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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
A Doomed Marriage: Britain and Europe
Format: Hardcover|Change
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on 9 September 2012
Daniel Hannan is well known as a trenchant critic of the EU racket, and it is good to have a clear and well-argued statement of his argument. This essay (that's what it is - 111 pages in small format) is concise and compelling. The author identifies more effectively than I have read before why so many influential people recoil with horror at the idea that this country might be much better off if it were not in the EU. This, I suspect, is the view of the majority of the electorate, but of course they are never asked. Hannan is particularly good on the motivation of Germany in the European process. There are many thought-provoking arguments here, and I rationed myself to a chapter or two at a time in order to savour the quality of the discourse.

The book is nicely produced too (printed in Germany!); I only noticed two small typos.

This should be read by the Euro-fanatics in Whitehall and the BBC, but I don't suppose it will be. The rest of us can enjoy a really effective polemic.
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on 16 August 2012
I have only had the opportunity to read the serialised version so far (full book on order), but as the author of Vote Alison MEP (Spawater Chronicles), I can easily recognise the European Union as described by author Daniel Hannan.
This book is excellently researched, truthfully representing the privileges the EU elite accord themselves (e.g. revealing that EU officials are exempt from paying national taxation) and presented in a way that is easy to grasp.
Daniel Hannan reveals how the EU manages to keep so many people and organisations on-side; funding an ever-widening client state (paid for with our taxes). Sports clubs, charities, big land-owners, corporations, contractors, municipalities and others, are all dependant on EU largesse and so unlikely to bite the hand that finances them.
He explains how the EU is a parody of a democracy, installing a powerless Parliament to placate the masses while the unelected EU Commission holds the real power.
Mr Hannan writes in an engaging style, easy on the brain. This is just as well as learning the true scale of EU corruption is inclined to heat it up.
The Euro is doomed, says he, and the sooner the better. Quite right too.
Give this book to your Europhile friends this Christmas. That'll learn 'em.
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on 29 September 2012
An incisive and instructive essay on the formation and growth of the EU from its earliest dates to the modern day. It is hard to believe just how blinkered politicians can be when left to their own devices. The future looks grim indeed and this slim volume identifies the problems most clearly
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on 19 December 2016
One star only - First off I have not read the book so I cannot comment on its content. I have read other books on kindle by Daniel Hannan and I have found them to be excellent. The reason for the one star is the cost of the kindle edition against the hardcover. With the hardcover being priced at £14.99 and the electronic kindle edition priced at £14.40 I find this totally unacceptable. The hardcover is presumably fairly priced with the printing and transportation etc and I would surmise value for money, but to only have a price difference of 59p between the two formats is frankly ridiculous so I will have to forgo the pleasure of reading this book until such times (if ever) they amend the pricing structure.
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on 24 September 2012
In George Orwell's nightmarish novel "1984"; Hapless, doomed Winston Smith confides to his diary "A good book is one that tells you whay you already know." In a way, his is a paradoxical statement, because it equally suggests that what a reader regards as a good book is one that simply confirms and reinforces his own prejudices, right or wrong. You've only got to see how the Koran is variously interpreted as a work of peaceful co-existence or furious isolationism according to the bias of its adherents.

Hannan's "A doomed marriage" pursues Wiston Smith's intended meaning; ie: a book that clearly sets out truths you have already reasoned from the evidence. This small book - or long essay, if you will - explains the case not simply from an uninformed critic's viewpoint, but from that of someone who has worked for many years within the European political hierarchy. In short; it's written by an inner-party member, and not some renegade exile. So far as "1984" is concerned; these are the words of O'Brien himself.

And what we read is what most Euro-sceptics like me have already suspected for years, but lacked the absolute stated confirmation. In cold dispassionate prose, Hannan explains how - from its very outset - the British and European peoples were hoodwinked into believing that the EU was simply an economic alliance and not the fully-integrated superstate that was its creators master-plan. He describes how the forever-damnable Edward Heath knew this himself, but procured our entry by the most servile surrender of assets and craven dishonesty toward those who elected him to serve their best interests. And ever since, each successive British government - with the possible exception of Margaret Thatcher - has readily compounded that deceit, endorsing the weasel words of the European aparachiks. Meanings are shifted with subtlety. Truths are concealed by lies. The stated aspirations of one generation are conveniently whitewashed-over or airbrushed into an alternative interpretation. Those familiar with Orwell's other political satire "Animal Farm" will remember how the animals' stated ideals also kept subtly changing, whilst they themselves wondered why or how, until "Squealer" was finally caught out one night, with paint and brush in hand. Time & time again, as years have passed, I have observed what I had thought was said, or intended, slyly transmute into a different emphasis, yet as our own political leaders raised no hue-and-cry, I assumed that my memory erred or that my innate scepticism misled me. Well; here, Hannan explains briefly and simply, that my instincts were right all along.

