The Brexit debate has uncloaked five new sets of battle lines

28 June 2016, 19:14
Sherif Hasan

Winners and losers of globalization at odds

The dominant theme of the past three decades is globalization. It's meant open borders and open trade.

The backlash is here.

The Labour Left vs the Latte Left

The wedge looks like it's immigration but it's really political correctness. The Latte Left has made it impossible to have adult economic conversations on some topics. You're either "all in" on immigration or a xenophobe. There are a whole host of social issues where the Latte Left is righteous and overstretched. A family uncertain about its future isn't going to battle for transsexual bathrooms.

Even battling foreign money was seen as racist but the left-leaners in Vancouver are having second thoughts as they commute from distant cramped condos to their ivory tower jobs.

Urban vs rural

Globalization might be the trend of the past 30 years but urbanization is the trend of the past century. The cities undoubtedly have the power but rural areas still have a voice and it's increasingly at odds with city dwellers.

Working Man Socialism vs Champagne Socialism

The struggle between companies and workers has been supplanted by those trying to regulate everything. The battle for higher wages was abandoned for endless legislation with environment at the top of the agenda. Workers were happy to go along with environmentalists when it was a pet project but the poorly paid guy in the dusty mine or factory isn't going to support a party that only cares about the air in Copenhagen.

Social Right vs Corporate Right

Corporatism doesn't have many allies. Trickle down economics is a punchline and that's why stock markets will struggle in the decade ahead. The traditional ally was the social right but they're increasingly at odds. The flashpoint is Wall Street, which is seen as morally bankrupt and is virtually friendless.

Political Insiders vs Political Outsiders

Political experience is no longer an asset, it's a liability. Distrust of politicians is high and rising. The idea that change can come from within the ranks of the political elite is dead or dying. This is probably the most dangerous battle of all because slick-talking wildcards are about to seize power.

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