• George Stothard

Are we getting a fair deal?

An angry Hillary Clinton speaking in response to the FBI email investigation

We’re seeing huge social and political disruption in the developed economies.

We're in an age of social unrest and in almost every western country, there is a growing battle of ideologies between conservatism and liberalism. What has caused this?

Is it what some commentators call untrammelled globalisation. Has global free trade left people behind? This argument has some legs - it may partially explain the election of Donald Trump by blue collar workers. And, it explains the importance of the China/US tariff war. This raises serious questions about the moral aspects of economic policy: is globalisation fair? Does global free trade serve us well as global citizens, or does it threaten the essence of the nation state? Who are the winners and losers?

And, what about the politicians? Are they being fair?

One thing that most might agree on is that we are seeing a very angry form of politics emerge. In the home of Parliamentary democracy, the UK, a seeming refusal to enact the outcome of the Brexit referendum has caused enormous social upheaval with 'leavers' and 'remainers' pitted against each other. Families are being torn apart, friendships destroyed and politicians are fleeing their political parties in anger.

When a nation is asked to vote on its future - and politicians appear to be attempting to reverse the result - we have to ask if we are being treated fairly? Likewise in the USA, the fair and legal election of a President has led to riots and a war of words between belief systems that are increasingly polarised. Is it the case that we now only respect the democratic result we like and to hell with the rest?

Vitriol between citizens - and politicians - has become unseemly, leaving less room for compromise. Are we now being led by a generation of politicians who lack that very basic tenet of fairness and mutual respect? Have today's leaders lost the art of gracefulness? Have we rejected fairness in favour of entrenched ideology?

As Donald Trump launches his 2020 re-election campaign and Britain attempts to put in place a new Prime Minister, we can only hope that somehow our leaders - and our friends and family -can begin to treat each other a little more fairly. However, with Brexit looming and a slowdown in global economic growth, it may be a tall order. May the blame game begin...


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