Wednesday 3 January 2018

Populists, are dicks.

 Image result for trump farage

Its a sad fact, but true. 

The leaders of populism are colossal arses.

From Trump down, whether progressives or regressives, they just don’t have any good leaders.
Worse. They actually  have bad leaders.

Le Pen.
A populist leader who took over an almost Nazi style fascist party managed to bring it all the way to the final round of France's election process. Despite the supreme odds against her of doing this, she did.
And then fluffed the round. Ranted and raved like the junior league politician she is. And scared off those who were wondering if a bit of authoritarianism wouldn’t go amiss in the ungovernable country

Nigel Farage.
An amazing figure. Took UKIP to the heights that actually threatened the Tory partie's ability to hold power. Actually caused the strategic decisions within the conservative leadership that directly led to the UK leaving the EU.
He achieved his, and his parties aim, without having more than two borrowed MPs. A giant political figure of the 21st century. And also a huge ass.

Every time he was getting close to breaking through. To turning those 4 million votes into a powerful, political force to usurp the liberals third place status, he managed to drop the ball.
Not just drop it. But kick it far into touch. Where it landed in a cow pat.

As with Le Pen, when the time for a little moderation came, Nigel would always, always decide instead to turn up the rhetoric to eleven and feed his opponents narrative.
Trump I want to do separately so we won't dwell too much. Suffice to say most thought him unfit before he became President. And they have been proved right. He is unfit for the office.
But he is still President. He did take on the vested interests in the same way Farage did. And won the biggest, most powerful prize on earth. Against the same, impossible odds.

But what has he done to cement this new type of politics? To make the new way?  The new idea. The genuine “populist, my people” party.
Not much.

His thin skin has allowed the 'whole world is against us, but we shall endure and prosper,' to become 'the whole world is against me. Well I'll show them...' 
Which was always how he was. So it shouldn't be a surprise he still is. But it still sort of is. He IS President, after all. Although looking increasingly like a one term President.  

The man of the hour. He stands on the cusp of power. Of bringing about the Marxist-Lenninist-Chavist-Maoist and whatever other teenage romantic socialist collective ideas he still waves banners in his head for. 

Another, remarkable, against the odds winner. Another written off low ability loser who's populist magic touch has brought great and unlikely rewards.
Instead of being in the dustbin of history, he has managed to almost make communism for the 21st century a reality. Here. In the UK. Where we don't have any time for that 'European' free-stuff, nonsense.
Corbyn is only a few missteps, a Brexit negotiation disaster, and a senior resignation away from being  Prime Minister.
But he is still far from being able to enact every fantasy nationalisation and tax rise, and every defence cut and US annoying law his old heart could desire. Because he hasn't , isn't, prepared for that. He's simply winging it.

What has he done with his power? With his legions of youth and disaffected? 
Not much. 

Instead of setting out the vision and moderating his lunacy, to attract over the last 10% of voters he needs, he spends his days plotting to take over local control of the labour party. 
The man needs 50 seats. Where do they come from? He doesn't know. But he does know that getting Reg Smith into the deputy people's workers committee for regional union appointments will cement control of the Brent East council with Corbynistas.
How long does he think he has? Why is he such an amateur ass?

Geert Wilders does the same. Makes the gains, and flings it all away in ways that are obvious to any impartial observer. What is Carles Puigdemont doing with his unexpected Catalonia Independence windfall. He doesn't know. 
Why is the UK Green party, in the age of Green, losing support and going backwards? Why does a party with no real membership and just one MP have two leaders?
Why dilute an already minuscule profile?
Image result for populists
Even a successful populist, like Sturgeon, had no real vision. Other than the independence one that had already been rejected. From holding the whole of Scotland, the Queen of the Heather, has let it slip away because she never put down any foundations. Never gave any inspiration for what an SNP could be. Other than a failing, incompetent, expensive protest government. 
The SNP lost 33% of their seats in 2017. And many that remain have a very small majority. The revolution could be over before it even began. the smack in the face reality might have come just in time for Sturgeon. If she is wise enough to change.

