Published on 25 May 2014

What price the EU, including fascists?

Imagine you went to sleep in 1994 and woke up, 20 years later, as the Euro election results were coming in.

In France, the Front National (FN), which had been stuck on 11 per cent 20 years ago, has won. The anti-immigration, nationalist right looks to have won in Hungary, Denmark and the UK. Meanwhile the Greek Marxist left, which in 1994 was just a few thousand strong, has also won, and Sinn Fein are storming various cities in Ireland.

As you rub your eyes, you wonder: what could have caused this? Has there been a 1930s style Depression? You check all available sources: in Greece, Spain and Portugal there’s been Depression-like unemployment but in France and Austria and Denmark? No. The big picture is that a global Depression has been averted.

So what’s happened?

Piecing together the evidence, this is what I think you would conclude.

First, that for about a fifth to a quarter of Europeans, consent for mass immigration has broken. And now – you struggle to get your 1994 head around this – many people are more worried about white, Christian people coming from eastern Europe than they are Africans scrambling over the fences at Europe’s borders (though they are worried about this too). For some, it’s about the erosion of traditional cultures, for others it’s about wages, others still it’s overt hostility to Islam. Either way it’s a fact.

Second, there is a gross breakdown of trust in European institutions, its bureaucracy and the mainstream parties. Even people who still vote for the centrist socialists or conservatives feel like they are struggling to hold the line. In national elections turnouts are down; corruption scandals are the meat and drink of press coverage from Valencia to Budapest and Nicosia.

Third, and specifically in France, Denmark, Hungary and Austria – there is a hunger for economic policies that protect their own country’s industries and welfare systems against the impact of globalisation. If you read the FN’s manifesto, for example, it is heavily about protecting domestic industry and the welfare system.

Finally, liberalism and social democracy look more devastated than the conservative European People’s Party (EPP).

Now, fascinating though it is to see Hitler-apologist fruitcakes elected in Poland, and goose-stepping fascists doing well in both Hungary and Greece, you turn your gaze at Britain.

What you conclude is that, for the first time in modern British politics the established party system is facing a legitimacy crisis.

It’s been amusing to see the pundits try and interpret the local and Euro election results as “four party politics”. We are at the very least in a period of seven party politics – with the SNP, Plaid, Ukip and Greens. But in reality the situation here is better described as beyond-party politics.

As I wrote on Friday, there is a culture war going on, driven by extreme discontent among a minority of people whose lifestyles do not conform to, nor their economic prospects improve under, globalised capitalism and social liberalism.

We can now see the UK situation as a very specific expression of a wider discontent across Europe. Liberalism, freemarket conservatism and social democracy are all in crisis, but to different extents.

The liberal problem in a nutshell is that, across Europe, liberals have tried simultaneously to identify with the old project of free markets and free movement – and at the same time to represent the discontented lower-middle classes. But the discontent of the lower-middle class has now moved in the direction of economic nationalism, opposition to immigration and opposition to elite politics.

Britain is a microcosm of this: the old Lib Dems always contained a minority prepared to play to white anti-immigration voters – for example in Tower Hamlets in the 1990s. Now those voters are gone to Ukip, while the progressives, students and eco-warriors – the famous Mosaic Group E that electoral strategists used to obsess about – are scattered between Labour, the Greens and active refusal to vote.

Next, Labour. As the Euro results show, social democracy is in crisis across Europe. The political reasons are fairly clear: no social democratic party has been able to break with the old globalisation agenda – but they have in addition been required to sign up to austerity, removing their ability to deliver, or even promise, a better welfare system or higher wages to offset the impacts of globalisation. In Spain, a left-social democratic party, Podemos, was created from scratch and got 8 per cent.

Meanwhile, the mass base of social-democracy is being politically and economically transformed. What we loosely call the “white working class” in western Europe always had the advantage of high social capital: the pub, the kafeneion, the piazza. In these spaces, people have not worked out their response to being abandoned in a fragmented or atomised way: it’s been discussed, debated, a new “common sense” has emerged. And what it comes down to is a large minority of them have had enough of globalisation if there are no upsides to it, for them or their children.

