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France has scorned globalisation The West will soon be left behind

Jean-Luc Melenchon: prince of de-globalisation. (Photo by Sameer Al-Doumy / AFP/Getty)

Jean-Luc Melenchon: prince of de-globalisation. (Photo by Sameer Al-Doumy / AFP/Getty)


July 11, 2024   5 mins

Although French voters rejected the far-Right National Rally in last weekend’s election, in giving most of their support to either the RN or the Left, they still repudiated Emmanuel Macron’s liberal internationalism. In doing so, France joined the rising tide against neoliberal globalisation.

France has come late to the party. Until about 15 years ago, the world economy had for decades been steadily liberalising as a so-called Washington Consensus encouraged countries across the world to open their borders to trade, investment and labour migration. As a result, throughout the neoliberal age, which peaked with China’s re-entry to the global trading system after the death of Mao Zedong, trade rose even faster than global GDP and drove economic growth everywhere. Meanwhile, the ageing of Western countries made immigrants ever more vital to Western labour markets.

This all came to a halt with the 2008 financial crisis. While the leaders of Western countries initially tried to restore the primacy of neoliberal globalisation, a growing populist revolt against it had begun. The twin shocks of the 2016 Brexit referendum and Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election appeared to symbolise the start of a great reversal.

In the face of this onslaught, Emmanuel Macron launched a rearguard attack in France’s 2017 presidential election, beating the National Front’s Marine Le Pen with an unabashedly liberal and pro-European agenda. Yet his triumph would prove short-lived. Along with growing anxiety about immigration, public sentiment continued to turn against economic liberalism, multilateralism, open borders and, in Europe, continental integration. Today, France joins a lengthening list of European countries where Right-wing populists, some with roots in fascist-era movements, are in power or steadily rising. The far-Right is already in government in Italy, the Netherlands, Finland, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia and Czechia, while it is still rising in France, Germany, Austria, Belgium and the UK, where Nigel Farage’s Reform Party finally secured a toehold in parliament from which he aims to take over the British Right.

This mood-swing has drifted far beyond Europe. Throughout the West, the open door for trade, investment and immigration is narrowing. While America has not gone so far as to pay neighbouring countries to apprehend migrants, as is the case in Europe, the Biden administration has recognised how potent an issue the border has become in a volatile election year, and has been cutting back sharply on the numbers allowed to enter. In Canada, traditionally a country friendly to newcomers, the government has been pressured to respond to a housing shortage by temporarily capping immigration.

Meanwhile, President Biden has taken to imposing tariffs on imports of Chinese products, and has been casting a more wary eye on investment in industries he considers strategic. Similar protectionist tactics are emerging elsewhere: between 2018 and 2022, the number of restrictive measures across the world increased sixfold. Furthermore, de-risking and friend-shoring became all the rage in the wake of the Covid pandemic, which exposed the fragility of global supply chains. As a result, the common indicators of globalisation have now reversed themselves: after decades of growing faster than the world economy, international trade and foreign direct investment are both now in relative retreat.

Obituaries for the era of neoliberal globalisation are now pretty common. The basic problem neoliberal globalisation always had was that even though it undeniably raised the incomes of Western countries, those gains were unequally spread. Urban professionals gained a lot, whereas unskilled workers were hammered, their industrial towns often turning into wastelands of boarded-up shops and abandoned mills. Meanwhile the urban booms drove up property prices and enriched owners, sucking more and more money out of the pockets of working folk, forcing many to move far out of town where they often suffered from inadequate services. One of the most reliable predictors of support for France’s National Rally is the distance one lives from a train station: the further away, the more likely a vote for the RN.

“One of the most reliable predictors of support for France’s National Rally is the distance one lives from a train station.”

In the short term, de-globalisation seems full of promise. Cutting immigration and making it harder for firms to out-source production will provide relief to the hard-hit workers who have borne the brunt of globalisation’s costs. As we began to see during the Trump presidency, reducing immigration appears to boost the wages of unskilled workers. Yet such policies will further hinder the long-term economic growth of Western countries, already slowing to a crawl. If they curtail immigration, Western countries will soon be unable to keep their ageing population — particularly their retired citizens or those needing health care — in the style to which they’ve grown accustomed. Meanwhile, higher import costs due to the fragmentation of supply chains and rising tariffs will further entrench inflation, which will keep interest rates elevated and crimp investment. Short-term gain will eventually cause long-term pain.

