BREXIT – the 5 ingredients of Populism

We’re finally in Brighton. Today I’ve been walking about flyering a little bit while enjoying the city at the same time. Given that yesterday I woke up at 5 am and didn’t go to bed until 2 am of the following day I’m feeling a bit weak, to say the least. In any case, I’m taking 5 minutes of my time to jot down another post.

So, guess what happened last weekend? The European elections were held.

If I had I told my British friends just three months ago that Britain was going to participate in this event, and that a new political entity named The Brexit Party was going to give a good bash to good-old Conservatives and Labours they would have thought I definitively had to slow down with red wine.

But, let’s face it, reality always beats imagination and if you think this guy in the picture is just being a little bit silly…

…then what do you make of this one?

I won’t tell you who this person is, for you to find out…but guess what he wants?

All I need to tell you is that he’s been around since 2007 (yes.. that long), and that if you had been driving around in France in the past few weeks, like I did, you would have seen this pretty face on posters just about everywhere.

Mind, I’m not passing a judgment on either on them. All I’m saying is that 5 years into the future events in mainland Europe may surpass the current chaos in Britain, making it seem, in retrospective, nothing more than a little spat.

Good news is that we’ve seen this before. A lot of people compare what is happening today to the 1930s but if you are fond on history you would see a pattern that is more similar to events that occurred at the end of the 19th century.

Almost anyone has heard of the big crash of 1929, but how about the great panic of 1893? (if that date rings a bell you can refresh your memory by following this link).

During that period in the US a new party quickly rose to the spotlight threatening the conventional power of Democrats and Republicans. Its name was the People’s Party, also known as ‘The Populists’

In a nutshell these guys wanted a curb on immigration, more social justice and limit the excesses of unrestricted laissez-faire capitalism, especially with regards to banks and financial institutions. Sounds familiar? This is history on the making and it’s happening not only in Britain but pretty much all over the so-called Western World.

Try not to jump to conclusions, therefore, but imagine the people depicted above as holding a wooden spoon and wearing a uniform made of a toque blanche and a white double-breasted jacket. As every master of the culinary art all they want to do is to serve you a most delicate and sophisticated dish.

After all, once the ingredients are in the bowl all you need is a talented chef.

And what are these ingredients? You may ask . Going back to 1893, here’s a plausible list, tick if applies to your country:

1 – a major financial crisis
2- a sever inequality in the distribution of wealth
3- the idea the the so-called elite is a gang of corrupt individuals
4-a surge in immigration
5 – a demagogue

So, if you are British I wouldn’t panic that much. The situation may seem depressing at first. But as far as cooking is regarded, I’m afraid I have to say that Britain really doesn’t stand out. Indeed, in mainland Europe you may soon see a good share of chefs that just can’t wait to start working in the kitchen.

Brexit is playing on 31 May to 2 June @ Rialto Theatre, Brighton
(link to the show on the Brighton Fringe website)