In a situation where social-democracy’s main mission becomes impossible – to deliver social justice within the European Union of Maastricht and Lisbon – you then get the complication of a leadership lottery. In Greece, Pasok’s leaders managed to destroy their party by ineptitude. In Denmark, a strong-character party leader – Helle Thorning-Schmidt – managed to hold the line. In Britain, you get Ed Miliband, in France Monsieur Hollande. Apart from flat leading personalities, many social democratic parties also have the problem that they are machine-administrative organisations that breed uncharismatic leaders.

On the BBC’s Have I Got News for You last month they played a cruel trick on Nigel Farage, making him classify various Ukip candidates as either “fruitcake or loon?”. If you played an equally cruel game on the European social-democrats it might be called “boring, chinless or discredited?”

Britain’s Labour Party is not finished because of what’s happened this weekend.  Indeed it is pressing many of the right buttons – on the evidence – among the Mosaic social group E – while clawing back its support in the working class heartlands of the north.

But the Scottish referendum and the conference season will be critical to its ability to look like a potential government come May 2015.

And the Euros are a reminder that, although there has been no Syriza-style left breakthrough, the Green Party vote is solidifying to the left of Labour, at 8 per cent in the UK exit poll as I write this.

Now for the Conservatives. As Conservative peer Michael Ashcroft pointed out on Saturday, the default position is quite good for Labour and quite discouraging for the Conservatives. The polling results from Thursday translate into Labour winning its key marginals and getting a small majority in 2015.

Why this is bad for Cameron is obvious if you consider his advantages: an economic recovery, some competent ministers; no major crisis (yet) in the NHS despite a massive reform programme; strong support from most major newspapers; and the aura of incumbency.

But the Tories’ poor showing in the Euro elections – when incumbent centre-right parties in Europe have done well – goes to the heart of the challenge: the natural base of the Conservative party has, for 200 years, been people who espouse patriotism, church, a big military and constrained immigration. The win predicted for Ukip in the UK Euro elections shows where many of those people voted.

Where does it go next? The most frightening prospect for the entire British centre is the attitude of the centre in Europe. It is likely that they will press on with the Euro project faster and deeper, regardless. There is no message of mollification coming from the panjandrums of the old commission, nor from the German CDU.

If the centre holds its nerve, and pushes forward to a banking union and deeper fiscal union, then whatever the policy outcome, the outcome at a level of emotional narrative will only accelerate the detachment of the discontented.

The choice for European centrist politics is clear: either tweak or jerk the Euro project in the direction that it delivers for the workers and the young or see populist parties of the left and right go on growing.

More from Channel 4 News: European elections – Everything you need to know

One final point: at some point one of these non-centrist parties is going to win an election. You can easily see the next French presidential poll being a run off between Le Pen and a centrist candidate; Syriza could well win in Greece in 2015, it’s no longer crazy to imaging Sinn Fein one day running the Irish Republic.

If a far left or right party ever gets to run an EU member state, the mere fact of it will affect how people in other states view the project as a whole. It will pose the question: do you want to be part of a Europe where swastika-waving Golden Dawn get into the parliament; where Marine Le Pen could sit in the Elysee? The Euro project was supposed to make sure the continent could never again go fascist. If European legislatures are now crawling with fascists, what was the point of that?

So pinch yourself: you have not been asleep since 1994 but like the famous boiling frog you have been slowly experiencing the withdrawal of consent for the European project by a vocal fifth or quarter of the population.

This is the night (or by now morning) the mainstream actually realised the water was getting uncomfortably hot.