In all these cases the wind of opportunity was as good as it gets for the 'populists.'

Immigration. Austerity. Brexit. Crime. EU authoritarianism. Poor opponents. Divided opposition. Complacent ruling parties. Misjudged government interventions. Favourable news events and plain old lucky breaks. Everything from holding a referendum, to choosing unpopular Crooked. To van slaughters to letting Spanish police smack old ladies in the face live on TV.

Fortune has favoured the populists.

Its unlikely to continue to do so.

Where are these 'new people's politicians  advisers? Not the batty ones that they all surround themselves with who believe the same rubbish they do. But REAL advisers. Ones with actual power within the operation. Ones who can say, don't do that. Don't say that. Don't look like that. Look like this. Do this. Kiss this puppy. Hug this migrant. Wave this banner on the platform at this time for this reason.  Once you've won, you can be as fascist or communist as you like. But first you have to win.
They don't have them. or don't have them in authority.

So its likely the established order. Left and right social democrats. EU Federalists. Republican and Democrat big beasts will continue to survive and rule.

Because populists, are just amateurs.

Perónism in Argentina was formed in 1946. And has at times been ultra dictatorial, revolutionary, left and fascist corporative right. It became the political force. Then a political idealism. Perónists have won 9 out of 12 elections they have stood in. And to get anywhere, even today,  a leader has to at least claim some kind of Perónist credentials. 
Now that's populism done well. 40 years of  victory. 
Not just a single term. That once it is over everyone will try and pretend it never happened.


Anonymous said...

What a prescient article. You must have been hitting the "publish" button at the same time Mail was updating us on the true love between UKIP's Henry Bolton (a young 54) with Jo Marney (a mature 25).

Are you going to edit the article to update it?

L fairfax said...

I think UKIP would have been successful without Farage and possibly more so if he had not split the party and annoyed so many activists and MEPs (a list too long to mention).
It success came from other's incompetence not Farage's genius.

Sackerson said...

"Populist" is a term introduced by oligarch politicians to belittle and discourage those who think voting makes any difference.

Sackerson said...

... and the skill set of a "populist" politician has to be different from that of the condescending patrician. Deploring the former's approach to garnering support is like saying circus clowns have a poor sense of coordination and dress, or thinking that surely stand-up comedians should take things more seriously.

Nick Drew said...

5-star post, BQ

One aspect of (most) populists is that their very amateurism is a high % of their appeal to the disgruntled ...

(faking amateurism would be the thing!)

... but competent people don't flock to join them (though the ruthless & the chancers often do, seeing an opportunity to cash in, see A.Hitler passim)

the winning combo is St Paul + Christ, an unusual double-act (though some might cite Lenin+Marx)

i.e., what's very rare is radical vision combined with implementational genius

Where do we find other examples worthy of consideration, to add to Peron? Mao, definitely; Castro?

Then it's business leaders all the way: Rockefeller, Ford, Gates, Enron, ...

McDonnell + Corbyn? We'd better hope McDonnell is just the usual ruthless/chancer

Sackerson said...

@ND: Shamateurs - think of Harold Wilson, putting down the cigar and lifting the pipe as he exited No. 10; or Blair with his damn mug. Too many of the modern lot are so arrogant they don't even try to look like ordinaries.

Matt said...

So they need political advisers to avoid being crap? Would that be like the way Timothy and Hill directed May to avoid calling a general election when not ready?

Thud said...

Not with you on much of this and you miss out , Poland hungry and Austria. the rise of populism is still very much an ongoing process. As for Trump I'm more than happy with his achievements and expect much more from him this year.

Anonymous said...

It's difficult for any outsider party, of right or left. And the Overton window of "acceptable political discourse" has been heaved so far to the left over the past 50 years that the 1945-51 Labour administration would now be considered Nazi - homosexuality illegal, corporal punishment in schools, all forms of discrimination legal.

