There has been much debate about why the public has started to lose faith in mainstream political parties but the reason behind the rise of populism doesn’t take much working out. The past decade has seen the biggest financial crisis in a century, the biggest slump since the Great Depression and the slowest recovery since the second world war. Living standards have flatlined and public spending has been cut. People are anxious, frustrated and angry. The only real surprise is that they are not angrier. That, though, may only be a matter of time, because rapid technological change is happening at a time when the global economy seems fragile and many people feel they are getting a raw deal. These are perfect conditions for an age of insecurity. So far, the response from mainstream parties has been unimpressive. Those expressing concerns about the hollowing out of industrial communities by globalisation have been lectured about the benefits of free trade. Those who have voiced anxiety about migration have been called racists. Those who wonder how they will make a living when the robots arrive have been branded Luddites. In his new book, Charles Dumas says: “It is vital that the label… Read full this story
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