currency in Brussels. On Sunday, it was revealed  that von der Leyen is also recrafting her image as a grandmother with “traditional, conservative family values”, in the hope of whitewashing her reputation as a champion of the EU’s green-rainbow agenda. “#ProudGrandma” read her hashtag — though this is likely little more than PR. After all, even as the EU establishment pays lip service to the concerns of ordinary Europeans, to try to contain the popular backlash against its various policy failures, it is also doing what it does best: attempting to subvert democracy.

Today, this doesn’t come primarily in the form of economic governance tools, which are already in place, but rather in the form of narrative control. Over the past few months, EU authorities have been peddling their own “Russiagate” hoax, claiming that that Russia bribed European politicians to spread disinformation and interfere in the upcoming elections. Russia “is using dodgy outlets pretending to be media [and] using money to buy covert influence”, said European Commission Vice President Věra Jourová. “We uncovered a pro-Russian network that was developing an operation to spread Russian influence and undermine security across Europe”, claimed Petr Fiala, the Czech prime minister. However, following an investigation, the head of the Czech intelligence agency admitted that his agency had no information about any bribery scheme.

Even von der Leyen conceded that there is no proof of a Russian bribery network. But don’t expect this to deter the EU from doing exactly what it accuses Russia of doing: interfering in the upcoming elections. On Monday, EU Parliament President Metsola met with 50 pan-European NGOs to thank them for pushing “EU values” ahead of the elections. This followed an announcement that the EU has signed Partnership Agreements with more than 500 NGOs — many at national level — all tasked with promoting EU values ahead of the forthcoming elections. It is, in other words, an explicit attempt to control the official narrative, by designating any communications that don’t conform to the official narrative as “disinformation”.

All of which is to say that, as challenging as Britain’s economic and political challenges may be, the EU’s dysfunctional and increasingly authoritarian nature is evidence of the fact that the UK made the right choice in decoupling from a failing bloc. As much as the British political class failed to address many of the concerns embodied in the Brexit referendum, that vote nonetheless provided a democratic outlet for many of the tensions that are now building up across the EU — and potentially opened up the country to the possibility of democratic national renewal. And if that isn’t justification enough, we need only look to the EU to witness the dismal alternative.


Thomas Fazi is an UnHerd columnist and translator. His latest book is The Covid Consensus, co-authored with Toby Green.

battleforeurope

Join the discussion


Join like minded readers that support our journalism by becoming a paid subscriber


To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.

Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.

Subscribe
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

224 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
T Bone
T Bone
20 days ago

I think the general rule is the more layers of centralized government you create, the more responsive politicians are to the will of the people. It’s been born out time and time again; Large centralized government is freedom. Trust the Science.

Nanumaga
Nanumaga
20 days ago
Reply to  T Bone

And this week’s prize for ‘Irony’?

Martin M
Martin M
20 days ago
Reply to  T Bone

It helps if your huge Civil Service is made up of people who are graduates of the Universities (both of them)! After all, someone has to really run the country!

Mark Phillips
Mark Phillips
20 days ago
Reply to  T Bone

Borne out.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
20 days ago
Reply to  T Bone

Yes, government really should be left to the People Who Know Best. Just look at how much life has improved for Europeans since the Maastricht Treaty ushered in an era of unprecedented social harmony and cultural enrichment! Just leave it to the Experts, eh.

Tessa B
Tessa B
16 days ago

Right choice? I think it depends on which issue is being discussed. Of course it is complicated.
Beyond GM are doing some important work, but difficult work…please see my comments here about science fads*….and a never ending conversation about the Fourth Industrial Revolution could start.
*https://unherd.com/2020/07/how-the-establishment-fell-for-eugenics/
(newest comment, please see “Clearly, there’s no fad so dangerous as one that spreads through the academic and cultural elites..” )
https://beyond-gm.org/eu-votes-to-deregulate-gene-editing/
“The new EU regime (in common with the UK) also fails to protect the products of organic and non-GMO farmers and businesses from contamination with gene edited organisms – something which could cost them their livelihoods.
Better than the UK – but not muchAs devastating as they are, the new EU regulations still do not go as far as the UK’s deregulation agenda.
This may prove to be a complicating factor for the UK government which has been hoping that the EU regulations will mirror those of the UK and therefore open up uncomplicated trade routes into the EU market for gene edited crops (which we are calling precision bred organisms or PBOs).
The UK, for instance, has rejected any labelling and traceability of gene edited organisms as well as monitoring for environmental and biodiversity effects, but farmers and food businesses will need to provide this paperwork if they wish to access the EU market.”
There may be only be a few days left to sort the mess out. Contact Pat Thomas at Beyond GM if interested.

Victor James
Victor James
21 days ago

It’s all about the colonisation of Europe, stupid. This is the future of politics in Europe. All other concerns will become meaningless.
I suspect the spark will be the inevitable emergence of Sharia political parties. One or the other. Far-right or the third world will be the only choice.

Arthur G
Arthur G
20 days ago
Reply to  Victor James

Exactly. This is all about migration. The average European has seen enough of Muslim immigration to know they don’t like it, and want it to stop (and be reversed as far as possible). There’s no point quibbling about the retirement age, or health benefits, when your country risks being taken over by Islamists.

Victor James
Victor James
20 days ago
Reply to  Arthur G

True, except never call the colonisation of Europe ‘migration’. The native Europeans are literally being replaced.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
20 days ago
Reply to  Victor James

That’s the choice of Indiginous women not to reproduce.. no babies, no nation: do the maths man. Immigrants reproduce at 5 times the rate.. without them we’d cease to exist. A glance ar your govt ministers will tell you you’ll probably out of politicians first!

Victor James
Victor James
20 days ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

What bizarre fumes are you high on??
The colonisers are not you.

Kat L
Kat L
14 days ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

With them you will also…cease to exist.

Norfolk Sceptic
Norfolk Sceptic
20 days ago
Reply to  Arthur G

The Holy Spirit is preferable to jihad.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
20 days ago

When did you last see evidence of the Holy Spirit among Western govts as they aid and abet the genoc¡de in Gaza?

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
20 days ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Please stop with the misuse of that term. It is nauseatingly ignorant to claim such a thing is occurring in Gaza.

Mark Kennedy
Mark Kennedy
19 days ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

…plus you have to be tone deaf beyond belief to lecture Jews about genocide.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
17 days ago
Reply to  Mark Kennedy

Oh no, the use of the word is fully calculated. A nice little bit of Jew baiting every time they utter it.

Mark Kennedy
Mark Kennedy
19 days ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

(?) Sending teams into Gaza to find and destroy terrorist tunnel networks would be hopelessly inefficient as a genocidal strategy. If Israelis were intent on genocide, which they clearly aren’t, they have the capacity to turn every major Muslim population centre in the Middle East into a nuclear wasteland in a matter of minutes.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
17 days ago
Reply to  Arthur G

The violence that comes with the Muslim in flow in many countries is intolerable.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
20 days ago
Reply to  Victor James

I fully expect to see full-on race warfare in Europe in my lifetime. Europe is not America. I can’t believe those societies will tolerate the levels of crime, violence, and low-trust societies that multiculturalism entails. We could see a return of pogroms and other such horrors we thought consigned to the dust-bin of history. The politicians in Brussels wouldn’t even consider deportations if they didn’t fear worse consequences, up to and including losing the EU project in its entirety to populist governments in the individual member states. The period of 1991-2016 was an age of idealism that is drawing to a definitive close. The next couple of decades will be a time of distasteful compromises, hard headed pragmatism, ugly realities, tough solutions, and necessary evils. I fully expect the next couple of decades will ruin the psyches of many a wokester, not least because the generation of young people that follow them, the first to grow up in the hostility and distrust of a multicultural society, will turn even harder to the right than their grandparents have.

D Glover
D Glover
20 days ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

I fully expect to see full-on race warfare in Europe in my lifetime. Europe is not America.

Full-on race warfare would start more easily in the US, where everyone can get a gun, than in European countries where they are hard to get.
I’ve lost count of the times I’ve seen comments ‘below the line’ predicting ‘civil war’ or ‘right wing backlash’. After many, many atrocities I’ve concluded that this backlash is never coming.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  D Glover

Knives seem the weapon of choice on the streets. Though bombs seem available to most Islamist. The odd sword on both sides too maybe.

Ash Bishop
Ash Bishop
20 days ago
Reply to  Bill Bailey

The hand grenade seems to be the surprise most popular weapon of choice in Sweden these days! Who’d a thought it just a few short years ago?

