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Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
4 months ago

Ok – I admit it – I didn’t even read the article – I went straight to the comments. I wasn’t disappointed. I have always hated the term ‘populist’ as it implies that democratic victories shouldn’t really count when won with votes from the little people. As to gimmicks – ‘defund the police’ – ‘climate justice’ – ‘democracy is on the ballot’ – ‘you are denying my right to exist’ – ‘safe and effective’ – ‘disinformation, misinformation, malinformation’ – ‘in this house we believe 
’ let’s just say there are lots of gimmicks to go around.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Good point. In a sense, every sucessful politician is utilizing some kind of gimmick.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

I find Mr. Lind reliably unreadable.

Cho Jinn
Cho Jinn
4 months ago

It’s good to have things we can count on.

Chipoko
Chipoko
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

You said it far better than I could!

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Lind reminds me of that proverb about the four blind men trying to describe the elephant by touching different parts of it. He latches onto one part and thinks hes saying something intelligent about the whole. But it’s moved on and he’s not even touching it, just some steaming pile left behind.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

It seems somewhat bizarre not to read an article before forming an opinion on it. In that alone we might understand much of the problem of the now decadent and post democratic and liberal West

“Populist” means something – we understand what it means and it isn’t especially pejorative. But yes there are left wing slogans as well as right wing ones – and they tend to be equally simplistic. That is a perfectly reasonable verdict on “populism” which has mainly failed to achieve anything very much…

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
4 months ago

I can’t really blame Michael Lind for not understanding the situation of the populists. But let me help.
What we are seeing is the Great Rebellion of the Commoners.
But since the educated class owns everything and runs everything, from the universities to science to the bureaucracy to the media and social media, the leaders of the Commoners have to appeal to their supporters over the heads of the current rulers using gimmicks.
And I am shocked, shocked that they have failed to get the educated class sorted in five minutes or less.
Let me remind you, Mr. Lind, that the Revolution of the Educated, that started with the Enlightenment and ended with the Maoist Revolution in China was a rather long and messy affair. So transforming the world to make it just and fair for ordinary Commoners is not likely to be quick or clean.
In other words, there is going to be a butcher’s bill to pay. Sorry about that, old chap.

Last edited 4 months ago by Christopher Chantrill
Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
4 months ago

The flaw in the article is that Lind, like all elitists, sees ‘populist’ politicians as manipulators and opportunists. And as essentially illegitimate. It hasn’t occurred to him that the impetus for change might actually be coming from the grass roots.

Chris Keating
Chris Keating
4 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

I don’t think that’s a flaw. “Manipulators and opportunists” describes the populist politicians to a tee. They are currently riding a huge wave of resentment created by a non-functioning democratic process that does nothing for ordinary people.

Arthur G
Arthur G
4 months ago
Reply to  Chris Keating

And the elitist, globalist politicians are even MORE adept at manipulation and opportunism. Look at how they took advantage of the COVID crisis to move forward on their centralizing, authoritarian plans, across the board.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
3 months ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Sure – but comparing degrees of manipulation isn’t exactly the wholesale reform and engagement with the issues and concerns of ordinary voters that we need.

It isn’t all that difficult to see that Trump, say, cares mainly about his own interests and has next to no strategic vision.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
3 months ago

Engage with the arguments! Rather than hero worship of people like Trump, note that they have achieved almost nothing in domestic policy, not to say often betray the very voters who elected them (a clear example on immigration was given). That’s a perfectly reasonable criticism.

Susan Grabston
Susan Grabston
4 months ago

Own the system not the policies. Much of the current intractibility in the UK can be laid at Blair’s door. The combination of the supreme court on top of a parliamentary system, together with the Human Rights Act codifying competitive claims rather than allowing common law to work its magic has produced lawfare across government. This pig’s ear then sits in the context of a web of NGOs, activist groups and supra-national bodies who have become increasingly emboldened. I hear what Lind says about constitional stamina to refashion the edifice, but I have a nasty feeling that violence lies ahead. My instinct rells me people are more inclined to tear the edifice down. After all, this has been going on since 2008. Let’s see.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
4 months ago
Reply to  Susan Grabston

Yes the game of Monopoly is in its closing stages. How long before the losers swipe the board off the table?

