A fervour for the fringe

Boaz Shoshan

A colleague has just informed me he’s put a bet on. Not for money either. If England win the World Cup, he’s going to get his first tattoo: the three lions crest, with “thirty years of hurt” in bold beneath it on his forearm.

Things are heating up. It’s great to see people bind together over the World Cup rather than argue about Brexit. This is a temporary respite – further political polarisation seems inevitable. In fact, my colleague then joked he’s worried that people will judge his political affiliation by the tattoo.

Eoin Treacy calls it the end of political centrism. Whatever England’s performance in the World Cup, the pendulum is swinging towards a balkanised future, of splinter groups and radical politics. As more Brexit drama unfolds, political opinion becomes ever more divided. We are being pushed further and further to the fringes.

In a way, this is good for us at Southbank Investment Research, as we stand very close to the edge of finance and investing. But I think it’s a tragedy that we are all so consumed and divided by politics and the actions of politicians these days, something we individually have very little control over.

And further political division is on the way, courtesy of demographics. Millennials will make up almost a third of the electorate by our next election, and nearly half of these folks have gone to university and loaded themselves up with debt. Meanwhile, older generations want all of the retirement benefits they were promised. Somebody is going to be left short-changed, a problem we focused on in a recent issue of Zero Hour Alert.

But I’ve a question for you: how has politics become such a large part of our lives? What vacuum is it filling? I’d love to know your thoughts: boaz@southbankresearch.com.

I have a theory it’s due to the decline of the nuclear family and Christianity in the UK, but I’ll have to save it for another time. I’m just off to record the next episode of The Gold Podcast with John Butler. Gold is a fine investment for such trying political times, and John loves it so much, he’s written two books on the subject and now runs what is effectively a precious metals bank: the Lend & Borrow Trust Company. I’m keen to pick his brains on all things shiny, and where he thinks the world is lurching – keep an eye out for it.

In the meantime, forget about Brexit and enjoy the semi-final!

All the best,

Boaz Shoshan
Editor, Southbank Investment Research

Category: Brexit

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