Wednesday 20 January 2016
Europe is entering troubled and dangerous times. The rise of nationalism across the continent is deeply disturbing. It is present in every country, and has a significant presence in the European Parliament, presumably with the acknowledged electoral belief and brief to disrupt and corrode from within instead of representing their constituents’ and country’s interests at a pan-European level.
From Ukip and the English Defence League in Britain, to the Front National in France; the National Democratic Party and Pegida in Germany; the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands; Golden Dawn in Greece; and the Danish People’s Party in Denmark, among others in Hungary, Austria and Finland, Nationalism’s presence is felt.
Haven’t we seen this somewhere before? Those who fail to learn from history are forever condemned to repeat it, goes the adage, but isn’t it true that we are condemned instead to be continually ignorant of it, where history is used like pliable dough to support and feed our prejudices and dislikes, instead of being used to inform and counter them?
Do the Le Pens, the Farages, the Wilders, and the leaders of all these groups really believe that if the voters of Europe allowed them to implement their policies and vision that Europe would be a paradigm of harmony and peaceful co-existence as a result? Like the rise of National Socialism in Germany in the 1930s, wouldn’t it instead be a continual case of just one more thing and then we’ll all be happy? Far-right groups can only exist if there is a bogeyman to slay, a scapegoat. When this scapegoat is removed another must take its place or the movement’s oxygen is starved. Meanwhile, the real monster, the bogeyman that does exist and is responsible for all of the UK’s and Europe’s woes, Neolibralism, and those whose political beliefs (hierarchical wealth and power entrenchment) require its oxygen to survive, is ignored.
To starve the oxygen of nationalism, and in response to the 2015 New Year’s Eve attacks in Cologne, national governments must ensure that migrants coming into any EU country are fully aware of that country’s laws and customs, and that they will face the full punishment of the law if these are not respected. If migrants are entering from Middle Eastern countries they need to be fully aware that groping, touching, feeling etc is not tolerated in the West and is sexual assault, and that they will face severe penalties, possibly imprisonment, if they engage in these activities. They won’t be able to just laugh off any complaint to male police officers that happens elsewhere, and the police and the authorities need to deal with these complaints as they would any other.
Europe needs to remain level-headed and not get hysterical. Counter to what Donald Trump says, all Mexicans are not rapists. Germany should be immensely proud of the humanity and generosity it’s shown to tens of thousands of bombed-out families of human beings who have been living in misery and despair. The last thing UK and EU citizens should do is listen to people like Tommy Robinson: “Islam is a cancer, and Pegida is a cure” and “it is our God-given right and duty to protect our women. It’s what men do” (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/09/cologne-protests-sex-attacks-germany).
Imagine what Tommy Robinson’s Britain, or England, would look like if he had his way. Few pints down the pub on a Sunday, down to the dog fight, and back for meat and potatoes and a slap for the missus.
Keep it Tommy……, and Nigel, and Marine, and Geert, and Lutz, and Ilias, and Kristian, and Gabor, and the wolf who will cover his paws in flour for you, Putin.