On leadership, Brexit, Trump, the New Politics and what dreams may come.

parsivalpic02

I once saw a man deliberately putting himself in harm’s way. It was an incredibly courageous thing to do. I talked with him not long afterwards and he told me that sometimes when you’re the leader and everyone knows the situation is hopeless, you just have to damn well stand up and lead. It’s the only way you can change hearts and give a glimmer of hope. People begin to think they can get through, so they do. You yourself might not though, he cautioned me.

The lesson was if you show some leadership and guts, it has an effect on people like the spreading wake behind a boat. They’ve seen something done that they imagined impossible, and it energises them. Sometimes instead of dissipating, a wake only gets bigger, to become the wave of longed-for change, and that type of wave often becomes an irresistible tsunami.

Mainstream politics around the world has for years shown not a scrap of leadership. It has gradually become more detached, has degenerated down into an inward-looking club which is rich enough to be safely insulated from the injurious effects of their nothing more than virtue signalling policies which harm their own electorates, whom they basically ignore anyway.

It no longer related to ordinary people, so they gradually lost any faith in it.

There is a smothering tyranny of consensus, only one approved viewpoint on any topic, and any dissenting voice is effectively barred a right of reply by a mainstream media which is safely ensconced within the club as well. They serve in effect as both the establishment’s thought police as well as its attack dogs.

If you step outside the reservation, they’ll tear you to pieces.

This incestuous intertwining of establishment politics and the media gave birth to their shared delusion that everybody was happy with the direction they were dragging society along by its ear, apart from a few contrarians and ain’t there always a few of those stupid people around? That was their grand delusion, and it prevented them from seeing what they really didn’t want to see.

Not a small amount, but a large amount of the population were profoundly dissatisfied with them and their totally irrelevant policies, such as manic fixations on strange things like legislating for gender-neutral toilets rather than dealing with bigger immediate threats such as terrorism. The focus was on small non-problems which they knew they could fix in a blaze of publicity from their fan boys in the media.

The UK general election of 2015 was a mild foreshock of what was coming. Every pundit, commentator, pollster and politician said it would be a very close result. As it happened, the only party that had a few sensible policies, and I do mean a pitiful few, ended up with one hundred seats more than any other.

There were many lessons which could have been drawn from the unexpected direction popular sentiment was heading in, but all the experts were so busy making up excuses for their inept predictions, they didn’t look for the substantial reasons. In the venerable tradition of the Bourbon kings and in the aftermath of the event, they had learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

The first big shock came this year with the Brexit referendum. All the same supposed experts made the same predictions about how the ordinary person would cling to the status quo, rather than telling the EU they wanted out. In the face of apocalyptic prophecies, thinly veiled threats and bullying interference in domestic affairs by outsiders like Obama, the ordinary Briton voted to leave the EU. Ever since, we’ve been treated to howls of indignation, attempts to get the decision annulled and of course calls to run it all again.

The sad thing about the latter idea is that after a Remain campaign nicknamed Project Fear which consisted of nothing more than dire predictions about the effects of voting out, none of those predictions came through. The FTSE-100 index is at a record high, unemployment is down and business is booming.

All those businesses who’d been making vague threats to decamp over to the EU are suddenly increasing their investment in the UK, because the decision not to leave the fifth largest economy in the world for a disintegrating basket case like the EU is like a duh no-brainer.

Add in to all those failed predictions and U-turns, President-elect Trump saying when it came to a trade deal, the UK was at the head of the queue, as opposed to the back of it as threatened by an arrogant Obama if we decided to leave the EU, a rerun would be a bloodbath for the Remainers or the Remoaners as they’re increasingly called.

What Brexit did was provide that example of leadership, of the average person giving the finger to the political/media establishment and saying we want control back, we want people leading us who’ll address our needs, not a bunch of out of touch tossers like you lot who act like we don’t even exist.

In my assessment as far back as this time last year, Donald Trump was already on a roll and stood a good chance of winning, if only because he read the mood of the average voter much better than the Democratic and Republican establishment and they’d no clue how to deal with him, but I think Brexit helped to build the belief in his supporters that someone actually representing the will and needs of the average person could win, despite the cold cloying hands of the supposedly all-powerful political/media complex.

