We Don’t Believe You

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In this dramatic new book John Redwood gives us fresh insights into why the populist movements and parties have been winning elections. He looks at how the experts and narrative pushed out by the established elites on both sides of the Atlantic have met with disbelief as well as with strong opposition. He shows how great parties have been all but destroyed as election winning forces as new movements and people sweep them aside.

From the establishment himself as an expert and a member of one of the traditional parties, he seeks to show how the sensible elites adjust and respond to new moods and new ideas instead of confronting or denying them. In too many cases a rigid and unhappy elite just keeps shouting back the same things people do not want to hear.One of the worst features of what is happening is the inability of the two sides to understand each other or to work together. The establishment shows scorn for the populists and keeps reasserting the same policies and attitudes as if nothing had happened. The populists show they do not believe the analysis let alone the prescription of established institutions and governments, and seek to sweep them all away.

Those parties and institutions which listen and change can survive. Those who continue to ignore the trends like the Greek socialist party, the two main French political parties and the Italian political establishment find themselves no longer wanted in the democratic politics of their countries. Can the main institutions of the western world adapt in time to the new mood?

John Redwood is a leading commentator on world economies. The author of books on the Euro, Popular capitalism, the global marketplace and the credit crunch, he sets out in this exciting new analysis for Bite-Sized Books the impact of austerity economics and the banking crash on societies and governments around the world. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls College Oxford, a regular contributor to newspapers and the media, and a frequent lecturer on economic topics.He brings to this book the past experience of leading a couple of international manufacturing businesses and his work as a financial innovator. He was an early advocate and expert on privatisation and third way financing of public services, and set up an investment business to pioneer dynamic passive investing. He has been a Professor at Middlesex University Business School.

He attempts in the book to look at the role of experts, who are themselves often on the wrong end of populist criticism. He concludes with the establishment that expertise is a good thing when genuine and well used, but agrees with the populists that some consensus expertise on economics in recent years has peddled dangerous doctrines and false forecasts to the detriment of our well being.He sees the populist revolt extending further, unless the establishments adjust their scripts and seek to understand better the forces they have unwittingly unleashed. Why didn’t they foresee the banking crash? How could they not understand the rise of Mr Trump? Why were they taken aback by the hostility to austerity economics? He himself predicted the economic damage done by the European Exchange rate mechanism and forecast the market meltdown from the banking crash. In short this new book provocatively and soberly creates a challenging new perspective on recent global political developments – and will inform the continuing arguments for years to come.

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