Sunday, 11 December 2016

What Has Populism To Do With Coral Reef Destruction?


Dear Reader,

Our focus, perhaps media-driven, seems to be on populist determinations. The Corbyn, Brexit, Trump and Italy's referendum events have opened the doors to people wanting to have their say; to have a proper share of the control in what is going on in the world. However, though I can see the point of the reaction - certainly because we have created leaders and governments that are usually not in touch with the everyday affairs of ordinary people - do we (the masses) understand enough of what we are doing and what direction we are going in? Are the right reasons being employed? Is this all just another expression of the 'me, me, me' phenomenon?

Populist movements are not new, of course. One of the greatest such movements was led by a banker, Thomas Attwood, back in the 1810-1830s period, when he led a campaign in England to introduce a fair system of elections and proper representation in government. But from his home base in Birmingham, he utilised the remarkable sense of unity between employers and workers that existed there in those days to create a Political Union that was unprecedented. And he spoke in front of crowds of 100,000 or more in Birmingham to put his point across. They were momentous days, and some commentators have remarked that those days were possibly the closest this country has come to a revolution. What stopped a revolution was that the British government finally gave way to sense and the creation of reform laws that - over time - changed the democratic landscape of Britain. And, eventually, created education for all.

So, history suggests that populism does have a place in things, and that populism can be a real and welcome force for change. What is more, such events as led by Attwood do not need people of great levels of knowledge, but, rather, greater levels of moral conviction and determination.

So, isn't it that characteristic, moral fibre, that should be the main thrust of populism? For without it, I submit, the chance of creating anything better than previously existed is lost.

In which case, with Donald Trump indicating that he is going to overturn the Dakota pipe-line decision; that fossil-fuel creation and manufacturing will continue as though climate change is a chimera, what has populism achieved in the USA?

Great coral reefs are being destroyed as a result of climate change and pollution; whole species are in danger of extinction, and other catastrophic situations, and yet Trump is being welcomed by people who say they are tired of 'the establishment', but in reality are really just wanting to have more money in their pockets. Meanwhile, the institutions of Europe appear to be in the process of being dismantled while there is a refugee crisis that affects the whole of Europe, and with no populist idea of what to do about it.

Never mind, those with money will still be able to buy their BMWs, Mercs and Jaguars - and yachts. For the time being.

Thank you for reading this.