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
4 months ago
Reply to  Susan Grabston

Maybe it’s my age or inbuilt tendency to see the glass half-empty, but I get the sense that some serious civil unrest is now a real possibility. All it would take is the next inevitable financial c**k-up and I think all bets are off

Bryan Dale
Bryan Dale
4 months ago
Reply to  Susan Grabston

Yet the Conservatives have had thirteen years to change the system and have done nothing.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
4 months ago

I have mixed feelings about this essay. I think the author fundamentally misunderstands the role of populists. Sure, people like Trump and Wilders win power and end up being ineffectual in many ways. They don’t have a consistent agenda because they are largely non-ideological and bring their own individual agenda.

But the real power of populists is the shift in philosophy they push on traditional parties. Trump wasn’t a complete failure. He did have limited success – he rewrote NAFTA, ended the forever wars, lit a fire under the shale gas revolution. But by far his greatest impact was the transformation of the Republican Party. It might take time to get there, but the GOP now understands its base is the working class and middle class. He has fundamentally changed the party.

The Tories in Britain are fools if they don’t follow the same route and reorganize completely once they lose power. Sunak’s brightest moments have been his limited resistance to the net zero agenda. Braverman is probably the most popular Tory because of her firm convictions on immigration. Surely, they will see the light.

Lind is absolutely right about the many obstacles to reform, although he completely overlooked the role of NGOs. That’s why Desantis would be a much better president than Trump. He actually has a plan to decentralize the bureaucracy and is a proven manager who could seriously overcome obstacles.

jane baker
jane baker
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

For decades now I’ve been hearing callers in on radio phone ins declaring ,” I want an honest politician,someone who will tell the truth no matter how unpalatable”. But when one does they lose their political career and get forced out of office. A few decades ago Edwina Currie as a Minister in a Tory govt got privileged information that our egg industry was plagued by Salmonella. So she told us. She spoke out and told us the truth. As a result the egg industry had to clean up. The media slayed her. Anyone would think she had personally PUT the Salmonella into eggs. She was out to KILL everyone’s Granny. That’s one example and I actually can’t stand her and have NEVER voted Tory but that’s not the point. Suella Braverman (fancy being named after an 80s soap character who was always blotto),said what ,maybe unfortunately MANY English people think and say. I mean to the educated middle class it’s certainly considered unfortunate and we have had decades of reeducation,mainly through popular entertainment. The message was in the medium. Only no matter how much you like Motown.or Floella Benjamin,when a Somali family moves in your street,it’s different. Now Suella said what every.deplorable says,er I mean working class voter (or apathetic non voter),so she had to go. But I noticed “the media” that is the legacy media had a real struggle this time to get their message top billing.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
4 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

I think the conditions for a successful honest politician may be here soon. The legacy media have lost the trust of the majority of people. Many serious problems – for instance housing costs – are the direct result of gaslighting and shaming (‘that’s racist”) by politicians. I think a significant block of voters would be open to a politician who opens the books and says ‘here is the problem – here is what we are going to do to fix it – it won’t be easy or fast but it has to be done.’

Jane Davis
Jane Davis
4 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

How much you like Floella Benjamin and Motown? Have you even ever met any Somalis ? I spent years teaching people of this background.
And I doubt very much if they would enjoy living next door to you either.
You know what, Jane. There are plenty of working class people in my neck of the woods in cross cultural relationships that would have a thing or to to say to you.
And when dear old Suella described homelessness as a lifestyle choice in the middle of a cost of living crisis partly induced by Tory mismanagement, she showed how very out of touch with ordinary people she is. 50 per cent of the general public wanted her sacked .
You have no idea what every single white working class voter wants. Some share your mindset: others definitely do not.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
3 months ago
Reply to  Jane Davis

Not “every single” but opinion surveys clearly show that the vast majority do actually want much reduced immigration levels, as indeed do voters from ethnic minority backgrounds.

