What a pleasure it was to see two socialist parties triumph in the most recent elections. First, Labour increased its share of the vote in Oldham — and then, last weekend, the Front National became France’s most popular party, securing almost 30 per cent in the first round of the country’s regional elections.
Labour’s win was, I suspect, a bit of a false dawn. For a start, the party did an un-usual thing and fielded a sentient and likeable candidate, something which most of the time it successfully avoids doing. But even then, it was at least partly dependent upon Asian men hauling large sacks of votes from illiterate and non-English-speaking residents into the local post office. The Asian Muslim — largely Bangladeshi — population of Oldham West and Royton is almost 25 per cent, and Ukip estimated the turnout within this sector at a remarkable 90 per cent. That will have helped a bit. As to the absence of the supposed Corbyn factor, my suspicion is that in solidly blue-collar northern constituencies the traditional Labour voters may not like Jezza, but at the moment they don’t find him noticeably more absurd than Ed Miliband. Much of a muchness. Mr Corbyn’s idiocies need time to settle down and mature among the populace before the desertion rate increases still further.
Labour’s healthy win bitterly disappointed many politicians, most of them from within the Parliamentary Labour Party, who had been hoping against hope for a Ukip victory. That was never going to happen in such a ‘diverse’ (i.e., lots of Muslims) constituency. But it was still not quite a stunning victory for a party in opposition at a by--election; Labour continues to lose votes in the north, and especially among the northern working class. It has lost more than four million since 1997 and that trend is continuing.
The Front National is a different bouilloire de poissons. I call them socialist because they are essentially redistributionist, protectionist, statist and interventionist — but given the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the liberal European press, I suppose I should also concede that they possess one or two notions which we might describe as ‘right of centre’. They are for the Christian faith and the family, for example, as was just about every European political party (except for the Commies) pre-1990, but which is a hugely unfashionable position to take these days, even if a very large minority — at the least — of voters in both France and the UK approve. They hold a line on immigration which accords with the views of about 80 per cent of British voters — no more of it, thank you; we’ve had enough. And they have one or two doubts about Islam being an essentially peaceable and assimilable ideology. Yes, yes, I know. It is hard to imagine how they can have formed such an opinion. Shocking. Islamophobia, that’s what I call it. They are also pro-Russian, and adored by Vladimir Putin, which these days probably counts as being right-wing. And they do not like the European Union.
The success of Marine Le Pen’s party is being put down to fallout from the latest Islamic atrocity, the Paris murders. Well, actually, not the latest – there have been plenty more since, in the USA for example and even at one of our underground stations. But the liberals need to employ a bit of double-think here, for this notion to have any legs. These attacks were nothing to do with Islam, we were told — by François Hollande, and the press and our own Prime Minister. The atrocities would not dull our appetites to embrace Islam and Muslims still further, we were assured, because that’s what ‘they’ want — those terrorists who were not merely non-Islamic but actually, come to think of it, anti-Islamic. So let more come in! Let us all hug one another, because that’s what we in the civilised West do at times like this: we light candles, we hug and we spread the love. And that will defeat the nasty men, almost by itself. And we will also refer to the nasty men as Daesh rather than by a term which has the word ‘Islamic’ in it, just to be clear. That, we were assured, is how French people would react to the Paris murders.
But they didn’t, did they? Instead, they voted for the Front National. Despite the odium in which it is held, despite the daily propaganda describing it as racist and divisive and vile, despite its pariah status within the French political system. Still, almost 30 per cent of French people voted FN, more than they did for any other party. They simply did not buy that outpouring of delusional wishful thinking which emanated from the liberal authorities, as it always does — from Hollande to Cameron via Merkel, from Le Monde to the BBC. The voters thought it was rubbish, which it was, and that the terror would only get worse, which it will. In Calais, where there is a Jungle of largely Muslim asylum seekers aching to get into Britain — presumably to be hugged —the FN vote was more than 50 per cent.
The same antipathy to the usual Euro-liberal fatuities has been seen in Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Hungary and Poland. The voters have woken up: it is no good any longer simply to hold hands with one another and close our eyes. In some cases the parties on the rise, or even in office, in these countries are genuinely right-wing nationalists. Or they are populists, or like the Front National they are socially conservative socialists. The one thing they have in common is that they are fundamentally anti-Islamic. That is where the votes are coming from – people who have had enough of Islam. It is an irony that the liberals are being vanquished as a consequence of their support for that least liberal of ideologies, Islam. Maybe they will wake up too, when the entire continent has swung to the right.