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That is my take from the European Elections.

At least here in Bretagne and the West the Front Nationale made little headway. I voted EELV and one of our candidates Yannick Janot was elected. However apart from Paris [and Bretagne] the map turned dark blue. In the UK their special brand of loonies [apart from London  where in fact the left did pretty well] UKIP lead the way.

So what we have now in the European Parliament are people that don't give a damn and who will not work towards much needed reform, lazy bone idle fire-starters, brilliant.

My conclusion is that many have embraced Austerity, the bankers, nationalist and racist dogma. Why else would we veer so far to the right as this is what they have always promoted? The only other conclusion is that so many are just too damn stupid to see the consequences of their own votes. Take your pick.

If anyone thinks these extreme right wing parties will even consider helping their average voter to get ahead they will have a sad lesson to learn. They are one trick ponies and just wait and watch our mainstream right-wing parties reach out, embrace and absorb them to promote even more authoritarian policies. This is about power not the people.

This is about as stupid as it gets.

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Comment Preferences

  •  question: (5+ / 0-)

    are the far-rightists pro-austerity? Aren't they more about extreme nationalism, racism, anti-federalism etc?  I can see them not being in favor of social spending--but it also appears to me that they're opposed to any dictates from the EU in any direction, so they woudlnt' respond well from bailout-linked austerity from the EU.

    I've lived in Europe (UK and Spain for 6 out of 8 years, but still not particularly up on EU politics)


  •  Alarming (10+ / 0-)

    and very distressing.  Winds of devolution are blowing.

  •  Sometimes people have to experience the (5+ / 0-)

    worst before the people wise up and rise up.

    Unfortunately, that means a whole lot of suffering with an unstable transition.

    This better be good. Because it is not going away.

    by DerAmi on Mon May 26, 2014 at 03:44:24 AM PDT

  •  Blame Reagan. (5+ / 0-)

    The craziest ideas always starting california, eventually spread across the colonies, then, sometimes decades later, cross the Atlantic pond and infest Europe. That long haired pseudo music called rock or roll started that way and led to that insect based group from England. Austerity also stemmed from Reagan worship, gained pseudo intellectual support in the  U of C, then moved on to destroy Greece, Spain, and other economies.

    (This half hearted attempt at snark was brought to you by Vegemite, the only breakfast cereal guaranteed to make you puke. Vegemite - it tastes exactly like it sound. Just add cow udder juice.)

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Mon May 26, 2014 at 04:01:32 AM PDT

  •  1930s redux. (13+ / 0-)

    Tough economic times, and European voters are once again embracing precisely the same ideas that were so appealing in the aftermath of the Great Depression. Brute nativism, immigrant-bashing, austerity and naked selfishness.

    Evidently it took about 75 years for folks to forget how things turned out the last time.

    •  Your comment would be less scary (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZedMont, kurious

      if it were wrong.  Unfortunately, it's not.

      I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

      by tle on Mon May 26, 2014 at 07:23:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Let's not forget that the "mainstream" (0+ / 0-)

      parties are complete merde.  The current pro-European agenda is really just pro-corporatist.  People are rightly pissed, but their analysis is poor and their sources of information are really just sources of propaganda (this includes corporate media). There is a pretty high probability that the current neo-liberal political order will end in a serious economic crash and then the pissed off masses will either go fascist or progressive.  The center left parties like New Labour and the Democrats have nearly abandoned the working class and this leaves huge opportunities for misleaders like UKIP, NP and the Tea Party.

      I'm truly sorry Man's dominion Has broken Nature's social union--Robert Burns

      by Eric Blair on Mon May 26, 2014 at 08:22:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep. The parallels with 1930s are terrifying. (0+ / 0-)

        The looney proto-fascist right is making gains because they provide a clear, satisfying narrative to angry working class voters with simple answers. The fact that they're dead wrong and batshit insane is irrelevant.

        Call it the 'George W. Bush effect'; a clear, simple narrative trumps nuanced reality every day of the week.

        Yet the progressive/left has a winning narrative, if only they'll grab hold of it: your financial distress is not your fault. You're being robbed by the plutocrats, the bankers, neoliberal corporate economics and their allies in government. The answer is sharply restricting corporate power and steep taxes on accumulated wealth and very high incomes, especially un-earned income. And rebuilding our nations, starting with green energy and public transportation.

  •  Truly Amazing That Both Bread & Circuses, (5+ / 0-)

    and starvation & beatings, get the same results from the people.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon May 26, 2014 at 04:52:01 AM PDT

  •  The know everythings (aka know nothings) (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, ZedMont, LaFeminista, Chi

    all around the WORLD are some resilient yet twisted and bitter people.  My experience leads me to not just believe, but insist that the so-called Greatest Generation gave way to the not yet correctly named  Fuk-U-Where-Is-Mine Generation.

    Everyone see's the other.  Damn shame they don't understand what a mirror reflects.

