Populists say the elite is out of touch - and they do have a point

Populists say the elite is out of touch - and they do have a point
A topless Italian deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini poses for a selfie after giving a speech in Taormina, Italy during his beaches tour earlier this month Pic: Getty

Populism is on the rise, but demonising its followers is not helpful. Instead, liberals should try to understand and acknowledge the fears some people have, but not surrender to them

In Italy this month, deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini took to the beaches, topless, to speak directly to the people and spread his anti-establishment and anti-immigrant message. In Britain last week, prime minister Boris Johnson took to Facebook – suited, mercifully – to speak directly to the people and spread his anti-establishment, pro-Brexit message.

Salvini has threatened to collapse the coalition government in an apparent bid to capitalise on soaring poll ratings and provoke an election that...

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