For Britain, These Are Interesting Times
Punctuated by the epic implosion of Gordon Brown's administration, and in stark contrast to the successful socialist administration of the U.S., the European left has crumbled. However, the U.K. has provided one anomaly to the movement -- the rise of the far left.
So bad was Gordon Brown's defeat that Michael Foot -- victim of a historic pummeling via Margaret Thatcher -- can now die assured he is not the biggest loser ever as leader of the Labour Party. In Cornwall, Labour polled sixth behind the Cornwall Independence Party. In Wales, Labour failed to top the poll for the first time in the party's history. The Conservatives -- who topped the polls in Wales -- are now the largest party from the U.K. in the European Parliament.
But much to the horror of the entire British establishment, Labour and Conservative alike, the British National Party gained two seats from Labour in the Northwest and Yorkshire. The British National Party is socialist in the old Labour manner, but is fueled by white power thuggery. Their leader, Nick Griffin, used the occasion of the BNP's success to gloat in spectacular fashion.
Performing a master class in cognitive dissonance, the political establishment has been unable to recognize that a growing segment of the British electorate is both racist and heavily socialist. Journalist Polly Toynbee even had the temerity to place some of the blame on Conservative leader David Cameron and his move to pull his MEPs out of the pro-integrationist EPP to create a new, more skeptical grouping. Some, however, have taken a more reasonable approach to commentary and analysis, avoiding histrionics.
The far left, racist, and crackpot-filled Greens also polled well, but did not increase their tally of zero MEPs. They blame the system for their lack of a seat in the European parliament.
The local elections were equally bad for Labour. Labour lost 291 councillors, lost Bristol to the Liberal Democrats, and were left with not a single county councillor in England and Wales (the BNP gained its first county council seat, taken from Labour).
The rise of the neo-Nazis may be a benefit to those who oppose proportional representation for the election of MEPs, which would necessarily lead to "minor" parties getting seats. Does anyone really want to see neo-Nazis sitting on the green benches of Westminster?