We cannot solve the world’s problems by essentially allowing anyone from anywhere poorer and less stable than the UK to move here, plus we will destabilise our own society. And Somalis might not want to live next door to me? Precisely!

R Wright
R Wright
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

“The Tories in Britain are fools if they don’t follow the same route and reorganize completely once they lose power.”

I imagine they will spend a decade deluding themselves into believing that Boris Johnson was ‘too right wing’ and that they should pander to the Home Counties stockbroker belt by doubling down on Neo-Blairism.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
4 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

That is what Canadian Conservatives tried unsuccessfully – being liberal adjacent centrists. They are roaring ahead in the polls now that the new CPC leader is unapologetic about conservative policies – including (gasp!!!) – not caring very much about climate change.

Daniel Pennell
Daniel Pennell
4 months ago

I think the author is mistaken.

There IS a consistency to the populist movements. That is, that they all reject the status quo. They all reject the existing power structures.

Each, in its own way is nationalistic. Each is, to differing degrees, anti-globalist, whether on immigration or on trade or both.

All of them are fed up with elites of all kinds.

So, is there a standard ideology? In a way.

They may not have the same ideology but there is commonality.

JJ Barnett
JJ Barnett
4 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Pennell

Quite.

The author is fundamentally misunderstanding the situation, if he thinks there is no connection between the philosophy of Trump and Milei. Yes, the latter is a radical Libertarian, and yes, Trump was for tariffs (which are obviously not libertarian)… but both have as their central platform opposition to the ‘administrative state’ / ‘deep state’ / ‘unelected powers’.

For both men, their central appeal to voters was: “Elect me to the Presidency, and I will go in there and smash some things up!”.
[“Drain the swamp” is no different a battle cry, or philosophy, as Milei’s chainsaw tirade].

The common thread linking Trump, Wilders, Milei, Le Pen etc seems very obvious to me. They all oppose an oppressive status quo, delivered to the public via an ever more obtuse and hostile bureaucracy. And they stand for attacking that, and pulling it back under public control (by slightly differing means, depending on the candidate). Same core objectives though.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
4 months ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

The most obvious example is Johnson and Brexit. Whilst proving himself unsuitable to sustain the administrative discipline needed to see the benefits through, the pandemic gave the Establishment plenty of scope for revenge.

JJ Barnett
JJ Barnett
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Sadly true.

It’s an absolute tragedy that Johnson was trusted by voters with a massive majority — a clear and powerful mandate to deliver on a simple set of premises. With an 80 seat majority, his government had a once-in-generations opportunity to really change the direction of the nation. With an 80 seat majority there is nothing the Tories could not pass, or repeal.

He was trusted to get Brexit done, and wage war on the administrative state and the elite consensus that had dominated for decades. But within months of being given that trust, he throws out his brain (Cummings) to please his mistress. Then, not only did he abandon the programme he was supposed to be implementing, but he actually did a 180 and decided to go all-in on the very same elite consensus he had been sent to repudiate — he went native, adopting the ‘luxury beliefs’ of the milieu he was now in (Carrie’s circle) with all the fervour of a late-in-life convert.

Terrible betrayal. Boris has a lot of talents, but unfortunately he is not a man of fixed principles. And he will always prioritise his own comfort, above all else. The moment Carrie got knocked up, it was curtains for the ‘change’ agenda. Her social circle was now going to be his social circle, so he embraced it, in order to make his day to day life easier / more comfortable. In doing so, he screwed the nation out of the one real chance to grab the Brexit opportunity, and repudiate decades of declinism. I think there are millions of people who will never forgive him.

Daniel Pennell
Daniel Pennell
4 months ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

Could we say that they have the same objectives but are willing to apply different policies based on their national circumstance?

If two people are trying to get to the same place and start from two different locations, they are going to face different circumstances and different obstacles which require different solutions.

