The European Elections

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The European Elections

Post by tocyvi on Sun May 25, 2014 9:11 pm

25% of the voters in France, according to exit polls, have voted for the Front National; the nationalist anti-immigrant Danish People’s Party has scored a similar amount; in Austria, the far right Freedom Party has attracted 20%; in the UK, Farage’s UKIP is likely to come 1st or 2nd; Germany has returned its first neo-Nazi MEP from the Hitler apologists of the National Democratic Party of Germany; and Greece’s Golden Dawn is celebrating the fact that it has won 10% of the national vote.

These are not just worrying statistics; these are frightening staistics. I cannot, for the life of me, understand what goes through someone’s mind, when, faced with a choice of candidates of varying colours and beliefs, thinks to themselves: “Hmm, a Nazi lookalike party; yes, that’s for me”.

Or, is there some sort of self-deception going on? In other words, do people justify it in their own minds by persuading themselves that Golden Dawn, for example, is not a racist bunch of mindless thugs but a free-thinking, liberal group who really are getting to grips with the issues of the day?

In some ways, I hope that is the case, because the alternative is just too horrible to contemplate – that people all over Europe are going into the election booths and quite deliberately and single-mindedly voting for manifestos that are similar in outlook to those espoused by Hitler in the 30’s. It doesn’t make any difference if your particular scapegoat is a Jew, an Arab, a Pole or a Rumanian; a scapegoat is a scapegoat and to blame any particular faction for the Europe’s problems is not just ill-informed and simplistic, it is one of the worst forms of racism and, if allowed to continue, will result in a backlash that will be reminiscent of Kristallnacht.
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Re: The European Elections

Post by Frankie on Sun May 25, 2014 10:05 pm

Tocyvi
I can see you stood at the rostrum shouting out your speech and banging your fist down to demonstrate how passionate you feel about your view. Keep up the fight brother.

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Re: The European Elections

Post by DC on Mon May 26, 2014 7:05 am

The great majority of these voters are simply voting for the only parties which actually want to reform or leave the E.U., which many more people believe to be responsible for their current ills. It is a protest vote!

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Re: The European Elections

Post by tocyvi on Mon May 26, 2014 7:38 am

DC wrote:The great majority of these voters are simply voting for the only parties which actually want to reform or leave the E.U., which many more people believe to be responsible for their current ills. It is a protest vote!

What you're saying is that it's acceptable to vote for racist thugs, providing you use the excuse that it's only a protest vote! I couldn't see myself putting a cross against the name of any racist party, no matter what the excuse.
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Re: The European Elections

Post by tocyvi on Mon May 26, 2014 7:45 am

Frankie wrote:Tocyvi
    I can see you stood at the rostrum shouting out your speech and banging your fist down to demonstrate how passionate you feel about your view. Keep up the fight brother.

Hi Frankie
Thanks for your post. The thought pattern that leads people to vote for far-right parties just because they're unhappy about the status quo (if that is the reason!) is extremely worrying and says something about their own self-respect. Personally, I just haven't got the inner hatred for my fellow man to allow me to blame them for the failures of politicians.
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Re: The European Elections

Post by DC on Mon May 26, 2014 8:02 am

I really don't like replies that start with "What you are saying is......". What I was saying was that people were making a protest vote. That's it.

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Re: The European Elections

Post by tocyvi on Mon May 26, 2014 8:18 am

DC wrote:I really don't like replies that start with "What you are saying is......". What I was saying was that people were making a protest vote. That's it.

I'm not overly bothered by what you like or don't like. I don't like apologists for fascist and racist parties. That's it.
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Re: The European Elections

Post by DC on Mon May 26, 2014 8:24 am

Rudely shouted down, that figures.

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Re: The European Elections

Post by tocyvi on Mon May 26, 2014 10:37 am

Perhaps you're not that keen about being called out as an apologist for racist politicians. Get used to it. Personally, I'm happier with being rude (if that's what you wish to call it) than fascist.
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Re: The European Elections

Post by DC on Mon May 26, 2014 10:57 am

I say it is a protest vote, and now I'm a fascist? Unbelievable.

