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7953Review by Sean Gabb of Mat Coward's "Acts of Destruction" (2009)

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  • Dr Sean Gabb
    Sep 6, 2013
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      Book Review by Sean Gabb
      Date: Friday 30th August 2013, Immediate Release
      Contact Details: Dr Sean Gabb
      07956 472 199, sean@...



      Review Article
      Acts of Destruction
      Mat Coward
      Alia Mondo Press, Norwich, 2009, 264pp, £10.00, pb
      ISBN is 978-1-4401-6322-7
      Available via Amazon or from

      Acts of Destruction is a semi-humorous crime novel set about twenty years into the future. Its underlying premise is that shortages of oil and other raw materials put an end, after about 2010, to the global economic order as we presently know it. The United States collapses into a predictable mix of centralised fascism and armed separatism. The European Union avoids the full horrors of America, but turns inward and becomes more overtly authoritarian and state capitalist. The British response, however, is to reset the political and economic clock to 1945, and to complete all the unfinished business of the Attlee Government.

      In Mr Coward’s Britain of about 2030, a new constitution called “The Agreement of the People” has collectivised the economy and radically decentralised politics. Most government is local and controlled by direct democracy. The remaining central government is balanced by strong localism and by frequent referenda. At every level, there is an obsessive regard for procedural fairness and transparency, and for many kinds of personal freedom. Increasing numbers of people work in collective enterprises. Self-employment is tolerated, as are larger private enterprises that do not employ more than fifty people, or are not engaged in work of patriotic importance. People grow much of their own food. Many other things are rationed. Most transport is public, and everything is recycled. In a generally awful world, Britain has managed to become a country at peace with itself. It preserves its independence by an armed citizen militia. Continue reading


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