JJ Barnett
JJ Barnett
4 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Pennell

Yes, you expressed that more cogently than I did. Thanks Daniel.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
3 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Pennell

Protectionism and free trade policies are polar opposites..

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
3 months ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

But the commonality is rather thin – a rather incoherent conspiratorial outlook rather than ideologically focused and structured. Simply demonising an almost mythical set of enemies and assuming they speak for “the people” rather than just some of them..

jane baker
jane baker
4 months ago

See,when ordinary people,us DEPLORABLES, actually USE the wonderful democracy they’ve been telling us for a lifetime we’ve got THEY don’t like it. How dare all those oiks vote for someone who tells them he or she will stop foreigners (is that an illegal concept now) coming in and undercutting their wages,they.vote for them. Because they can. Dreadful.
As long as voting made no difference to the power,wealth and status of the educated professional class we got told how fantastic our political system was,how great that we could vote. Now that all over the world it seems ,people are ignoring the educated professional class candidate and voting for someone they identify with,now we are hearing what a flawed inadequate system it is

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
4 months ago

I used to highly respect Michael Lind, but I find myself losing it. His article in Compact crapping on the very idea of respecting anything to do with the American founding lost a large chunk of it. When Lind talks about “requiring American employers to certify that their workers are all US citizens or legal immigrants” I assume he is talking about E-Verify. This is the part that pisses me off because I remember those days very well. The Republicans had a supermajority and could have sent any immigration bill they wanted to Trump’s desk to sign. They didn’t. Instead they played games and stalled for time to the point where they no longer had a majority. One of the reasons so many Republican voters still have loyalty to the guy is they saw him keep trying to get something done when his party refused to do anything. Lind is absolutely right on the administrative state and the power of unelected bureaucrats, but it was Republicans in congress who refusing to do anything when they had the power to (like E-Verify) and lying about it later that still haunts the GOP with their own angry voters. Right now the party is in a fight with its own voters on a multitude of issues from economic policy, to immigration, to foreign policy and the voters are still refusing to back down.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
4 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

You’re right, a swing and a miss on Mr. Lind’s part. Populists all have one thing in common. They know the left regards them, to use the words George Bernard Shaw did, “no good for their neighbors and hardly any good for themselves.” If you’re not progressive, you’re not human, so good riddance to you. This is what Mrs. Clinton meant when she spoke of the “bucket full of deplorables.” No populist was confused about what she meant.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
4 months ago

It’s “The Vision of the Anointed”, Thomas Sowell.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
4 months ago

I’ll order it now.

Daniel Pennell
Daniel Pennell
4 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Not unlike the democrats not doing anything about the Dreamers or immigration reform when they had the House, Senate and the White House, multiple times.
Obama could have done it.
Why? Because the donor class likes things as they are. One reason they love a divided government.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
4 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Pennell

People say they love bipartisanship. I don’t. In fact whenever there is something that makes these narcissists stop hating each other and all agree on something, I get worried.

JJ Barnett
JJ Barnett
4 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

“The word bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out.”
— George Carlin

Last edited 4 months ago by JJ Barnett
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
4 months ago

