Thursday, 29 May 2014

Janet Daley understands

If you really want to understand what has just happened, here are a few interpretations that you should ignore (or better yet, vociferously dispute).
1. This was an anti-politics rebellion: electorates across Europe were engaging in a massive rejection of present-day political reality.
No they weren't. They were making brilliant pro-active use of the democratic process – which is the most important political mechanism they have – to protest against the assumptions and practices of the ruling political class. This was a massive pro-democracy gesture: a rebellion against oligarchic EU structures which quite deliberately disregard the voices of the general population, because they see them as dangerously unstable and ignorant. The electorates have announced that they will no longer accept the doctrine of benign despotism which the EU Commission quite brazenly celebrates – replacing elected governments whenever  it sees fit and over-ruling national governments when it finds them insufficiently "enlightened".
2. We are now in a four party electoral system.
No we're not. We are in a three party system with Ukip replacing the Liberal Democrats as the third contender. The party of general protest is now on the Right rather than the Left – which is actually a more serious change in the political landscape than the mere introduction of a fourth player.
3. This result constitutes a uniform swing toward ultra-nationalist Right-wing forces all over Europe.
No it doesn't. In several countries, Spain and Greece most notably, the vote went to more extreme Left-wing parties. The uniform trend was against the Centre: those parties which are seen to be complicit with the anti-democratic consensus politics of the EU. Above all, this was a rejection of what voters see as a conspiracy against the people by a political establishment which has lost faith in democracy because it regards it as nothing more than mob rule. It was a condemnation of the power of an unelected, unaccountable elite – against centrist authoritarianism and for the integrity of national cultures.
Politicians and their media friends who claim that they want to "learn lessons" from this event had better make sure they learn the right ones: repeating the same self-deluding formula to each other endlessly will lead only to disaster for them and for us.http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/janetdaley/100273264/european-elections-2014-how-to-learn-nothing-from-the-result/

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