There are strong parallels between Brexit in the UK and the rise of the anti-establishment popularity of US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Richard Harris, the Chief Executive of Port Shelter Investment Management warned that the Brexit vote was a forerunner of this global anti-establishment phenomena.
Referring to the current anti-establishment move as a 'big political revolution', he said: "For a hundred years, the battlefield was simple: between left and right, poor and rich, blue and white collar. The old left have now become irrelevant because the digital economy has made the labour heartland in coal, steel and agriculture largely extinct."
Harris said this has now been replaced by the two new extremes of rich and poor — the mega rich and the broad, reasonably educated middle class struggling to improve their lot."
He noted "this is why a very wealthy man who is hypocritically prepared to insult women, religions and foreigners is able to get as much traction in the United States as a presidential candidate. Donald Trump is a thin-skinned bully who confuses slogans for policy and takes political debate personally."
He describes Trump as "an angry attack dog who speaks to the hopes of the middle class as a force for change." Harris highlighted the fact that the establishment had enjoyed life for far too long on a lot of money and low interest rates, which he says, favours capital over labour.
"The middle class buys capital but sells labour. They are not lefty socialists, as proved by the failure of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn, but they are looking for a cut of the action," Harris adds.
He noted that the desire for change had allowed dictators in the 1920s and 1930s to be voted in and that they remained in power through bullying, xenophobia, nationalism and aggression.
"Such forces will impact relations across the world. Our future stability rests on just how much unknown change the middle class in the US, France and Germany really want — and who is able to capture that mood," he adds.
Trump victory will make Brexit look like a Sunday School tea party
Writing in the South China Morning Post, Harris said: "A Trump victory will make Brexit look like a Sunday School tea party."
He warns that Hillary Clinton's greatest chance of defeating Trump is if he attacks "yet another grieving mother and ends up being impeached even before he reaches the ballot paper." He pointed out that the Republicans can ill-afford many more embarrassing political gaffes.
"It may be 'Donald being Donald' but a few Trumpisms in the wrong direction could wreck half a century of peaceful diplomacy and world trade freedom," Harris said.
In backing Clinton, he attributed her "lengthy and long lasting list of enemies" to the fact that she is the "unacceptable face of the establishment. "Yet in a position of leadership, she proved to be an extremely successful foreign minister (and how many people over 50 knew what an email server was five years ago?" he asked, in reference to the on-going controversy over Clinton's emails.