In this double interview, Aurelien Mondon and Aaron Winter look at Brexit and Trump as *white* phenomena rather than working class revolts. They argue that the ‘working class’ narrative grew in recent years and it has uncritically suggested that the far right has become predominantly supported by the working class, while this is not the case. The first step in the creation of this narrative has been to ignore the role of abstention in the working class. In turn, the working class has become increasingly represented as the white working class, ignoring its diversity. Therefore, Mondon and Winter claim, those pushing these agendas are not only legitimising racist ideas, but also encouraging classism in an extremely condescending manner. This also obscures that in both cases (Trump’s election and Brexit), the bulk of the reactionary vote comes from the wealthier parts of the population.
A new interview addressing many thorny issues of contemporary democracy. Left-wing populist movements across the globe, malfunctions of representative democracy, the dialectic between people and politicians, horizontal and vertical dimensions of populist mobilisation, the potential democratic renewal inherent in forms of direct democracy, the future of social democracy. This, and much more, in a fluvial chat with Giorgos Katsambekis.
POP finally interviewed Hans-Georg Betz, one of the major experts of populism. He has been professor of political science at various North American universities (Marquette University, Milwaukee; SAIS, Washington; York University, Toronto), and author of several books on radical right-wing populism and numerous articles and chapters on the radical right, populism, and nativism. Currently he teaches political science at the University of Zurich.
Since more than twenty years prof. Betz studies American and European populism in historical perspective. For this reason POP asked him to link the present situation of intolerance, racism, and new walls, with the roots of nativist and illiberal populism in the 19th century. This is particularly important because it allows to understand under which socio-economic situations populism and nativism become successful, which lessons we can learn from past populist outbursts, and what can be done to contrast them. Enjoy the read.
This is the second part of Laura MacKenzie’s article about Brexit. In the first episode she presented the two opposing factions and the key political figures. Today she analyses the key arguments of the leave and remain campaigns. In the meantime, former London mayor Boris Johnson declared that the EU – as well as Hitler and Napoleon – is trying to unify Europe under a superstate and to bring it back to the golden age of the Romans.
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) May 17, 2016
Politics is ultimately a numbers game, and the figures just don’t add up 
On 23 June, British voters will go to the polls to solve a very large maths problem. The United Kingdom is currently in a battle over its identity as a European nation, and both sides of the debate are clamouring for attention and support. However, no matter how convincing the arguments; no matter how witty the speeches; no matter which celebrities sign up to which campaign; the ‘Brexit’ battle will, ultimately, be won on numbers.
When faced with the question on the ballot paper, “should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?” voters will respond by asking their own question: do the figures add up?
Latest polls (Ipsos-MORI) suggest 25% “may change mind” ahead of UK-EU referendum. The issues they say might do it-> pic.twitter.com/b4UEGTNPKp
— Matthew Goodwin (@GoodwinMJ) May 12, 2016