Friday, March 05, 2010

Could this happen here?

To be honest, I don't know much about Wilders politics or that of his Freedom party - but the fact they are described by the media as "far right" suggests they are probably something like the BNP and, according to the Telegraph piece, Wilders is on course to become the next Prime Minister of Holland.

Personally, I've always thought it unlikely that a party like the BNP could ever make serious inroads into our political system. It happens all the time in Europe because - well, most Europeans are more reactionary and less stoical than us British. The politics of other European nations have always been a little flaky and swings towards extremism on the right and the left are not uncommon. On the whole, Europe does not have a great history on democracy - which is one of the reasons why I can not understand why we allow them to tell us how to do it!

However, I always thought Holland - of all the European countries - was the one most like us. The Dutch are a famously stoical and tolerant bunch as well. They are a constitutional monarchy and they don't have a history of political swings towards extremism. As I said, I don't actually know just how "extremist" Wilders is (probably not at all), but the fact that someone described as "far right" is seriously being touted as the next PM of Holland is still quite a surprise.

So could it happen here?

No - not under our present system.

You see, the factor in Wilders favour is the voting system - proportional representation - and we don't have PR in Britain.

At the moment.

But if some people get their way we will have - and then the prospect of a genuinely far right or far left party becoming a significant factor in our political system will be far greater.

Don't say you weren't warned.


JuliaM said...

"...according to the Telegraph piece, Wilders is on course to become the next Prime Minister of Holland."

If that becomes the scase, his first state visit is going to be worth seeing!

Larry said...

As long as it's not far left, I'm fine with that.

Stan said...

Fair enough, Larry - but who has more seats in the London Assembly - the "far right" BNP or the far left Green Party?

To paraphrase Churchill, first past the post is the worst form of electoral process except for all the others that have been tried.

North Northwester said...

Stan, Wilders' ‘Right-wing’iness is round about Mrs. Thatcher’s economically and constitutionally; wanting a smaller and more effective [and national!] state and a rule of laws, plus forbidding all further Islamic immigration into the Netherlands. “Far-Right” here is the usual Left-wing/political class slander for someone unconvinced of the fluffy-bunniness of Islam and the panacea of immigration. The Telegraph seems to have copy-and-paste all that Far-Right bully-pucky from the up-front Left-wing press/propaganda machine.
No way is he like the BNP as he is opposed to all forms of socialist economic control such as the BNP proposes and he wants to preserve the Netherlands’ notoriously liberal social regime; albeit one with better and bigger private sector.
He does want to ban the Koran in the Netherlands though, which I oppose.
As an authoritarian conservative who loves life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, I’d rather HMG made reading the Koran compulsory for all secondary school pupils and all undergraduates.
But that’s just me, right?

Stan said...

Thanks for the background info on Wilders, NNW - I'm not surprised to learn he's nowhere near as extreme as the media tend to portray him.

Mind you, if Churchill were alive today he'd be labelled a far right "extremist". Come to that, so would Lloyd George what with his "Britain for the British" campaign!

Richard T said...

Don't forget in 2002, the Dutch elected about 30 or so deputies from Pim Fortuyn's party which stood on much the same platform of restricting immigration and a populist form of thatcherism. He was assassinated by an islamic protester. So as far as I can see Wilders is on pretty well the same political ground as Pim Fortuyn which inciodentally is not a lot different from the Conservative platfrom in 2005 under Michael Howard.

Anonymous said...

I hope he does win. Might signal the start of turning the tide back on the Islamic hordes...


Rod said...

This is the speech he made in the House of Lords today.

Stan said...

He gets my vote!

English Pensioner said...

Why is he extreme? People may not like what he says, but as far as I am aware he has said nothing that is untrue. Thus the only thing the other parties can do is to accuse him of racism which never requires proof. In my view such allegations are the last resort of politicians who are unable to find a counter argument.

The difference in this country, since Mosley, the extreme right haven't had anyone with a decent education and charisma to lead it. But that doesn't mean that it won't happen one day.