THE RISE OF THE MAVERICKS.
Donald Trump will be the Republican’s Presidential nominee. Bernie Sanders is giving Hilary Clinton a real fright in the race for the Democrat’s nomination. Jeremy Corbyn astonished the commentators with his victory last year in the Labour leadership contest. The Austrians have just chosen a radical green candidate for President over a far right alternative. The middle of the road Austrian parties were nowhere to be seen.
All this tells us that there is deep disillusionment with conventional politicians. People don’t believe they have the answers. Why is this? I think the underlying economic reason is that Europe and North America are mature economies now. The post war boom when we dominated the world is long gone. Children will no longer be richer than their parents because the easy economic gains are no longer available. The global economy means that developing countries are, rightly, taking a bigger share of the cake. They are building the ships, finishing textiles, producing the raw materials. We have to focus on sophisticated added value goods at the high end of technology and intellectual property.
Economies are subject to global forces. No individual politician can promise to resist. Their power is diminished but they keep on promising and disillusionment has set in. At the moment the party system in Britain remains intact but it is not fit for purpose. We need a four party system in England, not two. Conservative right, Conservative left, hard left and a centre left could end the frustration people feel at the moment.
More immediately the American political system is under strain. Donald Trump should really be running as an independent, the Republican Party may not survive his candidature. Sanders styles himself as a socialist. Perhaps America needs a Corbyn type party to offer a radical alternative to what many young American Democrats regard as the uninspiring position of Hilary Clinton.
Finally we must acknowledge that a contributor to the disillusionment is the internet and social media. It is right and welcome that there is a much wider discussion and scrutiny of politicians. It is also true that the commentary can be ill informed and destructive based on a belief that anyone in public office is on the make or self interested.
The current EU debate with its increasingly aggressive tone and overblown claims won’t be helping our increasingly fragile politicians.
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BOMBING SYRIA?
Do you remember the huge debate over whether we should bomb Syria? The Prime Minister got his way. Reporters were dispatched to Cyprus to see the first planes fly out, then silence. Are we still bombing? How frequently and to what effect? The media caravan does move swiftly on.
DOMESTIC SEASON NOT “DONE AND DUSTED”.
The coverage of the Premier League really is disproportionate in our media. Division 1 and 2 is particularly badly covered. BBC Radio Five Live have been running a promo this weekend saying the domestic season is done and dusted. Well not for the Green Army it ain’t.
I support Plymouth Argyle who are off to Wembley on Monday for the Fourth (let’s call it what it is) Division Play Off Final. 40,000 members of the Green Army may be there with a sizeable contingent from AFC Wimbledon. How much coverage will we get in the national papers and on Radio Five Live?
Not much if the coverage of our semi final duel with Portsmouth is anything to go by. Over thirty thousand people watched the two legs between these old dockyard rivals, yet barely a mention on national radio and TV.
The nation will want The Wombles to continue their fairytale rise to play Milton Keynes (let’s call them what they are) in Div 3 (let’s call it what it is) next year, but I’m hoping for victory for the Green Army.