Rising political extremism in Europe escapes control

Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, UKIP, seen voting at his local pooling Station in Berrys Green in Southern England. (EP Audiovisula Services).

Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, UKIP, seen voting at his local pooling Station in Berrys Green in Southern England. (EP Audiovisula Services).

Everybody knew it but ‘The Independent on Sunday’ said it this weekend; Nigel Farage’s UKIP political formation is the first choice of the Brits. The newspaper published a poll giving 27% to UKIP, 26% to Labour and 25% to Conservatives. Not to forget that last year this party got almost one-quarter of the English vote in local and regional elections without ever having an elected member in the Commons. UKIP is not the only indication that something is rotten in the European political system. Marine Le Pen’s racist National Front has also won first place in the French polls, while last year the comedian Beppe Grillo’s obscenely named party won the first place in the Italian legislative elections. Not to say anything about the Greek fascist formation ‘Golden Down’, that has stabilised itself in the third position after the left wing SYRIZA and the governing centre right New Democracy.

All those groups that skyrocketed lately, barely deserving the name of political formations, have only one thing in common. They defy, in the most outspoken way, the established political and economic systems, as promoted by the mainstream media. The issues currently tormenting the European societies are so huge that the ‘systemic’ political parties seem quite helpless even to discuss them in a convincing way. For example, the UK’s membership in the EU being at stake, or the continued enforced impoverishment of the entire Greek population.

The usual government ‘narrative’ about those issues doesn’t convince anybody. Even the criticism by major opposition parties all over Europe doesn’t address the problems of a large part of the population. This part is around one-third of the total, irrespective if the country has been hit or not by the crisis. Greeks, Brits, French, Italians and others turn their back to mainstream politics and media that have nothing to tell them.

In Britain like in Greece

This became evident in Britain, when the government tried to play the Eurosceptic card. The British Prime Minister David Cameron’s decision to promise a referendum on UK’s membership in the EU, if he wins the next Parliamentary election, has turned into a first-rate fiasco, at least for him. The Brits probably took it as blackmail and rejected it. They now express  their preference to UKIP, which proposes an outright exit from the EU and not on condition being voted on.

Of course this is a protest political choice by voters who reject Cameron’s conditionality rather than wholeheartedly embracing Farage’s excesses. The same is true for the Golden Down. One in every ten Greeks hasn’t turned fascist. They simply want to express their frustration with what has being for decades mainstream political parties. PASOK and New Democracy ruled the country during the past thirty-five years and brought it to the current stalemate. They have been also proved completely impotent to articulate a national exit plan from the crisis, even after four years of suffering. This same disenchantment has catapulted left wing SYRIZA to the top.

Keeping aside political and aesthetic differences, Marine Le Pen’s and Beppe Grillo’s rising to the top of the French and the Italian political spectrum has to be attributed to similar socio-economic reasons. In both countries an obsolete political system proves completely impotent to lead them safely through this economic crisis, and probably is now held responsible for it. On top of that, the fact that both Paris and Rome have accepted Berlin’s prerogative in Europe, has also nourished the rise of until recently marginal political formations.

For historical reasons Germany and Spain are saved from political extremism, at least until now. As for the usually calm Scandinavia, the Nordics are not spared from political extremism. Chauvinist national parties in both Finland and Sweden, until recently in the margins of the system, have now gained political importance. The same is true for Holland.

The third world of Europe

While analysing those political developments, many observers make the mistake delimiting the impact of economic crisis only to the South of Eurozone. Greece and Italy are considered the main victims paying the price with a new and completely fragmented and dangerous internal political environment. Those analysts forget that the percentage of people threatened by poverty has been constantly rising over the past few years also in Germany, France and Britain, even within groups of people with a job.

An always increasing part of Europeans feel threatened by the economic developments. They also see that their taxes are used to safeguard the ‘systemic’ banking system. At the same time the big multinational monopolies and cartels openly avoid to pay taxes, while they keep expanding completely uncontrolled by competition ‘watchdogs’. In such an environment the only competition the Europeans see threatening their level of welfare and wages comes from very far away in China and the other developing countries.

The threat of living under third world conditions today engulfs large parts of the EU working populations. On many occasions this is already a reality and not  a risk any more, even in wealthy EU member states. Education and hard work do not any more offer a passport to a better life. Today’s public education systems lead nowhere and hard work barely permits a subsistence living. No wonder then if the next European Parliament will be filled with Eurosceptic and extremists.

