20:07 GMT +311 December 2019
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    UK Vote Leaves Hole in Pound's Pocket and Nasty Taste in People's Mouths

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    The British pound has slumped to its lowest level in 31 years, dragging with it the attitudes to racism, division and ethnic tensions reminiscent of Britain in the mid-80s. This is England 2016.

    The last time the UK was offered a retrospective view of what life was like in the 1980s, was when acclaimed British director, Shane Meadows released the gritty drama, film, "This is England" in 2006, centered on a bunch of young skinheads in 1983.

    ​The movie explored racism, deprivation and division, exposing the reality of working class life in Britain under the Prime Minister at the time, Margaret Thatcher, with harrowing scenes of violent racial attacks.

    ​It's 1985 and "football hooligans" are front page news after mass brawls break out between Luton Town and Millwall fans in March.

    ​Two months later — 39 football fans die and hundreds are injured following riots in the Heysel Stadium in Brussels.

    ​All English football clubs are banned from playing in Europe in response to the riots.

    Between 1980 and 1985, race riots erupted in St Paul's in Bristol.

    Riots also broke out in Brixton, Notting Hill and Tottenham in London, Toxteth in Liverpool, Moss Side in Manchester and Handsworth in Birmingham.

    The riots were blamed on economic deprivation and racial discrimination, increased levels of police brutality and a rise in unemployment.

    ​By October 1985, 70 percent of people in Tory constituencies were unemployed.

    In just over 30 years, it's not just Britain's currency that has slumped to record low levels — but the attitudes of people desperate to claim back a country that no longer exists.

    As the pound hits its new 31-year low, so does the polarization and racism witnessed in 1985 and legitimized 31 years later by the EU referendum.

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    Tags:
    Vote Leave, pound, Brexit, riots, hate crimes, hooligans, racial discrimination, racism, xenophobia, Conservative Party, European Union, Bristol, Europe, Manchester, Birmingham, United Kingdom, Liverpool, England, London
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