Monday, April 22, 2002

Apres le deluge

An embittered old man with extensive fascist links in his youth sets up an anti-establishment party with authoritarian overtones and rocks the political establishment.

But Mitterrand wasn’t such a bad cove after all.

You’d think that after we sacrificed so much to cleanse them of fascists they’d be grateful. But, no, they go and elect one.

Firstly he’s not going to win. Turnout is going to be large and most leftwingers will find themselves voting for Chirac (if there are any French socialists reading this, you deserved this). In fact if Le Pen gets over 25% it will be an achievement.

However this has a big lesson for the liberal minded pro-Europeans (most pro-Europeans tend to fall into that category). If Britain is to embed every important governmental function within Brussels, what’s to stop the machinery falling into the wrong hands? Precious little.

Austria (junior coalition partner), Italy (two junior coalition partners) and now France – that’s a pretty bad track record for Far Right breakthroughs. I know that none of these guys could be judged to be down the line fascists, especially in Austria, but these are not marginal countries but in at least two cases are more in the heart of Europe than we are.

This may very well be a high watermark for the European right – for in the EU where are extreme nationalists going to make more gains. Belgium, the Netherlands and Ireland are the only three countries where extreme nationalists have the electoral machinery necessary for a breakthrough – and none of these countries is particularly large.

However, this may be the high water mark for this particular tide, ten or fifteen years hence there may be another tide like this. What can we do then? Nothing if we’re in Europe.

So all the Andrew Marrs and David Aaronovitches calls for a federal Europe may sound very trendy and liberal, but they may not fully intend the consequences of their silly calls.

Simply put British participation in a Federal Europe vastly increases the chances of far right control of Britain in a generation’s time.

Now, dear liberals, is that what you really want?


Post a Comment

Blog Archive