Divisions in Europe and the rise of the extreme right and left

From Missy in the UK:


The political discourse in Europe is getting more intense as divisions are pushing people more and more to the extremes of left and right.

In the UK the Brexit debate has led to the divisions coming to the fore, however, this isn’t new in politics here, as many who were around in Thatcher’s time will remind you. Social Media has given a wider audience to it though, and the anonymity for some on social media has given the opportunity for language to become more and more abusive, something that is now spilling over into real life.

Those on the far left are happily calling political opponents fascists, far right, nazis, meanwhile some anti Brexit supporters are talking about killing all Leave voters, whilst others are calling Leave voters racists, xenophobes, nazis, fascist (that word again).

Some far left activists and activist groups have publicly called for Conservative politicians to be harassed wherever they go, they have sent death threats, and wished their children dead, whilst some on the far right (not as organised in groups as the far left extremists) have threatened rape and violence to those that they disagree with. This is not sudden either, several years ago when a back bench MP, the now Shadow Chancellor called for direct action against Conservative MPs calling them social criminals, he has also been filmed repeating a dubious ‘joke’ calling for violence against a female Conservative MP using the phrase ‘lynch the bitch’. When MPs are using language like this against their colleagues in the House of Commons who can blame their followers for thinking it is acceptable?

Anna Soubry, a pro Remain conservative MP has reportedly used extreme language to describe leave voters, (I have not seen any video evidence of her reported comments as I have of McDonnell’s), she also referred to her own Conservative colleagues that support Brexit as extremists and called for them to be slung out of the party. There is also a report that about 3 or 4 years ago she referred to her constituents as racists.

Yesterday during an interview on College Green Anna Soubry was shouted down by Brexit supporters and called a nazi. This has gained a lot of media coverage, which is prompting much condemnation, but also a bit of bemusement as to why the media have not covered as extensively pro Brexit MPs being shouted down and abused, or why the term nazi is suddenly so distasteful to pro Remain supporters when many of them have been using it for the last 3 years to denigrate Leave supporters. The bemusement and the whataboutery isn’t good for discourse, but it shows up the hypocrisy of many on the extremes of politics, where the language they use against those they disagree with is not okay when it is used against them.

Many on the left of politics in the UK tend to take the moral high ground on abuse against politicians, pointing to the murder of Jo Cox as evidence the left don’t do violence, only the right do. This is a dangerous position to take as we see in the violence of groups like Momentum and Antifa.

Today a story came out from Germany. Yesterday a German politician was badly beaten by three masked men in Bremen, he was saved by a construction worker who came to his aid, it was reported he was left half dead. The politician? Frank Magnitz, the leader of the AfD in Bremen.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-46792556

It is not healthy for our democracy to descend into this level of abuse, words are used to shut down debate or invalidate someone’s opinion and it becomes the loudest that are heard and considered the voice of the majority, even though they are most likely the minority on the extremes. When words like racist, xenophobe, nazi, fascist are used to describe people who want to have legitimate discussions on topics like immigration the meaning of these words are diluted, and then they are no longer listened to or taken as credible descriptors of someone’s beliefs.

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41 Comments

  1. David

     /  9th January 2019

    After a toxic referendum with appalling scare tactics from the Bank of England boss and the the Chancellor of the Exchequer and half of the country being labelled as racists the long ignored voices of those outside the London bubble were finally heard. Then an unnecessary election where over 80% of people voted for parties that pledged to honour the referendum results its now been 2 years of what appears to be May saying I will deliver Brexit while clearly trying to not deliver it.
    Surprised the whole place isnt on fire with a few more MPs getting a slap for being duplicitous liars.

    Reply
  2. acrossthespectrum

     /  9th January 2019

    UK politics are like their weather, grey + dull like a damp squib. Nothing ever happens in the UK because they are all squashed up in their sardine can terrace houses and it’s always raining.The Uk is ancient, tamed, flat, featureless and dull and that’s on a good day and did I say it’s always raining.

    Reply
    • Missy

       /  9th January 2019

      I can assure you it isn’t always raining, in fact today was a glorious winter’s day with a blue sky and a crisp frost this morning.