When I got this book, I thought it would be comical to read, especially after the chameleon compromises over the recent `Greek tragedy'. But before I got halfway through, I was struck by a growing anger, as I read my worst fears and discovered my meanest suspicions set out with complete candour, page after page. How could our own politicians do this to us?

Hannan's book will only ever be read by Eurosceptics. Europhiles have chosen to see only the case that suits their ideology, just as surely as creationists will never read Darwin's "Origin of Species". Even to countenance the alternative arguments would amount to a moral and ideological betrayal. It's a very depressing read; but most depressing in this: It highlights not just what's wrong with Europe, but what's wrong with politicians of every nation, colour and stamp. And what's wrong with politicians is their utter contempt for the democratic process and those people who endow them with the greatest civic trust. This book doesn't just explain what's wrong with Europe as a whole, but what's wrong with Britain.

Read it, and be very, very angry.
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on 6 October 2012
Excellent book. Says everything I have felt about our tie in with Europe but was afraid to know!!
Fortunes down the tubes for some idiots vision.
Well written. Succinct. All everyone needs to know.... and to vote on!
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on 6 October 2012
When an employee repeatedly takes the wrong decision or chooses the one which causes the greatest damage to the company, his superiors normally will decide to terminate his contract. When a government of a sovereign state within the Eurozone facing high debts in 2010, was ordered to make vicious austerity cuts to be bailed out with further funds - pushing up in turn the debts further, and its people protested, the government replied to the European Union they could not go along with their terms and needed to consult its electorate through a people's referendum. The outcome was the government was immediately forced to resign, and its parliament was obliged to vote in one more favourable to the Union's Commission under a former head of the European Bank, Lucas Papademos. That occurred in Greece in 2011. In Italy TV magnate Silvio Berlusconi was pushed out when he chose to resist in November 2011, and was replaced by former European Commissioner, Mario Monti. In both cases the will of a nation or of its people was deemed irrelevant; it is the will of the Union and its Commission. Change the date and a word and the ex Commissioner and ex banker might have been called Gauleiter, and the Union would have been part of the creed of ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer.

When a referendum goes the wrong way as happened in Denmark in 1992 or Ireland in 2001 and 2008 they ignore the result, and demand a new vote under new electoral rules. When the Czech President Vaclav Klaus decided to withhold signing a treaty, he was threatened with impeachment.
When they can't get their way the Eurocrats shout in unison as Orwell's sheep might have chanted in Animal Farm a pointless double-speak refrain "hopeless disorder produces prosperity is a virtue, order produces divisions and war, which is a crime, and the holocaust which is the biggest past crime".

In Southern Italy and Sicily there are powerful criminal organizations which demand protection money from businessmen; they then provide these clients favourable financial terms when moneys are not forthcoming from the banks. From time to time, however, they go back to them, demanding their share in the benefits.

As the Union has no belief in the will of the people of the sovereign states - they say the people are misinformed, and their states are "populist" or "nationalist"- comparable empty terms of abuse spread about deviants like "counter-revolutionary", "socio-fascist", "collaborationist" were used by the old Stalinist CP of the Soviet Union, they turn to their clients, those organizations who are in their pay and receive valuable financial sponsorships. Dan Hannan surprises everyone when he lists departments in local authorities, regional government, and national civil servants, in addition to traditional lobbies: Oxfam, Christian Aid, the WWF, Green Peace, the European Trade Union Congress, in the purse, and where no senior member of an association finds paid holidays, school fees, tickets to important concerts or sporting events an incentive for having their palms greased, they set up front bodies. When the Commission needs to receive support for any of their ideas they turn back to the clients, and pronounce the people, or more precisely their people have spoken: the monkey has danced to the organ grinder.