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23 reader comments

  1. Evangelia Pfahler says:

    As a European citizen I am appalled on these strong right wings that they managed to gain so many votes.But I have to admit that the established parties have made huge mistakes in the last decades , so in the end we shouldn’t be surprised.
    Furthermore my family & me have experienced the anti – European policy in the UK , in the last 4 years.
    Between 2010/12 we had to fear for our lives as we were attacked in various ways in Ashford where we were living for some time . As my older daughter still studies in the UK we experience all the time the pro – British trend from the supermarkets to the school teaching, from the TV programmes to each advert praising ” British products”, British Culture & so on as nothing else exist.
    You rather import asparagus from Chile when the whole European Union produces huge amounts, A small example !
    As these election result show many still think they can live in a self sufficient UK without Europe and the rest of the world. Just think it as well when you travel or who is buying your products, or who deposits money in your banks or invests money in your educational system by paying the huge university fees.
    Do British people think they can live without Europe? French people restore the GrandNation without the friends and neighbours?
    This illusion can be a very dangerous one for all Democratic citizens!
    Wake up before it is too late , populists are waiting to seize power and destroy Democracy and the rights of European citizens.

  2. Boffy says:

    “This is the night (or by now morning) the mainstream actually realised the water was getting uncomfortably hot.”

    And because European Big Capital, and its social democratic state regimes are comprised of human beings, who now have more than 100 years experience of dealing with such situations, rather than frogs, they are likely not to simply wait to be boiled.

    In 1917, had the big capitalists been more powerful in Russia, had they had more experience, and had their political representatives within the state, and social-democratic forces like the Mensheviks and SR’s, recognised what their modern equivalents realised in Britain after WWII, they would have shot the Bolshevik fox, by offering a reduced working week, and higher wages and so on, understanding that having stabilised the situation, these minor concessions can be more than clawed back by more subtle methods.

    A couple of years ago you were right to say that the problem in Europe was that to get elected centre-right politicians had to argue for austerity policies. The reality is that social-democratic politicians didn’t have to make that argument, as Obama showed in the US. The consequence of the failure of European social democracy to show that ideological and intellectual bravery, has been the renewed recession in the UK and the European periphery, which has fuelled the rise of the Far Right, based upon the usual frightened petit-bourgeoisie, and reactionary lumpen elements.

    I suspect this is the high-point for these forces precisely because European Big Capital, whose ideology is Social-Democracy, can still pull the necessary levers, and in the end the means by which its ideology is implemented via Parliamentary Democracy is through the votes of the working-class that form the overwhelming majority of society. Expect not only the project for closer European integration to be pushed forward so as to pursue the necessary economic policies across Europe via its institutions, but an increased drive for increased minimum wages – as social democracy is doing in the US – and other moves for fiscal stimulus to reduce unemployment. Austerity is dead.

  3. Tony Cross says:

    Good article but I have some nits to pick:
    It term the “white working class” makes no more sense than “yellow female gender” (I know you hedge here);
    The UMP in France and most of the European establishment right is not “centre-right”, if anything it has moved to the right (eg in anti-Islam/minorities rhetoric). “Mainstream right” is more accurate, I think. The social democrats have moved to the right, so “centre-left” is justified but that doen’t mean the same ha to be applied to the right.
    The FN in France, and most other far-right parties today, contain fascists or ex-fascists but are not fascist in the sense that they are physically taking on the labour movement and atomising the working class, since the effects of globalisation and the evolution of capitalism in the rich countries has done that by accident. Their platform is anti-immigrant, Islamophobe, anti-EU and economically unclear, I’d say.

  4. donnie says:

    And here was me thinking that it was a democracy. All I see in this article is ‘how dare these people vote for a party that I dont approve of’.

  5. Marie Harrison says:

    The article contains some frightful info. All aspects of the political spectrum need to wake up and ensure that extremists are not able to flourish into power.

  6. Mike Hall says:

    Rather a shame Paul that whilst your star has been rising in the media & among many of the disenfranchised desperate to find a voice, any voice, with a handle on reality, you now demonstrate many of the flaws endemic in mainstream media.