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
20 days ago
Reply to  Ash Bishop

Not the dumb Swedes. It’s time that age-old description was revived. They thought they were so virtuous, those female political leaders, in opening the door to barbaric hordes glad to replace goats as sexual objects.

Kerry Davie
Kerry Davie
18 days ago
Reply to  Ash Bishop

Remember when Donald Trump was robustly castigated (a few short years ago) for some less than laudatory comments on Sweden’s situation regarding immigration /crime ?

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
17 days ago
Reply to  Kerry Davie

Trump was ridiculed just for noting the violence and instability in Sweden.

Kat L
Kat L
14 days ago
Reply to  Kerry Davie

It’s a thing to behold, laughing off his assertion of no go zones only to tacitly admit that they do indeed exist. No one is sneering now.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
20 days ago
Reply to  D Glover

The invention of warfare predates the invention of firearms by several thousand years actually. I fail to see how the lack of the latter implies the impossibility of the former. In fact, until WWI, the most casualties incurred in a single battle was the battle of Cannae in the Second Punic War, long before the introduction of gunpowder to western battlefields. I also didn’t say which side would start it or how it would take place. I just expect multicultural societies will be violent, as in fact American society already is, with crime and incarceration rates several times greater than any other nation in the world. Have you seen what American police forces look like? Have you seen the equipment used? Have you seen the tactics or listened to officers describe some of their experiences. In many other places and contexts, they would be accurately described as soldiers or militia engaged in low level domestic warfare. That’s what I mean when I say ‘race warfare’. Whether that conflict rises to the present technical definition of war and whether the media will label it as such even if it does is an entirely separate question.
I will concede that there would be more casualties in a race based or any other potential conflict in the US for the reason you mentioned, the US public has more and better weapons, and because America has a far larger military, many veterans who understand military tactics, and a greater propensity for the aforementioned criminal violence and hundreds of police forces trained in military tactics. America is good at war and all the accoutrements thereof, such as guns and weapons manufacture.

Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
17 days ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

We were, past tense.
We have strict gun controls in many areas, fewer than 1% of our current population has ever served in the military, and our senior military officers are often diversity hires, or are establishment types who believe in DEI.
Many of our top universities refuse to conduct reserve officer training. Our Navy is in sad shape. Our defense budgets have declined vis a vis GDP since the Clinton era. We are wealthier, fatter, and far weaker than grandparents and great-grandparents. Superannuated baby boomers are still in firm control of much of the country, and are naive, incompetent, corrupt, and disloyal.
We are almost certainly well into the “weak men make hard times” part of the cycle.
We probably are still capable of winning wars. But at present we have far more Chamberlains than Churchills.

Sudo Nim
Sudo Nim
20 days ago
Reply to  D Glover

But then again, Balkan breakup proved guns can be gotten.

Kayla Marx
Kayla Marx
17 days ago
Reply to  D Glover

In the beginning, I became alienated from the direction the progressive Left was taking. Then I was repulsed by it. Then I started moving right. I have long thought that the Left was exaggerating the threat from the far-Right, and I think I was right. But I did fear a real activation of the far Right, and I think it’s starting to happen. Reaction always happens. The battle in the near future will be to retain some kind, any kind, of middle ground.

Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
17 days ago
Reply to  D Glover

Most of America’s most populous states have gun regulations that are almost as prohibitive as the UKs.
It’s nearly impossible to buy ammunition in New York, for example. Few people in Massachusetts are allowed pistol permits. The US is not Alaska, nor Texas (though more and more Americans are fleeing to Texas and Florida, albeit for lower costs of living).
Insofar as the EU is concerned, to American “right wing” eyes, the current kerfuffles simply demonstrate why you should never, ever let the state control your economy.
You simply end up with the same crowd of aristocrats, more or less, running the show. And generally making a complete hash of it.
Thatcher was far from perfect, and far from omniscient, but she was spot on correct about socialism. It’s almost entirely a hobby of the rich.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
20 days ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

And we will know who will be to blame

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
20 days ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

“We could see a return of pogroms and other such horrors we thought consigned to the dust-bin of history” ..obviously you’ve not heard of the Gaza genoc¡de then? Granted Palestine is not in Europe but it kinda is if you look at the Eurovision song contest..
Palestinians today, us tomorrow but more likely to be at the hands of our own govt oppression using US style militarised cops than the peace-loving Muslim community.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
20 days ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

 I can’t believe those societies will tolerate the levels of crime, violence, and low-trust societies that multiculturalism entails. 
Why not? Look at what those societies have tolerated thus far. Look at how anyone who notices the problem is treated, often by people who look just like themselves. Look at how calling out things that are true is framed as hate speech or some such drivel. Look at who police saw as more dangerous during the recent pro-Hamas protests.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
20 days ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

But our generation only has a few decades to go before the indoctrinated generation takes over. They will continue to proudly usher in Sharia law, in the name of social justice, until they realize that the heads that are rolling are their own.

Victor James
Victor James
20 days ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

I agree, the age of fantasy drivel “idealism” is over because the colonisers are not liberals and are deeply racist. Scratch the surface, and the language is plain: “payback” “empire strikes back” “it’s our country now”
Post WW2 white liberalism is sort of like a Dodo cult. A genocide waiting to happen in other words.

ChilblainEdwardOlmos
ChilblainEdwardOlmos
18 days ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

“The period of 1991-2016 was an age of idealism…”
Perhaps, but it most definitely wasn’t in the Balkans.

Kat L
Kat L
14 days ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

I hope they can get something done because as an outsider the political systems don’t make much sense. Too much compromise between factions equals not getting much of anything done.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
20 days ago
Reply to  Victor James

If you look carefully or even glance cursorally, you will see an ocean of grey between the black and white extremes you posit..

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
20 days ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

More like a puddle.

Geoff Cooper
Geoff Cooper
20 days ago
Reply to  Victor James

Yes, it’s a tragic irony that the only answer to ever growing and more assertive Islamist-fascism seems inevitably to be an answering home-grown, nativist European neo-fascism.
I utterly abhor both and am seriously thinking of leaving Europe to avoid the coming horror except I’m not at all sure where I might want to go that might also be willing to take me in.
It’s all such a sickening shame and really did not need to have happened at all if not for the extraordinary naivete of our immigration policies over the last 40 years. Do our ruling politicians really expect us to believe that none of them had any inkling as to the fundamentally aggressive, hostile and imperialist nature of Islam? – even a cursory study of its history should have alerted them to the stark danger Islam so obviously represents to any post enlightenment western civilization.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
20 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Cooper

The real sign will be when billionaires start to build mansions in remote island areas. Oh wait, they already started years ago…..
Why Silicon Valley billionaires are prepping for the apocalypse in New Zealand | New Zealand | The Guardian

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
20 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Cooper

Iceland has a shortage of people.

Victor James
Victor James
20 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Cooper

I think there’s 2 kinds, and it’s always the same in all situations. The stupid ones and the evil ones. “But why does it matter” if white people become a minority and Islam takes over? These are the stupid planks who say this, usually white. Their minds calcified on a basic diet of BBC and Guardian and tabloid.
And the evil ones, usually not white, the colonisers. ‘Colonisation is payback. Collective guilt.”
The oppressed European people, the ones who notice, are in the beginning stages of their own anti-colonial movement. At the very least, partition will be necessary to avoid genocide.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
18 days ago
Reply to  Victor James

Islam is not in favour of partition. “From the river…etc. We may need the guts to conduct a real anti genocidal genocide. Like one WS Churchill said “sometimes someone has to do what has to be done.” Are YOU ready?

Kat L
Kat L
14 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Cooper

Radical chic, not naïveté, and in Britain it’s known that Blair and Labour wanted to rub the Tories noses in diversity.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
20 days ago
Reply to  Victor James

It’s sad really. It took several centuries, dozens of wars, and who knows how many mass deportations to get most of the populations of Europe on the right sides of their various borders and grouped neatly into the mostly culturally homogeneous geographic units we call the modern nation states of Europe, a process that was finally finished at the close of WWII. Yet, less than a century later, the incompetent globalist rulers have gone and blown it all up by importing people for economic reasons that amount to basic greed. To my mind, this is one of the more spectacular failures of any ruling class at any point in history. It approaches fall of the Roman Empire level incompetence and might yet produce similar results.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
20 days ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Yes.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
20 days ago

So the EU is spending precious tax dollars to fund 500 NGOs to spread propaganda. They’re not even trying to hide it anymore.

William Shaw
William Shaw
20 days ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

The EU is a cancerous abomination, spreading its pestilence to whatever it touches.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
20 days ago
Reply to  William Shaw

..not least the horrible 75+ years of peace in Europe eh? Far better to back USUK style genoc¡dal wars in Iraq, Libyans, Afghanistan etc etc. For all its faults the EU project has delivered peace to a continent that never had it before. Credit where it’s due please.

