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Nationalist Parties in Europe

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Post Neon Knight on Sun 3 Nov - 23:13

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1199526/Emmanuel-Macron-EU-latest-France-Le-Pen-news Quoting:

FRENCH President . . . Emmanuel Macron’s leadership is crumbling according to a shock new poll in France released on Sunday. The French President would be neck-and-neck with his rival Marine Le Pen if voting took place today. The incredible polling result has put Mr Macron on edge, after he originally beat Ms Le Pen in a dramatic presidential run-off two years ago.

The Journal du Dimanche newspaper poll showed that Marine Le Pen would secure a whopping 28% of the vote in any scenario. Emmanuel Macron would reach between 27% and 28% depending on the other candidates that ran in the race. However, the French president would still be re-elected in the second round run-off against Ms Le Pen, winning 55% to 45%.

Mr Macron was elected in 2017 to a five-year term, so the next presidential election will take place in spring 2022. The French President has consistently struggled to regain the support he achieved during his election campaign.

This comes after a poll earlier in the week showed that more than half of French people were "disappointed" by French President. 55% of those polled said they were “disappointed” by his actions as the French leader. A massive 80% said the 41-year-old centrist had done nothing to improve their personal and financial situation. The poll, conducted by the French news channel BFMTV, showed that 62% of French people see his election in May 2017 as a “negative” event. Just 37% thought Mr Macron had been a “good thing” for France. His tenure as French President has been badly hit by months of “yellow vest” protests which forced a humiliating climb-down from the leader.

There is also mounting concern that Mr Macron has “overstepped” the mark among EU officials. Formerly a seen as an EU hero among Brussels officials, the French President is percieved to have overreach in recent decisions around EU personnel, Brexit and relations with Russia. In each situation, he has acted without consultation with other European leaders. Charles Grant, director of the Center for European Reform, said: "The French think that they can act unilaterally without talking to everyone and get away with it, because they have a dynamic young leader with power and no one else does."




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Post OsricPearl on Tue 5 Nov - 5:19

@Neon Knight wrote:https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1199526/Emmanuel-Macron-EU-latest-France-Le-Pen-news  Quoting:

FRENCH President . . . Emmanuel Macron’s leadership is crumbling according to a shock new poll in France released on Sunday. The French President would be neck-and-neck with his rival Marine Le Pen if voting took place today. The incredible polling result has put Mr Macron on edge, after he originally beat Ms Le Pen in a dramatic presidential run-off two years ago.

The Journal du Dimanche newspaper poll showed that Marine Le Pen would secure a whopping 28% of the vote in any scenario. Emmanuel Macron would reach between 27% and 28% depending on the other candidates that ran in the race. However, the French president would still be re-elected in the second round run-off against Ms Le Pen, winning 55% to 45%.

Mr Macron was elected in 2017 to a five-year term, so the next presidential election will take place in spring 2022. The French President has consistently struggled to regain the support he achieved during his election campaign.

This comes after a poll earlier in the week showed that more than half of French people were "disappointed" by French President.  55% of those polled said they were “disappointed” by his actions as the French leader. A massive 80% said the 41-year-old centrist had done nothing to improve their personal and financial situation. The poll, conducted by the French news channel BFMTV, showed that 62% of French people see his election in May 2017 as a “negative” event. Just 37% thought Mr Macron had been a “good thing” for France. His tenure as French President has been badly hit by months of “yellow vest” protests which forced a humiliating climb-down from the leader.

There is also mounting concern that Mr Macron has “overstepped” the mark among EU officials. Formerly a seen as an EU hero among Brussels officials, the French President is percieved to have overreach in recent decisions around EU personnel, Brexit and relations with Russia. In each situation, he has acted without consultation with other European leaders. Charles Grant, director of the Center for European Reform, said: "The French think that they can act unilaterally without talking to everyone and get away with it, because they have a dynamic young leader with power and no one else does."

Le Pen should have been president before. There have been protests all year. I can't imagine why anyone would vote for him again.




