World News: Boris Johnson, Populism and The Political Reality

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Confronted with poorly understood political realities, the populist discourses championed by Boris Johnson and Matteo Salvini face the complexity of the national and European institutional systems they are fighting. Let me explain.

Just like Matteo Salvini, Italy's former interior minister, Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, has stepped on the carpet of populism.

Thus, in order to force the House of Commons parliamentarians to accept an exit from the European Union under conditions that frightened more than one side of the Channel, Boris Johnson must now assume resignations and defections in cascades, answers to a too radical policy towards Brexit. (Read lemonde.fr:)


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However, behind this political crisis lurks all the ideological emptiness of populism defended by Boris Johnson or Matteo Salvini.

Only relying on decontextualized social realities, often distorted and crudely assented to as absolute truths, both leaders of European populists managed to convince a segment of the electorate, porous shortcuts intellectuals and politicians, sensitive to the limited visions of societies in which they evolve and globally poorly informed because they are not well versed in the political debate.


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But, brought to power by the same electorate, populist parties are now, like others before them, faced with the imperative need to manage a state, not in isolation and cut off from the world, but immersed in a complex that must be understood with accuracy and with which it is naturally necessary to compose with harmony.

Disappointments and Future Action

Hence the disappointments of the electorate concerned, which does not understand then the political maneuvers engaged and results different from those promised during the election campaigns. The exit from the European Union should have been posed as an ultimate alternative preceded by negotiations aimed at redefining Britain's role in the whole of Europe and not as a single objective without post-Brexit ambition.


The British Misunderstanding

To this day, Boris Johnson, like Matteo Salvini, anxious to establish their political influence, have, as often in such cases, resorted to institutions seeking to provoke early elections on the pretext that the situation in which they find themselves hinders their future action so much hoped by their constituents. In reality, this institutional manipulation has the sole purpose of gaining maximum time in order to prepare the public for a "yes but ...".

Limited in their respective discourses and unable to propose a long-term political vision because based on preconceived ideas and archaic prejudices, the populisms of Matteo Salvini and Boris Johnson collide, or even crash, the wall of impossible autarky. Does this mean that one and the other are now to be put in the jolts of History?

Seduction and Weakening

Only the future will tell, but the intellectual ease offered by populism, more precisely the populist discourse, still retains a powerful ability to seduce people frightened by the effects of globalization, convinced that the past had more advantages only disadvantages, that a solitary existence in an adjacent set is preferable to a melt-up existence in a set where each one exercises responsibilities defined collectively.


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And nothing, except the education which remains a cask of the Danaides, cannot thwart populisms, even if they are reduced to their simplest political expressions.

For the time being, Boris Johnson as well as Matteo Salvini, admittedly both weakened by the circumstances or the errors committed, remain threats within the European Union which cannot be released from all responsibilities because the malfunctions from it also nourished and still nourish these closed and hermetic discourses.

 

 

Bio: Olivier Longhi has extensive experience in European history. A seasoned journalist with fifteen years of experience, he is currently professor of history and geography in the Toulouse region of France. He has held a variety of publishing positions, including Head of Agency and Chief of Publishing. A journalist, recognized blogger, editor and editorial project manager, he has trained and managed editorial teams, worked as a journalist for various local radio stations, a press and publishing consultant, and a communications consultant.

 

Ref: https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2019/09/08/brexit-la-ministre-du-travail-demissionne- nouveau-revers-pour-boris-johnson_5507800_3210.html https://www.lesechos.fr/monde/enjeux-internationaux/jean-yves-le-drian-en-visite-a-moscou-pourinsuffler-de-la-confiance-1129875

*Image of PM Boris Johnson secured from UK Government Assets file

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