D Glover
D Glover
20 days ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

NATO has delivered peace to Europe, even to countries like yours which choose not to join. Credit where it’s due.

Zeph Smith
Zeph Smith
20 days ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Some portion of that peace should be attributed to NATO and the US umbrella, rather than just the EU. As the US weakens, and European nations start building up their own militaries to counter Russia, they will become threats to each other as well.
Also note that your “genocidal wars” happened during that 75 years of peace.
However, I would be more than happy to have the EU prove me wrong. I wish the continent the best. Good luck! You are going to need it.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
20 days ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

NATO did. The one location and time the EU tried to achieve peace was Jugoslavia in the 1990s; it failed.

Robb Maclean
Robb Maclean
20 days ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Utter rubbish.
The EU can make no claim to keeping the peace in Europe, the peacekeeper was and is NATO.
The EU, however, may wish to put their hands up to mischief making in the Ukraine which has led to the present conflict.

Neiltoo .
Neiltoo .
17 days ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised by your ignorance of history.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
20 days ago

The thing that bothers me about this article is the idea that since the EU government is leaning rightwards and the UK might elect a labor government, now Brexit is suddenly a good thing for Remainers. Let’s lay aside the fact that Thomas has painted rather a distorted picture of the UK’s political situation by ignoring the specific factors that produced the current political climate. Let’s also lay aside the fact that he is ramming square pegs into round holes by trying to interpret the political situation in both the UK and Europe through a traditional right/left, liberal/conservative, paradigm that increasingly does not apply as the political window shifts due to factors that are radically altering the political climate, particularly migration but also demographic factors, geopolitical instability, global conflict, rising economic nationalism in the US and elsewhere, and so on.

That would be bad enough, but to my mind, the worst problem with this article is that it reduces complex political problems to a zero sum game where one side wins and one side loses. Whatever advances liberal causes is good and whatever advances conservative causes is bad. It’s the worst sort of short term thinking, and it reduces the complexities of the issues to an oversimplified us vs. them narrative, and I think we’ve all seen quite enough of that. Moreover, Thomas seems to be insinuating that liberals should now celebrate Brexit because the UK might end up being more liberal than the EU, but that was always a possibility. The Brexit question may have had many of its vocal champions come from the right, but, it’s been well documented here and elsewhere that many Leave voters were traditionally Labour party voters, blue collar union workers. If unimaginative and short-sighted liberal politicians didn’t see the possibility of seizing the initiative and moving the UK in a more liberal direction after Brexit, that’s on them, because the Leave voters didn’t suddenly turn conservative on every issue. They wanted their voices to decide policy in their country liberal or conservative. That’s the point of national sovereignty. The people of the UK get to decide whether the UK has a conservative or liberal government at any given time and that elected government is the highest authority in the nation.

All this suggests that Fazi’s liberalism isn’t liberalism in the traditional or even the progressive sense of favoring greater equality, a better social safety net, and stronger government regulation of private industry to safeguard the rights of workers. Leaving the EU didn’t make it less possible or more difficult to pursue traditionally liberal causes. In fact Brexit made it easier because there’s nobody to countermand the government of the UK. No, Fazi is doing what far too many ‘liberals’ on both sides of the Atlantic have done, which is using liberalism as a Trojan horse for unrestricted globalism. That’s a problem for them, because globalism is going to lose and it’s not just insurgent populist movements that are working against it. Geopolitical, technological, social, and even military factors are changing the environment, making global trade less certain and more costly, and pushing the world towards a multipolar reality. The EU, UK, and everybody else had better start adjusting to the new reality. There will still be plenty of room for liberals to appeal to voters on issues like the social safety net, environmental protections, worker’s rights, etc. once the globalist cancer is excised from both ends of the political spectrum.

Mark Kennedy
Mark Kennedy
19 days ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

What ever happened to the rather elementary insight that any modern mass society needs both conservative and liberal elements in order to survive? Societies have to be able to evolve, of course, but evolution is pointless if its beneficial elements can’t be incorporated into a reliable foundation for future change. Society needs self-criticism, innovators and explorers, yes; but it also needs a home base these critics and explorers can return to, to deliver their reports. Exploration and discovery are parasitic on the conserved wisdom that make them possible in the first place. To paraphrase Marcel, voyagers never journey alone, though they often seem to do so. They carry with them the accumulated lore of their respective civilizations.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
19 days ago
Reply to  Mark Kennedy

Well said. This is why I’m an absolutist when it comes to free speech in a democratic state. The people must be able to hear all viewpoints no matter how dangerous they might seem. In this, I give the UK credit for being among the most consistent supporters of such freedoms over the past centuries, often exceeding even the USA, which tends to pride itself on such things.
The Brexit vote was, to me, a triumph of liberalism and self-determination for people regardless of the outcome. It didn’t break along party lines and wasn’t explicitly endorsed by either party. If anything, both parties shared a mild opposition to it, but they still allowed it, which is the real victory here, and a precedent I think the whole world would be wise to follow. Sometimes the politicians get in the way of the politics and forget that their job is to execute the people’s will, not decide what’s best for them. People should be free to make their own choices right or wrong. A lot of governments would never have allowed something like the Brexit vote to even happen. To me, the entire issue speaks to the classical liberal character of the UK itself, from an outsider’s perspective. I think it’s quite a shame so many so-called ‘liberals’ interpreted Brexit in such a starkly political way, a fact I can only attribute to the aforementioned tendency of so many politicians and journalists to conflate liberalism with globalism. They are not the same, nor even remotely synonymous. The former implies individual freedom of thought, opinion, and the ability of people to elect and decide their own government. The latter implies the sort of universalism that treads indiscriminately upon the rights of individuals, cultures, communities, and nations to impose universalist polices and ideals.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
18 days ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Well said

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
19 days ago

It’s at least two decades too late. Europe (excluding Hungary and a couple of others) has drunk too deep on Islam poison. Every Muslim, legal of illegal brings in more friends, family, relatives and mere acquaintances, with stories of easy access to money, subsidies, free healthcare, free education and free sex.
Then more subsidised children than Europeans.
Europe will be mostly Islamic republics by the next century; a new dark age. Our grandchildren will curse us all.

Kerry Davie
Kerry Davie
18 days ago

‘……it is also doing what it does best: attempting to subvert democracy.’
Democracy is an inconvenience to these people, well-skilled as they are in WEF group-think.
And:
‘……the UK made the right choice in decoupling from a failing bloc.’
It was just that the pollies tasked with making it work didn’t really like it (being the same sort of animal as the EU apparatchiks) and screwed up.

Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
18 days ago

Immigration is going to be the death of the EU (and Europe). That and an insane obsession with net zero. If you have any doubts on the former then check out Pew Research on the projected number of muslims in EU countries on zero, medium and high immigration rates by 2050. You can find the research here:

https://www.pewresearch.org/religion/2017/11/29/europes-growing-muslim-population/

Unfortunately the current trajectory is between medium and high, and those pictures do not look like a recipe for social cohesion.

Neiltoo .
Neiltoo .
17 days ago

“ Britain will almost certainly vote Labour back into power — making it one of the few countries in Europe to have a centre-left government.”

‘Britain’ already has a centre-left government.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
17 days ago

This is a good article – it dumps some reality on the rose-tinted idea of the EU. it’s so strange that a political entity can be given almost the messianic blameless status of a rockstar but the EU somehow did it (see also the NHS). I’ve never read the New European but I don’t expect much of this article would feature in its pages.

I just wish people would be more realists than idealists – nothing is perfect (and conversely nothing is truly imperfect), and that’s fine, cause we can improve the imperfections we find and deal with the new imperfections we then find, this is the fundamental idea behind democracy, free markets, progress and ultimately being a human. We seem to have lost this idea and put weird things on pedestals. This creates stagnation and conflict as the article highlights.

