Politics is gradually starting to look more and more like a football match. The Euro 2016 is firstly being played by thugs, lashing out in the stands and the streets. What a strange game it is!
The same goes for politics. The populists have launched their own attack on the European Union, with blatant lies, outmoded and even racist slogans and sickening arguments. Everywhere across the continent, extremists, nationalists and movements against the elites are finding an easy target in Europe, which to their mind is solely to blame for the anger expressed against their leaders. Again we find idea-crushing thugs leading the way.
The UK, an exemplary parliamentary democracy, has just fallen victim to this thuggery. Extremists have succeeded in inflaming the referendum campaign to the point that a mentally sick individual felt himself obliged to take action. A young MP died because of it.
For centuries Europe has been the heart of discovery, invention, the arts and enlightenment. Five centuries of seeking new horizons, spreading and leading ideas and thought. Surely it has to be the rapid changes ongoing in the world that are frightening Europeans into believing in their decline and loss of power. But this is far from certain. The 28 have the highest GDP on the planet, they represent the leading force in terms of trade, and in 2016 have nearly the same growth rate as the USA – Europe’s citizens have the best living standards, healthcare and protection.
But to maintain this lead, the complex nature of interdependency, the change in power balances and high speed technological progress are pushing our leaders, whatever their political leaning, to implement policies that are almost equal in terms of austerity, unplanned effort and quite simply economic and budgetary severity.
Populist response feeds on this with a kind of violence unseen in the last 70 years. It is verbal, outrageous and sick. It is infecting minds, it is becoming physical either by accident or as we drift into it.
Before it is too late and before it is out of control we have get a grip. We have to show the thugs, even though they are determined to destroy ideas that they are not going to run the show. It is time for the builders of ideas to return. Rather than commenting on Europe’s difficulties, which are in fact common to all democracies, the leaders of Europe must build, suggest, take the initiative to kick-start the European engine, which has stalled because of their indifference. Everything is in place for this to happen – we are aware of the priorities that can bring solutions via greater cooperation between Europeans. Of course they involve the economy and also security. This is what we expect!