How To Win Votes And Influence Politics: Donald Trump Provides A Powerful Lesson In Defying The Norms Of Political Behaviour
If Trump is a warning about the cost of ignoring anti-political sentiments and particularly the cost of broken promises, then the UK must reconsider the institutional feasibility constraints placed upon our politicians and make a greater effort to understand the personal costs of elected office.
Such is the level of anger and indignation levelled at Russell Brand for 'daring' to publicly articulate his disenchantment with the status quo, with the political and economic system, and worse daring to write a book with the provocative title Revolution, you would think he'd just committed some heinous crime. The criticism that has attached to him over his reinvention as a political activist, writer and campaigner says more about those throwing barbs than it does about him, however, echoing perhaps Oscar Wilde's assertion that, "Ridicule is the tribute paid to the genius by the mediocrities".
Brand and Grillo's critiques of the current political establishment are potentially compatible with the kind of revolution of politics we need. But the destructive rhetoric that characterises their views, built upon the idea of an 'us' versus an irresponsible and corrupt 'them', who are therefore not worth seeking a mediation with, probably is not.
During Thatcher's reign, few would have uttered the now-commonplace anti-political statement: "They're all the same as each other, so why should I vote for anyone". She gave people a reason to vote, one way or the other.
While there are good reasons for liberal populists to be disillusioned, the solution is not to abandon representative democracy but to reinforce it. The liberal populism of Grillo and his ilk must be confronted before it's too late.
Why do you go to the pub? To meet friends? To drink? To socialize? Or do you go to the pub to discuss politics, social issues and philosophy? No? Well, if you live in Bath now you can!