The Null Device

Britain shifts to the right

The EU election results are in. It is, of course, a disastrous result for New Labour, with them winning only 11 seats, finishing third behind a single-issue minor party.

Britain also lurched sharply to the right. Everyone is, of course, talking about the BNP, a party which strenuously denies being fascist or racist with one breath and then talks about kicking dark-skinned people out of Britain with the next. They got two MEPs up. Though as attention-grabbing as neo-Nazis and those of that ilk are, the real news is elsewhere; the UKIP (a right-wing populist party currently focussed on pulling Britain out of the EU, though whose MEPs have in the past railed against womens' rights; they're like the BNP minus the overt racism and fascism) came second, winning 13 seats. First, of course, were the Tories, who, whilst paying lip service to centrism in Britain, have allied themselves with the right-wing fringe in the EU, having left the centre-right European People's Party and joined a new fringe-right bloc. The 24 Tory MEPs just elected will ally themselves with right-wing hardliners such as Poland's rabidly illiberal Law and Justice Party and Latvia's Fatherland and Freedom Party. The Greens, meanwhile, only scored two seats and a whisker more votes than the BNP, and the traditional leftist parties seem to have vanished into thin air.

If the UKIP are going to be the New Tory Britain's opposition party, they'll have to come up with some policies other than pulling Britain out of the EU and kicking all the Polish plumbers out. Such as, perhaps, bringing back the death penalty, national service or public flogging.

There are 2 comments on "Britain shifts to the right":

Posted by: Mat Mon Jun 8 16:29:34 2009

To introduce the death penalty you'd have to leave the EU, as it's a requirement that EU member states don't have the death penalty.

Posted by: acb http://dev.null.org/acb/ Mon Jun 8 16:40:09 2009

I see no hurdle there with a UKIP government; their first policy is to leave the EU.

There are proponents in the EU of overturning the ban on capital punishment (the Law and Justice Party in Poland, for one), but they're in a small, cranky minority.

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