‘They Didn’t Lift A Finger to Help Us’: David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn were keen as mustard to leave the EU

Mike Scialom
6 min readDec 28, 2021


Letters to Europe: Part One

Brexit was a stitch-up of the British people from the start. First off, it was an in-out advisory referendum which won by a simple majority. As soon as the vote was announced, it was clear that both David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn wanted to leave the EU — for different reasons.

All in it together? Picture: ITV

Cameron because his party ideologically opposed the 2015 Brussels plan for a common EU definition of tax havens and for co-ordinated penalties to be imposed upon countries or territories across the world that are uncooperative in tackling tax evasion. This was unacceptable for the Conservative Party, who love to keep their money in tax havens. Indeed the whole business model for the City of London is to act as both a tax haven and a vast money laundering operation for dirty money from Russia, China, Latin America, Asia and anywhere else — supported, backed, given cover and enabled by the Conservative Party. The ‘dirty’ money from corruption, state looting, drugs, people trafficking, oil deals, and corporate criminality of every variety was sent to London to ‘clean’ ie to make it useable in EU and US markets.

Corbyn, then Labour’s leader, wanted to leave the EU because it meant he would be free to campaign to refashion the UK as a modern socialist state, including public ownership of energy and transport industries, new systems of taxation to target wealth, an expansion of the state and an assault on capitalism that couldn’t possibly have had the go-ahead were Britain to stay in the EU bloc.

The two main UK leaders didn’t tell the populace their real motives, what they did instead was to ‘ghost’ voters by not campaigning. Both leaders were very low-profile in the weeks after the referendum was announced.

They didn’t lift a finger to help the citizens of the UK avoid the calamity of Brexit because realpolitik. Both wanted to leave the EU, and the structure of the vote was made as easy as possible to ensure that the Tories kept their tax havens, while Labour voters (at least enough of them) were bigly convinced that a socialist utopia was beckoning.

The British people were lied to, gaslighted, taunted, robbed and denuded of the real truth of the situation. The motives have still not been fully identified — either because too many people can’t be arsed to put two and two together, or because the education system has been so impoverished that a whole generation hasn’t been given the basic intellectual tools to tell right from wrong, or because they were brainwashed by the traditional media, fooled by Facebook and other social media platforms (but mainly Facebook) and criminally lied to by the entire political class acting in unison. Perhaps all of the above.

Having said that, lots of people DID know what was going to happen — anyone who remembered what life was in this country before we joined what was then the Common Market in 1973 for starters. And the great irony is, most people of this generation voted leave — although if you drilled down into their thinking, it wasn’t a vote to leave the EU, it was a vote to recreate the magical land they grew up in, as though the UK was a film set (and as though anything was magical about Great Britain in the 1970s).

Pretty much everything that has taken place since was predicted — the shortages of food, increased bureaucracy, the destruction of livelihoods for the fishing, farming, hospitality, healthcare and financial sectors (it’s a big irony in a crowed field, but Frankfurt and Amsterdam are slowly-but-surely replacing the City of London as Europe’s financial heartbeat). Harder to foresee was the situation now developing in Ireland, where UK government is goading the EU into putting up a physical North-South border wall so they can then blame the EU for the disorder that follows — I didn’t see that coming, because it never occurred to me they would be that cruel and ugly, but here we are. An Irish border is one of many horrifying prospects, with more humiliation and ruin for the UK to come as of January 1st, 2022, when new EU customs declarations will be needed on goods coming into the UK.

It’s fair to say there’s not been a single benefit of Brexit so far, but I always felt that once it became obvious what Brexit was doing to the UK, everyone would see the damage it was causing and demand it be reversed or compromises found. That was my ‘hope’ card, but now it’s gone, because the pandemic. Without the pandemic, the full horror of Brexit would be apparent. But mix in Covid, and suddenly the government has a get-out-of-jail free card — they can simply say that all the woes Britain faces are a result of the supply problems caused by the pandemic and hey presto, the genie’s back in the bottle. It was so easy they managed to fit in the biggest defrauding of a nation of its wealth by its own government in the recent history of democracy. Yes, the £18bn-plus PPE contracts-to-mates, the £35bn Serco Test & Trace farce, even the sell-off of the NHS has proceeded apace under cover of the pandemic.

The City of London: a vast money laundering operation on an unprecedented scale is now in trouble

So the Brexit battle has been lost, and now there’s a bigger battle — let’s not call it a war — going on in Britain, for its future survival as a democratic country. Because what the UK government now has to do, to survive, is to ensure that the lie is perpetuated forever: if the lie is visible, and commonly accepted, they all go to jail. And to perpetuate the lie they have to suppress the opposition (which they are doing by cancelling the right to protest), they have to clamp down on the media (which they’ve been doing very successfully with the BBC) and they have to have an endless war with the EU, and endless culture wars (culture wars are about symbols like flags, or statues). This includes the forever targeting of minority and other groups — refugees, asylum seekers, the French… people must be ceaselessly distracted from the facts about the erosion of their freedom of movement, their right to protest, and the debts that turning an island of 66 million people into a fortress (some would say a prison) involve.

The current UK government has been very successful: it has achieved all its Brexit fantasies of control while being able to pass them off as pandemic-related. Looting the state purse in a series of heists which saw an estimated £18 billion on ‘deals’ for PPE in the first 5 months of 2020 alone, of which billions went via a fast-track scheme for those with connections to the Conservative Party), voter suppression, cutting state expenditure, redrafting environmental laws… it’s been an incredible success story for the architects of the UK’s descent into political freefall. Even the basic human rights laws — which are defined by the UN not the EU — are within their sights.

The problem is so much bigger than Brexit. Propelled by lies and freed from the basic decency of EU legislation and courts, the UK government is now turning the country an authoritarian petri dish for a version of supercharged capitalism which is completely at odds with the qualities needed during a pandemic and as climate breakdown starts to be felt.

The appropriate response to climate change is that humanity works collaboratively rather than in conflict, but here in the UK we’ve gone a million miles in the opposite direction. The UK has become a massive experiment which will ensure a far worse disaster than just the mayhem of Brexit. It’s a combination of disasters which is starting to befall the people of the United Kingdom — mainly England, because the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish are to some extent able to make their own rules. Until the English are able to see that the sudden decline taking place in their country is a result of infighting in the Conservative Party and their own romanticised notion of the past, we’re stuffed.


A group of anti-tax and self-interested individuals persuaded enough people to vote against their own interests to achieve power. Once in power, they began to ensure the levers of power were permanently skewed in their favour. To maintain momentum on the journey towards an authoritarian state, the whole public arena has to be endlessly patrolled to ensure that the truth never becomes available — and, if it does circulate, that it will never be believed.



Mike Scialom

Journalist, writer; facilitator at Cambridge Open Media