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Dutch Labour Party Upset the Far-Right in EU Elections

Frans Timmermans | Kuhlmann /MSC

Michael East, Red Revolution

The Dutch Labour Party has seemingly won an unexpected victory over the far-right during the European Elections in Holland, easily seeing off the challenge of the Forum for Democracy.

Exit polls show that Frans Timmermans’ Labour has taken over 18% of the vote compared with just 11% for the Forum for Democracy who finished third in polling behind Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s conservatives.

Ipsos final exit poll

The showing by Labour is all the more impressive as it marks a doubling on their 2014 performance and flies in the face of the far-right wave that has been expected by many commentators. An Ipsos poll for 26–29 Apr 2019 placed the Forum for Democracy as high as 16.9% of the votes with Labour scoring a mere 7.8%.

“I hope that this gives a tailwind for a lot of other social democrats in Europe”

Frans Timmermans

While the media talks only of advances and successes for the far-right, socialist and other left-wing parties have been quietly forming their own red wave in Europe, taking the fight directly to the right. The latest win comes after Spanish socialists saw off the challenge of Vox in the recent Spanish elections, the anti-Austerity Social Democrats saw off the challenge of the Finns in Finland and Britain’s Labour Party is expected to form the next government under socialist Jeremy Corbyn.

While it is early days, there are signs that a backlash against the far-right might be starting to form with widespread protests against Matteo Silvini being seen in Italy and the downfall of the heavily far-right influenced government in Austria.

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Europe’s Fault Lines: Racism and the Rise of the Right

By Elizabeth Fekete

It is clear that the right is on the rise, but after Brexit, the election of Donald Trump and the spike in popularity of extreme-right parties across Europe, the question on everyone’s minds is: how did this happen? An expansive investigation of the ways in which a newly-configured right interconnects with anti-democratic and illiberal forces at the level of the state, Europe’s Fault Lines provides much-needed answers, revealing some uncomfortable truths. What appear to be “blind spots” about far-right extremism on the part of the state, are shown to constitute collusion-as police, intelligence agencies and the military embark on practices of covert policing that bring them into direct or indirect contact with the far right, in ways that bring to mind the darkest days of Europe’s authoritarian past. Old racisms may be structured deep in European thought, but they have been revitalized and spun in new ways: the war on terror, the cultural revolution from the right, and the migration-linked demonization of the destitute “scrounger.” Drawing on her work for the Institute of Race Relations over thirty years, Liz Fekete exposes the fundamental fault lines of racism and authoritarianism in contemporary Europe.


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