Both Brexit and Trump overturning the political landscape of the last few decades will not be isolated events. There are more examples of it going to occur in Europe this year and in subsequent ones. Like the expanding wave behind the boat, electorates across it have seen it’s possible to depose the decadent Bourbons and restore a truly responsive democracy rather than the sham they currently put up with.

The Swiss recently in a referendum voted down, against all establishment advice, a plan to close all their nuclear plants. They’d seen what a similar righteous green decision has done to their neighbour’s electricity grid in Germany, and weren’t going to take that amount of economic damage on the vague hope of feeling nice about themselves.

Speaking of that neighbour, the Alternative for Germany party (AfD) are making electoral gains that would have been unbelievable five years ago, and mainly at the expense of Angela Merkel‘s Christian Democratic Union party (CDU) and other parties too.

They blame her quite rightly for major things like electricity prices rising so high in pursuit of the green fairy that record numbers of people are being disconnected, but also for the smaller ones like waving in over a million shiftless welfare migrants, who after more than a year and a half in Germany have secured less than a hundred jobs, and as an added bonus have turned large parts of the country into rape zones where nobody is allowed to be punished and women and children, of either sex, simply aren’t safe anymore.

In France, Marine Le Pen of the Front National looks to have a decent chance to be its next president, despite what the media pundits are all predicting, and we all know how accurate they can be. It’ll be an EU killer if it happens.

In Italy, Virginia Raggi, the first mayoress of Rome and her party the Five Star Movement (M5S) are slicing their way through the old political establishment. They’re heading into a referendum supposedly on constitutional reform, but every man and his dog knows the result of it would lose their PM his job and take Italy out of the Euro, if not the EU. As usual, Project Fear is in full swing down on the voter’s necks, but I hear from some quarters there’s a definite Brexit feel in the country. Another EU killer if it happens. Avanti Italia!

Spain and Greece are in debt up to their armpits to Brussels while their enforced membership of the Euro zone is an economic garrote around their throat. They are but two examples across Europe of several ticking bombs of discontent with a hapless political class who are incapable of initiating any real change. Their electorates are just waiting for the right leadership to come along, and that will happen.

All these leaders, their parties and their overwhelmingly ordinary supporters are variously vilified in the mass media as being evil, racist, Nazis, nationalist (yes!) and pretty much every bad name you can think of but the interesting thing, the shockwave deep into the heart of legacy politics and their lapdogs in the media, is that people are indifferent to such labels nowadays. When you call people enough bad names for long enough, it eventually becomes water off a duck’s back.

Besides which, the media, like the politicians, is not trusted any more and therefore not listened to by electorates, who by flexing their muscles are finally getting people who’ll properly represent them and their interests.

When trust is lost, all is lost.

This is what I call the New Politics, and from now on at every election and referendum, it’ll be the same basic struggle; new faces representing the forces of real change up against an entrenched and decadent establishment, and it’s the establishment which is fighting for its life all around the world – and it’s losing.

How will the political/media complex deal with this loss of prestige and power?

Taking the mass media first, they’ve lost the trust of large swathes of their former consumers, and I think that may be a terminal wound. The term Lügenpresse or lying press came into common parlance in English for the first time ever and was being hurled at mainstream journalists towards the end of the presidential campaign, and quite rightly so, since they’d shamelessly broken every tenet of honest journalism, smashed every stone tablet into pieces.

They were nearly uniformly partisan to the Clinton campaign, colluded with it, leaked debate questions, spiked any negative stories and ran the most flagrant lies and unsubstantiated denouncements of Trump. No blow could be too low when it came to him. There’s a level of bitterness towards them because of their behaviour in the election which won’t be going away.

A thinly disguised apology after the election by the NYT, which used to style itself the newspaper of record, is simply not going to palliate anything, especially as it was suggested by a critic of its chronically biased coverage it should be renamed to the NY Huffington Post, a double insult if ever there was one but nonetheless an accurate assessment with which it would be hard to disagree.

When a once-great organ of the legacy media feels a post-election apology however gauche is in order, you can’t help but think it’s just disingenuously addressed at its former readers in an effort to entice them back. We’ll do much better from now on, promise, until we need to do it next time …

The reality was the most effective investigative journalism was being done by a combination of Project Veritas, WikiLeaks and the new wave of nimbler internet journalists who hadn’t been house-broken into fawning servility in the mainstream media. They didn’t have to dig too deep to hit real pay dirt with the Clinton campaign.

