I have been lax in keeping up with Mark Steyn's writing but his recent article in Macleans is very much worth reading. Key line: In bad times, if the political culture forbids respectable politicians from raising certain issues, voters will turn to unrespectable ones.
To promote a greater sense of Euro-harmony, the European Parliament—actually, make that the European “Parliament”—is organized into ideological blocs, ensuring that French liberals sit with Slovene liberals, and Belgian greens sit with Latvian greens, rather than hunkering down in their ethnic ghettoes. The largest bloc is the “centre-right,” the second-largest are the socialists, and the third is now the “non-inscrits,” the bloc for people who don’t want to belong to blocs. As a result of this month’s election, this Groucho Marxist grouping of “Others” tripled in size to just under a hundred seats. So, if they’re not liberals, socialists, greens, “European democrats” or the “Nordic Green Left,” what the hell are they?
Okay, here goes. The members of the non-bloc bloc include: one member of the “True Finns” party; one member of the Slovak National Party; two members of the British National Party; two members of the Austrian Freedom Party; two members of the Vlaams Belang, the “Flemish Interest” party; two members of the Civic Union, which sounds like a gay marriage in Vermont but is in fact an offshoot of the Latvian nationalist For Fatherland And Freedom Party; three members of France’s National Front; three members of Jobbik, the Hungarian nationalist party; three members of the Greater Romania Party . . .