More significantly, these developments will further accelerate the relative decline of the West. That’s because the de-globalisation wave is largely confined to developed countries; in much of the developing world, globalisation remains alive and well. Most notably, China is using its Belt and Road Initiative to deepen its links across the global south, exploiting the gaps left by the retrenchment in Western aid and diplomacy to widen its economic and political space. And whereas Europe is moving towards increasing fragmentation, Africa’s continental free trade agreement is finally finding its feet and boosting trade within the continent, which is expected to raise incomes there.

That said, we are still in the very early stages of this transformation, and the turn against globalisation across the West may yet get reversed. So far, global trade has recovered from the pandemic and doesn’t yet show signs of a sharp reversal. Yet the West’s policy changes will probably start to bite before too long. Already, the trends in foreign direct investment are suggestive of a confident and rising erstwhile periphery: while Western countries are pulling back as a source of outward investment, China is rising.

In fact, Chinese businesses have found a way to get around the walls being thrown up in Western countries. They simply out-source production to countries such as Mexico and Hungary, which enjoy freer access to the markets they wish to penetrate. This can also reduce China’s labour costs since Chinese wages have risen so fast. The impact of China’s mercantilism on the developing world is not yet clear. On one hand, by exporting its industrial capacity, China may snuff out industrial development in recipient societies that are trying to develop their own manufacturing industries. This explains why some developing countries, including Indonesia, Brazil and India, have imposed trade restrictions on China. On the other hand, the scale of Chinese investment is also raising incomes and creating jobs in some countries, which would ultimately expand the market for Chinese exports.

It may be that China’s form of globalisation is a classic imperialist strategy that will enrich the Chinese core at the expense of its new periphery in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Yet it could also be that the Belt and Road Initiative turns into a Chinese version of the Marshall Plan — the post-war American strategy to build a cohesive Western empire by ensuring the recovery and subsequent enrichment of all its closest partners. While China rankles Western countries for running large trade surpluses with them, it notably tends to run deficits with developing countries, meaning that it buys more from them than it sells.

It shouldn’t surprise us if globalisation proves more popular in the developed world. Not only were the benefits of globalisation unevenly spread in Western countries, they were also unevenly spread between developed and developing countries. While Western countries were admittedly the biggest absolute gainers from globalisation, measured in increased income, in relative terms developing countries saw their incomes rise more. So while Western citizens would have probably ended up worse off without globalisation, they wouldn’t have known this; the annual rate of growth they experienced in their incomes didn’t exceed that of the previous decades, and was lower than the “golden age” that followed the Second World War. By contrast, citizens in the developing world, especially in Asia, experienced noticeable improvements to their standards of living.

Now, the West runs the risk of falling further behind in relative terms, and being alienated from a new age of globalisation that will undergird the growing power of China, India and other emerging powers of the former global periphery. Time may reveal that the failure of Western elites to engineer a globalisation that benefited everyone, rather than disproportionately themselves, ultimately ensured the decline of the Western age.


John Rapley is an author and academic who divides his time between London, Johannesburg and Ottawa. His books include Why Empires Fall: Rome, America and the Future of the West (with Peter Heather, Penguin, 2023) and Twilight of the Money Gods: Economics as a religion (Simon & Schuster, 2017).

jarapley

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Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
6 days ago

Although it’s at a bit of tangent to the article, there’s a piece of received wisdom there that could use a closer look, namely that ‘the aging of Western countries made immigrants ever more vital to Western labour markets’.
If what you need are workers, but you want your workers to be able to afford decent housing and living standard then you issue visas for jobs that can’t be done by locals. Work visas, not blanket citizenship.
Immigration increases the amount of people in the country. That’s all. It fixes a labour market the way that a flooding waters the flowers. Immigration without sound policies, direction, or enough extra housing units drives up the cost of living, and unless it’s people who can specifically do the necessary jobs that can’t be filled otherwise, it drives down wages too for jobs where there’s a surplus of willing workers.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
6 days ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

The argument that an ageing population needs immigration is entirely bogus.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 days ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

The salient point on immigration is this. Immigrants need housing, fridges,tvs, furniture, mobile sunscriptions, electricity etc. They increase economic activity massively thus boosting local businesses and propery owners. They do this whether working or on benefits ( although to a lesser extent). Its not primarily about workers or caring for old peopl( although this is also relevent), its mostly about keeping the ponsi system going. Thats why every country fails to curtail it. It would cripple the moderately rich and powerful members of every advanced economy at this stage.

