National Front in France

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National Front in France

Post by tocyvi on Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:22 pm

The Guardian has this article today on suggested voting intentions for the European elections in 2014:

“One in four French voters are ready to support the far-right National Front in next year's European elections, a new poll shows.
A survey of voting intentions for the May 2014 election found the party could win more support than the government and the main opposition party.
It is the first time in French political history that the Front National, led by Marine Le Pen, has headed a poll for a national vote.
The pollsters Ifop found 24% of the 1,893 French voters questioned said they intended to vote for the anti-European Union, anti-immigration National Front, while 22% said they would vote for the centre-right Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) and 19% for the governing Socialist party.
"For the first time in a poll on voting intentions in an election of a national character, the [National Front] is clearly ahead," Ifop said.”


Marine Le Pen, a practising lawyer, has threatened to sue anyone that calls the National Front an "extreme right" party. The Guardian is clearly not too bothered; it calls the NF “far-right”.
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Re: National Front in France

Post by Richard T on Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:22 pm

tocyvi wrote:Marine Le Pen, a practising lawyer, has threatened to sue anyone that calls the National Front an "extreme right" party. The Guardian is clearly not too bothered; it calls the NF “far-right”.
They're probably right not to be too concerned.

From the France 24 web site:

'The FN’s lawyer, Wallerand de Saint-Just, added that the party would not try the impossible and sue every news outlet that used the term “far-right”.

“We can’t do this willy-nilly, that would be a mammoth task,” he said. “But if we do decide to go to court, it will be if the term is used to associate the party with Nazis, racism, anti-Semitism, and murder.'


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Re: National Front in France

Post by tocyvi on Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:47 pm

Richard T wrote:
tocyvi wrote:Marine Le Pen, a practising lawyer, has threatened to sue anyone that calls the National Front an "extreme right" party. The Guardian is clearly not too bothered; it calls the NF “far-right”.
They're probably right not to be too concerned.

From the France 24 web site:

'The FN’s lawyer, Wallerand de Saint-Just, added that the party would not try the impossible and sue every news outlet that used the term “far-right”.

“We can’t do this willy-nilly, that would be a mammoth task,” he said. “But if we do decide to go to court, it will be if the term is used to associate the party with Nazis, racism, anti-Semitism, and murder.'

Hi Richard T. God forbid that right minded people should accuse the National Front of any of these things!!! I await their free-thinking and balanced manifesto with great eagerness.
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Re: National Front in France

Post by Jellybelly on Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:47 am

Just wondering, if they are anti-European Union, could that affect us ex-pats?
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Re: National Front in France

Post by tocyvi on Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:19 am

Jellybelly wrote:Just wondering, if they are anti-European Union, could that affect us ex-pats?
Hi Jellybelly. It’s too soon to start panicking about having to repatriate back to one’s own country. There are 2 fundamental concerns here and they are, in my view, inextricably intermingled:

Firstly, from a purely selfish point of view, I would prefer not to up sticks and go back to the UK, because I have now made my very contented life here. I have to say that I think it highly unlikely that it will come to that.

Secondly, and arguably this is also a selfish point of view, the rise of any form of extremism is very worrying, because it a) threatens the existing  fairly balanced status quo and b) it tells us something highly perturbing about the way that people are starting to think about a lot of very basic issues about equality, civil rights and a whole lot more.

The austerity programmes throughout Europe and beyond have inevitably contributed to this change of political persuasion and, if we are to believe the expert’s view that we are over the worst and things can only get better (now, where have I heard that before?), it is to be hoped that peoples’ views will adapt accordingly.

There is, however, no room for complacency:

"The boost to the extreme right in France came amid growing fears among the European Union elite that extreme parties of right and left would make a strong showing in the European elections in May.

Nigel Farage's UK Independence party is tipped to do well, possibly becoming the biggest British party in the European parliament, while Geert Wilders, the Dutch anti-immigrant and anti-Islam populist, is also running strongly in the opinion polls.

