On the 20th January Donald Trump was sworn in as President of the USA. Coupled with Brexit it’s a perfect storm for those of a liberal bent. Although there are those who say the liberal thinkers brought it on by ignoring a large and growing segment of the population. During his campaign President Trump didn’t mix any words or take any hostages. He knew who he was appealing to. His selected team also seems hard line.
Some elements of his platform sound interesting. For example the large scale transfer of work overseas. For many years we’ve congratulated ourselves on reducing our carbon footprint but there has been quite a piece of illusion about it. Our heavy industry has been moved to Asia and they’re pumping out the carbon instead. We haven’t stopped buying steel products and expensively processed aluminium. We changed where it’s coming from. President Trump is claiming that he’ll bring jobs back so that the decimated cities can fire up their mills. Maybe the mills won’t be just as they were, but that can’t be too bad an aspiration.
The Brexit voters are of a similar ilk. They largely came from washed up areas like Burnley and South Yorkshire where large areas are still living in the shadow of the 1980’s industrial cut backs. You may wonder why no government since then did anything about it. Partly it was because those people were too quiet often not voting at all until the EU referendum came along and gave them something that actually spoke for them.
So here we are President Trump and Brexit moving not the goalposts but the whole playing field. Will it change the post war tide or are they figments of a changing world. Is the tide going out in the west and rising in the east. Every now and then there is a correction to the flow and we think things will change but normally things settle back, will it this time?