Euro­pean vot­ers re­ject So­cial­ists, Is­lamists

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - Tony Blank­ley

The Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and Bri­tish lo­cal county coun­cil elec­tions ear­lier this month were not only a victory for the cen­ter-right over the cen­ter­left. More sig­nif­i­cantly, they were in­di­ca­tions of the grow­ing re­jec­tion of the last 60 years of de­na­tion­al­ized and con­sol­i­dat­ing Euro­pean his­tory. They were, par­tic­u­larly, a sharp as­ser­tion by many in­dige­nous Euro­peans that they will not put up with los­ing their cul­ture to overly assertive Is­lamic or other im­mi­grants in Europe.

The lat­ter point was made most em­phat­i­cally by the vot­ers of Hol­land, Hun­gary, Fin­land, Bri­tain, Aus­tria, Den­mark and Italy.

In Hol­land, Geert Wilders’ anti-Is­lamist, lib­er­tar­ian Free­dom Party got 17 per­cent of the vote and four of 25 Dutch seats in the Euro­pean Union Par­lia­ment. In Hun­gary, the cen­ter-right Fidesz party trounced the So­cial­ists 56 per­cent to 17 per­cent. The gov­ern­ment-aligned Lib­er­als were elim­i­nated with 2 per­cent, while the anti-im­mi­grant hardright Job­bic Party won 15 per­cent and three seats in the EU Par­lia­ment. Job­bick leader Ga­bor Vona claimed that the “na­tional front” was born on June 7 and that it “would take to the streets” to urge early na­tional elec­tions.

In Aus­tria, two anti-im­mi­grant par­ties took an un­prece­dented 17.7 per­cent. The hard-right Dan­ish Peo­ple’s Party won two seats in the EU with 14.4 per­cent. In Italy, the anti-im­mi­grant North­ern League gained more than 10 per­cent.

In Fin­land, the anti-im­mi­grant, euro-scep­tic party, Perus­suo­ma­lainen (True Finns) gar­nered 10 per­cent of the na­tional vote (up from half of 1 per­cent in 2004) while its leader, Timo Soini, got 130,000 votes — the most of any can­di­date from any party. The True Finn has been talk­ing openly about the prob­lems mass im­mi­gra­tion has brought to Fin­land, and in a break­through, the cur­rent Cen­ter Party prime min­is­ter, Matt Van­hanen, has ad­mit­ted pub­licly that bring­ing up those prob­lems can­not be con­strued as racist.

But the loud­est vox pop­uli was heard in Bri­tain, where Nick Grif­fin’s Bri­tish Na­tional Party (BNP) won two seats to the EU Par­lia­ment (with about 8.5 per­cent of the vote) and picked up sev­eral im­por­tant county coun­cil seats in the si­mul­ta­ne­ous Bri­tish lo­cal elec­tion with about 7 per­cent of the vote. The anti-Is­lamist BNP is a for­mer neo-Nazi party that has par­tially dis­owned that past and re­cently reached out to the Jewish com­mu­nity but is still ex­plic­itly a party that only in­dige­nous Bri­tish peo­ple (mostly Celtics and An­glo-Sax­ons) may join. If one con­sid­ers the BNP to be a fas­cist party (it clearly is racial­ist but does not em­brace the term fas­cist), then this is the first time a Bri­tish fas­cist party has won a seat in a par­lia­ment. Even Sir Oswald Mosley, the 1930s Bri­tish fas­cist leader, never ac­com­plished such an elec­tion.

Over­all in Bri­tain, the gov­ern­ing, scan­dal-rid­den La­bor Party col­lapsed to 15 per­cent of the vote with the up­start, non-racist but anti-EU United King­dom In­de­pen­dence Party (UKIP) com­ing in at 17 per­cent and the Tories at a barely re­spectable 28 per­cent. And that only af­ter last week quit­ting the right-of-cen­ter EU party (EPP) and join­ing a Czech and Pol­ish Euro-scep­tic block in the EU Par­lia­ment.

The UKIP’s stated pur­pose is that the United King­dom “shall again be gov­erned by laws made to suite its own needs by its own Par­lia­ment, which must be di­rectly and solely ac­count­able to the elec­torate of the U.K.”

On June 7, the BNP’s Nick Grif­fin claimed his party’s victory as a vin­di­ca­tion of the party’s claim that “we’re here to look af­ter our peo­ple be­cause no one else is.” He went on to con­demn the “lib­eral elite which has built a dam, a wall of lies which has grown ever taller and ever thicker over the years to stop or­di­nary peo­ple protest­ing about the re­moval of their free­dom.” He added: “Well, tonight, that wall has been bro­ken down. . . .”

In a con­ven­tional Bri­tish elec­tion, the La­bor Party col­lapse would have re­sulted in a Tory tri­umph. But in this elec­tion, about one in four Bri­tons voted nei­ther La­bor nor Tory nor Lib­eral. Rather, they voted for the un­prece­dented com­bi­na­tion of the UKIP’s re­spectable (but un­til re­cently, ec­cen­tric) call for the ab­so­lute le­gal sovereignty of Bri­tain, and the BNP’s dis­rep­utable — but lis­tened to — racial and cul­tural scream.

In my 2005 book, “The West’s Last Chance,” I warned af­ter com­ing back from ex­tended field re­search in Europe (yes, drink­ing was in­volved) that if the re­spectable po­lit­i­cal par­ties would not ad­dress the grow­ing, le­git­i­mate con­cern of in­dige­nous Euro­peans to pro­tect their cul­ture from be­ing over- whelmed, dis­rep­utable par­ties would arise to an­swer that call.

In the re­cent elec­tions, we are beginning to see the break­out of such po­lit­i­cal im­pulses. Not all the par­ties are dis­rep­utable. I have met with Mr. Wilders, who is a coura­geous, de­cent Dutch patriot who only stepped up to the chal­lenge when, in 2003, as a lo­cal of­fi­cial, he made the com­mon­place ob­ser­va­tion that Yasser Arafat was a “ter­ror­ist leader.” This drew a death threat and sub­se­quent ar­rest and con­vic­tion of a Dutch Mus­lim iden­ti­fied as “Farid. A,” who warned, “Wilders must be pun­ished with death for his fascis­tic com­ments about Is­lam, Mus­lims and the Pales­tinian cause.” To this day, Mr. Wilders trav­els with very heavy Dutch se­cu­rity.

Europe has long ex­pe­ri­enced sin­gle-digit fringe votes of the left and right. But as the hard-edged BNP ap­proaches 10 per­cent and only slightly milder other par­ties ap­proach 20 per­cent — the his­tor­i­cally volatile Euro­pean mix of na­tion­al­ism and race may be build­ing once again.

Tony Blank­ley is the au­thor of “Amer­i­can Grit: What It Will Take to Sur­vive and Win in the 21st Cen­tury” and ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent for global af­fairs of the Edel­man pub­lic re­la­tions firm in Wash­ing­ton.

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