The Pudding Club Pontifications
More Populist Than Popular
Pudding Club members ponder about populism and in particular whether it’s popular with all the right people.
Lord Noes, General Alarm and Sir Rah Sera lunched at the Club last week on escalope de veau and a really quite agreeable Fleurie Clos De La Grand’Cour.
“I say” said His Lordship “what do you make of all this populist business?”
“I don’t think it’s as popular as people make out” opined Sir Rah
“On the other hand” reasoned the General “the movement that has brought statesmen like Nigel, Geert Wilders, Trump and Marine Le Pen to the forefront of world politics has gained overwhelming worldwide support especially from people who have never been able to understand politics”
“It’s certainly true” observed Sir Rah drily “that Nigel’s populist efforts could produce the same sort of effect on the British economy as Trump has had on that Syrian airbase”
“The only problem I see with populism” commented the General “is that it’s not as popular with Old Etonian types as it is with the rank and file”
“Perhaps” suggested His Lordship “that’s the result of the rank and file not being able to perceive that the only merit of populist policies is their popularity with people who don’t understand politics”
“Wait a minute” exclaimed the General “if it wasn’t for populism this country would be destined for a future bedevilled by bureaucrats in Brussels whose immigration policies would have resulted in at least half the world’s population benefitting from our National Health Service by 2030”
“I believe the General may have a point” conceded His Lordship “I’ve always been concerned that the way things were going the UK could one day be run by a populist movement among Eastern European immigrants”
“The funny thing about the EU” asserted the General “is that it’s one of the world’s leading promoters of populism. People are always likely to revolt against their lives being run by those boofhead bean-counters in Brussels”
“The trouble with populism” declared Sir Rah “is that its popularity depends on people with limited mental capacity failing to appreciate that Trump and Brexit have the potential to cause diabolical disasters of a dimension that would make the GFC look like a book-keeping error”
“Look here” cried the General “Nigel, Boris and I all support the new populism and no-one could possibly accuse us of being two brandies short of making sense”
“There is no possibility” conceded His Lordship “that Old Etonians like you and Boris could be short-circuiting intellectually but I must admit to having doubts about people like Nigel and Trump who promote a non-Etonian form of populism”