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Post Neon Knight on Wed 20 Nov - 1:07

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/sweden-far-right-democrats-jimmie-akesson-party-election-a9207741.html  Quoting:

The leader of a party once shunned for its ties to far-right extremism is now riding a wave of popularity that he says may pave the way to a century of political dominance in Sweden. Jimmie Akesson, the head of the Sweden Democrats, woke up on Friday to news that his party was now polling as the country's biggest. At 24%, it is a few percentage points ahead of the ruling Social Democrats that have towered over Sweden's political landscape for most of the postwar era.

"We want to be part of shaping this country over the next 100 years, just as the Social Democrats have been doing for 100 years," Mr Akesson said in an interview at the Swedish parliament in Stockholm. "We want political influence, and we want a significant influence."

The kind of influence Mr Akesson is talking about would mark an historic break with the balance of power in Sweden, where the political establishment once vowed to keep the Sweden Democrats out of any coalition. The more established groups on the right and left have pointed to the party's past ties to neo-Nazis and white supremacists in defence of their efforts to isolate the group. But that stance seems increasingly out of step with what voters in Sweden want.

A separate poll from Sifo also out on Friday put support for the Sweden Democrats at 23%, the highest level ever registered by that pollster. While still trailing the Social Democrats, Sifo said the difference between the two parties was not statistically significant.

As a result of the surge in popularity, some corners of parliament have shown signs of softening to the Sweden Democrats. The conservative-leaning Christian Democrats and the Moderates – Sweden's biggest opposition party – recently signalled an increased willingness to work with Mr Akesson. In charge of the party since 2005, Mr Akesson has been weeding out extremists in a process of self-gentrification. "Voters are seeing us, perhaps not formally, but still, as part of a conservative bloc," Mr Akesson said. "I think that makes them more willing to give us their votes. That's the main reason why this is happening now."

Nationalist Parties in Europe - Page 2 Gettyimages-1167229546

The shift in Sweden's political landscape follows a punishing election cycle last September. The Social Democrats ultimately emerged as the victors, but only after four months of gruelling coalition talks that resulted in a fragile alliance.

In the meantime, the government has been accused of inaction in handling a growing wave of violence in the country. In late August, a woman was shot dead in Stockholm's Vallingby suburb, and in the southern city of Malmo another young woman was shot dead while carrying her baby. In the same city, a 15-year-old was shot dead outside a pizza restaurant. There has also been an increase in the number of bombings, prompting defence experts to compare Sweden with Northern Ireland in the 1980s and even contemporary Afghanistan.

The surge in violence on the streets of some of Sweden's biggest cities has left voters angry. And the Sweden Democrats have been quick to respond; the party called for a vote of no confidence against the justice minister, which was backed by the Moderate Party. Though the motion was dismissed, the fact that the Sweden Democrats were able to team up with the largest opposition party for a key vote marked a "milestone", according to Mr Akesson.

Understanding Sweden's history with populism also requires taking a look at developments over the past decades, and more recently during the Syrian refugee crisis. The country's policy of giving permanent residency to Syrians landing on its shores backfired in 2015, when a spike in immigration became too much for the authorities to handle. The Social Democrat-led government of Stefan Lofven introduced border checks and has since toughened its rhetoric on immigration.

Mr Akesson is enough of a realist to know he is unlikely to achieve a formal alliance with other conservative forces ahead of elections due in 2022. But he says it's "clear" that the conservative bloc will have to work with them in some form, should they want to form the next government. "The bar for them to take our support in some form is starting to become rather low," he said.

Mindful of what happened at the last election in neighbouring Denmark, Mr Akesson says he is no longer concerned about rival forces denting into his party's support by emulating its policies. "That is something we have seen with the Moderates and more recently with the Christian Democrats," he said. "The Social Democrats are sending mixed signals but they have a desire to appear tougher to stop bleeding voters to us. But I think we have been able to fend that off rather well."




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Post Neon Knight on Sat 11 Jan - 1:15

https://unherd.com/2020/01/where-next-for-the-world-of-politics-in-2020/ Quoting the later part of the article:

Europe’s national populists will continue their current success after their best year yet, when this disruptive political family went on to win its largest number of seats in the European Parliament. In Britain over 2019, Nigel Farage continued to pile pressure on the main parties via the Brexit Party, whose call for an Australian-based immigration points system and more work on tackling regional inequalities would later be adopted by Boris Johnson’s Conservatives.

