By Graham Vanbergen: Trust is
in crisis all around the world. The four key institutions of trust in
democratic nations in business, government, NGOs, and media has been in
decline for years. So much so that the majority of respondents to the Edelmen Trust Barometer
now believe that the overall system is simply no longer functional and
therefore does not work for them. Globalisation is under threat,
meanwhile, trust in government has collapsed.
The consequence to such an environment of suspicion is that people’s concerns over globalisation,
the pace of innovation, employment prospects, immigration and eroding
social values are turned into fear. And fear-factor politics has become
endemic. The consequence is evidenced in the rise of political figures
such as Donald Trump, the rise of extreme political parties across
Europe, the collapse of establishment politics in France, the failure of
the Italian referendum, Britain’s unexpected EU referendum result and
then the Theresa May election debacle. All these events are inextricably
linked because they were all decisions that were fundamentally driven
by a lack of trust.
The Barometer revealed nothing less than a malignancy sweeping
across democratic nations in the west. Trust in the media is now at an
all-time low. Government is now the least trusted institution in half of
all 28 nations in the survey. Even trust in business leaders has
collapsed globally, plummeting in every country studied – whilst right
at the very bottom of the survey results, government leaders retain the
title of least credible.