    1. Over intellectualising the political thinking of citizens with a narrative that only has any connection to reality among your own talking classes. (A pretty small demographic.) Fact… humans are +rationalizing+ NOT rational, except in rare moments. That presents a major problem for journalists whose job is to try and make sense of what people ‘say’. Hence most of your apparent ‘reasoning’ here is pure nonsense – an intellectual construct with no basis whatever in reality. Much like mainstream economics that, likewise, you haven’t quite realised is simply one gigantic mountain of labyrinthine fantasy whose sole purpose is to justify the rich operating society solely in their interests by whatever means. Whilst hiding that reality with some bogus ‘democratic’ legitimacy.

    2. Your acceptance & regurgitation of the mainstream political spectrum ‘labels’ is particularly annoying. They are one of those propaganda constructs so long hammered into to public minds that even ‘progressive’ orientated thinkers like yourself still use them, well, without +thinking+. By using this mainstream label construct, you further entrench the false notion that a largely balanced & linear spectrum of political policy choices actually exists. That is to say, particularly, that the label ‘centre’ actually represents policy choices roughly balanced between the major constituencies of ‘interests’ in society. That is a gross distortion. There are only two major constituencies of ‘interests’ underlying pretty much all of politics. They are, of course, economics considerations – the interests of Capital owners who make money off money & also employing, at the minimum quantity & minimum wage possible, the other constituency – Labour, who, by definition are +always+ in the vast numerical majority, and will (can) never amass significant ‘Capital’ – ergo, they must ‘work’ for a living.

    I guess you, Paul, and all your Journo colleagues must really, really hate this simple truth, because, well, it gives you a lot less to pontificate about, which in turn isn’t much of a career move in what, possibly like all, institutions, is ultimately about self justification, not enlightening or ‘solving’ anything.

    So, what you trot out, with the rest of the ad nauseam brigade, as the ‘centre’ of some ‘full’ spectrum, isn’t any kind of balanced fulcrum point, but a carefully nurtured charade. The ‘centre’ – whether with ‘left’ or ‘right’ adjective added – has for a very long time, if not always, actually represented the interests of the Capital owning elites. Not hard to figure – they are financed by these elites. And if further proof were needed, their behaviour during the last decade of economic crisis has demonstrated unequivocal proof of this, when actually put to the test of having to divide up a diminishing pie. Rather than merely cover up the reality of an unfair but still growing portions of an overall growing pie. As Martin Wolf put it recently, with the usual ‘code’ to avoid using +that+ ‘C’ word, the Euro system & politics has operated entirely & exclusively in the interests of ‘creditors’ at massive cost to ‘debtors’. Paul, do I need to spell out what sections of society is really meant by those terms? (I hope not.)

    Thus, when the adjective ‘hard’ is applied to both left and right of this faux ‘centre’, some equivalence is conferred which has no business whatever being there and is a gross distortion. It is the very long standing ‘meme’ of passing off any serious alternative to the status quo, especially from the ‘left’ as ‘extreme’ and closely associated with violence and suppression.

    To which you and your fellow ‘liberals’ along with the Landlords’ Agents’ of the wealthy elites will chorus… oh, that’s just my own ‘left wing bias’.

    But you would be wrong – it’s my ‘bias’ toward +democracy+. In Capitalism (any version), by definition, the Capital owners can only ever be in a tiny minority vs those of the Labour section.

    Which means that the natural state of any ‘democracy’ should be ‘left’ or leaning strongly toward the interests of the majority ordinary citizens, for whom a ‘job’ & one that has decent pay and conditions, is the ‘bottom line’.

    I would hope that it’s obvious to even a (former) BBC ‘Economics Editor’ that the Private sector can never be, has never been, able itself to hire everybody who wants a job (& needs one to live). Reasonable enough, their true & only purpose is ‘profit’ for Capital owners. Further, a pool of desperate & hungry unemployed is also in their interests.

    This is why we need a government as the ‘counter cyclical’ ‘macro’ economic actor that the non-government sector can never be.