More of this please

Nanumaga
Nanumaga
20 days ago

I read that the EU is opening negotiations with two North African countries’ governments to consider a ‘Rwanda’ arrangement for illegal migrants. Tunisia and Egypt appear to be the countries which might be susceptible to a multi-billion Euro bribe to take up this offer.
Short of using Ascension Island, and a dozen or so moth-balled cruise liners, and the swift building of a detention centre to deal with the UK problem of how to establish an effective offshore deterrent by deporting some 20,000 or so illegal migrants, the concept of a few, very big, detention centres in Tunisia and Egypt has some merit.
By building ten centres, remote from towns, each capable of accommodating 10,000 people, the possibilities are worth considering.
Each centre would, obviously, include consular offices from all signatory countries enabled to assess claims for asylum and immigration, a clinic/hospital, schools, and colleges specialising in technical training.
A number of light industry companies could be invited to set up in these centres with the guarantees that they would be recognized as having ‘Trade Free Zone’ status with duty free access to EU, UK, US, Canada, and other markets.
It’s just an idea. I did once, some 40 years ago, watch an Albanian entrepreneur set up a highly successful knitwear company, specialising in high value product from merino wool, cashmere, and alpaca, in Tonga.
Under the ACP Lome convention of the EC/EU, he’d worked out how to employ and train 60 workers and get tariff free entry to the market. The notion of buying a ‘Made in Tonga’ cashmere jersey had never occurred to me.
It’s not a risk-free option. Heavy subsidies will be involved. An extra million or so illegal migrants over the next year may concentrate the best minds in The Berlaymont and Whitehall. I’m not optimistic. The UK’s Home Office appears to be determined to bump the number of immigrants up from 700,000 last year.
Clearly, we can’t hope that they’ll head to Ireland? 
PS I’m still arguing for the Ascension Island option. It’s UK territory so no blx from the ECHR could be at all applicable.

j watson
j watson
20 days ago
Reply to  Nanumaga

Some good practical options and reflections in this N.
Ascension Islanders would no doubt object so the politics whichever way one turns are difficult, but there is something in why would we give money to Grifters in Rwanda when we might have our own options.

Anthony Sutcliffe
Anthony Sutcliffe
20 days ago
Reply to  Nanumaga

In this country, I don’t understand why we don’t plan to put our illegal immigrants on the isle of rum (or another Scottish island) until they can be found somewhere else to live.

That is surely a sufficient deterrent? I know that the laws can’t be passed because there are too many Tory wets. But I don’t understand why it hasn’t been proposed…

j watson
j watson
20 days ago

You need staff to live and work there too AS. You need to build the infrastructure. Now we could have done some work along such lines but would take time and proper planning. Instead we’ve fixated on Rwanda.

mike otter
mike otter
20 days ago

Something similar happened in Norway a few years ago. Migrants from Iraq IIRC were welcomed and offered free board and lodgings near Tromsø. Apparently it wasn’t to their liking and they begged to be shipped home.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago

because there are NO conservatives?

Rachel Taylor
Rachel Taylor
20 days ago

I think the Supreme Court implicitly ruled this out. We are obliged to treat all illegal migrants as genuine refugees until we can prove otherwise. That’s why they are in hotels and not military-style accommodation.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
20 days ago
Reply to  Nanumaga

As with so many things, the Romans knew what to do:
Want to be a citizen? Do ten years in the legions. If you survive, you’re in.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Then Ukraine and Russia are the options – which one would they prefer?

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  Nanumaga

Then in about 10 years, the offsprings still resident would declare independence and another African/Middle East civil war would ensue. Put them in Gaza, they’d soon sort Hamas.

Kat L
Kat L
14 days ago
Reply to  Nanumaga

I don’t understand why they aren’t just turned back altogether. They should make their own nations better.

Ian_S
Ian_S
20 days ago

Testing: Nazi Nazi nazi

Ian_S
Ian_S
20 days ago

Testing: fascist fascist fascist

Ian_S
Ian_S
20 days ago

Testing: n*zi n*zi n*zi

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
20 days ago
Reply to  Ian_S

Stupid stupid stupid.
Are you receiving me? LOL!

McLovin
McLovin
20 days ago
Reply to  Ian_S

Can anyone play this game? Candyman, Candyman, Candyman

Ian_S
Ian_S
20 days ago

Testing: f*scist f*scist f*scist

Ian_S
Ian_S
20 days ago

Testing: hate hate hate

Ian_S
Ian_S
20 days ago

Testing: kill killing killed

Ian_S
Ian_S
20 days ago

Testing: jihad jihad jihad

Ian_S
Ian_S
20 days ago

Testing: genocide genocide genocide

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  Ian_S

So have your tests worked or not?

Jay
Jay
20 days ago

Is this

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
20 days ago

Remainers believe in fairy tales. None of what is said in this article will dent their faith in the EU.

j watson
j watson
20 days ago

I know simplification can be comforting for many.
Remainers, back in 16 and perhaps now, will have had multiple different reasons for believing staying in the EU was better than leaving. It doesn’t mean they were all delighted with how the EU functioned or every decision made was cheered. That’s no more the case with supporting UK Parliament and I’m assuming you don’t have a fairy-tale view of the UK’s governance outside the EU? The question was perhaps more – did people think the concept itself worth strategic value and thus worth staying within and changing?
Of course for a generation at least now it’s merely a theoretical point as we won’t be going back in anytime soon. But that certainly does not mean that those who led us into Brexit shouldn’t be constantly pressed on when are we getting any of the benefits. Accountability matters.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
20 days ago
Reply to  j watson

The question was perhaps more – did people think the concept itself worth strategic value and thus worth staying within and changing?
Keep polishing …
It’s now eight years since the referendum and I still haven’t met a remainer who can answer even the most basic questions about the EU, its origins, treaties, institutions and machinery. The whole thing was driven pretty much entirely by snobbery and class hatred. Who cares if the hoi polloi can’t get housing, decent jobs and schools for their kids or GP appointments? We’re alright Jack – and that’s what matters.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  j watson

According to the Guardian, we are, though we could do much better, then given both Blu and Nu Labour are currently intent on destroying the UK economy with Green insanity, the EU aspect is a sideline.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/dec/05/brexit-disaster-rejoining-channel-europe-economy
Ironically, Euronews reports more recently about UK’s Green disaster than the BBC.
https://www.euronews.com/business/2024/02/28/britain-could-see-lights-out-in-perfect-storm-power-cuts

T Bone
T Bone
20 days ago
Reply to  j watson

From an outside perspective, I’ve yet to see a coherent explanation explaining why an autonomous island country like the UK benefits from EU membership. All I see is criticism of an autonomous UK government. What exactly are the benefits?

John Dewhirst
John Dewhirst
19 days ago
Reply to  j watson

No-one ever heard from Remainers until after 2016 because the prevailing attitude in the UK with regards the EU and European Parliament was that of cynicism and disdain. Anyone waving the blue flags wouldhave been ridiculed. You rarely heard anyone praising the EU and yet post 2016 came the Remainer myths of what had been sacrificed.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago

I wonder what the Green/Remainer overlap is ?

Andrew R
Andrew R
20 days ago

The European Union or project if you will is an endeavour that should take an hundred years or so to achieve. The techocrats had a stretch target of thirty years. Hence the chaos we are witnessing now.

William Amos
William Amos
20 days ago
Reply to  Andrew R

Ghibbelines have been trying to achieve this same enedavour, under any number of new names, Since Henry IV first ‘went to Canossa’ in 1077. It has caused no end of trouble.
They will never learn.
Europe is as the potter’s vessel, broken in the sight of men that cannot be made whole again.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
20 days ago

Brexit “potentially opened up the country to the possibility of democratic national renewal.”

Exactly. Our government has failed to make anything of this but, had we been stuck in the EU, there would be no possibility of any democratic renewal in the UK. To me, this was clear years before Brexit, the EU has been an anti democratic organisation for decades.

It pains me that no British political party has understood this and cares to reduce state control and interference with individual lives.

Norfolk Sceptic
Norfolk Sceptic
20 days ago

There are several parties that have understood, but they haven’t been elected to Parliament or appeared to any extent on the BBC.

William Shaw
William Shaw
20 days ago

The Reform party understands.
So did the Brexit party.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
20 days ago

Sadly no party hasthr necessary magic wand required to accomplished that! This is a fully interdependent world economically speaking and rhe simple fact is that of you close your borders ot spells economic ruin.. Brexit’s effects are entirely negative (except for the 1%) and will only get worse. United we stand, divided we fall.
If you want to pull up the drawbridge fine but you’ll have to return to a pre industrialised lifestyle..

R Wright
R Wright
19 days ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Go back to 2015 you absolute tool.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
17 days ago

There was never any “possibility of democratic national renewal” when half the country rather liked being in the EU.

Martin M
Martin M
20 days ago

A strangely uplifting article….

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
20 days ago

Its too early to say if brexit is/was the right call. Both Europe and UK are still implememting pretty dump “green” policies . Both have too much immigration ( for most proples tastes) of all kinds for various reasons. Both are building unsustainable debts and possibly on the verge of a currency crises.
When the music stops we will see if Britain can move with more agility towards the bright futire which will emerge from this crises. See Neil Howe ” the fourth turning is here” which explores these historicsl cycles.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
20 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

An irreversible referendum should never be a gamble.