      As for the politics, you seem to know very little about it if you think it is dull. At the moment UK politics is much more interesting than NZ politics has been for a while.

      Reply
  3. Duker

     /  9th January 2019

    The AfD has had some internal splits – as extreme groups on both sides do. It could turn out to be some of his former colleagues as it is from the far left.

    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  9th January 2019

      I could also turn out it was martians what did it

      Reply
    • Missy

       /  9th January 2019

      And it could just as easily be AntiFa thugs as well.

      There has been a sustained campaign of direct action against AfD over the last few months, mostly acts of vandalism, none of it concentrated in one area, but rather carried out all over the country, with the latest being an explosion at their office in a town in the Eastern part of the country.

      It was most likely carried out by those opposed to the policies and beliefs of AfD, which makes it more likely the attack was carried out by someone on the far left. Another possibility (since you are speculating) could be migrants. There has been an increase in violence by illegal migrants in Germany, predominantly those from Afghanistan and North Africa.

      Reply
      • David

         /  9th January 2019

        Germany has had some shocking migrant crime and a fair bit of suppression by the authorities on information about some events which while having good intentions just makes folk more suspicious.

        Reply
  4. Blazer

     /  9th January 2019

    staunch Trumpanzees…

    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  9th January 2019

      Rather racist of you.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  9th January 2019

        how so…

        Reply
        • Pink David

           /  9th January 2019

          You know exactly what ypur message was, and it is without doubt racist.

          Reply
      • acrossthespectrum

         /  9th January 2019

        Yes it is fake.
        It is so staged to represent stereotype
        southern white trailer park trash toting guns.
        Silly.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  9th January 2019

          who mentioned white trailer trash…oh…you did.

          Reply
          • acrossthespectrum

             /  9th January 2019

            I wrote “stereotype” southern white trailer park trash toting guns. There is a difference and you know it Blaze.

            Reply
    • Corky

       /  9th January 2019

      Well, at least they have some form of defence. What have we got? Oh, yeah.. dial 111.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  9th January 2019

        Most of us are highly unlikely to need guns to defend ourselves; this isn’t the US, thank Heaven.

        It seems an anomaly that, as well as having liberal gun laws which allow the fat man to have weapons like that, they have an per capita murder rate many times greater than ours and a mass shooting almost every day. The gun owning doesn’t seem to be a very great help in defending people.

        Reply
        • Pink David

           /  9th January 2019

          “The gun owning doesn’t seem to be a very great help in defending people”

          Compared to almost all of the Americas, it appears to be successful. Brazil is about to free up gun laws to allow people to defend themselves. That will be interesting.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  9th January 2019

            It doesn’t seem to have done much to prevent the almost daily massacres, like the one a couple of days ago.

            Reply
            • Corky

               /  9th January 2019

              Safety belts don’t seem to do much to bring down the road toll down if reversing trends are anything to go by.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  9th January 2019

              Total irrelevancy; the two have no resemblance to each other.

              If you look at the death toll per capita before safety belts and the number now where the people were not wearing them, you may change your mind.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  9th January 2019

              The worst year was 1974 with 840+. The population then was about 3/5 what it is now.

              The toll would be well over 1000 if it was at the same rate.

  5. The Consultant

     /  9th January 2019

    I would not usually put up the following, since it’s FoxNews and one of their main people, Tucker Carlson, since both usually enrage Lefties to such an extent that they clap their hands over their ears and start screaming until the channel can be changed, BUT….


    given the topic of discussion, you all (Right, Left and Centrist) just might find more than a few bits and pieces that you agree with…

    https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/tucker-carlson-mitt-romney-supports-the-status-quo-but-for-everyone-else-its-infuriating

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  9th January 2019

      So its OK if its bullshit ( note I didnt even check) but if it enrages another group its good to hear it.
      Is that actually a ‘philosophy’ of yours ?

      Reply
      • The Consultant

         /  9th January 2019

        note I didnt even check
        Then I think you should before commenting further. It’s 15 minutes long and while it is a monologue it’s not a rant.