    None of this is rocket science, nor is it ‘extreme’ or ‘hard left’ to want minimum standards of living for +all+ citizens, whether the Private sector is willing or able to hire them & provide sufficient income for that, or not.

    By the numbers, it’s just what anything we can meaningfully call ‘democracy’ could not fail to deliver.

    So, Paul, decision time for you. Doubtless you can have a well remunerated career continuing to peddle all this irrelevant guff, ‘just sowing the seeds of confusion’ as a big tobacco exec once said of their PR/lobbying approach.

    Or you could take the less remuneratively certain road of cutting out all this intellectual self-gratification fantasy for its own sake, and start from the simple basics of the real world.

  7. Howard Johnston says:

    I agree with the assessment above. It is not hard to see why the narrow-minded and the very disaffected voted the way they did. But the turn-out (as usual) was pathetically low (35% in the UK), so shame on all our fellow citizens who couldn’t even be bothered to spend 20 minutes once every few years to use their hard-won vote to influence things. What does this other 65% think? As a liberal I was highly depressed but not surprised by the evening’s outcome. The comfortable middle classes of course do not understand the feelings of the jobless and homeless youth, who have no dream to follow, and who see thousands and thousands of immigrants arriving making their prospects even more diminished. I’m all for cosmopolitanism, diversity, economic liberalism and free movement. But even I can see there have to be some restrictions. If 200,000 people are going to arrive every year in the UK where do they all go? Where do they all live? This is the equivalent of a large town cropping up annually and within a decade the population will have increased by 2 million. Just on the simplest of arithmetic levels there is clearly a problem. House prices are on the boil again and we are not building enough new dwellings. None of this is going to end well unless some sensible restraints are put in place. Common sense needs to prevail here before more extreme views start to take over…

  8. Alan Jackson says:

    I’d like to know, please, which members of the present UK cabinet you regard as competent.

  9. Neil says:

    “If a far left or right party ever gets to run an EU member state..”

    Then the populism they espouse will be tested. You can’t increase spending without increasing taxes or borrowing more from those nasty markets.
    If they have the euro then you could leave it so you can get a devalued currency and balance the books that way, but does anyone in a job want to be paid in a devalued currency?

  10. Philip Edwards says:

    Same old fear-mongering garbage.

    Once UKIP’s policies – such as they are – are flushed out into the light of day, people will see they are even worse than the tories.

    Should be hugely funny,though, watching the media disappear up its own anal canal as it tries to deflect attention to suit its own Murdoch-type agenda.

    Alas, it won’t be so funny for working class citizens on the end of the worst of it.

    Same old story, same old lying media.

  11. Stexxx says:

    And what about PD Matteo Renzi and 40% in Italy?

  12. John C Batey says:

    Certainly in this country the quiet voice of the nation has now been heard.

  13. Thomas Barlow says:

    I believe there is hope, we just have to fight against media misrepresntation.

    http://realfare.wordpress.com/2014/05/26/this-is-not-about-ukip/

  14. Linda says:

    This is an excellent article. People are looking for answers and the fascists and ultra right seem to be giving them. As a member of the Labour Party I expect the Labour leadership will, as usual, take the wrong conclusions from this. Instead of becoming more radical to defend the interests of the working class, they will no doubt look to adopting more right wing policies to win them over – policies that will do nothing for working people. In times of crisis right wing social democracy is paralysed. We socialists in the Labour Party and trade unions need to step up our efforts to expose and unelect the current leadership and put in place leaders that are not careerists and who are prepared to fight. – and/or the TUC must establish a new party of Labour. None of this is easy but we have no alternative – our children and grandchildren’s future are in danger!

  15. Malcolm says:

    Is it really a new groundswell of opposition to the EU, or has it just become organised and audible? About 34% voted against joining in the first place in the UK, so UKIP’s showing of 28% could be a modest showing since it was a single issue vote.

