There is something afoot my friends! In the bowels of democratic capitalism, all over the developed world, the people are on the move.
Ignored by elites for decades; fed up of being told that, in true Panglossian fashion, everything is for the best in this, the best of all possible worlds; insecurely worried every day about the effects of globalisation on their daily lives yet seeing those “above and ahead” of them (often geographically remote as well) moving further and further ahead as they seemingly go backwards or at best standstill. So when this enormous group in our Society get the chance to rebel (it used to be pitchforks, lynching and the mob; it’s now called voting) they grab the chance with both hands and put their collective cross in the box to bring down the Establishment Elite and “strike a blow for Freedom”.
A seriously rich white businessman, spouting what to the reasonable man on the Clapham Omnibus must surely be seen as racist, isolationist and dangerous rhetoric sells out stadia, catches the World’s attention and is now down to the last two to be the next President of the most powerful Country on the planet.
In City elections in Johannesburg and Pretoria, a 35 year-old heading up the Economic Freedom Fighters is box office. Julius Malema now holds the balance of power against the all-powerful “We gave you Freedom”, “Remember the Struggle” ANC.
Marine Le Pen in France and Nigel Farage in the UK both connect into something very real and very potent in millions of the population.
Jeremy Corbyn may well be all about “Our Movement” and campaigning (with not one practical policy capable of implementation in an open, globalised economy) but no one can deny that 500,000 people have parted with money to join his cause. Difficult reform of, say, the NHS needn’t trouble people to whom “soak the class-enemy rich and spend lots, love everyone but America” is sufficient; that’s what The Struggle is all about; “actually governing? Nah, easy!”
In Germany of all places, the anti-immigration, anti-establishment AfD is hoovering up support against the perceived “we know best” Establishment.
Spain’s Podemos, Greece’s Syrizia…..I could go on. The anti-immigration, anti-EU Italian Five Star Movement can’t believe its luck as Prime Minister Matteo Renzi campaigns for a yes vote in this Autumn’s Referendum on some constitutional change. The PM says he will resign if he loses and Five Star say they will call a Referendum on Italy’s membership of the EU if it wins. No doubt they remember the Duke of Wellington saying at a pivotal juncture of the Battle of Waterloo: “Never interrupt your enemy when he’s making a mistake”. And if Italy were to vote to leave the EU then it really would be curtains for the project.
If ever there is an example of an Establishment Elite which “knew best” and grew more distant from the People every day it is the European Union itself. If you “do” things to people, tell them you know best and that it’s good for them, give them no say and, what’s more, take their money off them with no perceived representation, if you tell them unfettered immigration is good for them without walking an inch, let alone a mile, in their shoes then don’t be surprised when, at the first available opportunity, they democratically tell you to stick the whole caboodle where the sun doesn’t shine!
Blue-collar, White America (now known in the PC States as the middle-class….but then, the land of Uncle Sam never did understand the qualities of the bourgeoisie) who has seen bankers get rich and unpunished and Corporate America fill its boots with the perceived connivance of the Beltway, as their take-home has decreased, has had enough and in their millions they identify with someone who doesn’t give a damn, who can’t be bought and who might just get things done (oh! and whose greatest asset is that he isn’t Hillary!).
So the black 25 year old lad in South Africa (who wasn’t even born on that joyous day when Mandela walked out of prison) has had enough of the Establishment Elite who isn’t delivering for him, and in that case it’s the previous anti-Establishment ANC. The biter bit or what!
And so into this fermenting mix walks our new Prime Minister!
First up, well done to the Conservative Party for sparing the Country the uncertainty of a three month Leadership contest only involving 150,000 people at best, with all the consequent and damaging uncertainty. Bam! No messing about….One gone…..and the next one please!
Isn’t it interesting how the Tories understand the acquisition, maintenance and use of power (from Disraeli through Thatcher to right now) whilst it would appear that their main opponents understand Opposition: shout, complain, march but never take the awkward decision, never make the bruising compromising move that comes with power; that’s probably why they hate Blair so, they say it’s about Iraq but the rank and file hated him long before then …..because he gave them three successive power-endowing victories.
I was so heartened to hear Theresa May put “you” at the forefront of her Acceptance Speech. Does she get it? Does she understand that life in a Northern City does not look the same as that in London, be it at the level of the boss of a business in each or someone whom this modern economy seems to have passed by? The Islington Socialists obviously don’t get it, from Diane Abbott to Emily Thornbury, and neither does the Tory Establishment and their FTSE 100 friends.
Uncontrolled immigration (for that is exactly what membership of the EU means, regardless of how some want to dress it up; yes, we certainly need immigration but there is no escaping the fact that a democratically elected Government of a Member State cannot control immigration from the EU) is an issue in many areas of our Country. And it is not racist to say so. I think it annoys more people to be told it is not a problem rather than the fact itself that it is a problem!
It’s no use calling a white Lancashire woman who is worried about the very core of her life, the street where she lives, the rate of pay her family earns, the language she hears every day down her way a racist bigot; she isn’t!
The worker at Nissan, who must have had every economic reason in the World to vote Remain, actually voted Brexit so he could use the 21st Century version of the pitch fork and lynch mob and bring down the Elite in London who were telling him they wanted a system that suited them……not him! He was prepared to risk his job in an area of high unemployment ….that’s how much this mattered to him. The Remoaners should not sink into their sulk bleating that he’d have voted the other way if he hadn’t been lied to; that is frankly irrelevant.
To sort it, Prime Minister, you are going to have reach out (in deed more than word) more than ever…..to every nook and cranny of Wales and England that feel that Scotland and London have been getting all the cookies from the cookie jar for far too long. And you have a chance Theresa…..because you aren’t going to be troubled by that pesky democratic nuisance, Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition any time soon.
Don’t hold a General Election; the Nation doesn’t need any more instability. Just get on with it……from Brexit (to show the World just how damn good we really are) to a street in Blackburn or Sunderland.
Globalisation means the greatest movement of goods, services and capital the World has ever seen. It also means the greatest migration of people the World has ever seen. It can be such a force for good for everyone. As John Kennedy said: ” When the tide comes in, all the boats go up”. But it will only successfully endure if those at the bottom “go up” more quickly, visibly and beneficially than those at the top. That is not socialism Mr Corbyn, it is Capitalism doing much better what it can do well.
Perhaps I could just ask you to hang on to one fabulous fact. We have just undergone a monumental change in the governing of our Nation, from divisive Referendum result to Prime Ministerial resignation to a new Government and Prime Minister …..and not a shot was fired, not a property was looted, there were no soldiers on the street. Stable or what! Now, whether you are in the top or bottom One Per Cent, THAT is something for which we should all be very grateful. Yes, we do this stuff very well.