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Re: The European Elections

Post by tocyvi on Mon May 26, 2014 11:05 am

If you now go back to the post and read it, rather than surmising, you will understand that I did not call you a fascist. You seem to be spoiling for a fight and consequently reading into my posts, things that are not stated. You make great play about not liking posts that start with "I really don't like replies that start with...." but you are quite relaxed about a situation where up to 1 in 4 people are voting for racist & fascist parties. Now that's my idea of "unbelievable".
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Re: The European Elections

Post by DC on Mon May 26, 2014 11:10 am

I am a white male, right of centre, ex police and armed forces and I support hunting. Best just take me out and shoot me now. End of my contribution!

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Re: The European Elections

Post by tocyvi on Mon May 26, 2014 11:17 am

DC wrote:Best just take me out and shoot me now.

I don't support capital punishment either, so you're safe  Wink.  More seriously, I believe in your right to free speech, something which it is likely to be denied you in the event that some of these groups gain power.
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Re: The European Elections

Post by Myriam on Mon May 26, 2014 8:22 pm

Very worrying results all around Europe. Even in our village, altough Front de Gauche came first, there were 24 votes out of 184 for the FN, quite shocking. It is not a one-off in my opinion, but a dangerous trend towards intolerance.
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Re: The European Elections

Post by tocyvi on Mon May 26, 2014 10:06 pm

Hi Myriam.
Throughout France, with the exception of the west and Paris, the map of France was awash with Marine-bleu. But the fact that this is happening throughout Europe is, as you say, "a dangerous trend towards intolerance".

I am not saying that the politicians of Europe have done a sterling job because they haven't. Many of them are self-serving and, from what I can see, have precious little vision, certainly no fire and an utter absence of conviction....BUT, that is still no excuse for going into the polling booth and putting the cross against the name of some ultra right wing fascist who has about as much appreciation of social issues as the leader of North Korea.
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Re: The European Elections

Post by arthur johnstone on Tue May 27, 2014 8:21 am

If good can come from an open debate then we should respect different views even if we cannot agree. In that process lies the solution to addressing the growth of support for such extreme groups.

We need to take ever opportunity to address those views that make the "outsider" the problem rather than part of the solution.

Our common history tells us that if we sleep walk into the future of the extreme right/left we don't understand the leasons of history. These extreme groups do not share democratic principles and certainly would not encourage us to openly discuss our concerns as your contributors have done on this page.

Disaffection with "established political parties" is not new. Also the failure of self serving political elities is not new. The solution lies in how we irrespetive of our "tribal choice of party" can as democratics joint forces to protect democracy.

Recent French political history shows that when faced with a possible Le Pen victory in an election supporters of other democratic tradions and parties join forces by putting aside our differences.

The vaste majority of French people are not racists or drawn to such extremes as the FN.

What comes out of this debate here on these pages is part of the solution and it is not a small part of the solution. It is central to the protection and promotion of an open and tolerate society.

When confronted with any statement which is racists one of the answers is to confront it with an open discussion not fear.

I for one will not sleep walk into a repeat of the horrors of our common recent history and urge us all to keep the build blocks of our democracy alive. Freeddoms exist by having to work for them and protect them in an open society. The extreme right don't want the "light of freedom of speach and respect for others" to shine into their world becuase when it does they are exposed for what they are in every way.

Please keep these pages open and don't be to sensative about our views..when others disagree.

Thank you for your time and tolerance by allowing me to get these comments of my chest. I feel better already LOL

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Re: The European Elections

Post by tocyvi on Wed May 28, 2014 12:25 pm

arthur johnstone wrote:we should respect different views even if we cannot agree.