Peter B
Peter B
20 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

It’s not irreversible, is it ? You just made that up.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
20 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Is it any bigger a gamble than risking your kids’ futures on the performance of politicians and bureaucrats over whom you have no democratic control? Don’t think so.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
20 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

We have “democratic control” over uk politicians and it does us not the slightest bit of good. It makes no difference who the administration is, but at least before, I could export to my European customers. There is not one single aspect of British life that is better now and nor will there ever be. Everybody knows it except a majority of BTL commenters here.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
20 days ago

One of my French colleagues said to me just a month or so ago: “We have all the same problems you do. The difference is you can fix them, we can’t.”
Export of goods have never amounted to more than 4% of economic activity in the UK. That’s a big part of why we left. Meanwhile export of services are considerably higher now than they were in 2016.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
20 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Realistically, since 2016, direct rule from Brussels would have been better than the shambolic government we have had in the UK. My kids are also old enough to pay tax and also to have concluded that they have very little meaningful say in the government of this country.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
20 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

If you’re so keen on authoritarian government why don’t you just go and live in Europe or, better still, Russia or China?

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Getting up every morning is one, insurance, pension plans are ALL gambles IN fact life is one big gamble. Brexit was one of the least dangerous ones. Now Net Zero …..

Rachel Taylor
Rachel Taylor
19 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

A bit like joining, then.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
20 days ago

I voted to remain because I saw the UK as geographically, historically, ethnically and culturally European and the EU is a framework that could be used to defend the continent from all sorts of threats. If we don’t hang together we’ll hang separately.
Now we see EU countries taking a firmer stand on immigration than the UK, it’s clear that the Brexiters got it wrong on that regard. We always had total control of non-EU migration when we were members. We just seem incapable of exercising that control.

Norfolk Sceptic
Norfolk Sceptic
20 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Scrambled egg is less scrambled than the adjoining post. 🙂

j watson
j watson
20 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Yes UR. The fact the EU can and could change something that seemed lost on the Leavers. And we could have been leading.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
20 days ago
Reply to  j watson

Of course the EU can change – but only when it suits the governing elite.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
20 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Gorbachev believed the same thing. But suddenly there was a crowd of people at Bosebrucke.

j watson
j watson
20 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

As opposed to the Governing elite in the UK, of ex public schoolboys and their revolving door at No.10 who may have failed to change?

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  j watson

Dream on, we’d simply be forking out more to fund it and it would be the UK not Dublin the EU would be dumping migrants.

George Venning
George Venning
20 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Right, we have literally done the experiment. We closed our borders to inward migration from the EU and then found that our Government allowed in an even larger quantity of perfectly legal migration from outside the EU.
Because this was politically unpopular, they chose not to talk about the 700,000 legal arrivals and, instead, obsess over the 40,000 illegal arrivals – many of whom were seeking asylum (and should therefore be treated as a form of legal migration under our legal framework).
So, was unlimited migration and EU project? Or was it a UK policy advanced by a UK Government which has, over the decades, built an economy that is unable to keep the lights on without migration?

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  George Venning

Migration won’t keep the lights on, fossil fuels and nuclear will. Ask Euronews
https://www.euronews.com/business/2024/02/28/britain-could-see-lights-out-in-perfect-storm-power-cuts

George Venning
George Venning
19 days ago
Reply to  Bill Bailey

As it happens, I largely agree. I think that we should be building an economy that does not need migration as much as ours does. We could then shut the doors if we wished. Or limit the visas only to those who would genuinely improve the overall gaity of the nation or billionaires, or whatever we liked.
We don’t because huge swaths of the economy would simply collapse if we did so.
You don’t limit migration by banning it, you limit it by not needing it.
Nuclear is certainly part of the equation, fossil fuels will also have a role to play in the short term (we certainly couldn’t switch them off tomorrow).

Stevie K
Stevie K
19 days ago
Reply to  George Venning

Not even worthy of a serious reply.

mike otter
mike otter
20 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

I voted remain for the short term economic reasons that i have properties and business in several EU countries. I did acknowledge to my kids ( all of whom voted remain ) that Brexit may serve them better after a generation or so if UK adopts a Singapore/UAE type model. There are a herd of elephants in this room: The EUs anti-democratic shortcomings, the naive student Marxism of most EU civil servants etc etc BUT UK has its own giant elephant as i have said before on these pages: You cannot massage Roman law which applies to all citizens in say France or Spain into Common Law applying to some subjects in the UK. If UK had an inquisitorial Roman Law system what would become of nobles, politicians or oligarchs who’s sexual or financial misdeeds would land them in jail in most EU nations?

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  mike otter

You mean financial misdeeds such as those of Mdm Lagarde, currently in charge of the European Central Bank?

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
20 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Is it still called “immigration” when the newcomers have no interest in learning your language or culture and simply want to install theirs instead?

Carmel Shortall
Carmel Shortall
18 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Europe is not the EU and the EU is not Europe.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
20 days ago

This piece is riddled with errors and unwarranted assertions. Just one will serve to prove the point. The author writes:
“the EU is aggressively cracking down on free speech, both online and offline. Over the past few weeks alone, the police have intervened to break up peaceful assemblies on at least two occasions — a pro-Palestine conference in Berlin and the NatCon conference in Brussels.”
Given that “the EU” has absolutely no jurisdiction over local policing in the Belgian commune of Etterbeek (the part of Brussels in which the NatCon event was being held) it is, frankly, ludicrous to use this as any kind of example of the Union’s approach to free speech.
Criticise the EU by all means; ridicule Remainers at your pleasure. But try and do so on the basis of a modicum of accuracy, for all our sakes.

Mark Kennedy
Mark Kennedy
19 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

The example may be infelicitously chosen, but it doesn’t follow that the claim that the EU is cracking down on free speech is unwarranted. It may be the most evidence-warranted claim in the article.

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
20 days ago

I’ve just been reading a very interesting book on how the European nations and the US dealt with the millions of displaced persons at the end of the Second World War. This history seems to have been largely forgotten, but it has obvious parallels with the current problems of what to do with the hundreds of thousands (or is it millions by now?) of migrants who have got to Europe from Africa and the ME and who do not wish to be repatriated, many of whom have made themselves in effect stateless by destroying documents. Two things stand out: firstly, albeit with a good deal of grumbling and disagreement the problem was dealt with by international cooperation through various UN agencies such as the IRO and then UNRRA; and secondly, once those who wished to go home had been repatriated and others had been recruited into the various European settlement schemes to make up the post-war domestic labour shortages (the UK scheme was called “Westward Ho!”), the remainder were eventually shipped off to the US, Australia, Canada and South America to start new lives there. Europe and the UK seem, slowly, to be re-learning what it once knew: that if displaced people do not want to go home and you don’t want them to stay, the only alternative is to find somewhere else for them to go.

William Amos
William Amos
20 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

There was no post-war labour shortage in Britain, that is a progressive myth. There was in fact a large labour surplus. Hence there was subsidised emigration to Australia.

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
20 days ago
Reply to  William Amos

Really? What’s your source for that? Its not what the government at the time was saying.

William Amos
William Amos
20 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

I too was suprised, having uncritically accepted the canonical official history all my life.
https://im1776.com/2022/11/22/the-windrush-myth/
“At the heart of the Windrush myth is the claim of a postwar labor shortage. In fact, postwar Britain was a country with a pronounced labor surplus. Accordingly, between 1946 and 1960, 1.5 to 2 million people – 3.2-4.3% of the population – left the country, mostly for the Dominions and the USA”
“Between 1946-1970, despite huge net population outflows, unemployment rates remained stable”
As to what the Govt were saying at the time, it is also important to examine the primary sources ourselves –
“Nobody at the time was particularly happy with the news. The British government was completely unaware of the imminent arrivals until it was too late to stop them. In a debate in Parliament it was noted that there would be no guarantee the Windrush’s passengers would be able to find work, and Labour Prime Minister Clement Attlee suggested redirecting the Windrush to East Africa”

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
20 days ago
Reply to  William Amos

Interesting thanks. It may be a matter of timing: The DP scheme had largely run its course by 1948, and Windrush arrived in that year as well. The emigration/unemployment figures cover a much longer period.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
20 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

The Windrush story is a myth.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

Hmm Government telling the truth?

