Widespread disaffection, income-inequality, Brexit and Donald Trump – will it get better?
I sense that summer 2019 in London is going to be a disruptive hell.
Climate change protests in April were both extraordinarily polite and extremely annoying. Annoying, in that they’ve made protest acceptable; the middle class Tarquins and Jasmines found their arrests praised on social media, their sense of concern for the planet lauded by school chums and teachers alike – they now feel empowered to find more things to whine about.
And to be honest… there is plenty to be angry about. The threat of climate change is just one. Environmental degradation is another. Let’s add a few more issues to the list: how most people are barely getting by on their incomes, rising middle-class use of food banks, street crime, drug and knife crime, rising poverty, poor education, the struggling NHS… I haven’t even mentioned Brexit frustrations (probably best not to). And in June, we have a Trump state visit – board up the shop fronts!
It’s not just the UK. All around the globe, we can feel a rising level of dissatisfaction with just about everything. Markets feel it. Politicians feel it – hence the need to be seen praising a 16-year-old Swedish school-kid for blocking our streets. There is clearly something in the air telling us a disturbance is coming.