Hope is powerful, anger causes change. The establishment should take heed of the growing resentment
Whether it be on the continent, here in the UK or across the Atlantic in America, the ‘status-quo’ that has ruled for decades is being violently destroyed. Built on supporting each other from within and on a vast network of allies, the establishment is finally unravelling and bringing down those who have relied on it for continued power.
It is being destroyed by a widespread feeling that no major party can stand up for those who are suffering under staggering unemployment and a struggling economy.
In Greece unemployment is at 25.6 per cent. In the US 47 million people are living in poverty. Whilst here in the UK there are 421 (there were only 20 in 2010) food banks, with 900,000 people using them each year.
These people feel neglected and angry, their hope of achieving success is being destroyed by the establishment, and their new aim is a destructive one. They see the EU as a failing project that has failed to resolve their problems. It hasn’t offered enough jobs, money or homes. Instead there has been a 35 per cent jump in the suicide rate in the last two years of austerity for Greece, and sadly the future looks even more depressing. The establishment is offering no solutions, instead, voters see it as accommodating the rich and caring more for migrants while their own jobs and livelihoods are being threatened. These voters are angry.
This anger and lack of hope is the cause for the present right-wing uprising. It is not a surprise that 48 per cent of Austrians voted for the extremist party. It is not a surprise that Donald Trump has won the Republican Nomination, and it’s certainly not a surprise that Marine Le Pen and other Eurosceptics are growing in power across Europe.
Voters accept the risks that come with these extremists; why wouldn’t they take them, after all, they’ve got nothing to lose.
Voters see hope in these extreme alternatives, and that new sense of hope is being shared across the Western world.
And yet the EU continues on a path to further political union, ignoring that a third of its population want to destroy the project. In the US supporters of Donald Trump have been branded as racists and bigots. Instead of offending these critics, the establishment would do better in trying to understand them because then there is at least the chance of resolving grievances.
Whether or not Britain votes to leave on June 23rd, the feeling of hostility against Europe is growing rapidly and is arguably unstoppable. Eurosceptics are growing in size and power; even in the EU’s heartland that is Germany, the AFD won two previous regional elections. I can only hope that as the EU refocuses once more on issues of national identity and refuses to give so much emphasis to immigration, that its critics will turn away from violent protest and instead use the power of democracy.
If the EU continues to ignore its critics that feeling of neglect will only grow — as will the anger. And it’s that anger that could take Britain out of the EU, elect Donald Trump and destroy the European Union.