European voters reject Socialists, Islamists
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.