Last edited 6 days ago by UnHerd Reader
jane baker
jane baker
5 days ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

I’m 70 years old in a few months time. I spent ten years looking after my 80+.frail Mum who died aged 91,frail in body but with her wits about her until near the end,then gentle sleep. I looked after her. I was there. I wasn’t pissing about making garbage tv that no one watches now anyway pretending I had a “career”. I wasn’t stacking shelves at Tesco waiting until they would recognize my utter above everyone EQUALITY and make me CEO. I was there for my Mum. A lack of shagging in my life means I don’t have someone to care for me should I be unfortunate enough to live past 80 but I resent being put into this stereotype of helpless old person burden on society. If you don’t appreciate the things I’ve done in my life that’s your problem not mine.

Michael Cazaly
Michael Cazaly
5 days ago
Reply to  jane baker

Wow…I totally agree with this comment…well done for your comment and your conduct. It is how things are supposed to be.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
6 days ago

That the French have no desire to bury their unique culture, agriculture, viticulture, architectural heritage. lifestyle and environment under a mountain of cheap plastic from China or dilute their immensely civilised social traditions with mass immigration seems entirely reasonable to me.

Economists, eh? The price of everything and the value of nothing.

Peter Principle
Peter Principle
6 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Thomas Carlyle famously slagged off economics by calling it “the dismal science”. I would update Carlyle’s phrase by omitting the words “the” and “science”.

Last edited 6 days ago by Peter Principle
Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
5 days ago

Looks like there’s an economist below the line

Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
5 days ago

Thing people forget about economics is it started out as moral philosophy, namely how does one square limited resources with notionally unlimited demand. It’s since developed/morphed into a kind of behavioral science of the political economy of a state.
While immigration might well increase the supply of resources, and indeed highly productive immigrants would increase the wealth of a society by producing more than they consumed, even in this case the amount of land in a nation state is fixed, and in a developed nation state is almost all used by now. So that’s an increase in demand that no immigrant can supply. Price will necessarily go up for that input.
Where I think real problems occur is if immigrants for whatever reason do not produce resources to offset those they consume. At that point prices of everything will go up faster than wealth is created.
Which means people are going to have less wealth. You can use inflation to boost numbers, you can claim ‘the economy’ has grown, but individuals within it will be less wealthy, in terms of how many resources they each receive.
The immigrants themselves may be wealthier then they were before, but the population into which they have moved will not be. Logically, without controls, such movement would continue until equilibrium was achieved ie wealth per person was the same, and immigrants have no incentive to move.
Dismal science indeed!

jane baker
jane baker
5 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Yes,why do all these people who made that McDonalds in their High st so profitable,who deserted their local high.shops in the 1970s and still now.drive to the big store on the edge of town,who encouraged tv to produce dross,why are THEY (im thinking of those TV shows,don’t seem to be a thing now) moving to France. We hate the vulgar and pressured life in England,full of cheap commonness. We have found a run down old house in rural France. We are going to take our 3 vile brats and live there and enjoy the slow,tranquil traditional lifestyle of France. but seeing as we’re in our forties we still need an income so we’re going to make that house a b+b,and of course we have to.put in a pool or no one will come stay with us,and the kids insist anyway. And as I love my motorbike I’m going to turn out field and bit of woodland into a rough rider trail and have all me mates from the.club.join us,of course they’ll want very loud rock music to.avcompany their relaxation on the patio. Yes,we.are really looking forward to the slow,quiet,peaceful.french life and I’m sure we’ll fit right in and soon make friends with the locals.
I’m joking with the above of course,plenty of french like motorbikes and rock music only I do find it ironic when freedom of trade etc is advocated.as an all round benefit when we know one side is going to win and one side is going to lose,if not financially then culturally.

