I am an independent political analyst, economist and author who is convinced that our politically tumultuous times require back-to-basics resetting. Including a much greater respect for the collective wisdom inherent in voter verdicts. Especially when the establishment movers and shakers start talking about “uneducated throwbacks” when verdicts do not go their way. I am equally convinced that political stability and positive growth prospects would return quickly if following a back-to-basics agenda. And that continued political and economic instability is guaranteed if failing to do so.
On a more general level I am a believer in realism and political balance rather than in the individual superiority of any political ideology. Why? Because sound politics requires balancing acts. History proves overwhelmingly that overreach follows any political camp dominating the political scene over a stretch of time. This was not only proven by the right-wingers pre-democracy and the left-wingers in the 1970s. It is also proven in real time, for those willing to see it, by today’s Centrists. If following this line of reasoning it is indeed easy to conclude that most political major problems today are rooted not in Centrism per se – but in Centrist overshoot.
This overshoot can at first be tricky to spot. Why? Because the overshoot has not followed as a consequence of either deliberate planning or widely discussed great-leap initiatives. Instead it has followed through the accumulated effect of many small steps. Individually most of these steps have usually been enacted in good faith: “Of course we care and need to do just a little bit more; no need to fuss”. Taken together, however, these actions have certainly affected society in major ways. As well as moved society way beyond a clear voter mandate. Which is why there is now controversy surrounding just about every so called progressive hobby horse. Including the EU, open borders, the cheap money paradigm, the globalist (lobbyist) economy, the gender fluidity concept as well as the “safe space” university mentality. The latter mentality implies that students should not have to be exposed to “upsetting views”. Meaning almost always, in practice, views of a non-Centrist nature. This politicisation problem within the education sphere helps to explain why, still to this day, there is little academic discussion surrounding the Centrist overshoot situation. And why students are now regularly allowed – sometimes even encouraged – to “deplatform” non-Centrists.
If really listening to what a majority of concerned voters object to it is the overshoot – and the overshoot only. Yet numerous Centrist politicians – while still not acknowledging their part in this overshoot mess – continue to insist on branding voters as radicals. Which is why we are now experiencing the deepest establishment-vs-the people divide since the democratic breakthrough.
I have had the opportunity to work within both the public and private sectors. Well-known employers include OMX (Nasdaq), Cantor Fitzgerald and the Swedish Foreign Ministry. In a consultancy capacity I have worked with corporations, think tanks or research institutes in three countries (UK, Sweden and China).
I was born and raised in Sweden and studied at the Stockholm School of Economics (M.Sc Economics). During most of the 21st century I have lived in the United Kingdom. This means I am privileged to have experienced, first-hand, not only the political debate and professional culture of two extraordinary countries; but also the way of life in a more general sense. I have also experienced how the political culture has changed quite dramatically over recent decades. The perhaps most influential general change? In both countries mentioned there was, not long ago, a uniquely strong connection between politicians and the people. Which was rooted in the fact that numerous leaders had at least partly spent their formative years on the field of practical reality. Leading to a grassroots understanding of real problems and usually also a healthy scepticism towards neat (utopian) academic theories. Slowly but steadily numerous politicians in both countries have now slided into the type of top-down-metropolitan-elite territory that typically emanates from too much armchair thinking – and is a distinguishing feature of just about every unsuccessful society. Personal frustration about this troubling development, which certainly betrays the democratic (and economic) legacy of many of our hard working and practically oriented forebears, to no small degree explains my strong interest and involvement in modern politics. In my view it is now our common duty, as fellow human beings, to do what we can to facilitate a return to the back-to-basics (grassroots) agenda that, for generations, has made it a privilege to be born in countries such as the UK and Sweden.
I am a regular contributor to the public debate in both the UK and in Sweden. I am moreover the author of two books “A State of Independence: Why the EU is the Problem not the Solution” (Endeavour 2016) and “The Role of Sweden in a changing Europe: 17 reasons for Swexit and a Fresh International Start” (Realia 2018). Both books are heavily influenced by the so called public choice school of thought. This is a school of thought which, among other things, takes the testimonies of the establishment experts with a pinch of salt. Why? Because there an abundance of proof that establishment experts will most typically, in every era, act not as establishment challengers but as establishment apologists. Not least when the establishment enters overshoot terrain. Yes, there are honourable exceptions among social scientists; but the voices of the latter are typically so few that they are easy to dismiss as outliers.
Professionally I like to think that my USP’s include hands-on realism, to-the-point communication as well as a, yes, keen awareness of the system partiality always embedded in the views of numerous also highly distinguished experts. Those experts who are often (consciously or not) called upon (and paid) to provide intellectual alibis for the line of thinking dominating in parliament. This politicisation problem is indeed why truly independent analysis – analysis produced outside the establishment web of vested interests – is often much needed.
From a purely analytical standpoint the current period of transition is fascinating. Not least while so many fields need to be combined to come close to a full understanding: political science, economics, public choice, institutionalism, history, social psychology, individual psychology as well as the field of political campaigning. When bringing the key findings from these disciplines together, something I continuously strive to do, the results can be remarkable.
I have recently initiated an international multidisciplinary Master Mind project: “Resolving Populism: How to Make Back-to-Basics Politics work”. The purpose of this project is twofold. The first purpose is to consolidate the thoughts of many of today’s real thought-leaders. Those who are not particularly interested in tribal point scoring either way; but are instead primarily driven by finding the actual truth. The second purpose is to build on the findings to arrive at a practical action agenda.
Given that the right action is taken there really should be little doubt that the future can be bright. How so? Because despite the current divide between the establishment and the people there is, even today, much more that unites than divides the majority within both camps. Career campaigners will work hard to claim otherwise, by demonising opponents, but at the end of the day the overwhelming majority on both sides want pretty much the same things. Including an intact democracy, extensive international co-operation, prudent monetary policies, gender equality as well as an honest and respectful public debate. What most arguments are about is how to achieve the objectives, not the objectives themselves. Meaning that, if we start focusing more on our mutual goals, we really can rebuild mutual respect and reunite.
This also means that we, in fact, are very well positioned to quickly relive, figuratively, the 1914 Christmas truce moment. The moment when German and allied soldiers shook hands on the battle field despite the quarrels initiated by unelected political paternalists. However, in 1914 war resumed already the following day. Why? Because all the paternalists responsible for the war where still in charge. Which is why we now need to make sure that politics is no longer hijacked by top-down-thinkers. Those who do not see the irony when exploiting the-better together argument while simultaneously treating concerned voters with, yes, paternalist condescension.
Temporarily the road has to be bumpy because strongly institutionalised opinion is never given up willingly. However, due to building voter pressure there is every reason to think that, despite all the smoke and dust, real democracy is now reasserting itself. This means that also political stability is about to be restored. Political parties rising to the task by navigating these waters correctly can in a fundamental way speed up this process.
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