In the end, if you wanted to read about the other side and avoid wading your way through a media swamp of lies, misinformation, spin or deliberate omissions, you had to go to the internet. Those people won’t be coming back to the legacy media either.

Turning to the politicians, the positive way forward I think is the type of changes made by the UK’s governing Conservative party. They replaced their leader with someone who’d actually grown up in a house rather than a mansion. She promptly booted all the old boy, old school, rich, never had a job in their life network of lightweights out of government and replaced them with capable types who’d actually at some point in their lives struggled around a crowded supermarket with the wife and their kids doing the weekly grocery shop.

It’s evolution rather than revolution in the direction of the New Politics, and it stands a fair chance of succeeding, because it’s a government populated by people much more in touch with what people actually want and is being more responsive to it. Time will tell.

The negative way is to try and subvert the democratically expressed will of the people. In Britain this is taking the form of legal and other challenges by Remoaners in an attempt to reverse, annul, hinder or rerun Brexit. In the US, Trump’s election victory is going through similar challenges.

It’s the old order fighting to preserve itself, even if that means at the cost of undermining democracy itself. They’re frantic to hold onto power and get back to the old situation but the genie can’t be put back in the bottle, or rather won’t allow itself to be put back in it. Electorates have tasted meat, and they’ve no appetite to go back to gruel.

This refusal by politicians to abide by the democratically stated will of the people as expressed in polling booths is not something new, but rather the latest step in the steady erosion of the whole concept of democracy.

In the last decade, legislation which stood no chance of approval by an elected house, has been increasingly implemented by circumventing any approval by the use of executive orders, which are really diktats, and vastly expanding the remits of organisations such as the EPA, who in effect came to enforce by bureaucratic regulation, de facto laws which had never been passed by a legislature.

If there’s one lesson in the politics of a modern democracy, it’s that once a cabal of people brazenly subvert it, then it’s only a matter of time until the ladder of escalation moves from demonstrations, to street violence, to civil disorder, to open insurrection and finally to shooting. I think there’s enough sensible heads in the establishment to realise adaptation to the New Politics is the only way forward, because if it comes down to open strife or in the very worst possible case a civil war, there’s no way they can win.

Bending the knee and attempting to adapt to the new political reality by providing more acceptable candidates and policies is the only realistic path to take, since it’s the only way they have any hope of retaining control and therefore a modicum of power over the situation. As pragmatic politicians have known from even before Roman times, you can’t win against a popular mob. It’s a better strategy to jostle to the front of it and then try to lead it from there.

People want freedom from stifling central governments and control freak supranational bodies. Electorates are now out of the government cattle boats and paddling in their own canoes on their own chosen courses towards whatever dreams may come.

©Pointman

Related articles by Pointman:

The loss of faith in the political class.

Betrayal by those you once trusted.

People are pissed off.

We’ve reached a political fracture point, but of a different kind.

An analysis of the Trump election victory.

Click for a list of other articles.

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Comments
22 Responses to “On leadership, Brexit, Trump, the New Politics and what dreams may come.”
  1. Well said, Pointman. As always. And here’s a “companion” piece which provides further evidence that the PC tide may – at long last – indeed be slowly turning*:

    http://quillette.com/2016/11/30/stop-calling-people-low-information-voters/

    *Except here in the Trudeaupian wasteland which, much to my regret, is still very much in the grip of “let’s you and him fight” while we flog our money-grubbing greendreams.

    Like

    • philjourdan says:

      Just a point of clarification. The original “low information voter” in the USA was not a stupid person. Just an uninformed one. It has morphed into meaning a stupid one by the very people who define low information voters (in the original intent)!

      Like

    • Will Janoschka says:

      Congrats on the pointlessness of US philosopher Jason Brennan! Just what lets someone to claim to be a ‘philosopher”? Seems like your ‘low information voters’ know the difference ‘tween new cut hay, and BS, without a formal education or a newspaper!

      Like

  2. 42david says:

    Happening down here in Oz as well. There is a real move away from the major parties of the Left and “Not so Left” [once upon a time they were conservatives] towards at the moment smaller more conservative groups who “want their country back”. They will increase in size.

    Free speech was being progressively strangled by diktat but is making a come back as people are tired of “political correctness”. As an example three university students were taken to court by our [so called] Human Rights Commission for alleged racist remarks. The matter was thrown out and then a Labor [they can’t even spell] politician publicly called one of the students a racist and a liar after the court had ruled to the contrary. The student is now suing said “pollie” for defamation and refused the somewhat weak and disingenuous apology with “See you in court”.