Hi Arthur
I agree with a lot of what you’ve said but I find it difficult to come to terms with this part. There is a subtle difference between respecting someone’s right to say something and respecting what they say. For example, I will defend the right of the BNP to state openly what they believe but that doesn’t mean I have any respect at all for the speaker or their message.
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Re: The European Elections

Post by Alpen on Thu May 29, 2014 8:09 am

An article in todays Daily Telegraph gives a better view of the current situation regarding racism, multiculturalism and immigration. Worth a read.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/10860492/Are-we-all-racist-now.html

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Re: The European Elections

Post by tocyvi on Thu May 29, 2014 6:05 pm

Orange news carries this encouraging report today, which also contains a rather clever play on the letters FN:

{"France réveille-toi", "Péril FN en la demeure", "Non au F-Haine": plusieurs milliers de jeunes ont manifesté jeudi en France contre le Front national après la victoire historique du parti de Marine Le Pen aux élections européennes en France}

I would love to see thousands/millions of young people mobilised against the FN; it would be truly inspirational.
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Re: The European Elections

Post by Richard T on Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:21 am

Accepting the possibility that there are many people who, in protesting against mainstream politics or mismanagement of the EU, may eventually get what they wish for how do members of this forum imagine their future lives as ex-pats may be affected?

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Re: The European Elections

Post by Myriam on Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:47 pm

Surely we will not let ourselves be intimidated by a bunch of fascists, if that's what you are implying with "people...(who) may eventually get what they wish for...".

The one thing I do not tolerate is intolerance!
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Re: The European Elections

Post by Richard T on Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:37 pm

Myriam wrote:Surely we will not let ourselves be intimidated by a bunch of fascists, if that's what you are implying with "people...(who) may eventually get what they wish for...".
No, what I mean is that people who vote for any anti-EU party - such as the FN in France or UKIP in the UK- presumably wish to see the break up of the EU, at least in its present form. If these, and similar, parties do as well in national elections as they have done in the European elections then those who vote for them may get see their wishes come true.

For example, if those who have recently voted for UKIP do so in next year's general election it's just feasible that UKIP could hold the balance of power in the UK government and that could mean an immediate "in/out" referendum which could result in the UK sleepwalking out of the EU.

I have come across quite a few ex-pats in France who actually support the ideas of the FN and UKIP (without any sense of irony) and presumably are quite happy at the outcome of the recent elections. So my question was not so much how we might resist fascists but how the potential implementation of anti-EU policies by far-right parties who seem to be slipping into the mainstream might impact on the life of your average ex-pat in France.

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Re: The European Elections

Post by Myriam on Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:54 pm

My life will not be impacted by any party being voted in anywhere, but then again, I am perhaps not your average ex-pat living in France...

I still don't quite get your drift, Richard.
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Re: The European Elections

Post by tocyvi on Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:15 am

Hi Myriam. I think one of the points Richard is making is that many ex-pats living in France and other "foreign" countries will quite happily support some of the more intolerant views of UKIP, FN etc without appreciating the huge irony attached to it. It's like turkeys voting for Christmas, without realising the consequences of their actions.
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Re: The European Elections

Post by Richard T on Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:30 am

But I'm also thinking about how, for example, UK pensions and access to healthcare may be affected should the UK leave the EU.

I understand that UK pensions and some other benefits paid to expats living in countries other than British colonies or the EU are frozen at the point they were when the recipient left the UK. In the event of the UK leaving the EU then France would presumably become just another foreign country so it might be possible that expats who rely on their UK pension may find themselves in the same position as expats in, for example, the USA i.e. no more annual pension increases.

I don't know how healthcare may be affected. Maybe someone can speculate?

Or indeed it may come to pass that ex-pats in France could be perceived by some future far-right government as personae non gratae especially as, for the most part, it may be argued that they do not contribute much wealth to the country. Or they could equally be perceived in some areas as damaging to the French way of life in the same way that some people in Britain perceive the same of migrants from other parts of the EU. Nigel Farage recently revealed that he feels awkward on trains in London because he only ever hears foreign languages being spoken; it's a bit like that in Bellac Carrefour sometimes Smile

Of course we can only speculate about what might happen if the upsurge of anti-EU sentiment continues but I wonder whether those who sympathize with the views of UKIP or FN have thought through how getting what they wish for might actually affect their lives.

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