    Someone once asked me why do you always insist on taking the hard road? and I replied why do you assume I see two roads?

    by funluvn1 on Mon May 26, 2014 at 04:55:12 AM PDT

  •  When the establishment is center-left... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurious, LaFeminista, Eric Blair

    ...then the extreme right becomes a focal point for a perverse brand of populism.   In a sense, a similar dynamic played a role in the formation of the Tea Party, which was - again at least in part - a populist reaction to the crash and the Wall Street bailout - which was blamed on the Democrats in office (not without reason).  

    As you note, La Fem, the parties exploiting that dynamic are often cynical or worse. Many are interested in harnessing the energy/votes but ultimately serve their 1% masters. And - both in Europe and over here - it seems pretty easy to tap into a tribal, "us vs. them" instinct which directs animus at immigrants, or African-Americans, or gays, or anyone OTHER than the ones really causing the problem.

  •  I wonder if these election results (4+ / 0-)

    are an indication that a lot of people are not happy about EU expansion and by extension are not happy with current efforts to turn the EU into the 'great savior' which Ukraine must embrace fully.

    The world is bad enough as it is, you have no right to make it any worse.
    Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

    by InAntalya on Mon May 26, 2014 at 07:10:58 AM PDT

    •  Well, in Ukraine the West-supported government (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Blair

      is conducting air strikes on their own people as we speak.  That might have something to do with this.

      •  It must be part of the (0+ / 0-)

        'dialogue and de-escalation process' which the west talks about so much.

        However, he [Poroshenko] warned he would take a tough line on armed militiamen.

        He said: "Their goal is to turn Donbass [east Ukraine] into Somalia. I will not let anyone do this to our state and I hope that Russia will support my approach."

        It seems that Poroshenko has learned the phrases he needs to use to get western media coverage.

        The world is bad enough as it is, you have no right to make it any worse.
        Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

        by InAntalya on Mon May 26, 2014 at 08:14:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's complicated... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      InAntalya geopolitics often is, with a lot of outside bigger players manipulating behind the scenes.  

      While the European Union has joined Washington in denouncing Russia’s annexation of Crimea...

      ...and the chaos stirred by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, Europe’s right-wing populists have been gripped by a contrarian fever of enthusiasm for Russia and its president, Vladimir V. Putin.

      “Russian influence in the affairs of the far right is a phenomenon seen all over Europe,” said a study by the Political Capital Institute, a Hungarian research group. It predicted that far-right parties, “spearheaded by the French National Front,” could form a pro-Russian bloc in the European Parliament or, at the very least, amplify previously marginal pro-Russian voices...

      Even among far-right groups, the sympathy for Russia and suspicion of Washington are in part tactical: Focused on clawing back power from the European Union’s bureaucracy, they seize any cause that puts them at odds with policy makers in Brussels and the conventional wisdom of European elites...

      Some of Russia’s European fans, particularly those with a religious bent, are attracted by Mr. Putin’s image as a muscular foe of homosexuality and decadent Western ways. Others, like Aymeric Chauprade, a foreign policy adviser to the National Front’s leader, Marine Le Pen, are motivated more by geopolitical calculations that emphasize Russia’s role as a counterweight to American power...

      Again, it's "complicated":
      ...This convergence has pushed the far right into a curious alignment with the far left...legislators at both ends of the political spectrum banded together to oppose assisting Ukraine...
  •  In France (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dauphin, LEP, LaFeminista, Eric Blair

    The center right discredited itself, and then the center left did the exact same thing.  It was probably just the extreme right's turn.  Maybe next time it will be the real left's turn.

    Ask yourself why the center is so venal and corrupt they would do nothing even when everyone saw this coming.

  •  As in the US, the right uses fear of the "other".. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dauphin, AJayne, LaFeminista

    ...a longing for the "good old days" (days that never were), and a deep-seated distrust of the "government" to manipulate the uninformed to vote against their own best interests.  

    They encourage, promote and use xenophobia and racism and intolerance” to sway the racists and bigots to vote against their own best interests, believing that "the other" are the ones responsible for all their own life problems.

    There is, of course, a righteous anger at the leaders that promoted "austerity" as the solution to the financial crisis that those same leaders allowed to happen.  Those leaders ignored their own history and the fact that "Austerity and Anarchy are closely linked" and opened the door to repeating the mistakes and consequences of the past.  

    Then, there's also “Russian influence in the affairs of the far right is a phenomenon seen all over Europe”

    “Russia has become the hope of the world against new totalitarianism,” Mr. Chauprade, the National Front’s top European Parliament candidate for the Paris region...

    Whether they European far right will gain enough power to cause as much ugliness and social reverses as the far-right US Congress has done remains to be seen. Hopefully, not. Hopefully, they will remain in a minority, and have limited influence on the darker side of human nature.