If you look at the history of the 'Nazi' label in British politics, it's moved from being used to describe actual neo-Nazis - Colin Jordan and the British Movement, through the NF, who still had a few uniform-lovers, though the BNP (more like 1945 Labour) to UKIP (libertarian Tories). The only common denominator - not wanting open borders.

"REAL advisers. Ones with actual power within the operation"

Like Nick Timothy? You can see how hard it is even for those in power to get the staff. Blair had Campbell and Mandelson - evil but brilliant.

Don't write off Corbyn. Because of his views on Palestine, he faces internal and external opposition of the sort that Blair and May never had. Yet so far he's come out on top.

Interesting times, alas!

Anonymous said...

PS - I have some sympathy for Nick Timothy's views on "intergenerational equity". But in terms of practical politics that manifesto was a disaster, and I said so at the time. Always a good rule not to kick your base in the nuts.

Thud said...

Hungary...I was having breakfast.

Bill Quango MP said...

Anon. Leaders are leaders. There are plenty of number twos. In all senses of the phrase.

Bolton is a good example of why populists have to be sparky. He is no Farage and I doubt he will do more than stop the disintegration that occurred post Farage. However, when I have heard him, he sounded just the right sort of voice and calmer policies to move ukip on.
But the party base don’t seem to like him. They want an evangelist preacher. Not a manager. He could have been the “ wise counsel to the empower Nigel.

Lord F. Ukip was Farage. Divisive as he was, he was the driver. Without him...well....look at the BNP. Disintegration into oblivion.

Sackerson… you are of course, correct. And it seems silly to complain that someone who is deliberately outrageous to get attention, can’t be more moderate. But there must come a time, surely, when the leader thinks, what do we do now? How do we do it. What can we achieve? What is the goal? Otherwise it’s all just noise.

The original “populist”, Clodius, Tribune of the plebs, almost had Rome in his grasp via an amazing ground game. But his constant feuding, dangerous demands and personal attacks eventually ensured a mortal spear through the shoulder on the Appian Way.

Bill Quango MP said...

ND. Thanks.
I think we are lucky it’s Kommisar Milne that has the ear and door of the Great Leader. And not someone good.

On business leaders an interesting subject is economics in ww2. The US free market approach to war demand. The UK state direction of private enterprise. The German’s competition for resoursces and contracts with a dose of corruption. The soviet state control of state enterprises. Or the Japanese military control of private enterprise.

In terms of success, the USA model was the best. Truly visionary and ultra capable business leaders. Bill Knudsen and Henry Kaiser.

Dominic Cummings, a truly excellent insurgency political leader, and Brexit winner, is now wrapped up in the NASA men and women. And they are also outstanding visionary leaders. Hopefully he will discover the pre and WW2 production line geniuses and write about them too.

L fairfax said...

@Bill Quango MP
I am not 100% sure that Farage was UKIP. In 2004 they did well and everyone thought that it was Kilroy's party - if Farage had worked with RKS (and many others) then UKIP would have done a lot better

Bill Quango MP said...

Matt ~ no. As I said, they need good ones. Top political people are like top premiership goalkeepers or strikers. There just aren’t that many.
And in the world class category, just a handful.
The amateurs are never going to attract them. Unless they already believe or see the future possibilities as a reality.

Thud. Those Eastern European nations are much more nationalism. Amazingly, in Hungary, there is popular support for closer ties with Russia.
That s closer ties to their former oppressive overlords of just a generation ago. Quite incredible. And the EU should do something to stop it. Not, as was the case with UK, keep forcing them towards the door.
On trump, we will look at him on his own merits.
To me, he is just a massive disappointment. Not because of what he has or hasn’t done. But because of how he has or hasn’t done it.

Trump had the Democrats beat. Won states no Republican should have considered winning.
Now he has Alabama going to the Democrats.
Unique circumstances that may have been. But it’s an indicator of the shallowness or his roots. The old order will be back before you can say impeachment. And it will be his own fault, because I believe his popular support, among his own core, is as high as ever.

Bill Quango MP said...

