On the subject of populism in politics

The people complaining most bitterly about populism in politics are those whose political policy can be summed up as:

“We’re going to tax those bastards over there to buy you nice things. Give us your vote.”

In what manner is this not populist politics?

29 comments on “On the subject of populism in politics

  1. I like the EU voting structure: overall those who get the hand outs have more voting power than those who are the net givers. It will not end well.

  2. Populism? Populism is what you have when most people have opinions different to you. You’re right, they’re populist.

  3. What Rob and bloke in Spain said. For a man like Murphy (and in fairness much of the Remainiac and SJW press – he’s far from the only culprit) ‘populism’ is ideas to which he’s opposed which command support and ‘democracy’ is when hiss ideas command support. It’s a word like ‘neoliberal’ which has been emptied of any real meaning by being used as a pejorative.

  4. Populist politics are not left wing or right wing, being equally represented by sixth form Communists , fifth form Libertarians, closet racists and fruitcakes( to coin a phrase). Its nature is to pretend all our problems would go away if X were done , X being some emotionally satisfying but imbecilic nostrum.
    Fairy stories often state these enduring emotional needs in their clearest form.
    The Princess and the Pea , Cinderella ,in its many versions, say” If you only truly knew me , then you would value me “
    That sense of needing to be valued is important in populism which accords to the cretinous ill-educated and spiteful, the same respect we usually reserve for the experienced and expert
    Jack The Giant Killer turns on the discovery of magic beans .This rather simpler narrative dramatizes the desire to believe in magic possibilities .Once we do our poverty is failure of imagination , not the economy or society ..” Oh Jeremy” …. might just as well be, “Oh magic beans “
    I notice that politics seems to become more populist in times of hardship
    “It’s all the fault of – the blacks , the Jews, the EU, foreigners ,immigrants the elite , the rich, capitalism conspiracies …of all kinds , Islam , the Liberal establishment , scroungers, tax evaders , and on and on ….”
    As one might imagine Populism good at identifying a target for rage but extremely bad at providing a solution .
    That is because Populism is an infantile lie told to make miserable and failed people feel better about themselves.

    That, of best beloved; is what Brexit is .

  5. We have a pretty good idea about what is bad for us. We vote and pay taxes so politicians can take care of these things. We even trust them to moderate our worst excesses.

  6. Its one of those Leftist irregular verbs:

    I have a massive democratic mandate.

    You are a populist.

    He is literally Hitler.

  7. Newmania,

    I can only speak for myself, but I am neither miserable nor failed. Nobody influenced me to vote for Brexit, I have dreamed of the chance to vote to take the UK out of the EU since the 1970s. I never thought the opportunity would actually arise, but given the opportunity my vote was always for Brexit. I didn’t listen to the arguments pro or against as 30 odd years of membership had already convinced me that we are better out than in.

  8. You don’t understand that there is good greed and bad greed. Greed is bad when I want to make more money. Greed is good when I want you to give me more of your money.

  9. Populism, of left or right, is a political approach involving criticism of established elites. It waxes and wanes in all democratic polities, depending on the performance of the established elites. Some degree of populism is inevitable and necessary in democracies.

    Populism is only a problem when it lapses into demagoguery, which is the cynical pretence to empathize with the public by making unrealistic promises and by amplifying the rhetoric about some elite (e.g. the bourgeoisie, the jews) being responsible for all existing social problems.

    I’d class Trump, Farage, and Blair as populists, and Hitler, Chavez and Corbyn as demagogues.

  10. Keep digging NewFacepainter–the deeper you and your pals make the hole the deeper will you be buried. So deep –to quote a ChiCom scumbag from the Korean War “you won’t even stink”.

  11. Theophrastus lumping Tony Blair in with Trump and Farrage is bonkers . Trump , for example, opined that the only Mexicans that got into the US were rapists and criminals , he frequently talked about building a wall to keep up those of darker skin , stoked up anti Chinese resentment pretending the US rust belts could be saved by protectionism
    I was not a fan of Blair’s triangulation at the time but his effort was to drag Labour into the centre and I can`t think of anything he said or did that was either demagogic or bore any resemblance to the repulsive race hate mongering that is Trump`s speciality.

