Tuesday, 06.12.16

“Us vs Them” How the Left wins back ground lost to the populists

The FES London in cooperation with the International Group of the Fabian Society organised an panel discussion to compare the German and English perspectives on the common challenge of rising political populism.

Traditional political parties, particularly centre-left and social democratic parties are significantly affected by this phenomena. Experts from Britain and Germany together with Hilary Benn MP, chair of the Exiting the European Union Select Committee, explored the drivers and common features of rising populism as well as the role of left. The discussion highlighted that consensus on many of the defining values of the centre-left parties seems to be eroding.

The centre-right has co-opted much of the language of social mobility and equality. Furthermore, the traditional parties have left the argument on immigration, the EU and identity to populist parties. The event provided the opportunity to present findings of the the so-called "Mitte"-Study of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung to a British audience, which is carried out every two years to study how widespread far-right and misanthropic views are among the German population. It shows how many potential voters the populist party Alternative für Deutschland (Alternative for Germany) could attract in upcoming elections.

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