Both Corbyn and Trump are unlikely bedfellows in a political movement which is shaking the very foundations of mainstream politics, argues Peter Bingle.

We live in a world in which the dispossessed and the forgotten are fighting back. They are looking for political champions who understand their anger and frustration and are able to articulate them in a way that resonates with a wider electorate. They are no longer just prepared to be governed. They want to influence the next generation of rule-makers.

Donald Trump is the most obvious example of a political outsider who has tapped into a well of despair and anger. He is attracting support not only from people who have suffered from the impact of globalisation but also from people who have either never voted or who have stopped voting because the very act is seen as futile. What is the point?

In the UK Jeremy Corbyn is playing a very similar role. A political outsider and maverick for more than thirty years he is attracting support not only from young voters who want to change the world but older voters who walked away from the Labour Party when Denis Healey narrowly defeated Tony Benn for the Deputy Leadership of the Labour Party. They gave up on both the Labour Party and the British political system.

Trump and Corbyn are both articulating views which not only resonate with people normally disengaged from the political system but they are also persuading them that they really can shake up the system in a way they never thought possible.

These are dark and challenging times for the ruling elites who have governed unfettered since time began. As the EU Referendum demonstrated so brutally the electorate (particularly those who are having a tough time) will take any opportunity presented to them to attack the so-called ‘establishment’.  In Wagnerian terms Valhalla is being destroyed. The days of the Gods are no more.

So Corbyn and Trump are unlikely bedfellows in a political movement which is a real threat to mainstream politics. The fact that Trump is electable and Corbyn is not is beside the point. They are both challenging the very basis of what we have increasingly taken for granted. The rules of the political game are not being changed. They have been torn up and thrown on the fire.

It is not unusual for politicians to run against the system. Ronald Reagan used to talk about ‘government’ as if he wasn’t part of it. Margaret Thatcher despised not only the Tory Party establishment but any ruling elite. In the end, however, both were radical and conventional in their politics. That cannot be said of either Corbyn or Trump.

It is ironic that at a time when there is an increasing clamour for more honesty from politicians when politicians do appear who ‘say it as it is’ from their perspective the ruling elite reacts with horror. Perhaps the old saying ‘be careful what you wish for’ hits the nail on the proverbial head.

The politics of the dispossessed has a raw and sometimes crude element which jars with the normative values which we take as a given. Trump behaves and speaks in a way which has never happened before in a presidential race. So too does Jeremy Corbyn who goes one better by dressing in a manner which makes Michael Foot look sartorial!

Is the politics of the dispossessed a passing phenomenon or is it here to stay? Gone are the days when each new generation could be confident of being more prosperous than the previous. The rich are getter richer whilst the poor are getting poorer. So it is likely that the politics of the dispossessed is here for some time to come. The slightly scary thought is what happens if the candidates who represent them fail to win at the ballot box. What will the dispossessed then do? How will they vent their anger and frustration?

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