- Created: Thursday, 16 April 2009 16:01
- Written by David Yaffe
Larry Elliott and Dan Atkinson
Fantasy Island: waking up to the incredible economic, political and social illusions of the Blair legacy
Constable, London, 2007, 260pp, £7.99 pbk
‘The financial services industry... is, and will always be, of vital importance to this country…We are world leaders and we want to keep it that way’ Alistair Darling, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Labour Party Conference, 23 September 2007 
Britain can be seen as ‘one big offshore hedge fund churning speculators’ money while asset-strippers draw up plans for the few remaining factories to be turned into industrial theme parks’, say the authors of a new book exposing the illusions of the Blair legacy (p74).2 They also believe that nothing essential will change under Gordon Brown. He is unlikely to curb the activities of the global financial markets because the UK has actually done rather well out of them, at least in the short term, a point reinforced by the new Chancellor at the recent Labour Party conference. The result of this could well be an almighty financial crash and a ‘backlash against the excesses of the financial markets of a kind not seen for 75 years [since the Great Depression]’. While such a backlash, the authors say, would lead to demands to regulate the financial markets, ‘the only pity is that [such reforms] now could avoid the crash’ (pp230-1). Elliott and Atkinson (E&A) have written this book to warn us of the perils ahead, as a wake up call to take action before the real world goes up in smoke (p238).