  16. Leandra Bernstein says:

    I work for the media, I am interested in your further comments.
    Could you please answer the question: What is the worst case scenario of such a large contingent of European parliamentarians opposed to the Europe project at its core? Are there possible benefits that could come to a disenfranchised and economically hurt lower-middle class population from a larger contingent of Euro-skeptics in the Parliament?
    Thank you.

  17. Alan says:

    One cannot use 20th century labels such as Fascism and class structure to understand the truly callous nature of those who claim to lead. National structures no longer exist except to be used as smoke screens in order to keep the populace from understanding the true nature of their servitude. The lies and deceit of established systems becomes more apparent as their desperation to loot increases.

  18. Tony Walker says:

    A good article and analysis Paul, however I disagree with your final point:

    “If a far left or right party ever gets to run an EU member state, the mere fact of it will affect how people in other states view the project as a whole. It will pose the question: do you want to be part of a Europe where swastika-waving Golden Dawn get into the parliament; where Marine Le Pen could sit in the Elysee? The Euro project was supposed to make sure the continent could never again go fascist.”

    I thought the EU was created to prevent wars of a similar nature as WW1 and (particularly) WW2, but most importantly, as a bastion against and a prevention of the communist threat that and the Soviet Bloc represents. I say that not as a supporter of friend of the Stalinist entity, but as a Trotskyist critic of it.

  19. Dave Wood says:

    I agree with your analysis for the most part. We were never asked to consent to federation and certainly not with it arranged by “public sector employees” in Brussels. The duplicity of all politicians in this leaves Nigel Farage as a beacon of freedom not a right wing nasty.
    But it is as much the population growth without any border controls, schools, hospitals, transport and medical services full to cause major discomfort that encourages us to say “shut that door” and put some entry rules in place and then quality control entry. Most Brits in Europe are retired or winding down toward it if the Spanish and French figures are believed.
    There is one other major problem. Businesses trading in UK do not generally pay much tax here or anywhere. The transfer of wealth from “West to East” means we get poorer as China and India grow richer. It has been predicted for 50 years and more. We have to get used to it.
    Better to negotiate with EU from outside because we are still a big enough economy, then reapply in the future on mutually agreed terms. Then we have control of our own destiny and culture.

  20. fleche_dor says:

    You raise a valid point about the original purpose of the EU.

    It is perhaps more accurately described as an attempt to prevent the scale of bloodshed, through mechanised, industrial scale slaughter between European Nation States in the first half of C20th. Under liberal democracies and the European Convention on Human Rights freedom of political thought is an aspiration whatever, those opinions might be.

    However, because of that 1930s fascist political legacy certain Member States have made it illegal to deny the Holocaust (France) and join fascist political groups (Germany). Britain as vaingloriously both the cradle and safeguardian of democracy without peer is not one of either of these.

    Despite the obvious lessons of political extremism caused by the Great Depression, it seems that the UK and France in particular are failing to apply these lessons to the economic crisis of the Great Recession.

    The European economy must be sorted out. The alternative is ever increasing Nationalism, be it the UKIP or FN varieties or even an electorally petrified, PM’s pandering to MPs policies on repatriation of powers and immigration incontinence, with the inevitable consequences.

  21. szlevi says:

    “The anti-immigration, nationalist right looks to have won in Hungary”

    Huh? I may have left Hungary a looong time ago and I am very far from being their supporter but one thing the populist Fidesz never said that it’s against immigration – as a matter of fact it is very much for it, at least on paper ie handing out citizenship to the legions of still-native-speaking descendants of the ~6M Hungarians left outside of the new borders after the 1920 dismemberment of Hungary.
    It’s one thing that apparently Paul Mason has only cursory clue about the very subject he chose to write about – he clearly confused Fidesz, the populist centre-right ruling party and the right-wing anti-Roma, anti-Semitic and anti-everything proto-fascisct Jobbik – but Mason clearly never even bothered to check his nonsensical claims; he repeatedly makes the same erroneous statements; he clearly does not care too much, he simply makes up things on the fly to fit his preconception about the fascists taking over Europe…

