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.

Ghahraman fettering free speech, links Farage to UK MP death

Green MP Golriz Ghahraman has raised free speech eyebrows even higher after linking Nigel Farage to the murder of a UK MP in trying the fetter his free speech.

(fetter v. restrain with chains or manacles, typically around the ankles)

This follows her selective application of free speech to people she agrees with versus those she doesn’t.

But she was challenged on this:

Let’s see appeal for Nigel Farage’s right to speak when he comes to NZ I won’t hold my breath

Her response:

Picking those she things ‘free speech’ and who’s tongues should be chained is controversial enough, but linking Farage to Cox’s death is just about jumping the shark territory.

Gharaman has become a bit of a loose cannon on Twitter, which doesn’t reflect well on the Green Party.


A comment from Missy (from the UK):

She shows her complete ignorance with that tweet.

She obviously believes the left’s spin on Farage, his Brexit campaign was not that much more dishonest than that of the Remain side, and since the referendum hate from the pro EU has risen more than the other way. As for hate crimes rising exponentially, they haven’t, many of the so-called hate crimes have since been proven to be either made up, or not so much hate crimes but normal criminal activity but because the victim was a migrant they were reported as hate crimes.

This is dishonest and misleading from Golriz.

I am not really a fan of Farage’s as such, but he is fair and he gives everyone a chance to air their views whether they agree with him or not – in fact on his show he regularly gets annoyed that no-one who disagrees with him calls in and constantly asks for those that disagree to call in. He is a believer in free speech.

This woman just keeps making stuff up to suit herself.

 

Crusader Rabid

Commenters on Crusader Rabbit are praising the killing of Jo Cox, the Labour MP from Britain.

Crusader Rabbit have been one of the most crazy hard right websites around, but this is bad even by their standards.

The post was just notification of the death with a link to news.

British Labour MP shot dead

The rot set in quickly in comments.

Brown says:

Terrible but at least it appears to be a real lone wolf attack.

  • KG says:

    I no longer find it terrible.
    Once upon a time I would have regarded it as a strike against the norms which make for a civilized society.
    But politicians long ago abandoned those norms and if one of them becomes a victim of that, well….. *shrug*

    • Oswald Bastable says:

      Start of a trend, I hope.

    • Cadwallader says:

      The media is depicting her as some sort of leftie saint. The reality is that she would’ve been a typical Labour busy-body dispensing her unwelcome advice that she knows what is best for us all. In other words: corrupt. I have some compassion for her children though.

      • KG says:

        Yep, spot-on, Cad.
        She belonged to the party which – under Blair – deliberately set out to change the face of Britain without ever consulting the people.
        Cameron has kept that program in place and even accelerated it.
        Q: What’s one dead politician in the face of that massive betrayal of an ancient civilization?
        A. Not enough. Nowhere near enough.

And:

Alan says:

And:

Bo Chandler says:

KG says:

I no longer find it terrible.
Once upon a time I would have regarded it as a strike against the norms which make for a civilized society.
But politicians long ago abandoned those norms and if one of them becomes a victim of that, well….. *shrug*

Amen to that. These collectivist megalomaniacs would gladly pass laws that put you in chains and instruct the police to shoot resistors. Over a hundred million people were murdered last century on the orders of people like this “victim”.

And:

KG says:

What a load of utter bollocks:
Brit Daily Mail headline
‘Tearful mourners hold vigils to murdered MP Jo Cox as her home town remembers a woman who ‘gave her life for the community’ ..’

She was another leftard on a fat salary who was complicit in the dismantling of England.

This is the blog that states:

Leftists/”progressives”/socialists are not welcome here. Pay for your own soapbox.

And promotes this:

‘I believe that politicians, lawyers, busy-bodies and do-gooders are like salamis- greatly improved by hanging for a time.’ Oswald Bastable

But approving of the murder of an MP and wishing for more of the same is awful, even on a rabid right wing website.

Motives of Cox’s killer

The motives of Thomas Mair, the killer of British MP Jo Cox, have been the subject of a lot of speculation and denial.

Lone killer? Or connected to a radical group? Similar arguments were raised in the Orlando killing.

There have been suggestions that both Mair and Mateen were associated with radical groups, but claiming to be acting for ISIS or Britain First does not mean they are a part of those groups, just that they have used the groups for motivation or an excuse.

SB at WO claims:

Today’s face of the day Thomas Mair, wasn’t the politically motivated killer the media initially made him out to be.

screen-shot-2016-06-16-at-18-25-53-640x480

There must be some political motivation in a targeted killing of a Member of Parliament.

Martyn Bradbury takes an unsurprisingly different approach in So when will the right start blaming the killer of Jo Cox on Christianity?

It’s interesting to see the muted reaction to the terrible killing of British Labour MP Jo Cox. The killer has been connected to a far right Christian pro-apartheid group yet the right aren’t calling it terrorism by Christianity.

But it wil probably take time to determine what drove or inspired or corrupted these two killers. Particularly with Mateen, as he is now dead. Mair is speaking to police so may provide some insights.

A lack of insight is dominating comments so far. SB highlighted this:

The organisation Britain First, which was founded by former members of the British National Party, has denied that Mair was associated with it and say they condemn the killing.

– theindependent.co.uk

That means little on it’s own, especially when you see some of the Independent’s headlines as opposed to one selected paragraph:

From the second of those:

Speculation has raged about the motive for the attack after a number of separate eyewitnesses said Ms Cox’s attacker shouted “Britain first” – a longstanding far-right slogan – during the assault.

“Britain First” is also the name of a far-right organisation in Britain which recently publicly advocated “direct action” against Muslim elected officials. The group says it condemns Ms Cox’s killing.

Speculation is likely to continue to rage along with accusations and excuses.

Terrorism or not is a part of the discussions.

Mateen claimed allegiance to a terrorist group but he acted alone and his killings could just as easily be seen as a homosexual hate crime.

It’s still uncertain whether Mair has wider connections or is a lone killer, but I’m sure there are more than a few politicians facing some terrifying realities of their high public profiles and the abuse and threats that are often publicly or privately made against them.

Mair’s motives may emerge in time but the scene has been set already for entrenched opinions based on scant information.