Wednesday, October 21, 2020
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Niall McCrae: Populism Trumps globalism in 2016

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In a cramped dwelling in a remote region of Romania, a family sits around a table, but there is no time for chat. Their eyes and fingers are too busy: this is an assembly line, on a contract for a multinational company. The fruit of their toils is a batch of Kinder eggs, to be sold in our high street. And as we discovered, these rural workers receive as little as 22p per hour. Responding to the revelations, Ferrero promised action. Unfortunately caught exploiting cheap child labour, they will weather the storm and before long the village labour will resume. As companies in Western countries farm out production to the cheapest location, consumers get cut-price goods: who cares where they are made?

Until about ten years ago, anti-globalisation was a rallying call for the Left. Remember those violent demonstrations in London, with police ‘kettling’ the protesters in Regent Street? Not now. Corbynites are committed to freedom of movement (which necessarily means freedom of capital too). But internationalism is not confined to the extremes: the nation hardly exists for our rootless metropolitan elite, who regard themselves as citizens of the world. Douglas Murray tells us in Standpoint that during a showing of the silent film Napoleon at the South Bank, he was surrounded by people applauding a subtitle the General dreaming of ‘a united Europe, free of borders’. On his nearby column, Nelson must be in internal combustion.

Gazing at broader horizons, some MPs appear to spend more time on Palestine and refugees than their poor and frail constituents. It doesn’t help that middle-class Oxbridge types have been parachuted into northern seats, often through an all-women shortlist. Let’s be honest, they loathe the working class and their habits. While struggling families worry about the cost of petrol, insurance and energy bills, their leaders virtue-signal on climate change. Despite the symbolism of the miner’s strike in their perpetual loathing of Thatcher, which has led to a whole genre of films and plays (catching young minds with Billy Elliot and the wishful thinking Pride), the Left would do little to help miners today. The Guardian has a campaign ‘Keep it in the Ground’, led by George Monbiot. But for the US election, placards in Pennsylvania declared ‘Trump digs coal’. Has the Left changed sides?

Let us consider what globalisation means for ‘the haves’: –

  • Cheap clothes and consumables
  • A letting bonanza, with renovation by Eastern European roofers and plumbers
  • Cosmopolitan culture and cuisine
  • Profits for big builders and other businesses
  • More taxpayers, and more votes for Left-leaning parties

Now, what it means for ‘the have-nots’: –

  • Pricing out of local plasterers, electricians and barbers who spent years building their custom
  • Firms opening a site with fanfare, but recruiting foreigners instead of townsfolk
  • Areas changing beyond recognition, with the indigenous community feeling alienated by foreign languages and customs that deter integration
  • Overturning of planning controls, with apartment blocks looming over private space
  • Overcrowded trains, worsening traffic and pollution
  • Increasing difficulty in accessing schools, health and social services
  • Classrooms where local children are made to feel less special, as observed by Trevor Phillips when the only white pupil in a class told him ‘I’m from nowhere’
  • Condescension towards patriotism (‘little Englanders’)
  • Censorship: any complaint about the above is racist

Nationalism, however, is biting back against the unholy alliance of liberal government and corporate interests. Those steel and glass towers, either the offices of multinational companies or prime residential property often left empty by Russian or Arab investors, are a daily reminder that some are making a fortune from the globalised economy. Perhaps the liberals are simply naïve to the destructive forces they have unleashed, but the hard Left has a plan. Mass immigration and cultural upheaval are a vehicle for revolutionary fervour.

Let us hope that the new American leadership side-tracks the globalists to a shuddering halt. Trump appealed to Rustbelt voters, whose livelihood has been ruined by NAFTA. He will be expected to fulfil his promise to bring back the lost jobs. Across the West, the common people can now see what is happening, but their governments will strive to keep them down. Faith in democracy has been harmed by politicians who seek our vote and then ignore us. The most massive demographic change in history – we must not talk about it.

Obstructing the EU referendum decision cannot succeed against this mounting resentment, and will surely hasten the demise of those who have lorded over us for too long. We don’t want Robespierre, but it would be nice to see Trump tearing up the trade agreements of his predecessors. And better still – he could refuse to deal with (or even recognise) the EU.

(Image: Jim Winstead)

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Niall McCrae
Niall McCraehttps://www.conservativewoman.co.uk
Dr Niall McCrae is a lecturer in mental health.

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