Peter Principle
Peter Principle
6 days ago

The author observes that, pre-2008, trade rose faster and goes on to conclude that immigration was vital to Europe. That is a flawed analysis. The big growth occurred in China and India. Those countries had no immigration and had stonking great import tariffs. Meanwhile, whilst the UK was sucking in immigrants and imports, productivity stagnated.
Even if an immigrant becomes a Big Issue seller, he increases GDP. But he also reduces per capita GDP, a fact consistently overlooked by the likes of Rishi Sunak and the author.

J B
J B
5 days ago

I seem to recall a Mr Farage (MP) making the same point…

Emmanuel MARTIN
Emmanuel MARTIN
6 days ago

This article is full of BS. It starts on idiotic premises (such as “globalisation is good”). Then end up on circular reasoning towards “as we consider that open borders are good, then we want open borders”.
As for the West becoming richer, I think that the writer confuses increasing house prices with true wealth.

Paul Rodolf
Paul Rodolf
5 days ago

Agreed. In the US the C-Suites and Investment Banking denizens got substantially richer and the middle class was gutted. It’s not just the rust-belt. Just drive across the US and you will see small town after small town with the local manufacturer shuttered, downtown boarded up and a shiny Walmart or Target on the edge of the community.

Adam Bacon
Adam Bacon
6 days ago

The French didn’t ‘reject’ Le Pen and the ‘Far Right’ National Rally party, who took 37% of the popular vote, their largest ever by a considerable margin, and the largest of any single party.
The Centrist elites simply conspired with the Leftists by dropping candidates to allow each other to gain more seats.

Otherwise, the premise of the article is sound, though hardly original.

Why the elites prefer the ‘Far Left’ to the ‘Far Right’ is anybody’s guess, given that there’s probably not much to choose, historically, between genuine authoritarian regimes of the Left or Right.

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
5 days ago
Reply to  Adam Bacon

Precisely. These lazy tropes about “rejection” can be put in context by a mere glance at the UK election, where Labour won a huge parliamentary majority on the basis of 33.7% of the popular vote.
A rap on the knuckles for Rapley, who really should know better.

Last edited 5 days ago by Lancashire Lad
Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
5 days ago

If they curtail immigration, Western countries will soon be unable to keep their ageing population — particularly their retired citizens or those needing health care — in the style to which they’ve grown accustomed.
And the tradeoff to ongoing immigration is a loss of national identity, an erosion of the host culture, a lot of people who refuse to assimilate, and eventually, the death of the nation. Silly me, but I’ll go with adjusting my style and somehow cope with fewer foreign invaders.

jane baker
jane baker
5 days ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

I’ve never got ‘accustomed” to ” a lifestyle,” having been brought up in a household that held the ethos ,”money is evil,money is part of Satan’s Kingdom,have none or as little as possible” I’m totally used to the “not a bean” lifestyle so it’s no culture shock. Anyway I thought the point of WORK was to engage in stimulating intellectual conversation,get validation,and make friends with people you wouldn’t give house room to or socialise with. Who works to EARN MONEY. What a bizarre idea.

Anna Clare Bryson
Anna Clare Bryson
6 days ago

I know it’s “a faraway country of which we know very little” but the Czech Republic is not currently governed by any “far right” party even on the most generous definition of “far right”, but by a weedy centrist/centre-right coalition that even works with the lefty Pirates.

David Harris
David Harris
5 days ago

Stopped reading the article on line 1 at “the far-Right National Rally” and started reading the comments. It’s not and I’m not.

Last edited 5 days ago by David Harris
Tony Taylor
Tony Taylor
6 days ago

France may well have scorned globalisation, but they have globalised my Unherd. Ce qui s’est passé?

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
6 days ago
Reply to  Tony Taylor

I saw that too…

Emmanuel MARTIN
Emmanuel MARTIN
6 days ago
Reply to  Tony Taylor

Je n’y vois pas d’objection et en ce qui me concerne, ça me convient parfaitement.

Tony Taylor
Tony Taylor
5 days ago

Not sure it would suit me perfectly. If they are going to keep doing it, I better polish up my school boy French.

Vesselina Zaitzeva
Vesselina Zaitzeva
5 days ago
Reply to  Tony Taylor

Ah, I thought that I regularly see Unherd in French because the browser I use (DDG) sees that I am in Belgium and automatically translates the texts into French.
That was rather strange for me, but do I understand you correctly that Unherd now has a French version, too?
Btw, now I see on the screen a suggestion to rate the translation (from French into English apparently). Am a bit in two minds whether to give it four of five stars 😉 Any suggestions?

