If truth be told, very depressing. The prospect of either Trump or Clinton becoming President of the world’s greatest “democracy” is enough to cause everyone to have severe nightmares.
What will happen to the stock markets, the money markets and everyone’s livelihoods? Who knows? The energy markets are a mere bagatelle in the scheme of things.
Indeed, what are the lessons for the UK in all this?
One has to ask the question of how we’ve come to this situation where the whole of the Western world, or so it seems, has lost faith in politicians to such a great degree.
At every turn political initiatives are challenged so severely and aggressively that there is no positive outcome possible. Governments are in such a mess that in many cases it’s not even possible to understand what a positive outcome looks like.
So what’s the problem?
I’d guess many of the political processes are based on models from previous eras – take the House of Lords, for example, as a truly unrepresentative and increasingly worthless piece of baggage which delivers little but angst. Most establishment organisations, even the Bank of England, have been subject to political interference at some points.
The wider problem is the massive degree of separation between our politicians – and I mean that in a global sense – and the will of their people – the electorate if the country is lucky enough to have one.
People are now so disengaged with politicians both in the UK and much of the Western world that something pretty drastic has to happen to put things right.
The fundamental is surely that politicians don’t listen to what their electorates are saying & and that needs to change rapidly.
Energy is a classic here, whereby the industry has been spelling out what it has wanted for decades but has been massively let down by successive governments who have palpably failed to implement legislation which captures the requirements of industry and commerce at a practical level. Energy efficiency, rather than supply-side tinkering, should have been the order of the day. But no, we still get the repeated views of those who’ve had their chance and delivered either the opposite of, or way below, the standard everyone wanted.
Why is this important?
All of us depend on incomes to maintain our lifestyles. Major upheavals in the financial markets grossly affect our investments, incomes and the future of organisations with which we associate and work for. The loss of faith in politicians and the governments which result have an inordinate influence on our futures and yet… We’ve lost interest because we’ve been let down so many times already.
There probably isn’t an immediate panacea but if there’s one thing for sure – it’s not to disenfranchise, as some of the “wiser elite” advocate, those amongst the population who “aren’t qualified” to vote. This is a certain recipe for revolution on a far wider scale than the Brexit, or possibly the Trump, revolt and with far wider and more serious implications.
The whole political system is in the greatest need of change since the 1832 Reform Act, failure to do so will have huge consequences for those countries which are unable to see the need to radically change the way they operate.
Let’s all see how the world looks this time next week and revisit our views…
Mervyn Bowden is the MD of Intuitive Energy Solutions.