Douglas Carswell; “Politics in this country is a cartel”

By Daniel Willis (Published May 31 2017)

“Politics has never been more unpredictable. An insurgent mood is shaping the debate not only in Britain, but across the Western world.”

These are the words of Douglas Carswell, the former Conservative and UKIP (United Kingdom Independence Party) MP who after helping Vote Leave make Brexit a reality – has published his first book, Rebel, which explains the rise of political insurgency across the west and the root causes behind what Carswell calls, ‘the rise of the new radicals.’

“Politics in this country is a cartel. Its rigged in the interests of the established parties, who have short circuited our democracy” Carswell says.

 Douglas Carswell has been an MP since 2005, when he was elected to represent the Harwich (now Clacton) constituency with the Conservative Party. Carswell remained a Tory MP up until 2014, when he triggered a by-election after announcing he was switching allegiances to UKIP. He would go on to reclaim the seat as an UKIP MP in the by-election. Douglas Carswell: vote share

In a battle of the established order and populist revolts, there’s many cases where such populist revolts can regularly play into the hands of the oligarchy. As Carswell argues, “oligarchs love obnoxious populism because it makes the oligarchy seem more acceptable.

Rebel makes an argument for those unhappy and unsatisfied with the ever-growing, ever powerful political cartel in the UK and beyond. “I wanted to explain the rise of political insurgency, as someone who has been at the forefront of the revolt against politics-as-usual” says Carswell on his work.

“I joined an insurgent party hoping to break free of the cartel.”

Rebel regularly contemplates the effect in which the internet has affected political discourse, and how in many areas – the change has been positive.

“Everything the internet touches it changes.” says Carswell. “Digital democratises the process of opinion forming, overthrowing the priesthood of pundits who used to tell us what politics had to be about.” The power of online, especially social media, has enabled parties such as Carswell’s former party UKIP to increase its vote share – picking up over 4 million votes in the 2015 General Election.

Carswell first stood for election in 2001 in then Prime Minister Tony Blair’s seat of Sedgefield. Carswell came up short in that instance however the future MP would learn that reaching out to constituents over email and by working to communicate with them – he recieved a much warmer response.

“I saw the changes digital would bring a decade ago and I adjusted it to the way I did politics in my Essex constituency. It enables individual candidates to connect directly with voters, without having to go through the party machine.” says Carswell.

Another key passion of Carswell’s was the matter of the EU. A staunch Eurosceptic, the Ugandan-born MP fought unsuprisingly on the side of Vote Leave during the 2016 UK EU Referendum. With the win for the leave campaign sealed on the morning of June 24, Carswell had acheived a career-long goal.

From left to right; Labour MP Gisela Stuart, Douglas Carswell and Boris Johnson.

“I came into politics with a very clear agenda; to get the UK out of the EU.  I’ve helped achieve that.” says Carswell. Without the defection of Carswell to UKIP the success that Vote Leave enjoyed at the referendum may never have occurred. Alongside this, Carswell’s strong four parliamentary election victories have established the Clacton MP as a reputable force inside Westminster.

For Carswell, Rebel has presented him the chance to move onto a new chapter in his life, continuing to follow his passions.

“There are a million other things besides politics I want to do with my life now.  Rebel is my attempt to explain why politics is in the state it is, and what we need to do to confront the economic and political oligarchy emerging.”

To keep up to date with Douglas Carswell, follow him on Twitter at @DouglasCarswell

Share this:
Like this:Like Loading... Related