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Brexit the Movie reviewed in Warminster

(June 11, 2016)

BREXIT the Movie was the free offering at The Athenaeum in Warminster on Friday evening and it delighted the audience. But it was an audience of diehard eurosceptics so that is no surprise.

Having spent the best part of a quarter of a century sat in crown courts listing to the arguments of QCs battling it out in criminal cases I don’t need telling there are two sides to every argument. In this curate’s egg of a film we, of course, only heard one.

While I fully agree with the need to leave the EU the ultra free market thread of this offering left me rather cold. It was very simplistic - we needed something more rounded.

For example, the German economic miracle post 1945 is put down to their economic policy of laissez-faire and deregulation while Britain’s post-war malaise is purely and simply  a result of socialist regulation and state control.

While there may be elements of truth in this a more rounded answer reveals a multiplicity of reasons and lengthy essays could and have been written on this subject. (Some penned by my own hand in the days before PCs).

The flag waving gets a bit too much when Britain was described as the workshop of the world and saluted as the international powerhouse of the 19th Century. But while Britannia ruled the industrial waves three-quarters of the 19th century population lived in penury, deprivation and disease, their reward for a life of toil being a few months in the workhouse before death.

Only regulations brought in by paternalistic Tories such as Joseph Chamberlain in the 19th century, the 1906 Liberal government and the 1945 Labour government made British life civilised.

Yet this film made it seem as if all regulations are bad. Sweeping them away will boost economic activity for sure but at what cost? Nigel Farage has already been heard talking about quality of life and to sweep away regulation wholesale would simply reduce our workers to the status of the poor serfs employed in modern Chinese factories. That to me is unacceptable.

The film made little if any mention of immigration control - surely the Leave campaign's ace card that will win this referendum. Why? - probably become the neo-liberals behind Brexit the Movie would really like to see uncontrolled immigration to further boost the power of business and increase more competition among the labouring classes. Its vision of Britain post Brexit did not really appeal to me nor will it to the millions the Leave campaign need to win over.

But Curate’s eggs are good in parts and so was this film.

The section on the fishing industry was particularly interesting and showed how those tight-knit communities that served this country for generations doing a dangerous job were let down and abandoned by successive governments as they bowed and scraped to EU overlords.

The piece about Switzerland was also good as it revealed how it was possible to achieve huge success in business while remaining outside the EU. The Swiss of course are referendum addicts which helps to keep their ruling elites in check.

I also liked the sections about how the elites had their noses in the EU trough, gorging themselves in benefits and allowances while at the same time showering other elites with money to ensure their docility, complicity and our servitude.

Of course it is the complete lack of democratic accountability which really does for the EU and this aspect was thrown into high relief by this film. The European Parliament is a total waste of time and the rest of the EU institutions are run  as a mystery to benefit themselves and ensure further and ever closer union.

We have to escape from the EU orbit at warp speed but on balance this film does little to recharge the dilithium crystals! SD




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