Well, it’s an interesting idea

Hatherley’s theory, which this book not so much tests as pummels furiously for signs of weakness, is that for all its evident problems, belonging to Europe means – or meant – committing to an idea that everyday life can be made better for the vast majority of people with planning, humility and a good measure of collective provision. Europe, he reckons at the outset, reminds him of fast, comprehensive public transport, generous and affordable rented housing and public spaces that you want to spend hours in rather than hurry through.

It’s also bollocks. There’s no need to be ruled from Brussels to have those things.

In fact Brussels has entirely scrotum all to do with any of them. Thus staying in the EU is irrelevant to whether we have them or not. Apparently Canada is a nice enough social democracy having those things. It’s also not in the EU. QED.

22 comments on “Well, it’s an interesting idea

  1. And of course we never had fast, comprehensive public transport, generous and affordable rented housing and quality public spaces before 1974. I must have imagined it all, and current crap transport, expensive housing, and public spaces you want to run through are all illusions.

  2. I have to say that the number of people who declare they hate Brexit Britain so much they’re legging it to Canada rather does support your point.

    (In fairness – they may believe that Britain would be capable of being a “nice” country like Canada is, but Brexit has brought out the worst in it in terms of xenophobia or racism. But looking across several EU countries at the moment, not just “dodgy” ones like Poland or Hungary or Italy or Greece but places social democrats consider “nice” like the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Finland, France and Germany, EU membership and deeper integration also seems quite capable of promoting a rise in political extremism. In fact if you do view Brexit as a nasty bout of political extremism, it is surely one provoked by EU membership in the first place.)

  3. It is always an interesting test of how people see themselves. If they divide us into shepherds and sheep, do they see themselves as the former or the latter?

    The European Project seems to be run by people who really do think us sheep cannot survive without their guidance. It really is an outgrowth of the Nazi’s European dream.

  4. This is was King Philip II of Spain had to offer when we made the huge error of turning away his Armada. Think of how much better off we would all have been under the Habsburgs.

  5. “The architectural case for remain”?

    The time to make an architectural case for remain was before the referendum. I’m sure that would have swung things in Hull, Stoke and Doncaster.

  6. Canada is NOT a nice country. Collectively they are a bunch of passive-aggressive shits. The progressive “liberals” are doing their level best to turn the country into a centrally planned version of Europe.

  7. Was anyone else struck by the sheer jingoism of the Archbishop of Canterbury announcing that the EU was “the greatest dream realised for human beings for 1500 years”. It’s akin to someone saying that the British Empire was the height of civilization in 1900. Narrow, ignorant and arrogant. The EU has crushed the people of the southern periphery and imposed alien values on their subject peoples.

  8. MBE–If wanting the natives–ie US–to rule our own country and not wanting that country to be turned into a third world shithole via imports is political extremism–sign me up.

    It looks like Fishy is trying to line up a sell-out anyway. And the dithering is because she is too gutless for a brazen attempt. And no one is fooled by the fudge.

  9. Bravefart–Ink costs money.

    And Hastings is sculking around anyway( Hence the anti-Tommy Robinson shite they have been peddling).

    It would be war from Day 1.

  10. fast, comprehensive public transport, generous and affordable rented housing and public spaces that …

    Given we’ve been in the EU/EEC for forty-four years, and we have very few of those things, it’s safe to assume that continued EU membership won’t confer them either.

    It’s something of a mystery why Britain has such poor quality public spaces though.

  11. @ Andrew M
    “The tragedy of the commons” – the benefit to the people signing the cheques to pay for the upkeep of public spaces is insignificant compared to the benefits that they receive from the County Hall canteen/will receive from the Local government Pension Scheme.
    One notable exception is Epping Forest owned and maintained by the Corporation of London which probably has as many £ms in its annual budgets it has resident taxpayers.
    My original home town’s park was provided by a local shipbuilder (he really was a shipbuilder – when he left public school he went to work as an apprentice in the yard and only went indoors after finishing his apprenticeship so that he would thoroughly understand what firm did when his father died); my current one has a team of volunteers who look after the flower beds.
    Some other towns have decent public spaces but it depends on *someone* putting in the money and effort.

  12. My grandmother was old enough to remember ” fast, comprehensive public transport, generous and affordable rented housing and public spaces that you want to spend hours in rather than hurry through.” (My mother was born in 1914.) Then a Serbian murdered in cold blood the reformist heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
    Is Hatherley that old that he can remember things before 1914?
    Generous and affordable rented housing was destroyed by Lloyd George’s well-meaning Rent Act during WWI and the failure of successive governments for the next 40 years to repeal it after wartime conditions ended.
    Over the last couple of decades the privatised companies have started re-opening rail lines closed by British Fail so long ago that I don’t remember them.

  13. Even if that public transport exists it’s only in very small areas, typical London/capital bubble thinking everywhere is the same as where they are.
    Having left UK for Canada 10years ago I’d rather stay here, even though Trudeau is doing his best to screw things up, he’s a lite version of Blair it seems, self obsessed with his place in history and not capable of dealing with real problems if he can hide behind frippery

  14. @ken

    +1 Wellby should be supporting his diminishing flock, not insulting & alienating them – ~60% of CoE attenders voted Leave

  15. John 77,

    Sure, tragedy of the commons, councils short of cash; but every small town in France that I’ve ever driven through seems far nicer than the equivalent British small town. How does France (and much of the rest of Europe) manage not to suffer that same tragedy?

    There’s something badly wrong with the way this country does local government (again, compared to the continent), but I can’t quite put my finger on what it is.

  16. Ken, will the CoE exist in 10 years’ time? My question is which hedge fund Welby is promoting.

  17. @Diogenes, Pcar

    Welby is just another arrogant globalist who thinks that all right thinking people think the way he does. What I find astonishing is his inability to understand how utterly deluded the pinnacle of achievement statement is.

  18. AndrewM,

    “Sure, tragedy of the commons, councils short of cash; but every small town in France that I’ve ever driven through seems far nicer than the equivalent British small town. How does France (and much of the rest of Europe) manage not to suffer that same tragedy?”

    There’s generally two problems with this point of view. One is that on holiday you generally select for certain sorts of attractive places and the second is that you’re happy with the limitations of France, while you are on holiday.

    I doubt you’re paying a visit to Clichy-Sur-Bois or Montargis. I popped into Poitiers not long ago and that’s a bit of a dump.

    And when you’re they’re you’re probably fine with unique local shops with short opening hours and high prices.

    I’m not saying France is bad. Or anywhere in Europe. But there’s up and downsides. I remember walking out of a live lesbian show in Hamburg only to hear a horrified gasp as I crossed the road on a red man

  19. @Bloke on M4

    +1 A holiday is very different to living where one must work, shop, cook, pay bills etc.

    A self-catering holiday with rare use of restaurants would provide a more accurate view.

    If you’re from UK and shop in a Swedish supermarket, it’s like going back in time. However, I love Clas Ohlson

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