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
20 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

They weren’t Muslim bigots

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
20 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

“On February 14, 1946, the Labour Cabinet allowed the immigration of displaced persons to remedy shortages in key industries. But this decision was not devoid of racial considerations: as potential “white Britons,” the DPs were deemed preferable to black immigrants from the West Indies”

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

OR you put them near an open border with the prospect of a better chance on the other side. The Irish and Mexican ones seem ripe for exploitation 😉

Kent Ausburn
Kent Ausburn
19 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

Please strike the US off your wish list for dumping your illegals, we already have enough of our own, thank you very much.

Josie Bowen
Josie Bowen
19 days ago
Reply to  Kent Ausburn

And THE Republic of Ireland. We have more than we can handle thanks.

j watson
j watson
20 days ago

Author doing Putin’s work again…groan.
If EU didn’t respond to some of the concerns being voiced he’d have criticised and now that it is he’s criticising too. The picture of the EU that Author painted was never the most sophisticated and in part that’s because to create a Bogeyman you need to distort.
Here’s the key point, conveniently ignored – no Country is trying to Leave, and each Right Wing party that gets close to power, and ‘realities’, moderates and doesn’t promulgate a Brexit II.
The migration challenge clearly is no more easily sorted by a Country out of the EU as UK has proven. It’s a v difficult issue and inevitably will only get ameliorated if we work together.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
20 days ago
Reply to  j watson

‘No country is trying to leave’ because no euro member can leave without risking social and economic catastrophe and the rest can’t live without the handouts.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

I’m trying to discover what happens to the Target 2 balances. IF Germany de-industrialises, will the want their Target 2 balances back OR was the ECB right, they are simply paper exercises, and NOT as German Economists claimed ,interest free, collateral free, loans to Southern Europe?

Stevie K
Stevie K
19 days ago
Reply to  Bill Bailey

Entirely a paper exercise is my guess.

j watson
j watson
20 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Certainly for once I’d agree something in the first part of your answer, although didn’t stop us. I’m sure on the second part those less rich countries see it as a way to grow and develop more quickly than they otherwise would, and many within those poorer Nations see how the EU forces the adoption and stability of decent governance and pluralism – not perfect but a fundamental anchor that keeps people freer than they may otherwise be. And hence no Leavers since Brexit and a queue still hoping one day to join – fact.
Nonetheless given how much Brexiteers contended EU would fall apart it will pain them the reverse has happened. In part of course our wonderful performance has been a great example of hubris.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  j watson

How did Putin get in on this? He doesn’t interfere in EU politics, he doesn’t need to, he still supplies gas to the EU via overland pipelines in Ukraine.
https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/russia-ready-discuss-gas-supplies-with-eu-ukraine-transit-deal-expires-agencies-2024-01-27/

j watson
j watson
19 days ago
Reply to  Bill Bailey

V naive BB. You think Putin can afford a successful set of Nations on his doorstep with liberal market economies? An Autocrat has to undermine because the mere presence jeopardises his position.

Sean McGabriel
Sean McGabriel
20 days ago

We in Ireland are still in the EU, and it does feel very much as though we have little to no sovereignty since the EU basically drafts 70% of the legislation passed in Dáil Éireann. It’s a very sad time for this country, as we groan under the weight of what appears to be unlimited migration, much of the political paralysis around this has its roots in a weak pro-EU political elite absolutely petrified of doing anything at all which might be out of lock step with the European Commission’s agendas on all the key issues. Brexit may not be ideal in it’s consequences, but remaining contains huge problems also.

William Amos
William Amos
20 days ago
Reply to  Sean McGabriel

“Was it greed that drove Wolfe Tone to a pauper’s death in a cell of cold wet stone?
Will German, French or Dutch inscribe the epitaph of Emmett?
When we have sold enough of Ireland to be but strangers in it
For what died the sons of Róisín, was it greed?”

AC Harper
AC Harper
20 days ago

Can we say “I told you so” yet?

Meanwhile, in just over six months, Britain will almost certainly vote Labour back into power — making it one of the few countries in Europe to have a centre-left government.

A centre-left government probably little different from the current (alleged) centre-right government. There is no money you know.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
20 days ago
Reply to  AC Harper

You lot should subscribe to ‘Naked Capitalism’ there us an article there which informs us that Tony Blair will be sticking his nose back into UK politics via the puppet Starmer, if and when he gets elected, no doubt looking after the interests of his Corporate US clients! The man is odious scum he really is… (fume)

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  AC Harper

and soon after 2028 IF Starmer opts for decarbonisation by 2030, there’ll be no grid, no economy and much strife.

Mark Phillips
Mark Phillips
20 days ago

Testing.

Peter B
Peter B
20 days ago

Blimey, a Thomas Fazi article I finally agree with.
Almost fell for the “the far-Right, racist and economically suicidal project of Brexit.” trigger. A bit mischievous to put that so early in an article which goes on to refute that view.
Perhaps the penny will finally drop with some Remainers that the EU is neither quite what they hope it is and nor is it moving in a direction that’s good for Britain (and probably not for most EU countries either).
The argument about leaving the EU was never one about taking a snapshot decision in 2016, but about looking forward and anticipating where it was going and whether that ultimately made sense for the UK. It’s actually becoming clearer that it doesn’t really know where it’s going. Another reason to take charge ourselves.

Pedro the Exile
Pedro the Exile
20 days ago
Reply to  Peter B

It’s actually becoming clearer that it doesn’t really know where it’s going.
It does but unfortunately the demos have woken up to the everyday reality of that directions and are not happy so the technocrats are in political zugzwang.The shift in the overton window in Ireland over the last few months exemplifies just how quickly things can change-people are now openly talking about “Irish replacement” and “Ireland for the Irish” which would have been unthinkable last year.Realpolitik is an ideological killer and is delivering in spades.The recent domination of “Gaza”in local elections is another wake up call and a precursor to a Muslim Political Party which will itself be a precursor to either low grade civil war or increased Balkanisation of the UK.
Its a pressure cooker and when it blows….!!!!

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  Peter B

It won’t, they’ll still be arguing that Brexit caused catastrophic man made global warming when the next glacier hits.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
20 days ago

In a moral Continental order, France and Hungary would be expelled from the EU for welcoming a visit from Chinese communist dictator, Xi. I imagine the Germans would like them out anyway, and the matter is discussed with half-seriousness in certain European circles.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
20 days ago

I subscribe to UnHerd to get a Right-wing perspective although I acknowledge you nod occasionally to alternative viewpoints. But your unrelenting, visceral hostility to the EU is, while not surprising, just boring and uninteresting. This latest polemic is typical. And typical in its wilful misunderstanding of what the EU is about and for. To judge from the overwhelming tone of loathing towards the EU by your readers in their vitriolic comments, you clearly know how, on this issue, to pander to your base.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

So uninteresting you mention it? What exactly was the EU for by the way?

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
20 days ago
Reply to  Bill Bailey

I’ve lived over half my life in Europe. It’s a wonderful continent, but I’m not sure what good the EU really did. Maybe getting rid of currency exchanges and speeding up border crossings?

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
20 days ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Giving up the franc and the lira has condemned both France and Italy to terminal decline. Neither country has balanced its books since the single currency was adopted. The rate at which Europeans are falling behind the US is quite spectacular.

j watson
j watson
19 days ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Lack of perspective and far too parochial.
Where else on the Globe are there c27 nation states adjacent to each other with democratic liberal economies?
How many were there back in mid 50s before Treaty of Rome?

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
20 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

You are at the wrong site then. Certainly not “right-wing”. But then again, the term is extremely subjective these days. In the U.S., if you believe in free speech, you are considered right-wing.

Kent Ausburn
Kent Ausburn
19 days ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

In the US, it has always been “right wing” to be for free speech. It certainly has never been a left wing virtue, as recently evidenced by the attempt by the current left-wing Democrat administration to control the debate during the covid pandemic and ongoing climate debates.

George Venning
George Venning
20 days ago

OK, as one of the few Remainacs Below The Line, I’ll bite.
The gist of this piece is, “Europe has stopped being a counterweight to British rightwing bullshit and instead come to resemble British rightwing bullshit.” That is certainly ironic and as depressing as anything I can imagine in the political sphere.
But to go from there to “lefties must now regret voting to remain in the EU since it no longer reflects their values” is no less bizarre than the corrollary argument contained within it but not advanced “rightwing Brexiters must regret voting to leave now that it does reflect their values.”
As a British leftie, I have (ahem) considerable experience of Governmental institutions that ostensibly represent me but which pursue the opposite policies to the ones I espouse. It doesn’t mean that I want to give up what little power I have to influence them.
BTW. My other arguments for voting remain were “don’t give up your veto over the actions of the entire continent” and “isn’t it a good thing to be able to trade and travel freely across the whole of the world’s richest continent” remain as valid as ever (and ought to remain as attractive to rightwingers as ever too)

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
20 days ago
Reply to  George Venning

This is the central problem with the Remainer position: you surrender your democratic rights on the basis that you agree with the policies of the elite, and then you complain when those policies change and you have no say.

