Economics

1933

Feb 21, 2018
1933

As a country, where are we now?

As a society, what can we do?


I was recently reminded of the last few years, the geopolitics and events that have defined our collective history of this time.

  • In 2014 we saw Russia re-draw the borders of Ukraine.
  • Here in the UK we have seen labour all but destroyed, only to rise as a phoenix made real. Is the country about to lean left more so than ever before?
  • We have seen UKIP, a decidingly opposite correlation in the polls happened there. Will Farage do the same again?

Then Brexit, then Trump, which begs the question, what’s next?

 

Clearly, I have more questions than answers. The incident in Ukraine in 2014 was unimaginable to most young Europeans, it was a geopolitical disturbance which has shaken the modern notion of borders being concretely defined in Europe. It has demonstrated it is possible to largely get away with aggressive actions, even in European heartland, as economic sanctions became the mainstay of retaliation.

Since then it is undeniable that Europe has had a growing sympathy for populism the like of which has not been seen since prior to the second world war. LePen was a serious contender in France, the Netherlands similarly avoided populists taking political power, Germanys Merkel continues to struggle to form a majority government for all to similar reasons. The UK has UKIP, although the party has all but disappeared since the Brexit referendum and lack of Farage (read incompetent leadership), who seems to be touring the US on Trumps coat tails.

The United Kingdom is going through Brexit. Having been schemed up to avoid difficult choices within the conservative party under Cameron, the politicians misjudged the mood of the people to the extent of shocking the nation. The outcome was as unexpected to those that voted to leave as it was to those who voted to remain.

It seemed at first, the politicians took note – Farrage himself in mute agreement with the hard Brexit outlined by Theresa May. Since then a gradual softening of stance, and arguably backbone has occurred. Today May seems as weak and wobbly as ever, is a soft Brexit on the cards after all?

It was Trump who initially posed the biggest threat – imagine that, Donald Trump, President of the United States of America. For the same reasons as Obama was stopped from introducing universal health care, Trump is broadly stopped from well, deporting every Muslim in America? Building his wall? I dare say the list could go on, and on, and on.

What’s next? I have no idea – but we sure do live in interesting times.