Ascendancy of the Tree People – witness Brexit, Trump, EFF…

By Alec Hogg

Most of us have been amazed at the massive swing in political allegiances worldwide. Not so Charles Gave, chairman of Gavekal Research, who wrote earlier this year about a phenomenon re-establishing itself: the age-old battle between Tree People and Boat People.

As one of Gave’s admirers, Deon Gouws of Credo, pointed out in our interview this week, after decades of ascendancy the Boat People (well travelled, broad-minded globalists) are in retreat. The Tree People (stay-at-home, internally-focused localists) are rejecting grand schemes that promote global integration because, to them, they haven’t worked. So the Tree People have been clawing back power.

The trend is evident in the Brexit surprise; a resurgence of the Right in Europe; the elevation of Donald Trump to a credible POTUS candidate and, in South Africa, mushrooming of a decidedly insular EFF. Whether you like it or not, Tree People are now in the ascendancy. The pendulum swung too far. It is now correcting.

Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters party, raises objections before being evicted from Parliament during President Jacob Zuma's question and answer session in Cape Town, South Africa, May, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters party, raises objections before being evicted from Parliament during President Jacob Zuma’s question and answer session in Cape Town, South Africa, May, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

From Biznews community member Ken Barron

The problem with the Boat people is that they have too many hangers on and freeloaders. You can’t keep taking out of the petty cash box, you need to refill from time to time. They do not reward hard work and innovation. While the Tree people know that they can’t keep destroying all around them as they need to live in that environment – they can’t just bugger off somewhere else. Having said that, there is a need for balance all round and, as we all know, the pendulum does not ever settle in the middle, it swings from one extreme to the other and this is the swing that most common sense people (mainly older and more experienced eyes) have been expecting for some time. Who knows what the outcome will be – I doubt anyone, but someone will get it right and will be hailed as ” extremely knowledgeable” but basically no one is able to predict the future…Right?

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