For populism to work it has to come from the ground-up – from ordinary professionals and workers. Unfortunately, we have a managerial class whose high salaries depend on treating the workers as mean-spirited, incompetent slobs who should be grateful to have a job in the first place. This is why we now have a system where CEOs are permitted to pay themselves more than some small nations earn in a year while their workers earn barely enough to feed their families.
The whole concept of white privilege is authoritarian propaganda, the underlying message of which is that this form of ‘privilege’ is wholly. undeserved and can be taken from you at any time so just shut up and put up or else. Hence the reason why DEI initiatives became so prevalent in recent years. They are a political tool used to browbeat and intimidate workers who threaten the system, much like the commissars who were employed by communist organizations in Soviet Russia.
For many of the useless idiots who go along with this form of social control, it imbues them with a sense of power because they actually see themselves as being on the right side of history. They have no qualms about outing ‘racists’ and ‘bigots’ because they are utterly convinced that these people are irredeemably stupid and bad and deserve no voice in their democratic society. They seek not to persuade or reason, but to bully and kick down. This is completely exemplified by political figureheads such as Trudeau and Varadkar who are fearful of the woke establishment and disdainful of hoi polloi. Case-in-point: had an Irish man stabbed migrant children and had the streets erupted with non-Irish protestors, Varadkar would no doubt have been kneeling in empathy for these poor victims, instead of condemning them and passing laws to suppress their voices.
Social justice is being used to create a system where politicians can conveniently divide people into groups of good and bad depending on which group allows them to increase their sphere of influence. As such anyone who points out this double-standards is quickly labelled a bigot and risks loss of career or even police investigation as is now happening to Conor McGregor in Ireland.
The good thing is that most people are becoming aware of this political hypocrisy and are now rebelling against it. The reason people like Trump, Le Pen, and Wilders are getting voted in is not because people are duped by them or believe that they are competent politicians, but because there are simply no other viable alternatives. What all three of these politicians have in common is that they threaten to buck a system which has long been enriching this parasitical managerial class. Without it they know they will become political and social outcasts, and that is why they will do everything in their power to prevent that from happening, to the point that they quell free speech and use education to sexually subvert and indoctrinate the children of their enemies.

JJ Barnett
JJ Barnett
4 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

They seek not to persuade or reason, but to bully and kick down.

Indeed. Those who rule us now, and dominate all the institutions, have moved past the notion of persuasion, and begun to embrace the use of naked force against the people.
You see this explicitly with the embedding of things like the Nudge Unit (“Behavioural Insights Team”) in government… and the increasing nannying… and then spying… and then restrictions and fines and other ‘carrots and sticks’… and then during Covid, the escalation to all out force against those who didn’t want to submit.
First it was a little ‘nudge‘. Then it was a push. Then an almighty shove…
Nanny is becoming increasingly fond of using the whip. She will no longer tolerate our disagreement with her instructions. She will punish us …for our own good, of course.
This is the authoritarian mindset, and it’s very concerning that these folks have taken over nearly all the cathedrals of power, and are building ever more complex and remote ones — a whole new layer of power at supranational level, out of the reach of the voters (and impervious to their discontent).

Last edited 4 months ago by JJ Barnett
Chris Keating
Chris Keating
4 months ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

Good comment JJ. Persuasion by brute force. It is indeed concerning that the yoke is getting heavier and increasingly difficult to remove.

John Tyler
John Tyler
4 months ago

“It took a generation or more for authority to be drained from the political branches in the West to these technocrats. And it will take at least as long for the political branches of government to regain decision-making power that they never should have ceded.” – This sounds like the bitter arguments in Israel before Nov 7. We have the same issue with judges, civil servants and mega-commercial concerns being the ones in control. Populist politicians appeal to the resentment created by failing to represent the majority; that does not mean they aren’t often right in what they say!

Martin Johnson
Martin Johnson
4 months ago

Populism has always been a popular reaction against overweening power deployed by the “elites” of the day to the detriment of a large portion of the populace. As such, it inherently lacks a detailed policy/programmatic agenda, its leaders tend not to be the personality types to develop one, and it lacks the reserve army of bureaucrats, technical experts, and lawyers it would need to actually take over the institutions of control if it had such detailed plans.

And it differs from country to country and time to time, depending on what it reacts against,

Given the elite reaction to Trump, it is hard to imagine how a real anti-elite political movement could have the resources to develop the instruments that would be required to transform the institutions. France has shown that even “taking to the streets” does not make a real impression on the power elites. Johnson tried to straddle and wound up on the outs with everyone.

Nothing lasts forever and the current corrupt regimes are no exception. For now, “populists” (who have little in common except being oppositional) are a way to slow the beast, but it will not be replaced until societal mores change, probably due to real or threatened cataclysm. A dialectician might look at elite greed for the corrupt Grift and their incessant warmongering as possibly creating the problems that will do them in, but that may be too emotionally idealistic.

