One signal feature of this uprising is that the impetus to make change becomes more important than any consideration of what the change means in practice. The things political leaders, riding this wave, say can be wildly out of kilter with normal rules of political conduct; but none of it matters. What matters is the revolt is happening and whoever happens to catch the wave as it rises will be born aloft on its force.
By contrast, politicians who make reasoned arguments of a conventional kind merely irritate, arousing an impetuous dismissal at best and contempt and derision at worst.
There is a stack of debate as to exactly why this is happening: stagnant incomes amongst parts at least of the working and middle class; people just managing to get by who feel marginalised; communities disrupted by economic change; immigration for sure; a reaction against the seemingly relentless force of globalisation.
Social media is in my view a huge part of this allowing movements to grow at scale and speed, fragmenting the media further, and creating a new world of information which has no rules of objectivity attached to it, allowing any and every conspiracy theory to stampede and trample the slender little facts standing impotently in their way.
In a country like Britain in the old days – ie around 20 years ago when I was first fighting elections as a leader – the BBC main nightly news had an audience of roughly 10m; today the figure is just over 2.5m. What was one conversation is now many, often people with the same views talking to each other.