German analysts and politicians expect the new anti single European currency party, Alternative for Germany, to win its first seats in a national poll. The far-right in Poland, Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria would also register gains, on current projections."


Source: The Guardian 10 October 2013
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Re: National Front in France

Post by Jellybelly on Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:46 am

I agree with your concerns about extremism & it is not a selfish point of view. To not be concerned would be selfish. My concern is purely selfish in that we want to up sticks & return to England & have been trying to sell up since Feb. This could put off any potential non French buyers, just as the UK housing market is supposedly picking up. This is a double edged sword as it may produce more interest in our property but also means our limited budget will be stretched even more Sad
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Re: National Front in France

Post by Myriam on Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:19 pm

In my opinion, although it is true that there is a trend of higher popularity in populist extreme right support, a poll for the European elections does not really reflect what people would vote in national elections. It shows that people are not happy with what is being decided in Europe and how it affects their personal lives (higher taxes, etc.).

Geert Wilders in the Netherlands is very popular at the moment (25%), but I doubt very much if people would vote for him en masse in a national election. In the Netherlands people are very unhappy with the present government, as they virtually make it impossible for the economy to grow again.

In times of "crisis", support for extreme right is always greater. I do agree people seem to be less tolerant compared to the '70-ies, but when push comes to shove, extreme right is often not prepared to get into govenment with another party. They prefer to kick up the dust as an opposition party, at least this is true for Mr. Wilders.
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Re: National Front in France

Post by tocyvi on Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:21 pm

Hi Myriam

I think what you say is true about the economic reasons behind the swing to the right but that still doesn’t explain why these people feel happy about supporting parties which are frighteningly redolent of recent historical events.

If any of these forecasts are remotely correct (and currently there is no reason to suspect they’re not), there will be an increasingly large contingent of far-right politicians in the European Parliament. In view of the power which is now vested in the E/P, these politicians could have a substantial influence in framing future laws and, consequently, our lives.
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Re: National Front in France

Post by Richard T on Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:39 pm

tocyvi wrote:Hi Myriam

... but that still doesn’t explain why these people feel happy about supporting parties which are frighteningly redolent of recent historical events.
My view (without much real evidence to support it) is that support for extreme parties gives people an opportunity to express their latent xenophobia which is normally held in check by "political correctness". It enables them to openly blame others (i.e. foreigners) for all the ills of society and at the same time claim that it's not about xenophobia/racism but economics.

I was surprised when, during the last general election, a number of otherwise quite reasonable people said that they were going to vote for the BNP. When asked why they would want to vote for a bunch of racist thugs the reply was that it was merely "a protest vote". These same people, like so many who whose values are formed by certain tabloid newspapers, would often accuse immigrants of "taking our jobs" whilst at the same time "living off benefits". In other words they espouse a clearly irrational economic argument for keeping foreigners out because it conveniently supports their instinctive xenophobia. Supporting extreme right wing parties has the same effect.

But it's only my view!

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Re: National Front in France

Post by Myriam on Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:15 pm

tocyvi wrote: but that still doesn’t explain why these people feel happy about supporting parties which are frighteningly redolent of recent historical events.

What does "redolent" mean? Do you mean that they are not ashamed to resemble the views held by the Nazi's during WW2, or am I mistaken?

If any of these forecasts are remotely correct (and currently there is no reason to suspect they’re not), there will be an increasingly large contingent of far-right politicians in the European Parliament. In view of the power which is now vested in the E/P, these politicians could have a substantial influence in framing future laws and, consequently, our lives.
[/quote]
In principle you are right, however, Mr. Wilders is not my only example of an extreme right-wing opportunist and his popularity. During the '90-ies I lived in the East End of London and worked for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The BNP became very popular and gained 25% of the votes in the local election, I think it was in 1991. One of the newly elected BNP councillors wanted to get access to information about all Bengladeshi people with benefits. The council officers refused this request as being racist. Soon after, the councillor realised he could not get any power because access to sensitive information was refused. He stepped down. The BNP did not get a lot of votes in the local election that followed.