George Venning
George Venning
20 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Not quite. I dilute my democratic rights within a wider polity. But, in return, I get a national veto over the activities of all my neighbours.

I’m not saying that it’s cost free, I’m saying it’s a worthwhile trade.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
20 days ago
Reply to  George Venning

I dilute my democratic rights
Nope – you surrender them. You clearly haven’t read the Maastricht or Lisbon treaties.

George Venning
George Venning
19 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Go on…
As I recall, the UK had considerable influence within the EU despite its substantialy privileged terms – exemption from Schengen, and the Euro, plus our large rebate etc etc.
We were able to vote in European elections, where our MEPs made up influential factions of the two most important political blocs, as a nation we were able to appoint a number of influential commissioners and our national Government had a number of important powers culminating in our veto.
The fact that the make up of our representation in the European Parliament did not reflect my personal preferences and our national Government did not use its powers in the manner that I would wish is an annoyance to me personally but it isn’t the fault of the Maastricht or Lisbon Treaties.
But no doubt you will enlighten me in due course.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
17 days ago
Reply to  George Venning

The European Coal and Steel community founded in 1951, then EEC in 1957 and finally EU was never meant to be democratic . They were founded to prevent the will of the people, to create a bureaucratic oligarchy. We joined because some parts of the FO had nervous breakdown over Suez and massive collapse in economic power due to strikes by un an semi skilled unions under mined our industry. We joined for economic/trade reasons. Bevin, Gaitskill, Shore, Benn, Foot and Powell were correct we would lose sovereignty. The EU is German horse ridden by French jockey, always was and always will be. If the jockey( France ) is in a generous mood he may to the Benelux countries plus Italy provided they agree on all that is important issue for him  listen to Tickell of FO helped Heath to lie about loss of sovereignty. It is interesting that Labour politicians of WW2 vintage understood the realities of the Coal and Steel Community, the Conservatives did not and modern Labour fully support the loss of sovereignty.  Which is why Bevin is the greatest foreign secretary since WW2.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  George Venning

says a Left Wing Bulls*****r perhaps?

George Venning
George Venning
19 days ago
Reply to  Bill Bailey

Thank you for your helpful contribution.
But as to my point, do you regret your vote to leave now that the EU is acting in a manner more closely aligned with your personal politics? If not, can you see that I would not vote regret my vote to remain, despite the EU making a turn towards policies I abhor?

Daniel P
Daniel P
20 days ago

More and more I just want to move to some remote location in Alaska, build a little cabin, grow a garden, hunt and fish, and ignore the rest of the world’s insanity.

ALLEN MORRIS-YATES
ALLEN MORRIS-YATES
19 days ago
Reply to  Daniel P

You could try Tasmania.

Andrew Barton
Andrew Barton
16 days ago
Reply to  Daniel P

Not sure about Alaska, but some enclave where everybody speaks the language, is free from violent religious fanaticism, where gender identity politics doesn’t exist and everybody just gets on with life is quite an attractive idea. I do worry about the world my fine young grandson will inherit.

Catherine Conroy
Catherine Conroy
20 days ago

I did not agree with Brexit but the EU have behaved like typical liberal bully boys who assume they are better and more righteous than anybody else.
They EU have been punishing countries they judge less than liberal, such as Hungary, despite the country’s reasonably fair election process. They have called Poland racist for not taking in immigrants (the Polish govt retorted that as a result, they’d not had any terrorist attacks and were able instead to take in a large amount of Ukrainians). They have tried to force countries such as Romania to adopt same-sex marriage, regardless of whether voters wanted it or not (the less controversial and equally useful civil partnership act has now been accepted). They’ve remonstrated with Bulgaria whose government does not accept the GRA as their lawyers rightly pointed out that trans rights contradicted women’s rights in their constitution (Bulgarians seem happy with LGB without the T).
I support gay rights (and most EU countries do have anti discrimination policies in place) but all social issues should be dealt with by sovereign countries, not the EU.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago

I only support human rights.

David Lindsay
David Lindsay
20 days ago

Excellent. I have argued for years and years that EU membership subjected us, and would again, to the legislative will of any and everyone who could find their way onto the Council of Ministers and into the European Parliament. There is a similar problem with NATO, and if anything that is even worse because it is directly about wars.

Michael Cazaly
Michael Cazaly
20 days ago
Reply to  David Lindsay

Quite! NATO leaders appear intent on a direct confrontation with Russia…and China.
The NATO countries will lose heavily…or more correctly their populations will lose heavily.
Oh for the days when political leaders had actually fought in a war or their parents had so they understood the risks being run…

John Riordan
John Riordan
20 days ago

“In a curious twist of fate, the EU is turning into everything Remainers feared Brexit would bring to the UK.”

I can predict what the Remoaners will be saying in response. It’ll be that none of it would ever have happened if we’d stayed in the EU. As arguments go it’s especially dismal even for the increasingly-deranged UK Europhile agenda, but stupid arguments have never stopped them before, so why would they now?

Jürg Gassmann
Jürg Gassmann
20 days ago

The suppression of dissent, censorship, and “Zersetzung” of regime critics were brought out in full force during “Covid”. We’re just seeing the logical continuation and refinement.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
20 days ago

In a curious twist of fate, the EU is turning into everything Remainers feared Brexit would bring to the UK.
If only someone had warned about that.

Chauncey Gardiner
Chauncey Gardiner
20 days ago

“The European Union effectively became a sovereign power with the authority to impose budgetary rules and structural reforms on member states — not exactly what you’d expect from the “bastion of democracy” often portrayed by Remainers.”
Or, the EU was explicitly designed to become a sovereign power with authority to impose budgetary rules and structural reforms on member states.
And: Perhaps all of that imposing and top-down reforming really does correspond to Remainers concept of “democracy,” for, do they not identify democracy with specific policy outcomes as opposed to identifying democracy with liberal democratic process?
Democratic process may lead to outcomes (like Brexit) that the Remainers don’t like and would subsequently denounce as un-democratic. Remainers do not favor democratic process. They favor the business of dictating their favored policy outcomes. They’ve got the EU they’ve always wanted.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
18 days ago

Continental Europe adopted the Divine Right of the Emperor with the collapse of the Roman Empire via the Roman Catholic Church. The process arrived at the Holy Roman Empire. The EU is an attempt to recreate the HRE of Charlemagne. The EEC/EU bureaucracy replaces the RC Church who acted as the bureaucrats for the HRE and France.
Anglo, Saxons and Jutes never believed in the Divine Right of Kings were often elected and ruled through consultation and consent. AS society was remarkably egalitarian with few slaves and much less serfdom than Europe. The areas of Danelaw and Kent had very low levels of serfdom. The only monarchs to believe in the Divine Right of Kings were the Stuarts who were Scottish influenced by the French and resulted in Civil War with Parliament. There was no conflict between Elizabeth and Parliament.
The support for the EEC/EU in Britain started after the Foreign Office had a nervous breakdown after Suez in 1956 .Large bureaucratic oligarchies are favoured by bureaucrats with a collectivist mind set who lack skill, toughness and an adventurous spirit; it is the herd mentality.
Wellington said our greatest asset is our honesty and B Wallis said it was the individuality of the English which was her genius. If one analyses the Super Bug Problem- especially mid staffs Hospital, AIDs contamination of blood, Covid and Wuhan,  Post Office – Horizon Scandal and Grenfell Fire Disaster one can see bureaucracies will not take responsibility for mistakes and therefore are dishonest. The whole point of a bureaucracy is to acquire power without accepting responsibility.
A captain of a ship is duty is honour bound to go down with his ship. Captain Landsorff of the Graf Spee committed suicide and by doing so he accepted responsibility for scuttling the Graf Spee. Dudley Pope noted in his book “The Battle of the River Plate” that anIm[erial naval ensign was the flag Langsdorff laid down upon when he shot himself. When was the last time a bureaucrat accepted responsibility for their mistakes ?

Danny D
Danny D
20 days ago

> more than 500 NGOs — many at national level — all tasked with promoting EU values ahead of the forthcoming elections

“Promoting EU values” means propaganda for those in power to stay in power.

Governments and institutions should be forced to stop giving money to these NGOs. It’s corruption, pure and simple.

