Mick Kelly's Reviews > Heroic Failure: Brexit and the Politics of Pain

Heroic Failure by Fintan O'Toole
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it was amazing
Read 2 times. Last read May 26, 2019 to June 4, 2019.

Knowing that this book is about Brexit is enough to send anyone in an English bookshop scurrying towards the romantic fiction or the cozy murder shelf. Anything but the B-word!

But if you are not sunk in misery, escapism or apoplectic rage, it is a book well-worth reading.
Backed by some interesting statistics, it’s thesis is that the English (not the British) have a need to identify an external enemy due to their reluctance or inability to process the demoralisation caused by the end of the empire.

No longer a country that strides the world plundering, enslaving and ‘educating’ the natives, England has yet to face up to the fact that it is a medium-sized economy struggling (like all the others) to find a place in the world.

Now that the big names in world domination are not England, America or the USSR but Google, Amazon and Apple, even the role of nations is cast in doubt.

But for the victims of the neo-liberal abandonment of justice for the working poor, the enemy of poor old England has been identified as the EU. All our misery is apparently due to their insistence on labelling antioxidants in food and stopping telecoms companies from charging the earth for roaming charges.

It is no wonder that the Europeans (who are lucky enough not to be trapped in the UK) look on in puzzlement as we curse them for our declining standard of living and for austerity.

It will not be a spoiler to say that Fintan O’Toole cannot identify a solution to our psychological bind, but he does and excellent job of describing the causes and history that led us to where we are now.
Well argued and well written, it is an enjoyable read that may have a detrimental effect on your blood pressure.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
May 26, 2019 – Started Reading
June 4, 2019 – Shelved
June 4, 2019 – Finished Reading

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