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Mon 24 June 2019
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Mike Stuchbery draws strength from history and argues that anyone who cares about stopping the Far Right, now fighting in a Europe-wide alliance, needs to vote in the Euro Elections this Thursday

By all rights, we shouldn’t be here – three years after the Brexit referendum, we stand at the cusp of another European parliamentary election. Yet the deadlock has only served to embolden the Far Right, who view the proceedings as a chance to capitalise on the prevailing frustration with politics, and to mainstream their beliefs.

Such groups jockeying for votes, and an opportunity to ‘starve the beast’ include the extremist English Democrats, the puerile YouTuber reactionaries of UKIP, and of course convicted thug and fraudster ‘Tommy Robinson’, who is running as an independent in the North-West England region.

It is essential that the turnout for these elections is high, and that votes are heading towards parties with a track record for standing against the Far Right

‘Robinson’s’ campaign, thus far, has been a shambolic, unfocused affair, leaving a trail of violence and recrimination wherever he goes. While the footage of ‘Robinson’ having milkshakes thrown at him may be amusing, a number of people have been threatened or assaulted by unlicensed members of his security detail. His speeches have offered no vision or policy, just scaremongering and threats towards his perceived enemies – of which there are many.

Somewhat more restrained and a little slicker, but no less dangerous, are the Brexit Party, that Byline have reported on over the past few weeks. With no policy platform, and a funding system that raises many questions, they seem to exist purely as a vehicle to enrich Nigel Farage, whose xenophobic brand of nationalism seems to be gaining traction by the day. 

Don’t let yourself regret not exercising this democratic right of yours, before it is removed or dismantled altogether.

Behind both can be detected the hand of Stephen Bannon, whose ‘The Movement’ project seeks to spark a new ‘crusade’ against Islam, by bringing together Far Right populist groups from across the Continent. One of the 21st century’s most dangerous individuals, his nihilistic tendencies must not be underestimated.

One thing that each of these groups is relying on in order to propel themselves imto Brussels is the rusted-on support they’ve cultivated over time, in particular via social media.

They are relying on a general malaise and disconnection with politics to further infiltrate an institution already struggling under the concerted efforts of the Far Right to destabilise it.


During the 20th century’s rise of fascism, much of their political power was handed to them by groups unwilling or unable to compromise with one another. It was certainly true of the Nazi Party’s trajectory of success.

Brussels in 2019 is a very different context, but one thing that must not be ignored is the possibility of a repeat of this scenario – Far Right populists gaining more of a hold, thanks to opposing groups unable to withstand the onslaught, or seeing them as the lesser of two evils.

This is the way that authoritarianism, and then tyranny spreads. 

While Far Right extremism must be challenged on the streets and in our communities, it is also vital that it is kept in check at the ballot box.

It is essential that the turnout for these elections is high, and that votes are heading towards parties with a track record for standing against the Far Right, and with the ability to compromise. Parties that don’t trade on fear and hatred.

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On Thursday, make sure you take the time to vote – especially if you’re in NW England! Bring those family families and friends who can vote. Do what you can to encourage voters, especially on social media. Keep encouraging it.

Don’t let the bastards win, as they say. Don’t let them think you’re silent, and thus consent to this Far Right surge. Help hold the line against one of the great challenges of this nascent century.

While Far Right extremism must be challenged on the streets and in our communities, it is also vital that it is kept in check at the ballot box.

Don’t let yourself regret not exercising this democratic right of yours, before it is removed or dismantled altogether.

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