Jon Hawksley
Jon Hawksley
20 days ago

Thomas Fazi shows remarkeable ignorance on Remainers. They do not and have never had nightmares about the EU. They do not worry about the EU having any significant political involvement in their lives for good or bad. The EU does not register on their emotions. Their concern is with the UK government that has a far greater involvement in their lives, for better or worse, than the EU possibly could. They see a positive benefit in hasle free trade with a sizeable economic block and see common standards as a sensible part of that, even if they think they could be improved upon. They see benefit in freedom of movement for the British in the EU and accept as a price inward migration of EU workers that the UK appears to need. They see benefit in being able to return illegal migrants accross the channel. They see the EU as an organisation in which the supremacy of the nation state is not actually under threat whatever the effort of the bureaucrats. They might be misguided but Remainers do not have nightmare about the EU, which is why they voted remain for the convenience of it.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
20 days ago
Reply to  Jon Hawksley

How’s that “price of inward migration” working out? For anyone in Europe.

McLovin
McLovin
20 days ago

News just in – the grass isn’t greener on the other side. Millions of disillusioned sheep stage a sit in.

Mark epperson
Mark epperson
20 days ago

Karma, finally, folks are starting to realize that the EU “leadership” actually couldn’t lead 2 people out of an elevator. They are visionless, paranoid, control freaks with no real center or ideology, just the finger in the wind to see which way to go. They are awful, but they are usually attractive, and somewhat articulate, but it all ends there. Europe is getting what they deserve, just like us in the U.S. I do sense a change in direction in the West, I just hope it comes as a tsunami, not a glacier.

Rachel Taylor
Rachel Taylor
20 days ago

Deleted

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
20 days ago

The EU is showing it’s true colurs. It was always planned to create a bureaucratic oligarchy run by the French civil service in order to prevent nazis, fascists abd communists being voted into power. Post mid 1980s communists entered the EEC/EU , Merkel and Barroso being examples.
The political traumas of the 1920s and 1930s meant the founders of the EEC did not trust the people ( Schuman et al )
Schuman Declaration – Wikipedia
Treaty of Paris (1951) – Wikipedia
Jean Monnet – Wikipedia
If the UK had created their own version of the Monet Plan rather than the NHS/Wefare state we would be in better position today.
Immigration was to reduce labourt costs rather than deveoping more advanced machinery employing fewer unskilled people.
Most of the founders of the EEC were RC and therefore were at best indifferent to free speech. William Tyndale was murdered near Brussels for heresy by the Holy Roman Empire.
Today, the modern Holy Roman Empire is the EU and heresy is now called disinformation.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
20 days ago

Was there anyone who thought Brussel and the various bureaucratic elites who owe it fealty would give up easily? Meanwhile, the stealthy NGOs appear to be metastasizing with lethal speed.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
20 days ago

Powerfully accurate, as ever. Not one wrong word.

R Wright
R Wright
19 days ago

If I had known back then what pathetic wets run this country I would have voted Remain so at least a foreigner with a bit of spine might have had the opportunity to rule over me instead of the weak-chinned wastes of skin that have run the UK for the past few decades.

Tessa B
Tessa B
3 days ago

Separate the issues.

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
20 days ago

For goodness sake Fazi, if you want anyone with a brain to read your articles, don’t include this in your second sentence:

the far-Right, racist and economically suicidal project of Brexit.

These words are just intellectually bankrupt, even by your standards. Anyone capable of writing such discredited sh1te shouldn’t be allowed near a reputable media outlet.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
20 days ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

Are people on this board no longer able to understand any nuances in writing? That’s clearly written as the shrieking viewpoint of the Remain crowd, not Fazi’s personal opinion on the referendum result

J Bryant
J Bryant
20 days ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Totally agree. The Fazi quote has been taken out of context.
As for the EU project, it seems to be the leading, modern case exemplifying what happens when a bureaucracy is given too much power.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
20 days ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I thought it was obvious too, but maybe should have been a bit more explicit.

George Venning
George Venning
20 days ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Perhaps TF actually wants to ensure that people whose reading comprehension is only so-so don’t read his articles

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
20 days ago
Reply to  George Venning

Why would he want to do that?
As it happens, on re-reading i’ll admit my reaction was incorrect. It was made in the ‘early hours’ after a long and tiring evening, but still no excuse. The article was read in full before commenting, and my first impression was it was mainly a fair piece but had been spoiled early on.
So much for your presumptions.

Nanumaga
Nanumaga
20 days ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

The guy’s got form. Bend your ear to his bizarre contribution on the alternative ‘Covid Inquiry’ hosted by Unherd. Sunetra Gupta and the Swedish bloke made some sense.
He babbled some incoherent pseudo-Marxist postulations which, eventually, just left him looking like the thick kid in the class who gets to be invited to have a seat at the top table.
We’re not talking about a super-intellectual. We’re not even talking about the editorial commune which produces The Guardian/BBC daily comments.
I left The Spectator because they’d stuffed the BTL Comments. This looked like a useful option. I have my doubts, and it was wise to only pay for the three months option!

T Bone
T Bone
20 days ago
Reply to  Nanumaga

It’s not a problem of intellectualism. I think Fazi is an excellent writer. He’s an idealist not a rationalist. I don’t think he understands economics or government. Nobody becomes a socialist because they studied the historical track records of supply-side and command economics.

Socialism is about a “moral vision” which if implemented “correctly” will theoretically help more people flourish. Of course it never works but that doesn’t eliminate the “vision.” Modern Socialist writers come from that chain of Rousseau and Hegel and are also influenced by the Kant and Schopenhauer tree. They’re going to write in somewhat convoluted subjective language.

There’s still plenty to learn from Fazi’s writing regardless of whether his theories of political economy hold water. There’s a diverse coalition of writers at Unherd. The writing seems world class to me. If you know a better coalition of writers, please let everybody know.

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
20 days ago
Reply to  T Bone

Trump fanatics talking about “intellectualism”??!?
I am laughing so hard right now!
And dropping in the names of a few philosophers and theorists you may have heard of somewhere only makes it even funnier!!!

Martin M
Martin M
20 days ago

I know the names of some philosophers too, although that is mostly due to my having listened to Monty Python’s “Philosophers Song” ad nauseam in my teenage years.

Mike Doyle
Mike Doyle
20 days ago

.

mike otter
mike otter
20 days ago

There’s no doubt that the Marx-Gramsci-Foucault path is rooted in post Enlightenment liberalism, but is not itself coherant philosophy. I cannot think of a socialist or communist thinker who’s theories can be subject to test and falsification. The nearest i can recall would be John Rawls who you may argue is ” a little bit left-wing”. Perhaps this is why left wing politics usually ends in violence because they seldom win at the ballot box. If you can think of any “true to the scene” lefties who’s ideas are up for open debate and test please let us know!

T Bone
T Bone
20 days ago

To the extent that anyone on a forum can drive public opinion, nobody has aided Trump more than you.

Why do you keep helping Trump if you hate him so much?

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
20 days ago
Reply to  T Bone

You mugs don’t need me to drive you to Trump – you were suckers long before I showed up.
I hope you are enjoying Trump’s ongoing public humiliation in court! And that is the putz you choose to be your wannbe dictator?!?! How embarrassing for you!

T Bone
T Bone
20 days ago

How many times per day do you think about Donald Trump?

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
19 days ago
Reply to  T Bone

Oh, not many. I just like to remind you people that you have decided to go all in on a complete moron. What does that make you?
I am also enjoying his complete humiliation by Stormy Daniels!

Martin M
Martin M
20 days ago
Reply to  T Bone

I like Fazi’s writing, even though he is a few light-years to the Left of me.

Stevie K
Stevie K
19 days ago
Reply to  T Bone

Really good overview T Bone. In a similar vein, I have gone off the US based CompactMag, Fazi’s home publication, over time, because although they host a wide spectrum of writers, the core producers’ marxist analytical thinking patterns are jarringly obvious. As a group, they are still caught up an idealistic and utopian vision. Having said that they recently had a stunning article on the disillusionment of Obama. It is important to read widely.

T Bone
T Bone
19 days ago
Reply to  Stevie K

Was hoping I could read it without a subscription. I was able to see the summary. Looks compelling.

Stevie K
Stevie K
19 days ago
Reply to  Nanumaga

We are missing you on The Spectator boards. All of these forums are messy and highly imperfect, but still valuable means of expression and discourse.

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
20 days ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

I love how stupid you people are!

Paul T
Paul T
20 days ago

Does it make you feel good about being far more stupid?

mike otter
mike otter
20 days ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

As everyone else above says Fazi is givng a demonstration of Remoaner Derangement Syndrome’s key symptoms rather than stating his views ( Which may well have been remaniac ones back in 2015/6)

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

I see you weigh up both sides of an argument before deciding?