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Our intention is to inform people of racist, homophobic, religious extreme hate speech perpetrators across social networking internet sites. And we also aim to be a focal point for people to access information and resources to report such perpetrators to appropriate web sites, governmental departments and law enforcement agencies around the world.

We will also post relevant news worthy items and information on Human rights issues, racism, extremist individuals and groups and far right political parties from around the world although predominantly Britain.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Far right gains ground in pluralistic Europe

Whether the recent approval of the ban on burqa-style Islamic veils by the French lower house will work towards greater equality for women in French society is debatable, but experts have already started seeing it as a step to woo voters from the far right.

That’s a pointer to the fact that the right wing is acquiring political traction and not just in France. Global developments like the increasing number of immigrants, and the post 9/11 and post-London bombing Islamophobia have alarmed many political theorists who fear that these could result in a possible rise of far right support in traditionally pluralistic Europe.

That changing demographics can cause insecurity in sections of the native population is hardly surprising. Those living in conditions similar to the immigrant workforce may see the newcomers as competitors and become susceptible to far right ethno-nationalist propaganda. Operating as protest parties to gather populist support, the far right typically offers simple solutions for complex economic and social problems. For instance, immigrants are the reason of poor living conditions, Islam is responsible for all terrorism and crime rates will drop if gypsies are driven out of the country, and so on.

Hence, in any crisis situation the immigrants and ethnic minority can become the first target of these radicals. What’s changed from the past is that rather than peddling a theory of biological race supremacy, the far right now typically plays the fear card, claiming that immigrants not only pose an economic threat for the natives, but can also damage the traditional culture of their homogenous society.

Incidents like Prophet Muhammad’s cartoon row, the 2004 attacks on mosques and churches after the murder of Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh, race riots in French suburbs and skinhead parades are evidence of these new social tensions, but does this sentiment really translate into votes in elections? The jury is out on that one.

In spite of having a pan-European presence with traditional strongholds in some specific areas, these parties have seldom managed a vote substantial enough to have a strong national presence. The rise of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s radical right National Front in France alarmed several experts when Le Pen polled over 16 per cent of the votes cast in the first round of the French presidential elections. Similarly, in 1999, the Freedom Party of Austria won one-fourth of the popular vote and became part of the coalition government. However, both parties have seen their vote banks eroded in recent years.

At present, the Freedom party (Austria), Danish People’s Party (Denmark), Lega Nord (Italy) and Party for Freedom (the Netherlands) are the only far right parties which poll nearly 10 per cent or more votes in national elections. The National Front (France), Slovak National Party (Slovakia), Greater Romania Party (Romania), Freedom Party of Switzerland and League of Tessins (Switzerland) have either lost their vote share or have an extremely low support base.

The results of the 2009 European Union elections hit international headlines when for the first time the so-far liberal Britons elected two MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) belonging to the extreme nationalist Nick Griffin’s BNP (British National Party). There were 30 other far right MEPs from 10 countries. However, the xenophobia that characterises most of these parties makes it unlikely that will be able to form a far right block.

The Times of India