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  9th January 2019

          Now compare that clip to our news media. Interesting clip, I’m a little upset he had a few digs at Libertarians. But that’s Fox News for you..a one eyed monster according to Lefties.

          Reply
    • Blazer

       /  9th January 2019

      Tucker is Fox’s best by panels.Interesting clip.

      Reply
  6. Alan Wilkinson

     /  9th January 2019

    There seems to be a rather dangerous situation recurring where the opposition unites to try to bring down the government and is joined by a minority of rebels within the government making the country ungovernable.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  9th January 2019

      Are they trying to bring down the government – or to bring down Trump and restore the government?

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  9th January 2019

        They tried to block the Senate in the hope of overturning both houses in the mid-term elections.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  9th January 2019

          Trump’s the target though.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  9th January 2019

            No, power is the target. Trump is merely in the way.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  9th January 2019

              Power is the goal, or the objective. Trump is the current target for the Democrats.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  9th January 2019

              Goal and objective are synonyms for target. Trump is not even the current target, blocking his wall is. The future one is defeating his re-election, not him personally.

              I win again.

            • Gezza

               /  9th January 2019

              They may be according to some definitions but the way they were used in my organisation:
              The Goal was to be the best provider of the service we delivered, globally
              The Strategy was to meet or exceed customer expectations in identified service areas by meeting specific performance Objectives focussed on attaining that Goal.
              KPI’s were identified as the metrics and Targets were set for meeting those (usually things like %s of decisions within set time frames). These could be adjusted, usually raised. Eventually collapsing the system because they became unattainable due to conflicts with other objectives and targets (like doing more with fewer staff).

              In this case we are discussing the focus of the Democrats, in order to gain power, is obviously going on to Trump himself. He is their primary target because keeping the pressure on someone as chaotic and egotistical as him causes him to do and say things that fuck off even Republicans – who they often can negotiate with collectively until he gets involved.

              Focussing on Trump and frustrating his every wish has led to thousands of employees who have nothing to do with border control and may never have voted for him (he attacks government agency workers all the time) not being paid. Trump gambles they will blame the Democrats. The Democrats gamble the voters will blame Trump.

              The Democrats also look to exploit every whimisical decision Trump makes like suddenly announcing to everyone he’s talked with, & agreed that, Erdy can take care of ISIS and he’ll just pull the troops out of Syria ; no worries.

              If they can keep focussing on frustrating Trump he’ll keep grandstanding with ill-considered brain fart distractions, increasing the numbers of voters and US allies who think he’s a fucking nutcase.

              They’re not focussed on debating with Republicans. He’s their primary target.

    • Gezza

       /  9th January 2019

      Oh – sorry Al. Which government are you referring to?

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  9th January 2019

        UK and US that I know of. Maybe Germany six months ago when Merkel was overthrown on immigration and forced to step down on one party position and schedule her retirement from the other.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  9th January 2019

          the opposition unites to try to bring down the government and is joined by a minority of rebels within the government making the country ungovernable

          That’s just another form of popular revolt. It needn’t make the country ungovernable, it just prevents unpopular changes being made. In all these countries there are probably provisions to call early elections – where the parties need to get their shit together and have another go.

          In the meantime the existing machinery of government ought to continue along unchanged – except in the US which, as we see, has a crazy government funding model.

          The US system of government has obviously always had this built-in potential to be completely dysfunctional and it took Trump being made President to show Americans why they are a larfing stock.

          Reply
    • Missy

       /  9th January 2019

      That was shown last night in Westminster. Parliament were voting on the Finance Bill, and an amendment was put forward which effectively says the Government can’t use their powers to tweak the tax system to mitigate any financial impact in the event of the withdrawal agreement not passing and the UK leaving the EU with no agreement.

      20 Government MPs joined the opposition to vote for the amendment, and have spun it as meaning the UK is unable to exit the EU with no withdrawal agreement, the reality is that the UK can still exit with no agreement, the Government are restricted in what they can do to mitigate the financial impact.

      Reply
  1. Divisions in Europe and the rise of the extreme right and left — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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