Britain has had reform cycles that were exceptional in not requiring a major war or economic disaster, but they seem unique in that regard.

V T C
V T C
4 months ago

Mr. Lind has a point but he contradicts himself in thinking that reform will come from within. Neither governments, their agencies, nor the party duopolies would permit this. It’s simple self-preservation. Hence: Tea Party, Trump, Brexit, Wilders, Le Pen, Milei, Bolsonaro, Orban, Meloni, AfD, etc. The common thread, and why Trump congratulated Milei despite their policy differences, is that they are all outsiders forced on the system by an electorate that no longer identifies with their government or with any of its candidates. This is a democratic result, not exploitation, a consequence of the very structural nature of the problem cited by the author. And when the button on their desk was pushed, some things did change. Roe was overturned, the UK is formally out of the EU, immigration is issue #1, institutionalists everywhere are losing their jobs.
Agreed, it will likely take a generation for “political branches of government [but read: the people] to regain decision-making power that they never should have ceded.” The author fails to see that the populists are the first step in this direction. The Empire will strike back and they will ultimately fail, as Trump and Brexit failed, but now there can be a next generation of populists, more “skillful and patient,” who are connected to the electorate they’re supposed to serve. It’s that or revolution IMO.

Last edited 4 months ago by V T C
Bryan Dale
Bryan Dale
4 months ago

It’s probably a good idea to learn about the subjects you’re writing about before writing about them. Claiming Trump isn’t an economic libertarian based on your dislike of his tariffs against China ignores the huge supply side tax cuts and deregulation that were the hallmark of his economic policy.,

SIMON WOLF
SIMON WOLF
4 months ago

Mr Lind has cherry picked facts to back his argument.There is no mention of Victor Orbin 4 election victories in Hungary for example or why the EU elites hate him

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
4 months ago

The horror & failure of the anti democratic technocratic muliticultural internationalist and now authoritarian Progressive New Order we have suffered since the EU/Blair Revolution of the 1990s – fortified and protected by the Fake Tories since 2010, a vast web of progressive laws, biased evangelical state media, the NMI Regulatory Quangocracy and a pernicious new culture of risk aversion, control grievance entitlement and victimhood – is now clear and a majority of western people are resisting, knowing the ruling State is immune to party politics and the shabby farce of supposed politics in a dead Parliament. Trump Meloni Johnson Wilders – all are ‘sorted’. So the only question is HOW popular mass resistance can bring down this rule by diktat anti growth pro Lockdown pro Net Zero Equality demented ruling Establishment??? This essay offers no answers. So is it really just street anarchy and violence and a breakdown of civic order?? Have we really sunk that low??? What is the pathway out of this Cage?

Benjamin Greco
Benjamin Greco
4 months ago

I mostly agree with Lind’s assessment of the current state of our politics (you can feel the anger and resentment in most of the comments here.) But I don’t share his hope that there are politicians out there willing to reform neo-liberal capitalism and return power to elected representatives.
Our choices are stark, right-wing populists who will crash the system entirely – imagine a great recession without a bailout – neo-liberal Democrats and Republicans (Tories and Liberals in Britain) who will maintain the status quo – politicians like Nikki Haley and Joe Biden – or Left-wing radicals who want to mandate by law what people can think and say.
There are very few people who can even see the problem, like Lind, much less reform the system. The elites are making too much money from the status quo. Authoritarianism is coming. The only question is whether it will come from the right when the people vote for a competent populist or the Left through revolution. Whoever wins you can be sure the common people will lose.

McExpat M
McExpat M
4 months ago
Reply to  Benjamin Greco

This is a great point. Authoritarianism is coming. No doubt about that. I fear the Left’s version more acutely.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
4 months ago
Reply to  McExpat M

Coming??? A two year lockdown? Net Zero Diktat?? Free speech gone?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
4 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Colonel Bob Stewart, DSO, crucified and 80 year old soldier F of 1 Para about to be, it’s already here.