    Farrage is a populist ,true ,but his efforts to blame every woe on the EU and immigrants is comparable to Corbyn`s international capitalist US conspiracy and ( or whatever bats are loose in the belfry)?I think with Hitler , and to some extent Chavez the gulf of time and place are rather difficult to surmount , but even I don`t put Corbyn in that class of murderous tyrant , not yet.
    Your works seems to be reflected wonkily as if seen in a fairground mirror

  12. Newmania

    I am talking about spectrums here. Blair – with his endless spin, lies about Iraq, his emoting about the People’s Princess, etc – was undoubtedly a populist. I never said he was “demagogic”.

    As for Farage, he doesn’t blame the EU for all the UK’s deficiencies.

    Trump’s points about Hispanic immigration and about the Chinese aren’t unreasonable, though his protectionism is dotty.

    As for Corbyn, “For the many, not the few” is demagoguery, pure and simple. Once in power, he’d be tempted to organise a coup and suspend elections. He’s a tyrant by nature.

  13. @ Newmania
    Trump’s specialty is saying “f*** you” to the media, not race hate.
    You may be the only person on this blog who has failed to notice that Ivanka is Jewish.

  14. Wot Newmania says:
    ”Trump , for example, opined that the only Mexicans that got into the US were rapists and criminals…”

    What Trump said:
    “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

  15. Uhuh …and I daresay I have also not noticed the lengths Trump has gone to, to stick a shitty stick into the hornets’ nest of the ME by slapping Zionism on the back
    Anti Semitism and racism are not the same thing , anti Semitism is hating form beneath , racism is despising form above . Anti-Semitism is actually more typically left wing , its modern form emerged form revolutionary France and it was very much like the anti-Banker populism of post 2008 , for obvious reasons . You will find it expressed as pro Palestinian protest from within the Corbynite ranks and this is also anti American

    The Jews and the right are an interesting subject , complex nuanced changing and basically beyond a fuck wit like you

  16. Of course there is a difference between Trump and Blair.

    Trump is worried that immigrants might be rapists.

    Blair didn’t give a shit whether they were or not.

  17. “Anti-Semitism is actually more typically left wing , its modern form emerged form revolutionary France”

    Left wing hatred is so much classier, you see.

    All about hating bankers so practically justified.

  18. @ Newmania
    Anti-semitism is, and has been since before Shakspeare, all about wankers not wanting to repay their debts.

  19. @Newmania, December 29, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    I was not a fan of Blair’s triangulation at the time but his effort was to drag Labour into the centre and I can`t think of anything he said or did that was either demagogic or bore any resemblance to the repulsive race hate mongering that is Trump`s speciality.

    Wrong twice

    First: Theo said “I’d class Trump, Farage, and Blair as populists”

    Second: Blair hates British people and their beliefs, culture, history, heritage and traditions

  20. “Blair hates British people and their beliefs, culture, history, heritage and traditions”

    As his stance on Brexit demonstrates.

  21. “Blair hates British people and their beliefs, culture, history, heritage and traditions”

    The Left hate British people, their beliefs, culture, history, heritage and traditions. To the extent they deny they exist at all.

  22. I think the difference is obvious – the Labour Party has always done well when it has been led by toffs. The privately educated Upper Middle, or better, Classes. That is how things ought to be.

    Populism is when the working class dares to vote for one of its own.

    Polly is always upset because the proles are not following the Right Sort of Person any more. You know, those with houses in Umbria.

  23. I see Lord Adonis has resigned over Brexit, describing it as a populist and nationalist spasm worthy of Donald Trump.

    Some good observations on his resignation:

    Peter Bone – “It just shows he does not accept the will of the British people. The word populist is just code for saying, ’I am an elitist and I know better than the British public and the millions who voted to leave’. It’s just patronising to the public.”

    IDS – “It’s a bit rich for him to pontificate on what he calls populism, but what most would refer to as democracy, when he himself has never been elected by a public vote. He has instead relied on preferment from others.”

  24. It’s pretty obvious from his latest pronouncements that Adonis is suffering some form of mental episode and should be left alone until the men in white coats come for him.

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