"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Monday, 8 June 2009

Some Media Reactions to the European Election Results

The media are nothing if not predictable; and last night's victory not just for the BNP but for UKIP and the Right across Europe was clearly very trying indeed for them.

David Dimbleby, stalwart of the BBC's political coverage, a man who considers Boris 'my great grandfather was a Muslim slave-owner and I'm proud' Johnson a fascist, managed to keep his voice on an even keel when he mentioned the BNP and Nick Griffin.

Some of his panellists were not so polite; one went so far as to chastise David Cameron for wishing to leave the 'centre-Right' EPP block, ranting: "he wants to join gypsy-bashers and climate change deniers", as if there is no degree of difference between the two.

Most disturbing though is the way that these upsets for the mainstream have been pretty much dismissed out of hand by many; they blame the expenses scandal or the financial crisis without bothering to look at why some people might turn away from the mainstream.

Some went so far as to suggest that the only reason to vote in future was to 'stop the BNP'; they did not seem to consider that if this is truly the only reason to bother voting, that is a damning indictment of our political elite.

Is that really all they can offer us? What about hope, talent, inspiration - do they really have so little? What about a willingness to listen to ordinary people and observe objective reality and formulate a manifesto accordingly? What about allowing reality to trump ideology?

If they put half as much effort into listening and governing as they do trying to smear and stop the BNP, we would reside in a country approaching a veritable utopia.

The BNP needed this breakthrough in their quest to become mainstream. The real winners of the night, however, were UKIP and the Greens.

For a 'fringe' party to push Labour into third place is unprecedented. But it proves that issues such as immigration and rule from Brussels are important to millions of British people. Most people who vote Conservative probably feel the same, deluded that Dave is the man to take the Tories forward.

UKIP and the Greens are seen as the polite protest vote. That certainly does not make every point the BNP makes moot, however. Now that they have access to major funding and a platform, we shall see them in their true light, as others have said here.

Some people are determined to be silly, however; I found the following comments on an article by the Times:

So now we know. Whilst the USA can elect a Black President, we are a country of racists who elect openly racist parties.
After University, I think I might leave for America. There's nothing great about Britain anymore. Sam, Blackpool

Yeah, never mind what a disaster he is - just focus on his colour whilst, er, accusing everyone else of racism.

many are/have been fooled into believing that somehow the difficulties they are facing can be attributed to Asylum seekers or other minorities. ...Most however are covert rascist and are looking for an excust to vote BNP...'Boo hoo an asylum seeker stole my job! Grow up!
Ola, London, UK

No, I know for a fact that huge problems exist in this country caused by unacceptably large numbers of unassimilable Third World immigrants. The numbers involved belie the fact that this victory comes from a couple of racists complaining that a black guy moved in next door. The very existence of this nation is under threat. Why is it illegitimate to wish to control our borders and say that immigration should work for us?

I'm British and my wife is Japanese. In September we will be moving to England. It is unbelievably depressing that we'll be moving to country where national elected politicians will regard our future children as foreigners merely because of their mother's race. Sad beyond words. James, Numazu, Japan

This annoys me. Firstly, if Japan is so wonderful, why come? Secondly, Japan is the only industrialised nation not being colonised by the Third World, the only one which retains the right to control its borders. Why are we evil for wishing to do the same?

I am a British Asian and am not too disgruntled at the vote, face it most of the BNP voters are too stupid to go and get a job themselves so it is easy to blame others. I have worked in estates where the BNP's catchment area is and you would get more sense out of the residents at a Zoo. Pav, Leeds

The utter contempt is amazing. Do these people not have the right to vote for who they wish? Pav is probably employed by the state in some money wasting, social engineering capacity, yet still he mocks those who pay for him. Perhaps, Pav, they are sick and tired of the crime rate of 'British Asians', i.e. Muslims, in the regions in which the BNP were successful.

Over in Holland, Robin Pascoe, the founder of the English-language Dutch News site, was not best pleased with the rise of Geert Wilders, but liked the overall results:

There is some good news in the results of Thursday's Dutch elections for the European parliament.

For a start, despite, the upward march of Geert Wilders' PVV, which took around 17% of the vote, over eight out of 10 people did not vote for his anti-Islam, anti-European party. And as only 37% of the total population bothered to exercise their democratic results at all, his actual support is very small indeed.

In Rotterdam, seen as his biggest urban stronghold, just 29% of the population turned out to vote, and of them, just 22% voted for him. Hardly an overwhelming victory.

The PVV was also the biggest party in The Hague - an embarrassing result for a city which likes to portray itself as the centre of peace and justice.

But in Amsterdam, Wilder's party was in fourth place - and the pro-European Liberal Democrats and left-wing greens GroenLinks rule the roost. The picture is similar in Utrecht.

So despite the four - or possibly five - seats that the PVV will take up in Brussels, only a small fraction of his potential supporters actually bothered to vote for him.

And he failed to do what several polls had predicted: overtake the Christian Democrats to become the biggest party in the country. Given the massive amount of publicity he has had over the past few weeks, that could be construed as surprising. But it does mean by far and away most Dutch people are not xenophobes who want to knee-cap football hooligans and ban the Koran.

The other piece of good news is that the pro-Europeans won. Well under half of the Netherlands 25 seats have gone to avowedly anti-European parties - the PVV and Socialists. The biggest pro-Europeans - D66 and GroenLinks have doubled their representation and take six seats between them - more than Wilders.

As for the established parties - the coalition government and the free-market Liberals - they have been given a serious warning. Labour in particular has been punished for its invisible campaigning and mixed message.

The bad news of the night is that Europe is still a massive voter turn-off. Only 37% of us bothered to vote, and that is a big win for voter apathy.

Much to criticise here, but the first thing that jumps out at me is the old chestnut of describing anyone who opposes the European Union as 'anti-Europe'.

I would respectfully suggest, after reading Mr Pascoe's diatribe, that Mr Wilders is far more pro-Europe than he is, if that is taken to mean commitment to European values and the preservation of individual European cultures in the lands they emerged from.

Secondly, why is it embarrassing that Mr Wilders' PVV party is the biggest in The Hague, and not embarrassing that some areas of The Hague are ruled by criminal Third World colonists? Surely that too strikes a blow for peace and justice?

Europe is a massive voter turn-off because people know they will not be listened to. Look at the Lisbon Treaty referendum in Ireland, and before it the European Constitution votes in France and the Netherlands.

People who feel genuinely powerless may see Wilders as just another establishment stooge. Foolish, because it looks like he is the best that the Right has to offer in Europe, but still.

Lastly, there is that notion that any Dutch who lament their country being taken over by hostile aliens are 'xenophobes'.

The real good news of the night for the likes of Pascoe is that the status quo has been largely maintained. The EPP block was large and powerful before - but still, nothing changed.

Will it this time? I have faith in Mr Wilders, and a few select others such as Daniel Hannan -but overall, we will have to wait and see.

Here is Daniel Hannan's victory speech from last night - well worth a watch:


KG said...

The best comments on the election results I've read so far and I'll put a link to this post up over at Crusader Rabbit.

Dr.D said...

Really great closing little ditty from Daniel Hannan regarding the need for Labor and Gordon Brown to go, go, now!