    The “establishment” needs to take heed as the people grease the axles of the metaphorical tumbrils for impending use.

    Brexit and “The Donald” have done much to point the way.

    Like

  3. Keitho says:

    Pulse meet finger. Excellent summation of where we are Pointy but we can expect a huge onslaught from the traditional media against this new politics and the informal media.

    Our job, yours and mine, is to push back and confound these bastards’ attempts in any way we can. George W Bush has made one of his projects since moving out of office is to make internet access a basic human right. He knows how important it is for us all to be informed while his successor simply wants to control the information flow we are allowed to have.

    The world is experiencing a revolution of information of which you are part. Keep up the good work old boy, it is having an effect.

    Like

  4. gwaigau says:

    Have twice tried to comment positively on Hilary’s post above, but keep getting shut down. Don’t get paranoid Pointy, they really are after you!

    Like

  5. philjourdan says:

    In the USA, the media of Britain is still somewhat well regarded. As most of our news comes from them! Conservatives have long ago abandoned any hope that the USA MSM would be informative. What changed recently is that now even the center realizes that. Only the far left still put any stock in the local MSM.

    That is not to say that the UK media is any friend of American conservatives. But since they generally have no “skin in the game”, they can freely report the news without worrying about undermining their mission. As their mission is not the elevation of the American left, just the Uk left.

    I have read comments from those in the UK that seem to indicate the standing of the press in the UK is held in similar regard by the Britains. The left over there regards it as a bible, the right holds it in contempt, and the center is ambivalent.

    While Brexit was a wake up call for the UK, I wonder if it was the magnitude 10 earthquake that Trumps victory was to the US. Has the press, among the center and left, in the UK lost credibility? I think that is the real test of the wave you talk about sweeping over Europe. When the center loses faith in the press in any European country, just as in the USA, that is when you do not see a minor change coming, you see the wave sweeping out the old. I have not seen that in France yet, so will have to wait to see if Le Pen is riding it. And if the center is losing faith in the press, I would be very worried in the UK if I was a supporter of any major center-left parties! for the first time that I recall (and given my recollection of the UK is poor at best), the courts have interjected themselves into the political arena, and the backlash is building. I would not want to be on the wrong side of that fight in the UK if it does (Brexit) go back to Parliament!

    The press is just the face of the the ruling elite in most Western countries. The politicians would be well warned to watch how their esteem is diminishing to find out what their fate is going to be.

    Like

    • Rastech says:

      When in America earlier this year, the extent of the “in your face” Media prejudice against Trump was a bit of a surprise.
      When I returned to the UK in August, I found it quite shocking how much worse, and downright rabid, was the hostility to Trump, especially when you consider that the British People didn’t even get a vote in the election!
      I am sure this rabid hostility is now clearly visible to the vast majority, and to me, the media have pretty much committed suicide with 50 shots to their own brains, which meant they even had to stop and change 10 shot magazines 5 times, during the process.
      I never thought I would live to see such a spectacle.

      Like

      • Keitho says:

        With you all the way Rastech. There was the hideous creation that the media put up as Trump and there was the actual Trump with great rapport good policies and a sound plan. Too many people hate the media creation without realising it is just a chimera.

        Of course you do have to wonder why the media were so focussed on attacking Trump and so quick off the mark too. It was almost as if the plan was laid out well in advance of his even declaring. Bizarre stuff.

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      • Pointman says:

        Hi Ras, welcome back. A few American commentators here seem to assume that the press coverage of Trump over here was less biased, if not quaintly civilised. Not so. As you say, it was worse, so bad in fact that like in America, people stopped watching or reading it.

        I think it’s going to get worse as well.

        Pointy

        Like

      • philjourdan says:

        @Rastech – Oh, I know the UK Media hates Trump. But that is not what I read them for. I read them for the stories about the left here in the states. Which the American media refuses to carry.

        Like

  6. mike fowle says:

    Very interesting and balanced summary. I can still remember the astonishment and delight on waking up on that June morning (at about 4 AM) to find that instead of Remain winning as I fully expected, Leave had won. I have stopped trying to predict anything now, although the election of The Donald was another delight. I see this as a resurgence of democracy that will not be quelled whatever obstacles are put in our way.

