The following is a guest post by the Rev Dr Peter Mullen, Hon. Chaplain of The Freedom Association.
The word – well, at least the polite word – most commonly used by the Remoniac establishment for Brexiteers is “populist.” And suddenly I discover there are populists everywhere.
Saturday's The Independent reported: “Two populist, Eurosceptic parties have reached an agreement to form a government in Italy, the Eurozone’s third largest economy, setting up the single currency bloc for a possible new crisis. March’s national elections in Italy delivered a hung parliament, but also left the virulently anti-immigrant Lega Nord and the radical anti-establishment Five Star Movement as the two parties with the most seats. After a week of intense wrangling, the leaders of the two parties – which have sharply divergent outlooks in a host of areas – announced on Friday that they had agreed upon a common programme.”
Great! – who said there’s never any good news!
Certainly The Independent doesn’t like it. Look at some of the other words the newspaper uses alongside “populist”: “virulent” and “anti-establishment” for example.
(You’d never get a reference in The Independent – or any of her sister red sheets – describing a “virulently pro-immigration” party)
Suddenly the word “populist” is, so to speak, popping up all over the place. In Hungary, Mr Orban’s sensible, patriotism is dismissed as “populist” – and that’s when Orban is not being excoriated as as a “fascist” or damned as a “Nazi”
Elsewhere there is the “populist” Geert Wilders, founder of the Dutch Party for Freedom which has long warned of the threat posed to The Netherlands in particular and Europe generally by massive Muslim immigration.
And in Britain UKIP and unreconstructed Tories of the old school – but are there any left? – are always dismissed as “populist.”
So I pondered long: what and who is a “populist”?
There’s a simple and straightforward answer: a populist is someone who is very popular – but who is thoroughly disapproved of by the left wing papers and the BBC
All views expressed in contributions by named authors are their own and may not reflect the views of The Freedom Association.