What Ho! Cornelius again.
Quite apart from the Orange one, manifold threats unfold around the world. As assertive China. A mite unsettling if you’re a small country in Asia, I’d wager. The Middle East, where Sheikhs and Ayatollahs find themselves drowning in black gold and untold power. An Israel divided, governed by the same sort of shouty politics that we find on the rise around the world. A politics of fear and division. As someone living on the edge of that firepit, it’s disconcerting, I can tell you. This post can’t keep up with events - American servicemen killed in theatre; may they rest in peace.
What then of my old stomping grounds? Good old Europe, a melting pot of cultures stuffed with delicious food and ferocious fire water. A place so scarred by war that it’s inconceivable the same mistakes would be made again. Or so I thought…
The conviction politician, if ever there was such a thing, is a relic. Hungary is ruled by a right-wing populist who started out as a left-wing mild socialist. The truth is, he’s a pure opportunist. Espousing any policy that he thinks might win votes, but only implementing those that cement his position and power. Macron in France is under siege by a resurgent far right under Marine Le Pen. The alt-right Meloni rules Italy. The Nordics are experiencing race riots for the first time in modern history, along with a surge in popularity for nationalist parties. They’ve all gone barking mad, I tell you. Even Germany, a country scarred by its role in the history of the last century, is trying to find ways of accommodating the far-right. The benevolent Dutch have elected a raving lunatic.
A raging Putin in the East, looking to rebuild the Soviet bloc, faced with an increasingly radicalised right in the West. Looks like a recipe for a punch-up to my jaundiced eye.
What about good old Blighty, I hear you ask? Well, frankly, we’re probably the worst of the lot. The ruling party, the Conservatives, who used to be called “The Party of Government”, have drunk the Populist nectar.
“Brexit? Absolute doddle. Full English breakfast, pop over the channel, biff the Frenchies, home in time for tea and medals.” “Immigration? Child’s play. Pop over the channel, make the Frenchies understand that we’ll accept no more darkies in small boats, then sherry all ‘round, what?”
The Conservative party has lurched so far to the right as to become a parody of itself. It would be hilariously funny if not so dangerous.
Look, I’m no woke lefty. Economically, I’m unashamedly rightist. There’s a libertarian streak right through me. However, critical to any right-wing political identity in the developed world is fiscal competence and unshakeable belief in a rule-of-law democratic world administered by independent institutions. Those tenets are gone.
The right in the UK is tearing itself to pieces over how to cope with a few thousand would-be immigrants risking life and limb to cross the channel. Meanwhile, the government ignores that the country should be working for peace and preparing for war.
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