'Lack of Leadership' to Blame for U.K. Riots?

Former British Parliament member John Browne says vacuum bred frustration, resentment


NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": So, is the world fried? Unrest in Europe is spreading. It all started in Greece and Spain, now England, not to mention growing financial jitters in the likes of France and Italy.

The reason for all the craziness may vary, but my next guest says there is one constant through it all: lack of leadership.

John Browne with Euro Pacific Capital, a former member of the British Parliament.

John, good to have you back again.

What is going on? You just think it’s a lack of...


CAVUTO: ... someone coherent in charge? Is that it?

BROWNE: Oh, no, it’s not just that. I mean, that’s part of the thing, of course.

I think there’s a huge feeling that there’s a lack of leadership that politicians are out for themselves, they’re out for big business, big bankers, and they’re making hardworking people pay for it. They’re spineless, weak, unpatriotic, and they basically have created an atmosphere of great uncertainty politically and economically, of great frustration -- people that have good educations aren’t able to get jobs -- and tremendous resentment over the European Union, where the British people have been pulled in totally undemocratically.

Mass immigration causes problems, and multiculturalism, which is seen to be failing, and of course most of these riots are having in -- happening in multicultural areas. And that breeds huge anger, anger at the abuse people feel that politicians are subjecting them to.

And it only requires a spark to turn that into riots.

CAVUTO: You know, I never remembered...

(CROSSTALK) BROWNE: You know it’s rather like...

CAVUTO: Go ahead, John.

BROWNE: Well, in the old days, when I first went to Wall Street, the firms were owned by partners who owned the business and invested their money.

It then spread into managers who used their customers’ money to gamble. And that was one of the root causes of the trouble on Wall Street. And this has happened in politics in both our countries. It was once a calling, where people gave their time to serve their nation.

Now they’re in there as a career for big monetary reward and privileges. Think of Obamacare. We’re all subjected to that high-cost thing, but the members of Congress get a special deal, not in it at all. And that creates great resentment and frustration.

CAVUTO: That is well put.

BROWNE: Same in England.

CAVUTO: Well, you know what I see also, John? I see governments and a lot of political titans and even those in the business community continue to kick the can down the road, but in concert this time, and that’s what worries me.

BROWNE: Yes, it’s a sort of a vested interest.

And the problem is that we’re under the dictatorship of the parties, as Jefferson so brilliantly put it, because in England and America, you’re elected by pretty fair means into Parliament or Congress as a representative of the people. But once you get there, you become a delegate of the party and you do with the party says, or you use -- you lose your very rewarding and pension-protected career.

And that’s what puts – that’s the problem with our democracy, is that the politicians have become delegates of the parties. And the parties are greatly removed from the people and are only -- only interested in their power and buying votes.

CAVUTO: We have very few seconds left here.

What do you think happens here? Where does this all lead?

BROWNE: Well, it leads to -- it’s rather like the debt situation. It’s a huge problem.

And now we face a recession in -- in America and in Europe at the same time as we’ve got to cut back on the debt. And that’s a very, very difficult problem. And we have underneath not a -- not a population that says, my gosh, just do the best you can, but you’re doing an awful job, and we want you out the moment we can get possibly you out.

CAVUTO: All right.

BROWNE: And that’s a very difficult situation for all leaders.

CAVUTO: For all leaders is right.

John Browne...

BROWNE: And it means trouble. I mean, I have often said...

CAVUTO: All right. Thank you.


BROWNE: ... civil unrest is a problem and a result.

CAVUTO: Indeed. Thank you, John.

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