Trump promised “Brexit +++”. And he’s delivered it.
First the UK. Now the US. Throughout the world, neoliberalism is finished. And perhaps now, it will accept that its hegemony is over. For decades now, it has failed to deliver and in two key votes in 2016, those at the receiving end have shown their opposition to its policies and their contempt for those who set those policies and benefit from them.
The parallels are extraordinary. In the UK, in the US, the white working class voted against a neoliberal consensus which has taken them for granted for years. In the UK, in the US, the establishment has focused its attention not on their concerns, but on those who would challenge them from a progressive point of view.
Corbyn in the UK was vilified by his own party and his supporters suspended or expelled. Sanders in the US saw his popular support nullified by the Democratic establishment and its imposition of ‘super-delegates’.
I did not believe that all those who voted for Brexit were racists or misogynists, although it appears there were more of them than I thought at the time. Nor do I do not believe that the millions who voted for Trump are of that ilk. But in both countries – and also, we should add, in France where the The Front National has tweeted “Their world is collapsing. Ours is being built” and Austria and increasingly in Germany - they are anti-establishment. It is a global phenomenon.
There are many in the establishment who understand that and are paying lip service to it.
The Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph and – obviously – The Sun are allying themselves with this sense of discontent. Their campaigns against the High Court judges is a case in point. Their objective is to harness the anger and angst to bolster their position and channel it into more harmless directions which will not make fundamental changes and which will ensure that the progressive alternative alternative is defeated.
This morning Trump made a conciliatory acceptance speech. We saw Thatcher do the same. And we saw May do the same. It is a proven modus operandi that has worked many times. Already, the UK and EU establishments are embracing Trump.
This time, we must hear the wake-up call. There’s no snooze button on this alarm.
We must not merely challenge the rhetoric, abhorrent though much of it is; but continue to put the case for a rational, humane, multi-cultural society which cares for all its citizens which presents positive policies to replace the fear and loathing.
We must do it consistently and coherently. And we should start today.
Today from the everysmith vaults: A random shuffle choice on my iPod which has spat out a Dead show from Landover, specifically Terrapin Station.