Tony Taylor
Tony Taylor
5 days ago

In my feed reader, Unherd published about 10 articles in French.

Vesselina Zaitzeva
Vesselina Zaitzeva
5 days ago
Reply to  Tony Taylor

Aha, so now we are supposed to compare the texts and to rate the translation in both directions: English into French and vice versa, I would imagine 😉
More seriously now: thank you for replying, because I was really bewildered by seeing UnHerd in French and was wondering why DDG would do this.

Norfolk Sceptic
Norfolk Sceptic
6 days ago

“If they curtail immigration, Western countries will soon be unable to keep their ageing population
…”

This sounds like the recent Tory government! 🙂

David Harris
David Harris
5 days ago

The last Tory government. Vote Reform whenever you can.

jane baker
jane baker
5 days ago

Old people can look after themselves till much later than we are being programmed to think.

RA Znayder
RA Znayder
5 days ago

The author presents the image that, although neoliberalism brought inequality, it nevertheless introduced a lot of growth. But not even this is true. The rate of growth worldwide and in most Western countries actually declined compared to the postwar period. Neoliberalism and monetarism pretty much failed on most of its promises and on its own terms like reducing government spending. However, it did succeed in restoring class power.
We tell ourselves we have a problem with maintaining our economy because of an ageing population. However, we should consider the possibility that our biggest problem is that our financialized postindustrial economy was somewhat of a lie all along, 2008 certainly points at this explanation. Globalism seems like a reasonable deal for the West at first; China and the third world doing the production so we can develop all kinds of interesting intellectual products.
But that is hardly how it turned out. Sure, we did some interesting things in big tech. But it doesn’t seem too hard for China to do it too. Other than that, we simply seem to do a lot of speculation while trying to milk asset bubbles like real estate. Worse, David Graeber argued that many of the people working in postindustrial societies have BS jobs. Especially those who are on the ‘winning side’ of neoliberalism. The situation during lockdowns showed he might actually be right.
Before we going into panic mode about an aging population we should ask ourselves if what we are doing is even productive at all. Certainly the inequality is unnecessary, after 50 years of neoliberalism you can be pretty sure nothing is going to trickle down. But also the entire narrative that population decline is problematic for an economy was questioned by recent research from Lianos et al. Against economic dogma’s, they found that many countries with declining populations did just fine and had growth.

Jürg Gassmann
Jürg Gassmann
5 days ago

Let’s keep in mind that the West’s favourite tool – sanctions, applied against anyone who does not toe the line – is in international law an illegal instrument of coercion.
Ursula von der Leyen sounds like the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, screeching “sanctions” like the Queen of Hearts screeched “off with his head”.
It is divine justice that the policies are blowing back.

Last edited 5 days ago by Jürg Gassmann
Peter Principle
Peter Principle
5 days ago

“One of the most reliable predictors of support for France’s National Rally is the distance one lives from a train station”
Ahh! So that is why National Rally won the first round in Guadaloupe.

John Galt
John Galt
5 days ago

China is fracturing and is unlikely to be a country in 30 years time at least not like it is now. If you want to talk about an aging population it turns out China is an a far worst state than any western nation. It may be a crises in the west but in China it’s an imminent catastrophe. Beyond that from what I’ve heard the Belt and Road initiative is not so much a marshall plan as it is an economic version of the Warsaw pact. You take the Chinese money and the CCP gets to dictate how you run your country, with many people in the developing world still quite preferential to the West rather than Beijing. But who knows it seems that our maple syrup loving friends from the north are quite enjoying the taste of Chinese boot leather maybe other countries will develop a taste for it to.

Michael Cazaly
Michael Cazaly
5 days ago
Reply to  John Galt

Sounds like the EU…you took the money so do what you’re told…

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
5 days ago

“It may be that China’s form of globalisation is a classic imperialist strategy that will enrich the Chinese core at the expense of its new periphery in Africa, Asia and Latin America.”

