It seems to me that there's a common problem across a variety of different countries and political systems at the moment that I call "populist gridlock". That's where the existence of populist parties or factions makes it difficult even for non-populists to get basic business done.
One example was in the recent-ish struggle in the US House of Representatives for the Republican Party to get a Speaker elected. A faction in his party didn't care enough about an even minimally functioning system that they were willing to gridlock the process until their demands were met.
But in a completely different system and country, in order to keep the populist/fascist AFD party out of power, Germany has been forced into a series of unwieldly coalitions: either three-party or "grand coalitions" of usually-opposed parties. Before the rise of the AFD, governments were usually formed of coalitions of fairly ideologically-aligned parties who could carry out a coherent programme. It's harder for the more ideologically diverse current coalitions to agree on things.
In the UK there seems to be yet another instance of the problem in the Conservative Party. The current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak theoretically enjoys a large majority. But in practice he can barely enact any policy and is constantly forced to retreat by his own restive and rebellious party.
So I think there is a distinct problem posed by right-wing populism quite apart from keeping them out of power. Even when out of power, they're capable of gridlocking any significant policy changes, just by holding a sufficient plurality of the votes that the remaining political powers can't enact a coherent agenda.
What I'm Reading
Read The Lives of Christopher Chant by Diana Wynne Jones to the kid. One of the Chrestomanci series of juvenile fantasy novels, covering the childhood of the Chrestomanci we've already seen. A young boy with distant parents in a dysfunctional relationship has a series of adventures.
I don't think I ever read this one as a kid and to be honest I think I enjoyed it as much as he did: Good story, good world-building, good characters and a good... or possibly bad... cat.
What I'm Reading
Rivers of London Vol. 1: Body Work by Ben Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel. Spin off comic of the "Rivers of London" supernatural crime series. Decent story about a haunted car. Generally liked the art though Inspector Nightingale looked way too young for me. Will look out for the others, decent light entertainment.
Isolating with COVID. Feeling pretty down though I'm over the worst now. Might be because I'd stopped masking a few weeks ago after losing my glasses on the bus in the usual dumb juggling act. (None of the anti-steaming advice works on me and my huge nose, please don't tell me to wrap it tighter around the nose or give one twist to the ear straps or whatever). Fed up with masks, fed up with COVID, fed up with everything.
History. Roman army collared vulture mascots.
Business. Why should I care?
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