Anon1137 - very good points. We have long accepted here the evil genius of Mandelsin and Campbelll. Two proper star players. And blair himself.

One thing we haven’t mentioned at all, is Thatcherism. The middle bit. The successful, home owning, transformation of a nation. On a populist wave of support. Where does that fit in?

As for Timmothy and Hill. Be assured, when I say get in top advisers, I mean Mandelsin, Crosby, Campbell. Rumsfeld.
The super elite of hidden machinations.

Thud said...

Trump never wanted to back the Alabama idiot but at the last minute it was our guy or theirs kind of thing.Alabama will end up back in the GOP camp in 2 years time by some margin. Donald tweets, drives the left crazy and then moves on with his agenda as they shreik about non events such as nuclear button, his unconventional approach is still wrong footing everyone. Another supreme court judge or maybe two and his legacy will be cemented in place for a generation.

Anonymous said...

Bill Quango MP: "Suffice to say most thought him unfit before he became President. "

Those that oppose Trump largely supported Jeb Bush. What more does one need to say about the 'most' you speak of, without resorting to expletives?

Bill Quango MP: "And they have been proved right. He is unfit for the office."

Firstly, no, they haven't. And after one year, it's too early to say.

Bill Quango MP: "Ukip was Farage. Divisive as he was, he was the driver. Without him...well....look at the BNP. Disintegration into oblivion."

Which is one mark of a crappy leader, no line of succession. Another, he was such a divisive leader, that when he left, there was nothing but a hollow shell, which has promptly collapsed.

Anonymous said...

Bill Quango MP: "He is unfit for the office."

What has Trump done wrong?

Well, not much. He has disengaged the US from Syria, and let Russia roll up ISIS. Clinton would have enforced her fatuous 'no fly zone', over a country who's legal government had invited Russia to assist it fight in a US proxy war.
A war the US was fighting against the legitimate government of that country.

That would have let to a direct confrontation between the US and Russia. Probably just what Clinton and Saudi Arabia were planning.

We now have practical proof that it was the US that was providing succour to the insurgency in Syria. The US disengages, ISIS collapses and Russia starts to withdraw.

If Trump is successful in reigning in the 'deep state neo cons', he would have done an extraordinary service to the West.

Anonymous said...

Bill Quango MP: "Won states no Republican should have considered winning.
Now he has Alabama going to the Democrats."

Fer Christ Sake Man.

The loss in Alabama wasn't Trump, or Moore, it was bloody Mich McConnell and the RINO establishment.

They did more to **** up the Alabama vote than anyone else.

And by the way, another reason to be thankful for Trump. Do you for one second think the goings on in Hollywood ( one of the biggest donors to the Democratic Party ) would have been exposed had Clinton won?

Not a cats chance in hell.

Frankly, watching that nest of vipers eat crow was worth the election of Trump by itself.

Anonymous said...

And lastly, Clinton's legacy:

Slave markets in Tripoli.

Utterly shameful. She should be defenestrated from the top floor of Trump Tower.

Bill Quango MP said...

The reason I say The Donald is unfit for office is because of his behaviour.
The tweeting is weird. I know he has to combat the unprecedented hatred he gets from the liberal media, but he is an ass about it. He doesn’t just counter, but inflames situations. He is teenage about his responsibilities as the premier world leader.

Jerusalem, I’ll advised.
Veteran baiting? What! Remember Obama getting his supporters to calm down when someone said something they didn’t like. That might have been staged. But even so, it was extremely presidential. Obama understood thst a large part of his job was just being President, doing what people expected Presidents to do. And he was very good at it.
Not so good at actually doing stuff. But good at appearing to do stuff.

Confidence and leadership is the job.

I will look at Trump in a future post so you can have a bigger say. And for the record I thought his speech as president to the Pennsylvania steel workers was as good at hope and change as anything Obama did.
The crowd were almost falling at his feet in gratitude for his words AND deeds about the pipeline.

