Douglas Carswell

12 JAN 2017

Davos elites still don't get that they're the problem

"Anti-establishment sentiment" may reflect "a threat to the democratic process itself", according to the World Economic Forum. Does it ever occur to this Davos elite that they might be the problem?

This year's Global Risks Report, which the World Economic Forum published yesterday, ostensibly identifies pitfalls for the global economy. But much of it just seems to highlight threats to the rule of people like them.

The report complains that "when moderates point to public debt and overstretched monetary policy as constraining room for manoeuvre, they can be portrayed as patronising." Would these be the moderates who presided over the financial crisis – and bailed out banks with taxpayers' money?

It laments that "historically, relatively small numbers of media outlets provided a widely trusted common foundation for national debates", but now "the media landscape is characterised by fragmentation, antagonism and mistrust". Apparently, we should miss the days of media cartels.

It proposes that governments tackle the "cultural challenges associated with immigration" just by "getting better at communicating change" – as if the only problem is that establishment politicians haven't propagandised enough.

Solutions to the world's political and economic problems aren't going to come from the crony clique that created them – and has most to gain from perpetuating the status quo.

But equally the answer is not just to overthrow this governing elite, and replace it with another. We need a system that prevents oligarchy from emerging in the first place. What would it look like? That's what my new book aims to set out.

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