Charles Moore

Why won’t the BBC call ‘Mexico’s Corbyn’ a populist?

Why won’t the BBC call ‘Mexico’s Corbyn’ a populist?
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The career of the new President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (‘Amlo’), suggests he is a populist. He jumps from party to party and ends up founding his own. He advocates price ceilings for tortillas. Disputing his defeat in the presidential election of 2006, he proclaims himself ‘legitimate President’, wearing a presidential sash. Yet the BBC — with the honourable exception of Justin Webb on Today — avoids calling Amlo a populist, attributing the word only to his enemies (‘His critics call him a cheap populist’). This contrasts with its ready application of the word to Trump, Orban and Salvini. Amlo, of course, is left-wing, and the three just mentioned are not.

This is an extract from Charles Moore's Spectator Notes, which appears in this week's magazine