In a very straight talking interview Mark Blyth defines Global Trumpism as a “revolt against technocracy” and a “revolt against governance by unrepresented, unelected, undemocratic elites”.
Well here is the thing.
My side is very pro European, but I am against the Euro, so if I still lived in the United Kingdom I would have an interesting choice.
If you look at Larry Elliott in the Guardian, Larry has said he thinks he should vote for exit because this might be the existential crisis that blows up the Euro.
Now, why would you want to blow up the Euro because that would be terrible etc etc.
Because the long run effect of the Euro is going to be to drive Western European wages down to Eastern European levels in global competition for export share with the Chinese.
That’s one interpretation as to where this all goes.
And that’s going to be fine for the Eastern Europeans coming up and it’s going to be great for very efficient exporters in the North.
It’s going to be an absolute disaster for France and parts of Italy – if not all of Italy and certainly for Greece.
Now, if you have a system in which one side is running a surplus and the other side isn’t allowed to run a deficit because of the rules the only thing the other side can do is permanently contract their economies to allow someone else to make money selling BMWs.
I don’t see that ending well.
So perhaps it’s better to nip it in the bud when you’ve got the chance.
Now the thing with Brexit is I don’t think that’s what the debate is all about.
This is Trumpism.
Everybody’s got a version of it.
Trumpism – remember Donald Trump?
So here’s what I mean by Trumpism
For the past 25 years, particularly the centre-left has told the bottom 60% of the income distribution in their countries the following story:
Globalisation is good for you.
It’s really great.
We’re going to sign these trade agreements.
Don’t worry there will be compensation.
You’ll be fine.
You’ll all end up as computer programmers.
It’ll be fantastic, right?
And by the way we don’t really care because we’re all going to move to the middle because that’s where the voters are and they’re the people with money and those are the ones we really care about.
So you get this shift under Schroeder.
You get the same thing under Blair with New Labour – whatever.
And you make that move.
And you basically take the bottom 30% of the income distribution and you say:
We don’t care what happens to you.
You’re now something to be policed.
You’re now something to have you behaviours changed.
We’re going to nudge you into better patterns as the Americans like to say.
It’s a very paternal, it’s a very patronising relationship.
This is no longer the warm embrace of Social Democracy, arm in arm in solidarity with the working classes.
They’re there to be policed and excluded in their housing estates.
So that you can feel safe in your neighbourhoods.
So that you can have your private schools.
They have their public schools which you don’t really want to pay taxes for any more.
So once this has evolved over 20 years you have this revolt.
Not just against Brexit.
It’s not about the EU.
It’s about the elites.
It’s about the 1%.
It’s about the fact that your parties that were meant to serve your interests have sold you down the river.
They’re all the same.
Think how ridiculous this is.
Think of this Scottish Independence thing.
So these guys vote to stay in because the entire British establishment links arm in arm and says:
Don’t do it.
Now, you’ve got to wonder why because ultimately who is going to get hurt if they do it?
People with money.
So they’re saying:
Don’t do this.
So they go:
Oh, alright then, we won’t do it.
So then the SNP, the anti-austerity party, they’re like:
Ah well. We didn’t win that.
But, you known, we’re still in power.
Great. On you go.
So what happens next?
If apparently there’s going to be a Brexit, a vote to get out, then the Scots are going to vote to get back in.
This is fun.
So you’ve going to give up George Osborne, who is an austerity chancellor, for who?
So your nice little Scottish welfare state is going to be really well protected by the tender embrace of the Germans.
How is that working out for the Greeks?
People aren’t thinking this one through.
This is basically a revolt against technocracy.
It’s a revolt against governance by unrepresented, unelected, undemocratic elites.
And having had a government where every single district in your country says:
61% say no chance.
And then the result is:
We’re going to do it anyway.
You’re basically proving to people that democracy is irrelevant.
So this is Global Trumpism.
It’s a no-win scenario until basically the elites figure out that, at the end of the day, as I like to say to my American hedge fund friends:
The Hamptons is not a defensible position.
The Hamptons is a very rich area on Long Island that lie along low-lying beaches.
Very hard to defend a low-lying beach.
Eventually, people will come for you.
An extended version of the Athens Live interview.