Max Price
Max Price
4 months ago

What will happen is the major parties will adopt some of the policies, “particularly on immigration” that the populists are puttin* forward. The people are getting their views aired by the populists.

Last edited 4 months ago by Max Price
Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
4 months ago

Berlusconi was not a populist. His party was created to replace the Christian Democrats, the dominant Establishment party in Italian politics, which had imploded in corruption scandals.

Peter B
Peter B
4 months ago

This simply cannot be true:
“And yet, more immigrants arrived in the UK in 2022 than all those who arrived between 1945 and 2022.”
It repeats a claim made by Aris Roussinos in an earlier UnHerd article six days ago:
“In 2022 alone, Britain saw more immigration than from every year between 1945 and 2000 combined.”
It’s just about possible this holds for the second quote (1945-2020). But not for the first one (1945-2022).
The first statement is laughably impossible. The second unlikely.
Please, let’s stop making up “facts”.
Is basic numeracy and common sense checking too much to ask for ?
And where are the UnHerd editors ?

Last edited 4 months ago by Peter B
Matt M
Matt M
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

You are completely right except you have made a typo!

It’s just about possible this holds for the second quote (1945-2020). But not for the first one (1945-2022).

Should read, I think:

It’s just about possible this holds for the second quote (1945-2000). But not for the first one (1945-2022).

The UK population has grown at an average of 100k per year from 1973 to 2003 (the birth rate fell below replacement in 1973 so all the gains were through immigration). It then grew by 400k from 2003 to 2021. 2022 as we know was c.700k. So I would say 2022 was just less than twice the number in previous years in the 21 century and the equivalent of any 7.5 years in the last quarter of the 20th century.
Still an f____ disgrace, mind!

Last edited 4 months ago by Matt M
Frank Litton
Frank Litton
4 months ago

What we have is ‘Democracy without Politics’

Chris Keating
Chris Keating
4 months ago

Good article. These populists really are teasers. The promises they make are contradictory so can’t actually be implemented without something being omitted and as is almost always the case, what is omitted is the part that attracted the voters in the first place. When it comes to a choice the populists will favour their wealthy mates rather than those who voted for them.
The swamp wasn’t drained it was filled to a greater depth. Better paying and more secure jobs weren’t provided as these clash with the desires of the business class that fund these populists. The forever wars are still ongoing, just not talked about so much.
Nothing is given to those who vote for them except cliched bromides about how they will be looked after. The migrants still come because business want them so as to create division amongst the lower orders and therefore keep costs down as they scrap rather than coalesce into any sort of organised resistance.
Expecting billionaires to make life better for ordinary people is the ultimate delusion as you don’t become a billionaire by sharing anything, let alone wealth or its creation. It will end in tears, I’m sorry to say. The social fabric gets ever more stretched and when that rips things will get very ugly indeed. It’s almost the last roll of the dice.

JJ Barnett
JJ Barnett
4 months ago
Reply to  Chris Keating

The promises they make are contradictory so can’t actually be implemented without something being omitted and as is almost always the case, what is omitted is the part that attracted the voters in the first place.

In fairness, is that not simply a description of all politicians?
ï»ż…making grandiose manifesto promises, and then abandoning them once elected, is so consistently a part of our political system that it has greatly contributed to the rise of the outsider populists in the first place, no?

Chris Keating
Chris Keating
4 months ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

Fair point JJ, although I would say most politicians rather than all of them. Thinking about the ones that haven’t let me down, they have never been in office so have never had the chance.

JJ Barnett
JJ Barnett
4 months ago
Reply to  Chris Keating

Haha, quite!

There are some good eggs who manage to get elected I guess — the occasional Ron Paul type, who actually has principles. But they do seem to be limited in what they can achieve, without wider support from others in ‘the system’.