For anyone who hasn’t realized by now that this has always been China’s long term strategy, I have a bridge to sell you. They have the most protectionist, interventionist, and anti-liberal economic systems in the world. The government is constantly intervening in their economy and the global economy, creating artificial surpluses that lead to monopolies that then give China an economic advantage, and as is increasingly obvious, a military advantage as well. Suggesting the Chinese are going to pick up the globalist torch dropped by the US is absurd.

Suggesting the Indians might do so is equally absurd as they too have a lot of protectionist measures in place to develop their native industry and are currently engaged in what is arguably as serious a trade conflict with China as the US is, for similar reasons. Japan had their mercantilism era back in the 70’s and 80’s, and so did South Korea and Taiwan at various points. Nearly every one of the ‘success stories’ of developing countries is a case of strategic government intervention in such a way as to take advantage of global economic conditions while the US was pretending doing basically nothing to protect itself would somehow magically work out.

These countries have been behaving sensibly by protecting their own economic interests and the long term stability of their societies at the possible expense of some short term growth and a temporary increase in living standards, pretty much the opposite of what we’ve been doing. They’ve just been successful at doing it while the west has been on a race to the bottom for who can be the greediest and who can sabotage their long term economic prospects and stability the most by grabbing as much short term profit as they can while selling this to their citizenry by using some of that money to pay for expensive social programs, but as is always the problem, the peasants are just as greedy as the aristocrats and there are invariably more of them. The schemes of globalists have run their course. There’s nothing more to be gained, nowhere else to offshore to cut costs any further. The benefits are largely over, and there are plenty of costs left to pay. The strategies of developing countries have run their course, they no longer need us or our globalism anymore. There will still be a global economy, just like there was before WWII and going back to the age of sail or the Silk Road, but it will be like the global economy before the world wars, a global economy checked by national interests, national rivalries, and a balance of power to consider.

This author still seems to assume free trade is good and open borders is good a priori. I give him credit in that he tries not to, but he can’t seem to stop himself. Right after he finishes criticizing what went wrong with the globalist era, he praises Africa for a free trade agreement by default without even a cursory examination of whether it might have similar political and social side effects as our own free trade era has. He pretends China’s Belt and Road is about economic benefit rather than political influence and geopolitical power, and then he compares it to the Marshall Plan as if it didn’t serve basically the same purpose. As if the US, or anyone, would rebuild a region that basically destroyed itself without getting something in return. The US did get something in return. They got half of Europe as an ally in the Cold War and most of the rest afterwards. They got Europe as a military and economic dependency, and that continues to the present, where it’s quite likely the US will demand the EU join in its conflict with China, and the EU will have little recourse but to accede to these demands to a significant extent despite the fact this will hurt Europeans far more than Americans, as we’ve already seen with the Ukraine conflict. I expect to see a lot more articles like this from journalists steeped in the propaganda of the globalist era but who are trying to strike a more balanced tone in order to change with the times. Some will be more successful than others.

Last edited 5 days ago by Steve Jolly
Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
4 days ago

If I hear that lousy, wasted, overused phrase “far-right” again, I think I’m going to SCREAM! What the heck is the “far-right”? What does it MEAN?

How is it distinguished from the “far-left”, and why does no one (or few) ever use the term “far-left”?

“Far-right” as a term has no significance unless there is similarly a “far-left”, yet we never hear of it. Also, no definitions are ever given.

It is a lazy, overused phrase, used to make one sound clever, while proving the opposite.

Susan Grabston
Susan Grabston
5 days ago

France has rejected globalism? France is off with the fairies. Whilst i appreciate the bond vigilantes were so relieved that the perceived threat of RN didn’t maerialise, I had somewhat expected them to catch up eith the insanity of Melunchon. France is officially ungovernable. Germany is in very greqt difficulty. Meanwhile, Starmer wants to cosy up. Remember, the UK is on the hook for EU debt until 2026 thanks to the crass negotiation of the UK govt. It may end very badly for us too by default.

Dave Canuck
Dave Canuck
5 days ago

It’s funny how everyone is against globalization but they love the cheap goods and low inflation that it brought. Besides, unemployment is low in most western countries, so even if manufacturing came back the workforce is not there without mass immigration and very high costs. Not to worry about China’s population, they still have 1.4 billion people and less people in the future is actually a good thing, they are already outsourcing as well to countries in southeast Asia and elsewhere. China is a powerhouse now and will be much more powerful and influential in the future, so prepare.