Europe Swings Right as Depression Deepens

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The establisment
Left had been crushed across most of Europe, just as it was in the
early 1930s.

We have seen
the ultimate crisis of capitalism – what Marxist-historian Eric
Hobsbawm calls the "dramatic equivalent of the collapse of
the Soviet Union" – yet socialists have completely failed
to reap any gain from the seeming vindication of their views.

It is not clear
why a chunk of the blue-collar working base has swung almost overnight
from Left to Right, but clearly we are seeing the delayed detonation
of two political time-bombs: rising unemployment and the growth
of immigrant enclaves that resist assimilation.

Note that Right-wing
incumbents in France (Sarkozy) and Italy (Berlusconi), survived
the European elections unscathed.

Left-wing incumbents
in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Hungary,
Poland, Denmark, and of course Britain were either slaughtered,
or badly mauled.

The Dutch Labour
party that has dominated national politics for the last half century
fell behind the anti-immigrant movement of Geert Wilders (banned
from entering Britain). It serves them right for the staggeringly
stupid decision to force through the European Constitution (renamed
Lisbon) after it had already been rejected by their own voters by
a fat margin in the 2005 referendum.

The Portuguese
Socialists face Siberian exile after seeing a 18pc drop in their
vote. The slow drip-drip of debt-deflation for a boom-bust Club
Med state, trapped in the eurozone with an overvalued exchange rate
(viz core Europe, and the world), has suddenly turned into a torrent.
The country is already in deflation (-0.6pc in April). It has been
suffering its own version of Japanese perma-slump for half a decade.

Portugal’s
opposition is calling for an immediate vote of no censure, while
the Government clings to constitutional fig-leaves to hide its naked
legitimacy. "O Governo está na sua plenitude de funções,"
said the chief spokesman. You can guess what that means. Not long
for this world, surely.

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the rest of the article

June
10, 2009

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