Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

Short political memories


  • Inflation 2.8%
  • Unemployment 5.4%
  • 25 years of solid economic growth (the longest sustained period of economic growth for 150 years), currently at 2-3%
  • 5th or 6th largest GDP in the world
  • 1973/4 (the year Britain joined what is now the EU)

  • Inflation 8.4%
  • Repeated strikes (civil servants, dockers, gas workers, engineers, firemen, miners) in the face of pay freezes
  • OPEC crisis leads to the three day week
  • Terrorist bombs at the Old Bailey, Whitehall, Houses of Parliament
  • Taxes rising constantly (9% increase in National Insurance contributions in October alone)
  • State of Emergency declared after coal and electricity workers refuse to do overtime
  • Fuel and speed restrictions imposed on the roads, lighting and heating restrictions in commercial premises
  • An additional 1.5 million register as unemployed during the course of the year
  • In short, the year 1973/4 was one of the worst in Britain’s recent history.

    But hey – who cares about little things like “facts”, “honesty” and “perspective” when you’re formulating your ill-considered political opinions? Because, let’s face it, by pretty much any objective measurement the UK is significantly, almost amazingly better off today than it was in the year the country joined the EU.

    Not that objectivity has anything to do with it, of course. How else could 52% of British people polled for a new survey seriously claim that the UK is worse off now than it was when the country joined the EEC?