UK Election, Coda

I take pleasure, of course, in the collapse of the Labour Party in Great Britain. But while, as I noted here, there are a lot of good young conservatives in the UK, the Conservative Party as an institution continues to be lame at best. Mark Steyn offers an appropriately cautionary note:

[W]hile the Labour Party is shriveling before our eyes, David Cameron’s Tories are not obviously the beneficiaries. In the English council elections the Conservatives got a lower percentage of the vote than last time round, and, insofar as there was a (one per cent) swing to the Tories in the European elections, in the end their vote was only a a handful of points higher than the combined tally of the two beyond-the-pale parties, the openly xenophobic (well, anti-European) UK Independence Party and the openly racist British National Party. If Gordon Brown’s rotting zombie of a ministry can’t drive voters into the embrace of David Cameron, what can? The Conservatives should have been the beneficiary of both the broader two-party electoral cycle and the more immediate internecine warfare in Brown’s cabinet. But they weren’t. If I were Tory strategists, I’d be none too thrilled with what the entrails are saying.

It’s often hard to know what to make of newspapers’ references to “far right” parties in Europe, unless you’re on the ground there. Basically, anyone with reservations about massive immigration from Turkey and North Africa is described as “far right.” But it appears that there are, in fact, parties in Europe that legitimately deserve that appellation, and some of them did quite well yesterday. I think it was Steyn–if not, a reader will no doubt correct me–who once wrote that the “dark night of fascism” is always supposed to be descending on the U.S., but somehow it always lands, instead, in Europe. Let’s hope that isn’t happening again.

UPDATE: Our readers, as usual, have the answer. See the comments, where the “dark night of fascism” quote is attributed to Jean-Francois Revel, a French socialist.


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