What I want to say with these examples is that these people are doing very well shouting their heads off opposing parties in power, but once in power themselves, they fail miserably, luckily enough.

I think people have lost a lot of trust in the traditional political parties and they feel the pinch, but in the end I do not think the majority of people are really racist. At least I do sincerely hope they are not!
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Re: National Front in France

Post by Tradzoner on Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:06 am

I think the votes are very simple. They are making a point to the existing parties in whatever country, France or UK, that countries cannot take every migrant that turns up on their doorstep because eventually it will pull that country down so deep in will not be able to recover. Look at Italy's problems.

Its the loss of their true natonality that people feel. To me, that is not being racist. To go to a town that you once recognised and find it full of mosques and feeling intimidated in that place is what people fear. All the French I know are not happy with the way things are.

I left the UK because I did not recognise it anymore. I remember when Park Lane London was a nice place, now it is full of Roms dossing on the street and crapping in the streets at night. That is fact. Not something that attracts tourism and in my opinion unnecessary.

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Re: National Front in France

Post by tocyvi on Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:10 am

Richard T wrote:
tocyvi wrote:... but that still doesn’t explain why these people feel happy about supporting parties which are frighteningly redolent of recent historical events.
My view (without much real evidence to support it) is that support for extreme parties gives people an opportunity to express their latent xenophobia which is normally held in check by "political correctness". It enables them to openly blame others (i.e. foreigners) for all the ills of society and at the same time claim that it's not about xenophobia/racism but economics.
Hi Richard. I couldn’t agree more. Furthermore (and depressingly) I think that the notion of the UK being an exemplar of multi-culturalism is also a myth.

Richard T wrote:I was surprised when, during the last general election, a number of otherwise quite reasonable people said that they were going to vote for the BNP. When asked why they would want to vote for a bunch of racist thugs the reply was that it was merely "a protest vote".
One of my in-laws, a self-confessed deeply religious man, completely stunned me about 4 years ago, when he freely admitted to having voted BNP in the most recent election. His excuse was exactly the one you quoted.

Richard T wrote: These same people, like so many who whose values are formed by certain tabloid newspapers, would often accuse immigrants of "taking our jobs" whilst at the same time "living off benefits". In other words they espouse a clearly irrational economic argument for keeping foreigners out because it conveniently supports their instinctive xenophobia. Supporting extreme right wing parties has the same effect!
The subject of “benefits tourism” is often cited by the Government and some sections of the media (and a lot of other people who should know better) as a substantial drain on the nations resources. Despite the fact that the EU has been asking the UK Government for three years for evidence to support this assertion, it has failed to do so. No 10 did say, however, that there was "widespread and understandable concern" over people coming to the UK to access benefits. Well, you don’t need any more proof than that, do you? It’s an open and shut case.

Figures of 600,000 immigrants accessing benefits tourism were quoted by The Mail & The Telegraph. Closer inspection by more scientific analysis than the latters’ alarmist headlines revealed the following:

“First, the 600,000 figure simply reflects the fact that the Telegraph writer doesn't know the meaning of the word "unemployed". There are in fact two common usages in the UK:

• People who are not currently employed and are looking for work (in the EU, this is measured by national labour force surveys). Importantly, such people may or may not be claiming benefits, depending on whether they are entitled to them. In the UK, approximately 100,000 EU nationals are unemployed.

• People who are claiming "unemployment benefit", or jobseeker's allowance. In the UK, according to the latest DWP figures, approximately 60,000 EU nationals are claiming JSA.”