    …too bad, he’s so busy to rile up his base that he couldn’t even realize the good news.
    In this EP elections Jobbik actually finished far behind Fidesz at second place, getting under 15%, quite literally falling back to their 2009-level when they were riding high their newly found fame as the first extreme-right shocker party…
    …since 2009 a lot of water has passed under the Chain Bridge in Budapest (built by Adam Clark, a Scot, in 1849, thank you :)) and Jobbik not only lost her, err, HIS (of course!) ‘innocence’ but actually turned out to be just another greedy stupid anti-Semitic mouthpiece who reportedly happily accept Russian and Iranian ‘donations’ and makes 180-degree turns in his rhetoric – so much so that one of their European MP is now officially under investigation for espionage (for Russia) hence their sudden fall from the 20% they scored in the April local elections.
    I’m not worried about the Jobbik or their other European ilks at all, they are clearly too stupid and too provincial to win an election – and even if they would they are way too greedy to not to keep the current crooked systems alive (eg in Hungary the new oligarchy that PM Orban – PM, Fidesz – is so busy building since his 2010 victory.)
    I’m much more worried about the opposition and the utterly insensitive, clueless and almost parasitic bureaucracy in Brussels – the left is done all over Europe, they lost all their credibility (in most cases rightfully so, I have to admit) and Eurocrats do not seem to understand anything from what’s happening among everyday people…

    Your UKIP is somewhat of a different beast, they seem to be more ‘polished’ but it’s mostly thanks to your two-faced crooks like Cameron etc who make them look like some freedom fighters (which they are clearly not and the UK would be an idiot to leave the EU.)

  22. James Alton says:

    “There is no such thing as society” – Margaret Thatcher had been castigated widely for such a declaration, seen as a stupid and divisive thing to say – yet she was certainly not stupid nor divisive as a One Nation Tory. I can only imagine that she meant that we are all selfish to a large extent, but more selfish to those who are not close to us, close in whatever sense you can think of; hence we were – are – a community in which some are friends but the vast majority are strangers. But some of these strangers have the possibility of becoming friends, and that possibility is greater when you, to some extent, have a shared outlook and commonality. The greater the difference the less is the possibility of being a person we can care about – a friend.
    There is a deep shared outlook and commonality between muslims worldwide and a great deal of difference between muslims and non-muslims, hence muslims will more likely see other muslims as friends and non-muslims as strangers, and you just have to look around those places in which muslims have a significant presence but are out-numbered by non-muslims – their fellow muslims are clearly their friends and non-muslims are clearly strangers.
    People of the so-called left such as the Labour party used to represent a fairly unified class of people who were friends and potential friends, but for the past 40/50 years their ideology has become so shallow and one dimensional that they have necessarily betrayed the people who they once represented for another class of person that they are relying on more and more for their existence. The Labour party now turns to a class of friends that look upon their former friends as strangers. It is a matter of numbers – the friendly muslim you came across a hundred years ago espousing Jihad in the country of their birth was harmless elsewhere but in the country of their birth, but when that person is joined by a million of his friends, no matter where you are they are not harmless. They are not harmless in India, China, Russia, Nigeria, or anywhere they are found in large enough numbers, and they are particularly not harmless when they occupy a significant presence in a country that, like the UK, has been fooled into accepting these strangers for too long. Labour, in particular, has been instrumental in introducing these strangers, and should now be called the Immigrant party.
    It is the invasion in significant numbers by people such as muslims, who are strangers because to them non-muslims can never be their friends, that has brought about strife and unhappiness wherever they live as a minority – but a potential majority because of their fecundity. It is these uncompromising strangers in our midst that has led to the political shifts we are now seeing.

  23. Nigel Wilson says:

    An interesting review much of which is arguable but lets not worry about that. I am not that worried about Irish Republicans running the Irish Republic either. The republicans in Ireland always did have different shades of green.
    Never could stand that de Valera…………

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