It’s been a busy few days for the far-right, with many familiar faces appearing, but amid some unfamiliar, disturbing contexts.
When 30p Lee Anderson (MP’s £86k and £100k GBNews whack notwithstanding) not-so secretly bragged of moneyed moves to lure him away from the Tories, co-GB News presenter Richard Tice denied his Reform Party was the mysterious ‘R’ party behind the plot. They are mysterious, mind. When “Brexit Brian” Stovell gladhanded with Tice and offered his eager support, he couldn’t remember the name of Tice’s outfit.
It’s almost funny, although I’d prefer to be outraged. I’m not as I suspect I’ve been hypernormalised.
That said. Brian also attended Sunday’s march against anti-Semitism in London – a tragically necessary event, and wholly unnecessarily attended by stalwart bigots, Boris Johnson, and professional Islamophobe – and anti-Semite – Tommy Robinson.
And for Brian, this was really a ‘pro-Israel’ march where he filmed ‘a bit of tension with the Orthodox Jews’ from Neturei Karta, or Orthodox Jews United Against Zionism – at whom some marchers, amid a throng of Israeli flags, yelled, “We’re all Jewish” and “shame on you”. The Neturei ultimately needed a police escort. What actually are we seeing here?
The Netherlands election and Geert Wilders
Similarly disturbing was long-time fringe fascist Geert Wilders’ party, that seeks to ban the Koran and close mosques come first in the Dutch election – the party with the most votes, but not most of the votes – still capsizing the long-held view of a tolerant Netherlands.
Riots in Dublin
And then Ireland, where riots in Dublin blamed on the far-right followed a multiple stabbing and overturned the idea of an Ireland that’s welcoming to outsiders.
From whence did these rioters come, not least as they lack any Wilders or Farage-like leader? I’ve seen a lot of videos of late on Facebook and YouTube of people filmed in Dublin and Cork behaving weirdly, anti-socially, even criminally – but what links them as far as the uploaders of these videos is, they’re dark-skinned, and don’t speak English. Who’s uploading all this, to what end?
Ireland, like the Netherlands, like the UK, is suffering from the global cost-of-living crisis, from housing crises – and immigrants who are blamed for it all, the handiwork be by demagogue or by poison in your pocket, we see these political upsets, these ambushes, by the far-right continuing. This bodes ill. Political reporter and analyst Ian Dunt observed on his Substack:
“European parliamentary elections in June could follow the Dutch experience, centring on immigration and returning countless right-wing populists, effectively turning the European parliament into a cancerous far-right body operating at a continental scale. In the US, current polls – with all the obvious caveats about how far out we are – could return Trump to power. From there, he could eradicate Ukraine’s ability to defend itself against Russian aggression, working in tandem with the European crank-army to obliterate its defence and open up the continent to Putin’s dominance.
“It all seems unconscionable and alarmist. It is all perfectly possible.”
Voters in the US haven’t learned from Trump in office or Trump in court. With Milei elected, voters in Argentina haven’t learned from Bolsonaro in Brazil. Wilders, seeking Nexit, hasn’t learned from Brexit (although worse than destroying the EU might be for the far-right to weaponise it).
The one familiar face we’ve not seen on the street, on the ballot, or on the box in his usual guise is that man-of-the-margin, Nigel Farage, who’s taken £1.5 million to be the king of the swingers. He’s missed out on all this. He possibly even forewent ennoblement into Sunak’s Cabinet. I don’t know. Nothing’s impossible these days, it seems. I really wish some things were.