Elsewhere, new parties broke through; Forum for Democracy at municipal elections in the Netherlands and, more significantly, Vox at national elections in Spain. While In Italy, Matteo Salvini and the Lega lost power but won a record number of seats in the European Parliament and continue to enjoy healthy leads in the polls. Flemish Interest in Belgium won a new record share of the vote while the Alternative for Germany advanced at state elections in Saxony, Brandenburg and Thuringia. In Poland, Law and Justice won their largest share of the vote on record.

Rather than weakening, national populism has consolidated and, as we head into a new decade, looks set to remain as a permanent force on the landscape, particularly as Europe’s political systems continue to fragment.

One final thing to watch out for in 2020 are the shifting political alliances. Boris Johnson is interesting because of the way in which he is seeking to usher in or revive a different brand of conservatism, which has seen his party forge an alliance-of-sorts with the left-behind working class — but this is not the only new alliance to keep eyes on.

At the recent election in Austria, the Greens enjoyed their strongest ever result but then proceeded to join a coalition government with the centre-Right People’s Party. And, interestingly, while they have introduced new environment taxes, the Greens have also signed up to some pretty hardline positions on immigration and integration; supporting measures to crack down on illegal migration, to curb “political Islam”, including the banning of headscarves for under-14-year-olds, and introducing preventative custody for individuals who are considered a risk to security but have committed no crime.

All of this is a reminder of the fact that, just because Green movements are doing a little bit better than in the past, that does not necessarily signal the return of a nice, fluffy brand of social liberalism. On the contrary, on the all-important questions about identity and culture much of Europe continues to drift further to the right, in response not only to national populism but also to the public mood. I see few reasons why that will change in 2020.




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Post Neon Knight Yesterday at 0:11

https://unherd.com/2020/02/the-danger-of-the-european-right/  Quoting:

What is nationalism? And what on earth is “national conservatism”? A conference in Rome on Monday and Tuesday of this week set out to address the question and to do more than that. It sought, quite clearly, to further a cause. The intellectual fuel for this movement comes from Yoram Hazony, an Israeli academic and Orthodox Jew who came to the fore two years ago thanks to his book The Virtue of Nationalism . . . Nationalism is a force for good, he argues, and rather than being the cause of instability is, in fact, the best prerequisite for stability . . .

So why is nationalism be causing so much intellectual excitement now? The obvious explanation is that it comes after a period of liberal — indeed globalist — overreach. During recent decades, the presumption among those in positions of power in western Europe, in particular, leant in a clear direction. This was often summed-up as the Davos worldview: the presumption that the future was inevitably one of greater integration, where states would be giving up ever-more sovereignty, borders would be less and less important, and the world presided over by a benign, internationalist, NGO-like political class . . .

It is entirely uncontroversial and true to state that nationalism led Europe to war in 1914. And while there is a get-out that the war that began in 1939 was — like its predecessor — caused not by nationalism but by German expansionism, nevertheless it is an intellectual overstretch to claim that nationalism played no role in either conflict.

As I told the conference, in my remarks made at a sceptical distance on Tuesday, there is an answer to this. For to claim that nationalism causes conflict is to make an assertion that is far too simplistic. Nationalism can cause conflict and it can keep the peace. To that extent, it is like every other force in nature: it is able to be used for good and for ill, can lead to triumph and disaster. There is nothing unique about this. Contra the sort of people who like to think that we can wage war for “peace” or wage campaigns against “hate” (what other human emotion will they come for next one wonders?), even love can cause wars. The Trojan Wars were caused by love; countless acts of violence are still committed each year in the name of love. To date, nobody has called for the eradication of that instinct.

But with nationalism, there is a residual sense that if only it could be eradicated, the world would not experience wars. It is a sentiment that is additionally simplistic because before Europe was wracked by the wars of nation-states, it was wracked by centuries of wars of religions — a fact the current generation might do well to remember.

