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‘Temporary Populism’ in the UK

highest peak in British populism represented by BrixiThat is, the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. As of February 1, 2020, London is no longer an organic member of the European Union. This radical decision came after a referendum held in June 2016. On that occasion, 51.89% of voters chose to salute European institutions. victory Brexiteers It has been defined by the mainstream media as a “populist victory,” a label designed to belittle, or at least demonize, a predominantly popular position, as opposed to the interests of the major economic and financial elites.

Many surface populist analyzes considered the main cause of the earthquake that shook the United Kingdom. In fact, this political phenomenon is only consequence It would not have been burning deep in British society for decades. Increasingly dilapidated democratic institutions, pronounced economic inequalities, now unsustainable disparities between the center and the periphery, the deterioration of the labor situation in general (from the point of view of the majority, i.e. those belonging to the lower and middle classes) and, Last but not leastAnd crime and immigration to make the ideal scenario for the evolution of populist phenomena. However, British populism can be considered special, or at least different from other populism found in the rest of the European continent.

Populism “temporary”?

British populism is a strange phenomenon. there and not there. That is to say, for decades now, it has never had any outlet consisting of organized political formations, except for those that have expressed opposition to the dumping of British folk traditions in a context such as the European and Continental European,” explained political scientist Marco Tarchi, one of the most important experts In the field of populism, Professor of Political Science at the University of Florence.

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From this point of view, the Brexit phenomenon can be considered populist, but with a very specific reservation, i.e. it is “populist only and exclusively to the extent that some arguments are used to arrive at accurate resultNow that Brexit is a reality, what will be left of British populism? Will it continue to resist, clinging to new themes, or, having lost its beating heart, will it lose its weight and relevance?

Tarshi commented, “In an unexpected era – I wrote it ukibe (The United Kingdom Independence Party ed), while addressing some typical themes of populism, including immigration, embodied populism at the moment. In other words, once the desired outcome has been reached, this political formation will not have “the driving force to get its message across”. And, as the recent elections show, this is indeed the case.

uncertain future

A large portion of the British electorate is politically active when it comes to voting in the European elections. The reason falls within the particular context in which the UK finds itself (goes). We have said that the populism that developed in London and its suburbs often waved a very specific banner: British traditions against a European Union that is seen as more urgent and inclusive than ever.

It is no coincidence that a section of the British, British and partly Welsh electorate, Tarshey emphasized, voted or voted for the Farage party, exclusively on the occasion of the European elections, noting a non-secondary aspect. After Brexit, such parties are no longer in the European Parliament, and therefore “even this kind of vent It no longer exists.”

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what about municipal level? Can we imagine a new local popular phenomenon? ‘Given the importance ofimmigration, and the perceived difficulty of assimilation by a large part of the growing immigrant population, cannot be ruled out. However, at the moment I see these hypothetical populist phenomena more related to the phenomenon of circumstance than to the possibility of creating a populist movement.”

Johnson’s role

It is impossible not to make an in-depth overview of the figure Boris Johnson, Leader of the British Conservative Party and current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. If the image of Johnson in the pre-Covid era has repeatedly been associated with Brexit – on the other hand, he was and still is a supporter of Brexit – with the outbreak of the pandemic, the British Prime Minister has spoken in his own name for the announcements and containment policies he is implementing His government to stop the state of health emergency.

From “getting used to losing loved ones” (in fact the meaning of his statements was much more complex than the summary that appeared in media headlines) to choosing to announce the roadmap that would lead to the liberation of London, Johnson was mired in it. , through thick and thin, from Events Politically uncontrollable. “At this point – explained Tarchy – Johnson’s public image has ended up at the mercy of epidemic phenomena that he can (and cannot) control except in a marginal way.” On the other hand we are insuffrage era, and also in the case of Johnson, a very specific phenomenon can be observed: “The shift of a part of the electorate, in favor or against the Prime Minister’s figure, is associated with the results that at a given moment indicate that the management of a pandemic.”

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In other words, in the collective imagination, if contagion goes down, the credit goes to Johnson; If they increase it is always Johnson’s fault. But what will it be future Politician Boris Johnson? Tarchy is convinced: “As long as these vicissitudes do not end, in my opinion, his future cannot be predicted. However, the moment will come – it is assumed – when the Covid epidemic will not be of any importance now. At this point, Johnson will have to prove that he has other cards to play ” . Talk of the benefits and harms of Brexit is likely to return. Opinions on this issue have been and continue to be mixed. “Of course – concluded Tarchy – the upheavals initially envisioned did not occur. But we still do not know whether there will be positive or negative repercussions from an economic point of view in the medium term.” Much of Johnson’s future, and more generally, will depend on populism. British on this.

Earl Warner

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