(Bloomberg) -- Western countries need to “mount a fightback” against the rise of populism that’s led to Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, David Cameron said in one of his first media appearances since he quit as British prime minister.
“I think we need to rediscover our democratic mojo in the West and be proud of the fact that we are real democracies,” he told reporters Thursday at a briefing in Washington, where he’s launching a report on how countries can improve the way they provide aid to unstable governments like Libya and Afghanistan.
“The truth is you only truly defeat corruption if you have a system that has all those elements of real democracy and I think we need to mount a bit of a fightback to emphasize that these things are not democratic nice-to-haves for a strong society, but are actually key part of our long term economic success,” Cameron said.
Despite refusing to answer questions on the 2016 vote to pull Britain out of the European Union, a decision that cost him his job, Cameron said the rise of populism shouldn’t be ignored and instead governments need to make sure “people aren’t left behind by globalization.”
He also said social-media giants like Facebook are increasingly taking responsibility for their role.
“If you go back to Facebook’s first reaction after the fake-news scandal it was sort of ‘nothing to do with me guv, we’re just a tube through which people communicate,”’ he said. “Now Facebook’s approach is to say we’re very worried about this. So I think that there’s lots of challenges we face but the answer is not to ignore the rise of populism but to deal with its challenges.”
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