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From Cameron to Clinton to Hollande to Renzi

Just over two years after they shared a Downing Street platform, David Cameron and Matteo Renzi are out of power. Credit: PA

They are tumbling like dominoes all over the rich developed world: leaders viewed as the old order, the establishment, are being turfed out or rejected, from our own David Cameron, to Hilary Clinton in the US, to Hollande and Juppé in France, to Italy's Renzi overnight.

The story of 2016 is of populist uprising all over the West, of liberal values and liberal economics in wholesale retreat.

Pretty much everywhere the underlying cause is the same, the collapse of confidence that our children will be better off than us, or even than our own parents.

The new western pessimism links Brexit, the advent of Trump, the defenestration of the French enarque elite, the spurning of Italy's technocratic constitutional reform.

Which means that the great project must be the restoration of hope.

Easier said than done.