The reality is that there is no prosperity in terms of GDP within the EU. In 37 out of 38 years of Britain's membership, Britain has been in trade surplus with all the countries of the world except for the EU, where previously it was in surplus everywhere. The EU continues to languish in recession and out spends what it does not have. The Commonwealth countries, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Britain's former food basket, instead, which in 1972 were described by "Grocer" Prime Minister Ted Heath as dying, are surging ahead.

Heath always lied to the British electorate, and when General De Gaulle twice vetoed Britain's proposed membership in the 1960s, Hannan believes, it was not for historical Franco-chauvinist jealousy of its maritime neighbour, but because he believed Britain would not benefit Europe nor itself- an amazing new revelation to British readers. He hints that Heath stupidly accepted the worst terms possible for Britain, including loss of fishing rights to the Mediterranean members simply to ingratiate himself more in the eyes of his continental brothers, and as penance for not joining immediately in 1956 when the Treaty of Rome was first signed, and the decision to include English as an official language arose because the Irish and not the British negotiators had insisted it among its conditions. However, Hannan dismisses the traditional myth that Britain had previously been anti-Europe in favour of its pro-Atlantic stand by repeating that both Churchill and Attlee had both strongly supported European recovery from 1948.

Worse, while Hannan emphasizes that the EU current response to Eurozone crisis is to institute greater European integration, he fails to state that in Greece and Italy more of the failed policies will lead to a further closures in small and medium sized companies and higher unemployment, as well as a 20% rise in suicides among businessmen, the basis of their nation's development, perhaps with the trend spreading everywhere around the continent eventually even affecting the ever dominant Germany, as it would sound like scare mongering. Why not admit it here when many journalists in the pay of populist editors prefer to censor such tales not to worry the unaware people? No -let them eat cake, people should be fed on "human interest" pseudo-pornography and kidnapping stories, rather than touch on real events.

The author stresses that both Switzerland and Norway gain greater benefits than most EU members without having all the obligations to fulfil. He offers the reader with the obvious solution, as the first step in the transformation of the Union itself, and more in line with what De Gaulle himself may have dreamt, by suggesting secession as the greatest gift to give Europe.

The question he unfortunately does not entertain is what is to come of the Nomenklatura, the Eurocrats, those parasites who live for the system. That I suspect is not part of his solution to the doomed marriage, only to the doomed Union which merits another pamphlet.

Certain reviewers here have suggested ordering copies for our national politicians. With what they earn that idea sounds quite barmy! Politicians could buy 50 copies for their constituents. Besides, several politicians are either already in the pay of the European Union or if are Liberal Democrats believe wholeheartedly in it, so presenting them with such a gift would not be any different to giving a visually impaired person an ordinary copy which he cannot read or an individual with perfect sight a copy in Braille which he won't be able to understand. In either case it is very unlikely that they will read it, much less gain pleasure with the details of the stories. Indeed, the information provided will easily surpass the discomfort level of unpleasantness.

It should be read, by journalists, by teachers, and by trade unionist representatives as people will turn to them for advice. As the book is too good to be allowed to given away freely to all during a referendum a few copies should be purchased by every secondary schools; others made available to those who desire them at public and private offices including post office and the Citizen's Advice Bureau. It a book that should read, studied and debated at home, at work, and in society meetings. The people must learn and decide, not the politicians; they must set aside party affiliations and tell the politicians and their government of the day when the time comes if they are to stay in, or come out of the multi-headed monster which Heath conned us in joining.

Dan Hannan says there is always life after departure. It will be based on our needs. The government will have to fight and advance them with determination in the manner Britain was so good in obtaining for centuries, only this time the government won't be making those demands with one hand tied behind its back. If they fail, they will be voted out - that which the Greeks and the Italians were forbidden to do. We will be carrying the flame of democracy, and then the listening Europeans will be there to follow.
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on 10 September 2012
Good succinct account of how our European political masters got it all wrong.
Should be required reading for all Europhiles.
A good read.
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on 9 November 2013
This book should be made part of the UK syllabus. It's short and to the point, without missing out anything important. It really is a doomed marriage.
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on 26 November 2013
I love this book. Many times I have posted screenshots on our Facebook group at [...] as it has given us so much to use in our quest to educate people. It is well written and easy to understand / follow. It is not a spy thriller or a drama, it is simply a valuable insight into the EU and a great weapon of knowledge for any true EU sceptic.
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