AC Harper
AC Harper
4 months ago

A nice bit of misdirection from Michael Lind. It makes sense (or used to) to talk of Left and Right in the political world. Both take turns on being or building ‘The Establishment’. Both hang on to their authority like grim death for rear of losing their patronage.
But here’s the shocker… there is a world outside the political world. Just as feminists talk about ‘the glass ceiling’ there is also a ‘glass wall’ between the ordinary people and the stately pavane of the Establishment courtiers.
In good times the stately pavane serves as entertainment. When bad times roll (and we keep getting told how awful everything is) people start asking for a government to be not primarily concerned with their own Establishment status but to be more aligned with addressing the electorates’ concerns.
And that’s populism.

Last edited 4 months ago by AC Harper
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
4 months ago

Senatus Populusque Romanus, normally abbreviated to SPQR, describes the greatest experiment in governance the world has ever seen.
It provided many great ‘populist’, leaders, the greatest perhaps being one Gaius Julius Caesar, as well as a plethora of dismal failures, too numerous to mention.
However, unlike say the Messiah, another great ‘one’ will return, hopefully before it is too late!

POSTED AT.13.01 GMT.

Last edited 4 months ago by Charles Stanhope
j watson
j watson
4 months ago

The Author initially nails it with the critique that Right-wing populism is not a coherent public policy programme. And don’t we just see that everywhere we look. And this is because the Right has fundmentally struggled to balance Neo-liberal with the Populist Anti-immigrant dogmas.
The Author mentions how Trump banged on about a Wall yet never cracked down on employers employing illegal workers because, essentially, he prioritised Business Elites preference whilst assuming the majority of the public too stupid to click they were being mugged off. In the UK it’s a similar dynamic. Yesterday’s car-crash of an Select Cmtee interview with Head of the Home Office, who didn’t have any idea how many Asylum applicants who’d withdrawn their application had then returned home, or more likely disappeared into the UK Black economy, just a version of the same thing. The Tories for 13 years ducked the obvious requirement for ID cards if we are to properly manage immigration, whilst banging on about our equivalent of the Wall, Rwanda. And before we place all the blame on the Civil Servant, who set’s the Policy priorities? Yep the elected Home Secretary and PM.
I’d take issue though with default to a growing unelected sphere of government. It misses fact that legislation also gives the ability to alter these dynamics. Have a coherent Policy agenda and you can change things. Furthermore Brexit happened. Vote on Scottish independence happened. Vote on moving to PR happened. In many regards democracy has had more examples of direct decision plebiscite in last 12 years than in prior 120.
The Author also misses the role of the Media, esp the Right Wing media’s infantilisation of complex problems, often for short term populist gain. Further turbocharged by social media.

Last edited 4 months ago by j watson
Andrew R
Andrew R
4 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Once again you deflect and manage to miss the author’s point completely (deliberately).

Slow hand clap.

Andrew R
Andrew R
4 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Read this again slooowly…

“The problem here is structural: the very feature of modern Western democracies that creates the demand for populist politicians also ensures their failure. In the north Atlantic, this structure has been transformed in the last generation by two phenomena. The first is the transfer of decision-making power away from democratically elected legislatures and executives to entities that are highly insulated from election results: national and transnational judiciaries, central banks, international institutions, and corporations such as the social media giants that function as de facto public utilities but with no democratic oversight or control”.

j watson
j watson
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrew R

Yes read it and understood the contention. Just didn’t agree with it and outlined why. It’s victimhood nonsense and abrogation of responsibility that goes with elected power. Always suspect you struggle with a contested point that runs against your confirmatory bias.

Andrew R
Andrew R
4 months ago
Reply to  j watson

No, JW that’s YOU.

Andrew R
Andrew R
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrew R

I’m sure you’ll continue to write a load of sophistrical garbage.

j watson
j watson
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrew R

Comical you made that last point in response to your own comment. But perhaps some functioning at the sub-conscious?

Andrew R
Andrew R
4 months ago
Reply to  j watson

I’ll post that again on your next banal, cliched observation.