  •  I think this more or less shows both the (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TJ, LaFeminista, Wolf10, Eric Blair

    disarray on the left and the frustration of the voters with the status quo: The mainstream leftist parties bought into the dominant economic policy, either due to ideology or because they refused to treat voters as adults and point out that the only long-term choices are fiscal union or EU disintegration, economic depression, and a cycle of beggar-your-neighbour policies.

    As a result, the only clear alternative to the status quo came from extreme right-wing parties who would very much like to tear the EU to ribbons, and damn the consequences (as long as their country comes out reasonably well). Thing is, I think that they will ultimately prevail. The reason is that the reforms advocated by the left (Syriza, for example) require consensus among the member states, which probably won't happen due to the fiscal union's unpopularity, particularly in Northern Europe (I doubt Chancellor Merkel will commit electoral suicide to save the day, for example). On the other hand, the extreme right's policies can be implemented unilaterally, so they can in fact be put into practice.

    Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

    by Dauphin on Mon May 26, 2014 at 07:19:29 AM PDT

    •  Don't discount that age-old motive either (0+ / 0-)

      "If we're going down we're taking you with us."

      •  Of course, and that's actually one I can (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TJ, Wolf10

        sympathise with (being on the receiving end of European policy does tend to do that to a person), at least on days when I feel bleak: If our Northern European colleagues are not willing to be even mildly inconvenient to make our stay in the monetary union tolerable, why should we particularly care about the effects our efforts to save ourselves would have on them? After all, reciprocity matters.

        Of course, that way lies disaster, since when countries start sabotaging one another to gain an advantage things can get really ugly really quickly, but sometimes, when they're at their most sanctimonious, wiping off the smile of the faces of Barroso, van Rompuy, Schauble, Merkel, and the rest would almost make those risks worthwhile.


        Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

        by Dauphin on Mon May 26, 2014 at 07:29:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Headlines seem misleading. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, BMScott

    I see numerous headlines that trumpet victory by the far right in EU elections.  But the details show something different.

    The National Front, led by Marine Le Pen, notched up 24.95% of the vote in France, according to official estimates, well ahead of mainstream parties UMP and the Socialist Party.


    With most of the ballots counted, provisional results indicate that left-center and right-center parties will still hold a majority of seats in the European Parliament, which plays a key role in shaping European laws and will weigh in on who the European Commission's next President should be.

    A terrible and ominous trend, but the far right hasn't exactly achieved a massive victory either.  Have they?

    I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

    by tle on Mon May 26, 2014 at 07:28:58 AM PDT

  •  I agree (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, Wolf10, Eric Blair

    and posting a comment in a similar diary from Crashing Vor:

    I was in London last week when they had their elections. It was a quite a shock to see the gains made by UKIP especially in northern England (they didn't fare well in greater London).

    Northern England is like rural America in many ways. The consensus amongst the folks I talked to is that UKIP's gains were a result of lower middle class/rural/poorer people lashing out against a system and an economy which is in recovery which they've not benefited by whatsoever. The parallels to our situation in America are striking. An overwhelming number of people are not seeing or benefiting by the recovery. To me, the benefactor of that frustration will be the libertarian wing of the Republican Party unless Democrats seize upon and claim the issue as their own.

    Voter turnout in the EU elections was very low (low 30s). The people motivated to vote won and everyone else lost.

    KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

    by fcvaguy on Mon May 26, 2014 at 07:33:13 AM PDT

  •  The worry here in France (5+ / 0-)

    is not that this election will give much power to the far right to change things in the European Parliament. The worry is that the Front National has gained enough legitimacy that it could prevail in the 2017 presidential elections and that Marine Le Pen will be the next president of France.

    And the current socialist government, even after this spanking, seems intent on continuing the same policies, which policies are the same failed ones of the previous Sarkozy government.

    Sound familiar to Americans?

  •  What passes for the Left, and even more so (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Blair

    the Centrists, during this period of neoliberal triumphalism will not rein in highly concentrated private capital. This is particularly true of supranational governing bodies that are even more detached from their respective constituencies and aligned with the interests of multinational capital.

    A growing number of people are becoming aware that globalization, shaped in the interests of the global 1%, is not working out as advertised and feel that something, including perhaps even draconian measures, must be adopted to protect their livelihoods and standards of living. Absent a viable alternative from the Left, which should include what some might deem draconian limits on capital, protectionism and tariffs under certain circumstances and the like, people will look elsewhere.

    The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

    by Wolf10 on Mon May 26, 2014 at 09:18:38 AM PDT

  •  The far right wins when society changes (0+ / 0-)

    faster than the population can absorb.  I'm not at all surprised by this election, frankly, as the Front National has always made a good showing in the first round of elections in France.  Many vote to the right to register a general disapproval of where things are going and then veer back to sanity in the second "tour."

    However, I am actually a bit surprised about Bretagne because I always thought of Bretagne as being rather more conservative than other regions of France.  

    Perhaps I should have voted, but I have mixed feelings about voting in more than one country.  So I only vote in the US.  

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Mon May 26, 2014 at 10:42:47 AM PDT

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