Kevin Maguire is Leading Britain's Conversation.
10 November 2016, 11:27
James Explains Where 2016's Political Shocks Have Come From
James O'Brien explains why saying you're unhappy with "the way things are" isn't a good enough reason to vote for Trump or Brexit.
Lots of Trump and Brexit voters say they're unhappy at "the way things are". That is not a good enough reason to voe for those things, explain James O'Brien.
James was continuing to react to the shock election of Donald Trump as US President, but dragged Brexit in to his analysis of why people in 2016 seem determined to vote for "change".
"A couple of texts are saying 'James, you're finally getting it. Do you realize how...'
"No, I've always got it. I've always got it.
"You're really unhappy with the way things are, course you are, I've always said: you're blaming your life on somebody else, which is an unkind way of putting it. I'll stop doing that."
He continued: "But, you say you are unhappy with the way things are.
"To be confident that change will be better, that's where I come in to say: where do you derive your confidence? What are these laws we won't have to worry about? Where is the money going to come from? What are the factories that Trump's going to build?
"'You don't understand how unhappy we are with the status quo!'
"Crikey I do! Of course I do! No-one's less happy with the status quo than I am. I live in a country where I step over homeless people on the way to work every day and walk past six food banks on the way home.
"Three food banks on the way, unless I get off at Hammersmith. So that's the reality. I hate the status quo, I hate it."
But James had to wonder how voting for Donald Trump or to leave the EU would salve that malaise.
"I don't see how voting for a billionaire or indeed voting to leave [in] the European referendum is going to make me more financially secure. I wish I could.
"Maybe if you're really really unhappy about it and you have swallowed the three Ms: there's a Muslim, Mexican, misogyny sort of argument as the reasons why we're not as well off as we think we should be. Because of foreigners or gay rights or women's rights or whatever it may be.
"Maybe if I swallowed enough of that then I'd just think: 'I don't care, I just want it to be different. I don't care whether it's better or worse. Maybe it'll be even worse than it is now, I just wanted to be different!'
"And that I suspect is where 2016 has come from."