Source: Guardian 14/09/13
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Re: National Front in France

Post by tocyvi on Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:23 am

Myriam wrote:
tocyvi wrote: but that still doesn’t explain why these people feel happy about supporting parties which are frighteningly redolent of recent historical events.
What does "redolent" mean? Do you mean that they are not ashamed to resemble the views held by the Nazi's during WW2, or am I mistaken?
Hi Myriam. Redolent means reminiscent i.e. it reminds us of the horrors of recent historical events

Myriam wrote:I think people have lost a lot of trust in the traditional political parties and they feel the pinch, but in the end I do not think the majority of people are really racist. At least I do sincerely hope they are not!
I hope you’re right, Myriam, but I have to say that no matter how disillusioned I was with the current system or political scene, wild horses wouldn’t drag me into a voting booth to put a cross against the name of these parties, so why are they are comfortable to do so? It does make me wonder whether, as Richard T says above, there is a latent xenophobia just waiting for the opportunity to show itself.
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Re: National Front in France

Post by tocyvi on Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:51 am

Tradzoner wrote:I think the votes are very simple. They are making a point to the existing parties in whatever country, France or UK, that countries cannot take every migrant that turns up on their doorstep because eventually it will pull that country down so deep in will not be able to recover. Look at Italy's problems.

Its the loss of their true natonality that people feel. To me, that is not being racist. To go to a town that you once recognised and find it full of mosques and feeling intimidated in that place is what people fear. All the French I know are not happy with the way things are.

I left the UK because I did not recognise it anymore. I remember when Park Lane London was a nice place, now it is full of Roms dossing on the street and crapping in the streets at night.
I think you have just demonstrated, with admirable clarity, the dangers of using emotive language with little or no factual evidence to support your argument. It is these sorts of headlines in the media that whip up support for the far-right. With the enthusiasm that is so enthusiastically embraced by papers like The Daily Mail, you have fallen into the trap of never letting the facts get in the way of a good headline.

To suggest that towns are “full of mosques” is simply untrue; to state that Park Lane is “full of Roms crapping on the streets” is also untrue. What evidence is there that migrants are flooding into France or the UK with one and only one target, which is to undermine and subvert these countries?

Tradzoner wrote:Look at Italy's problems.
You don’t think that the fact that Berlusconi’s decades-long involvement might have something to do with that? I really don’t think you need to look beyond Italy’s borders to start pointing fingers at people who have been responsible for its problems.

Tradzoner wrote: That is fact.
Perhaps, in that case, you’d care to quote your sources of information. I would add that “The BNP Handbook to Statistical Evidence” or “EDL’s Little Black Book” would not come under the category of “fact”.
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Re: National Front in France

Post by Tradzoner on Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:59 am

Sorry but my facts on Park Lane were FACTS. My friend walks past them every day on her way to work. They have to have a clean up operation every morning. That is not emotive that is truth.

I lived next to Leicester and felt intimidated every time I went there. Bradford was another area. There are plenty of mosques and I could name many other towns too that are the same.

If I was in the UK I would be voting for the UKIP.  I would not vote BNP purely on the basis that they are Nazis. If I voted here I would vote FN.

I do not think it is xenophobic to try and protect a national identity and this is what is threatened.

The equilibrium becomes broken when you feel a minority in your country of birth. It goes beyond benefit tourism. That is just a newspaper story.

Although one does wonder why those Syrians were happy to commit suicide to get to the UK rather than stay in France? There are obviously many who think the streets are paved with gold.

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Re: National Front in France

Post by tocyvi on Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:04 am

Tradzoner wrote:Sorry but my facts on Park Lane were FACTS. My friend walks past them every day on her way to work. They have to have a clean up operation every morning. That is not emotive that is truth.
I lived next to Leicester and felt intimidated every time I went there. Bradford was another area. There are plenty of mosques and I could name many other towns too that are the same.
I think you have put a different interpretation on the word “facts” to the one that I use. That a mate of mine tells me something in the Dog & Duck at 11 o’clock at night, doesn’t, in my book, make it an absolute truism. The fact that I feel intimidated walking the streets in a particular area, isn’t an argument against immigration; firstly, I would have to establish that my fear is caused by actual threat rather than imagined (and it is you, who used the words “felt intimidated"); and secondly, I would need to determine that this fear was caused by certain ethnic peoples rather than people as a whole.

