What's an Elite to Do? The Threat of Populism from Left, Right and Centre



Anthony Painter's report for Policy Network correctly describes populism as a ‘democratic argument’ which sets up a morally pure ‘people’ against vilified ‘elites’, in binary opposition. This is an argument which is increasingly prominent in political discourse, whether the elites in question are political, financial or technocratic. Painter focuses on the now-familiar ‘radical right-wing’ version of populism, as reflected across Europe in the rise of parties such as the UKIP. He omits discussion of other types of populism (of the left and centre), which perhaps represent the future for populist politics.