And this is my complaint.
He could be the real deal. He could turn the politics around so someone IS putting America first. Ie American citizens first.
Much as I’d like them to do in the uk. Put the welfare, jobs and security of your own, first.
Then worry about profits and rights and welfare for everyone else.

Trump was elected to do this.
He spends too much time dickin around. His team has been dysfunctional from. Day one, well it would be. But on Day 400 and it still is ? What is going on ? Why can’t he stay focused for five minutes.

If he could bring some prosperity and pride back, he could get that second term.
I think it’s beyond him. He had more than enough enemies before he became president. Why does he seek out new ones each week?
He has enough to do.

Thud said...

BQ, what he does and says may have something to do with his rather particular personality but putting aside his strange mannerisms look what the tweeting does. It sends individuals,governments and organisations crazy.They over react to his tweets and he meanwhile moves on with his agenda such as giving state land back from federal authorities while his enemies go crazy about some minor inflammatory fluff he has tweeted.....there is indeed a method in his (feigned) madness. As for his personality and manners, sooner him and his leftie baiting than the poisonous murderous snakeoil from everybodys fav Obama.

Anonymous said...

"Remember Obama getting his supporters to calm down"

No, I remember him bigging up Black Lives Matter, resulting in a dozen dead police officers and several hundred dead black people in Baltimore/Chicago/St Louis, as police retreated from proactive policing (because they knew the state no longer had their back but would hang them out to dry - see Officer Darren Wilson) and the gangs took full advantage.

It's true that in our natural disappointment at Trump not building the Wall, deporting illegals etc (see Netanyahu for how to do it), we are liable to forget that HE IS NOT HILLARY CLINTON, and so ISIS is dying, and the US is not at war in Syria, Iran or Ukraine.

Anonymous said...

Think I'm with Thud on this. Trump may be vain, brash and inarticulate but he's rooting out corruption, upholding the constitution and protecting American interests, which are the primary requirements of any leader. Contrast with a certain 20th century leader who had charisma, cared passionately for the arts and the environment and who loved children and animals - Hitler.

CityUnslicker said...

well, I am going to struggle in 20187 to match this quality of output BQ!

Anonymous said...

Tried proofreading, CU??

Anonymous said...

"So its likely the established order. Left and right social democrats. EU Federalists. Republican and Democrat big beasts will continue to survive and rule."

There is another factor, 'thanks' to the ignoble policies enabled by the "big beasts" have let it out into the fold and it is also "populist", but not much about it is democratic more theocratic shall we say.

"populist" I baulk at the term, when popular opinion is in direct opposition to the received 'wisdom', and when common sense is suborned, nay sacrificed on the altar of poliical correctness and you sneer at populist opinion then you are part of the problem mate - not the solution.

Anonymous said...

AnonX: "and you sneer at populist opinion then you are part of the problem mate.."

Populist is the snearing term the establishment applies to people that still think it's possible to change the system through democratic means.

Anonymous said...

From the Guardian, the day after Trump included Sweden as a country where immigrant terrorism was rife.

“According to the 2016 Swedish Crime Survey, crime rates in Sweden have stayed relatively stable over the last decade, with some fluctuations. In 2015, there were 112 cases of lethal violence, an increase of only 25.”

The bedwetters would have flowed live on air if they could have reported a rise in a uk crime statistic of 25%. But they were full on defending the Swedes and vilifying Trump.
Then a few days later that lorry mowed down a crowd of shoppers in Sweden and the liberals stopped mentioning Trump’s words.

Bill Quango MP said............

He's a dick though - right?

Bill Quango MP said...

He is.
It doesn't make him wrong though.

Ravenscar said...

"He is.
It doesn't make him wrong though"

Thus, a dick who is a populist and speaks the TRUTH - when compared to clinton him and her, obarmy, broon, bliar or camoron.

who are the dicks?

i remember another 'dick' wiping the floor with clegg in debate, he'd have done the same with camoron if dave had any spine, which plainly his wife had removed - for her hand to go up his backside.

I ask again, who are the dicks?