Tradzoner wrote:The equilibrium becomes broken when you feel a minority in your country of birth. It goes beyond benefit tourism. That is just a newspaper story.
You may feel in a minority in your own country, but that doesn’t make it true. What you are quoting is also a newspaper story, and one with as little factual evidence as all the other scare stories peddled by irresponsible members of the press.

After all this is said and done, I presume that you think none of these concerns about “foreigners” sweeping in to another country to undo their sacred culture, apply to you: a migrant in a foreign country. It seems supremely ironic that you are criticising other migrants for coming to the UK, when you have done the same thing in France……..but I suppose, in your world, different rules apply in this situation.
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Re: National Front in France

Post by Richard T on Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:33 am

Tradzoner wrote:I think the votes are very simple. They are making a point to the existing parties in whatever country, France or UK, that countries cannot take every migrant that turns up on their doorstep because eventually it will pull that country down so deep in will not be able to recover.."
This seems an odd sort of statement from someone who has turned up on France's doorstep expecting to be taken in. Maybe being an expat is different from being an immigrant.

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Re: National Front in France

Post by Tradzoner on Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:39 am

I dont agree and will never agree with what you quote. I know what I have experienced and seen throughout my travels and life in the UK, which due to my job meant spending times in many cities.

I am well aware that I am a migrant here but I feel more that this is my country. I no longer recognise the UK of my birth. Would happily give up my UK passport.

Myriam; I am not a retired person who buys her shopping from the UK. We work here and contribute to the system, we do not scrounge; we adapt our lifestyle to a French one, not live in an English ghetto.

I know what I see when I visit my family in the UK and I also know what my friends have had to endure living in certain areas of Greater London.

One friend in particular, who bought a house in Ilford, Essex before the area changed has seen many "neighbours" come and go. I would have sold up and moved to a different area but they have stuck it out. They have had their doormat stolen by pikeys in full view and were threatened. Had Asians living next door who despite having facilities chose to go to the toilet in their garden, had cut and shunt shop set up by West Indians in the garage a couple of doors along, and I could go on and on with what they have had to put up with. They have never had an English person move in to the area for many years now. When they did try selling every viewer was Asian. Where my father in law lives in Essex they just tried to set up a halal slaughterhouse next door to a hairdressers and some other normal local shops and were going to park up the live animals outside. It was only due to a huge outcry that it was stopped.

One could put the same to you, if the UK is so great, why are you living here too. Its hardly for better weather because it is not that much different.

So perhaps Marine Le Pen may well be successful, certainly the French I know will be voting for her Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

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Re: National Front in France

Post by tocyvi on Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:06 am

Tradzoner wrote:So perhaps Marine Le Pen may well be successful, certainly the French I know will be voting for her Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
Well, if she is successful, let’s hope for your sake that she’s not as intolerant of other nationalities as you are, otherwise you might well find yourself back in a country that you characterise as being overrun by coloured people.
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Re: National Front in France

Post by Richard T on Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:09 am

Tradzoner wrote:I am well aware that I am a migrant here but I feel more that this is my country..
I wonder if Marine Le Pen has a special place in her heart for immigrants who feel that France is their country.

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Re: National Front in France

Post by Tofu_Lover on Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:25 am

Tradzoner wrote:
I do not think it is xenophobic to try and protect a national identity and this is what is threatened.
Which particular 'national identity' is it that you feel is threatened? The perception of 'national identity' depends on geography, class, education, experience - many cultural factors. Your own sense of 'national identity' is certainly very different to mine. Are we all expected to share yours? Is it that clubbable, "beer and fags down the local, game of golf, I'm not racist but..." sort of national identity that Farage likes to espouse? All slacks and Fred Perry?