In any case, the difference in the manner in which “nationalism” is heard in Europe and America is a problem worth contending with. The proximate distance in Europe between what one might regard as healthy nationalism and unhealthy nationalism is undeniably closer than it is in America . . . To me, at any rate, this is the aspect of the National Conservatism Conference which was most interesting. There have been efforts in parts of the press to pretend that the entire conference was filled with unacceptable far-Right elements and the like. Certainly some of those who were present are from parties which have far-Right pasts and other new parties who may well be a cause for concern in the present.

But to dismiss all of these — let alone figures like Chris de Muth, John O’Sullivan and Hazony himself — as somehow engaged in far-Right politicking is so ignorant as to be embarrassingly revealing of the person asserting them. The idea that a conference organised by an orthodox Jew should have been in any way anti-Semitic is ridiculous . . . But there is a reason why such anathematising occurs. Not every complainant is directed by ignorance or short-term political point-scoring. For the fact remains that across the continent of Europe there are dragons; there are movements like Casa Pound in Italy which would seem to want to replay the fascist past.

There are groups such as Jobbik in Hungary and Golden Dawn in Greece whose members have indulged themselves in the ugliest attempts to simultaneously deny and replay the brutalities of the mid-twentieth century. Anyone concerned to keep such things in history would be motivated by the most legitimate imaginable fears.

And yet there is an over-reach happening — an over-reach caused by the cordon-sanitaire having been subtly but seriously wrongly placed. There are papers and politicians across Europe and America who look at swathes of Europe and claim them to be — and claim their governments to be – “far-Right” or otherwise unacceptable. Is everything “far-Right” once anyone says so? If there is a reason why such claims are rarely interrogated it is because there is so little reward – and some considerable risk – in carefully interrogating them.

Calling people “fascists” is easy and bestows on the accuser the instant breastplate of “anti-fascist”. But European politics is more complex than that. The simplistic analysis that believes that we are condemned perpetually to replay the 1930s and ‘40s is past usefulness and is indeed hampering any attempt to understand who to deal with across Europe. Not least because governments and parties are being called ‘far-Right’ when they are not, and whole countries and movements are being anathematised when they will — must, in fact — be partners in the years ahead.



And underlining one of the writer's points:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-51379211?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/politics&link_location=live-reporting-story  Quoting:

Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski is facing calls to be suspended for sharing a platform with some of Europe's leading far-right politicians.

Labour said he should lose the whip for speaking at the same event as Hungary's nationalist PM Viktor Orban and Italy's ex-deputy PM Matteo Salvini. The party said it was "disgraceful" that he was associating with "anti-Semites, Islamophobes and homophobes".

But the Polish-born MP said the reaction to his trip was "hysterical". He said Mr Orban, who has been prime minister of Hungary since 2010 and Mr Salvini, a former deputy prime minister of Italy, "represent serious ideas and concerns, some of which are shared by many citizens of the UK". Both politicians are strongly Eurosceptic and hostile towards immigration, particularly from Muslim countries. Mr Orban has won three successive elections while Mr Salvini remains an influential figure in Italian politics despite his League Party quitting government last year.

Mr Kawczynski was among 22 speakers at the National Conservatism event, currently taking place in Rome. Other participants include Marion Marechal, the niece of Front National president Marine Le Pen, and representatives of Poland's Law and Justice Party and Spain's Vox Party.

The MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham defended his participation, saying he would be making the case for nation states against European federalism. "Orban and Salvini are not to everyone's tastes, of course," he said in article for The Spectator. "And I don't agree with each and every one of their policies. But I am not Hungarian or Italian and both leaders have been elected on huge popular mandates in their countries. They represent serious ideas and concerns, some of which are shared by people in Britain."

Mr Kawczynski, whose attendance was first reported by the Guardian, added: "Perhaps those criticising the event should take a more inquisitive approach rather than simply attacking its existence and maligning elected politicians from other countries who are due to speak. If so, they might discover why the vast majority of Europeans feel more loyalty to their own countries than the abstract idea of a federal European super-state."




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