Is This the End of Mindless Nationalism?

Have we reached a turning point in the march of small-minded nationalism in the western world after being bombarded by the endless stories for years from bad men who are devaluing long-held and cherished democratic values? 

Even a few Republicans are beginning to see that there is some smoke in the room now, even though there have been raging forest fires stoked by Trump for the last 3 years!

This weekend the Austrians have also managed to vote out some rather nasty right-wing politicians. Kurz may not be everybody’s cup of tea but he has clean credentials and some thoughtful policies.

Support for Johnson has also shrunk within the Conservative Party – his remaining supporters are rich enough to stand down and scurry off to Europe from where they will run their companies, like rats running from a sinking ship! 

Both Trump and Johnson are glaring examples of corrupt men in power who want to hold on to power with whatever it takes. They are awful examples of human beings – they are pathological liars, male chauvinists, and cheats. 

Some people object to the above description of the two men because it is rather harsh so perhaps a better description would be that they are exactly the opposite of what we want our children and grandchildren to be like. That is exactly the right way to picture these two bullies.

We can see similarities of such behaviour in Hungary, Poland, and Turkey… The so called “strongmen” have done things that devalue the rule of law and democracy. 

We have also seen how right-wing nationalists like Farage, la Pen and Gauland who do little more than ride on voter popularity by inciting xenophobia in the UK, Francs and Germany respectively. 

In Sweden and Finland, we also have the “Trump/Johnson” right-wing copycats who have seen their popularity grow as they take advantage of less-informed voters with false promises of higher wages by stopping immigration or by playing down the importance of education and climate change. 

Their supporters have been caught in two painful traps from which escape is difficult without help. They have been snared in government austerity policies where they have been abandoned without proactive support for re-training and education. The new labour market needs every able-working soul to be on board, and that needs money to finance their geographical moves and re-training. Many hard-working men and women are living in houses whose market value is so low that they cannot even afford to move to towns and cities where jobs are available! ‘’

None of the right-wing parties have not worked very hard to solve that problem. At the same time income inequality has increased as big bosses take home millions while workers are being laid off or see their wages cut by 30%. That is not a recipe for smart management of the companies, of the labour market, or of the nation.

The above mentioned “Trump/Johnson” right-wing copycats, the Sweden Democrats and True Finns, have not really provided any solution except vague promises of ladders to heaven… 

After these chaotic 12years that have followed the financial crisis, it appears that voters are getting wiser to the antics of these “strong men”, who are really no better than Putin, Kim, etc. 

It is very nice to have the job of President or Prime Minister especially when you can have a big jet, a big black limousine, lavish meals, posh hotels and be surrounded by beautiful women and tough-looking security guards. They really do live in a bubble at our expense while we have the daily slog of buses, trams, taxes, and shopping…

It is probable that the next few months will start to show even bigger changes as voters begin to pull back their support for these snake oil salesmen. For the great majority of people this will be a relief to not have to see their screens, newspapers and TV news full of men in dark suits and red or blue ties lying effortless through their teeth!

At last we will see that our representatives in government are doing the job that we voted for – good management of our nation!

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