I'd be interested to know what it is you think you're defending, because I don't think you're defending my interests as a UK national.
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Re: National Front in France

Post by Richard T on Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:36 pm

'Sfunny how such an interesting topic died as soon as someone asked a difficult question.

The rise of extreme anti-Europe parties throughout Europe was the subject of an article in today's Observer following the election success of the FN at Brignoles last week.

Regular users of internet forums will be aware of Godwin's Law which states that given enough time, in any online discussion — regardless of topic or scope — someone will inevitably make a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis. So usually I would avoid such comparisons but in this thread I'll make an exception.

People often seem to portray Hitler as a despotic dictator who countenanced no opposition to his abhorrent policies but let's not forget he came to power by democratic means. Such was his popularity, at a time when Germany was facing both an economic crisis and a social crisis in that morale was at a low ebb following the first world war, that few stood in the way of his overturning of the democratic processes and thus effectively handed him the power he needed to pursue his policies of blaming Jews and for all the ills of German society.

Today we have a world in economic turmoil and a society which feels threatened. You can see why it's easy to blame foreigners for all our ills, it's so much easier than blaming ourselves. But such a strategy is worryingly risky if we are to learn any lessons from history.

On top of that we also have a world where the dominant economic and political forces in the future are likely to be vested in China - a country not renowned for its human rights record. Should Europe become a continent of independent countries as the euro-sceptics appear to want, our own political force will be emasculated in the shadow of China. Don't think that we can rely on our special relationship with the US. That will disappear in a trice if the the EU is split up - they'll be much richer pickings in China and, probably, India.

To suggest, as one poster did, that it's not xenophobic to blame foreigners for a loss of national identity is, at best, disingenuous. The very definition of xenophobia is an irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries. Britain has always been an ethnically diverse society which has included Romans, Saxons, Vikings, Jews, Irish, Africans, Asians etc. So what exactly is the British 'national identity' if not an amalgam of all those cultures? It's irrational, therefore, to seek to protect such a national identity by precluding foreigners.

Then there is the economic issue of foreigners taking our jobs and, at the same time, living on benefits. I'm sure it's easy to find examples to support both of these arguments - the tabloid press does it all the time - but study after study proves that on balance immigration benefits the UK economy. The occasional scare story about illegal immigrants living in mansions and claiming thousands in child benefit masks the fact that benefit tourism is largely a myth- but it makes a good headline and feeds the prejudices of the xenophobic.

Of course rational debate is unlikely to change anyone's views on the subject but before any waverers think that voting for an extreme right party is in any way going to solve any problems I hope they'd give a thought to how dangerous their world could become should such a party win enough votes to represent them in government. It genuinely sends a chill down my spine to contemplate such a thing; does it yours?

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Re: National Front in France

Post by tocyvi on Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:58 pm

Richard T wrote:Regular users of internet forums will be aware of Godwin's Law which states that given enough time, in any online discussion — regardless of topic or scope — someone will inevitably make a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis. So usually I would avoid such comparisons but in this thread I'll make an exception.
Hi Richard T. Thank you for an excellently argued post. I succeeded on a couple of posts in this thread to avoid Godwin’s Law and consequently ended up being far too delicate. You are right to make an exception. The similarities between the rise of Hitler’s Germany and the current rise of the far-right are so frightening that they cannot simply be glossed over as a political blip.

Richard T wrote:……how dangerous their world could become should such a party win enough votes to represent them in government. It genuinely sends a chill down my spine to contemplate such a thing; does it yours?
Yes! The idea of any of these dangerous and, to my mind, deranged people getting anywhere near a law-making chamber is horrifying. What frightens me more, however, is the number of people who think that the lies, the scapegoating, the finger-pointing and the hatred are not only perfectly acceptable and credible but desirable and rational.
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