    Like

  7. mikerestin says:

    A point of contention:
    Trump’s campaign and subsequent primary selection was the start of the parties’ downfall.
    Brexit followed Trump winning the people’s nod for POTUS. Trump broke the mold for presidential politicking and then the MSM couldn’t comprehend how Hillary lost.

    Like

    • 42david says:

      Before “the Donald” there was Nigel Farage. It matters not who started the swing but that the swing has started and hopefully continues.

      Like

  8. Blackswan says:

    Pointman,

    You’re so right – the genie is refusing to be stuffed back into its bottle.

    It’s becoming increasingly obvious that the reason ‘ordinary people’ are finally voicing their protest at centralised government policies is because it is those very people who are at the coal-face in having to deal with the fall-out of such policies.

    Often dismissed as ‘unintended consequences’ (which should apparently absolve politicians of any responsibility at all), people are realising that the degradation of their communities and their economic security was always the ‘end game’ for the Marxist Socialists.

    This may well be the final straw for the people of Germany …

    “A German court has ruled that seven Islamists who formed a vigilante patrol to enforce Sharia law on the streets of Wuppertal did not break German law and were simply exercising their right to free speech.

    The ruling, which effectively legitimizes Sharia law in Germany, is one of a growing number of instances in which German courts are — wittingly or unwittingly — promoting the establishment of a parallel Islamic legal system in the country.”

    https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/9461/germany-sharia-law

    Recent polls reported that almost 50% of German people want their own exit from the EU, along with Greece and Italy among others.

    The writing is on the wall – writ large.

    People are sick and tired – sick at heart, and tired of seeing their hard-won freedoms stolen from them.

    Like

    • 42david says:

      “A German court has ruled that seven Islamists who formed a vigilante patrol to enforce Sharia law on the streets of Wuppertal did not break German law and were simply exercising their right to free speech”

      An interesting finding seeing as it is not that long ago that a German Court convicted someone of criticizing Islam as using hate speech. Can’t find the reference unfortunately.

      No free speech in that case.

      Like

  9. Blackswan says:

    We all need a bit of a laugh … try this one, it’s very clever.

    Like

  10. Fen says:

    “sometimes when you’re the leader and everyone knows the situation is hopeless, you just have to damn well stand up and lead. It’s the only way you can change hearts and give a glimmer of hope.”

    But it’s more than just that. The enemy is not a computer AI, and surrendering because “it’s known” you will fail robs Murphy of an “own goal” attempt. How many battles in history failed miserably but, by pressing the enemy, opened up some opportunity on some other front?

    The Air Marshall flies in to congratulate the troops for their lopsided victory against the rebels, but his plane crashes on the way home, he dies, and without his direction the air campaign becomes ineffectual. If the rebels had never made their Charge of the Light Brigade, the Air Marshall would be alive to this day.

    Or consider the game of football:

    Asst Coach: “Dallas has Deon at cornerback now, he shuts down half the field! It’s futile. Looks like we should abandon our passing game and just run the ball.”

    Coach: “No. We are going to test him.”

    Post Game: Deon Sanders, Injured Out For Season.
    While jumping for what would have been his 3rd interception of the game, Sanders hyper-extended his knee and is expected to be on injured reserve for the remainder of the year. Dallas went on to lose 21-10, with two of the opposing team’s touchdowns scored against the inexperienced rookie who replaced Sanders.

    Coach: “See? And not only did we win passing, we won’t have to face Sanders in the playoffs”.

    ….my old Marine Corps unit has what I once considered a silly slogan, but it applies here: “Victory to the Bold!” Bold being the key word. We fight no matter what the odds, because the only way a loss is certain is if you don’t go out on the field.

    You are not expected to slay the dragon. But you are expected to try.

    Like

  11. Will Janoschka says:

    Here again is where The Donald could do so very much. SA has everything that NA lacks, including gobs of folk willing to bust their ass to get a bit ahead. No “illegal immigrants”, no foreign fundamental, mercenary invaders. Those that like where they they are located. Just Folk that will admire the new baby, then give it back to mama ’cause it is wet and stinks!

    I look forward to a very real NaFta\SaFta agreement where all the folk have a few more bucks to spend on what they wish. There is no profitable corporation that tries to sell what is not wanted!
    All the best! -will-

    Like

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