 

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Why Obama asks approval from Congress to bomb Syria?

People are scared of artificial intelligence – here’s why we should embrace it instead

India can soar in the robot age. This is how

An alternative view of Globalization 4.0, and how to get there

Ahead of key UN-backed Marrakech migration conference, youth recount harrowing journeys

Attack on Saudi facilities risks dragging Yemen into ‘regional conflagration’: UN Envoy

‘Save Tuvalu; save the world’; UN chief echoes rallying cry from front lines of global climate emergency

Sudan military committed to ‘ensuring stability’ and ‘peaceful transition’ says senior diplomat, as UN rights chief appeals for protesters’ rights to be upheld

These countries are pioneering hydrogen power

MEPs demand Bulgaria’s and Romania’s swift accession to Schengen area

The Social Committee may accept the new ‘contractual’ Eurozone

“What a Wonderful World”: the unsettled relationship between Climate Change and Human Health

ILO warns of widespread insecurity in the global labour market

Reforms in Latvia must result in stronger enforcement to tackle foreign bribery and subsequent money laundering risks

After John Lewis: 21 civil rights leaders who are shaping America

It’s time to end the stigma around mental health in the workplace

State aid: Commission approves €1.5 billion Dutch scheme to compensate public transport companies for damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak

Is Eurozone preparing to abandon austerity and stagnation?

The China-US trade deal will be signed on time; the path is set

Brussels wins game and match in Ukraine no matter the electoral results

MEPs strengthen EU financial watchdogs

Europe split in confronting the US sanctions on Iran, Washington isolated

EU Budget 2020 conciliation talks suspended

DR Congo: Restore internet services as ‘a matter of urgency’, urges UN expert

This Japanese concept will help you see the world – and learn – in a different way

EU signs with Canada historic trade agreement, others to follow

Donor countries set international standard for preventing sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment in development sector

Trump beats Clinton but Americans will learn the hard way that the US can’t change with an election

Algorithms are being used to convict criminals and decide jail time. We need to make sure they are fair

Prolonged economic crisis and drought demands urgent response for Zimbabwe’s ‘hardest hit’: UN relief chief

Parliament adopts new rules for short-stay visas

St. Vincent and the Grenadines breaks a record, as smallest ever Security Council seat holder

We must stop a devastating ‘battle to the end’ in southwest Syria, declares UN envoy

The Commission accused of tolerating corruption and fraud in taxation

Make progress or risk redundancy, UN chief warns world disarmament body

Guatemala Dos Erres massacre conviction welcomed by UN human rights office

‘Ground Zero’: Report from the former Semipalatinsk Test Site in Kazakhstan

Peacekeeping: A ‘great opportunity’ to develop professionally and personally

Cultural leaders envision a post-COVID world

As Syria conflict enters ninth year, humanitarian crisis ‘far from over’, Security Council hears

99 per cent of intravenous drug users lack access to health, ‘social services with dignity’ says UNAIDS chief

One small flight for a drone, one ‘big leap’ for global health

This is how Europe is helping companies and workers as the coronavirus crisis deepens

Health privatization to blame for health inequality or poor investment in public health?

UN chief sends condolences to families of Malawi flood victims

Why people with disabilities are your company’s untapped resource

Why Europe’s high productive performance is discredited?

Women ‘vital’ to peace efforts and ensuring long-lasting stability in Afghanistan

UN General Assembly President upholds value of multilateralism in speech closing annual debate

Further reforms will move Slovakia toward a more innovative and inclusive society

Negotiations on new EU collective redress rules to begin

Resilience in times of pandemic

State aid: Commission approves €199.45 million Italian support to compensate Alitalia for damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak

There are more than 1 billion guns in the world and this is who owns them

What makes a good healthcare professional?

Vaccine against Ebola: Commission grants first-ever market authorisation

European Parliament calls on Russia to end occupation of Georgian territories

‘Break the cycle’ of disaster-response-recovery, urges top UN official, as death toll mounts from Cyclone Idai

Caravan of Mothers of Missing Migrants kick off a global migration search movement

Great Reset: Why LGBT+ inclusion is the secret to cities’ post-pandemic success

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s