After Brexit and Trump, it is vital that the centre holds in France and across the world.

Like many sane thinking political followers, I awoke on Wednesday saddened at the news that an odious individual who traded on a campaign of fear had been elected President of the United States.

Many commentators have rightly chastised Trump for his verbose demeanour and truly dreadful attitude to women, minorities as well as to those with disabilities. Added to that, Trump’s policies, what few he has actually discussed, could directly impact upon the world and indeed Ireland more specifically.

By turning his back on global trade and punishing US companies that seek to invest abroad, Trump will negatively impact on Ireland’s recovering economy, one that has benefitted so much from a close relationship with the US.

Trump will take office at the end of January and his election is not a massive surprise as his victory unfortunately follows a trend evident across the world in the wake of the economic crash of 2008 onwards.

Apart from countries like Canada and Australia, who were insulated by the crash by strong mineral wealth, we have seen mainstream governments, across the western world, defeated and challenged by a wave of increasingly populist and reactionary politicians and parties.

In Greece, Syriza came from nowhere to take the reigns of the country, promising the world and the moon with scant regard for any sane economic reasoning. In Italy, former stand up comedian Beppe Grillo steered the 5 star movement into a leading position on a platform of direct democracy.

In Spain, Podemos has risen from being a street movement to one of the largest parties in Parliament. In Germany, the reconstructed Nazi and Communist parties in the form of the AfD and Die Linke have made huge gains.

Closer to home, the Right to Water movement and the collection of supportive parties such as AAA/PbP and Sinn Fein as well as a plethora of independents have been able to take on, and admittedly defeat or at best badly wound, the mainstream parties on a fairly minor issue.

A minor issue that dominated the 2016 General Election and became the cause celeb for those fed up with politicians and the political system.

In the US, Trump was the anti-politician. He defeated establishment figures such as Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio to win the Republican nomination. In the Presidential election, he defeated the arch-establishment candidate in Hillary Clinton.

He tapped into a huge sense of disillusionment in the US and was able to position himself as the man to fight for the ordinary man despite coming from an extremely elite and privileged background.

Another man from such a background to ride this wave of anti establishment politics is Nigel Farage, former leader of UKIP, who played a pivotal role in convincing the working people of Britain to back Brexit, blaming the EU for all their perceived woes wrapped up in similarly racist, anti immigration language.

The US and the U.K. are two of the world’s largest economies and two of the leading democracies in the G8, another two members of the G8 facing electoral challenges next year are Germany and France.

The German parliamentary system, the tradition of grand coalitions and the relative popularity of Angela Merkel should be enough to keep the populists out of government. However, in France, the outlook is not so positive.
In all opinion polls, Marine Le Pen of the Front Nationale is leading the way and almost certain to repeat the feat of her father and reach the run off election in May.

Unlike Trump and Farage, Le Pen does not hide her openly racist and thuggish brand of politics. She is vehemently anti immigrant; thinks that citizenship should be tied to ethnicity or race; supports the death penalty; is sceptical on climate change; opposes French membership of the EU and NATO; like Trump and Farage she wants closer ties to Vladimir Putin’s Russia and finally she is of course the daughter, albeit estranged, of the notorious anti semite and islamaphobe, Jean Marie Le Pen.

A Le Pen victory is far from certain but both Brexit and Trump make it even more of a possibility. A Le Pen victory could be the end of the EU and the beginning of global chaos. It will be the culmination of a triple attack on liberal democracy and sane thinking politics.
It is vital that the centre holds in France and across the world.
What is the alternative? It is no longer fanciful to point towards 1930’s Europe as an example of what happens when we allow populism and reactionary politics to succeed.
Our generation really doesn’t know the utter devastation that war can bring and I hope we never have to find out.
However, reactionary decisions like voting for Brexit and electing Trump could lead to such an eventuality, it poses the greatest challenge to us as a people but most importantly to those of us in politics.
We must adjust our policies, listen more and genuinely seek to bring people with us to fight off the rise of populism. The sneering judgement of those who vote leave or who elected Trump will merely increase the backlash, it is a huge challenge but it is up to us to take this on and take it on quick.
I truly hope, in France, that the socialists, republicans and liberals can join together to keep Le Pen out but that one result will not be enough. Politics, politicians need to change.
Based in Dublin Rathdown, Senator Neale Richmond is the Government spokesperson on EU affairs in Seanad Eireann.
  • grumpy oul man

    Genetic legacy. What does that mean what is a genetic legacy.
    A tendency to heart defects is a genetic legacy.
    And gene wise we are all a very mixed bunch.

  • Thought Criminal

    Tell the Chinese Communist Party they aren’t communist. Complete control over the economy is a central tenet of the Communist Manifesto and is no different to the power held by the global banking elite — they always have been 2 sides of the same coin. Forget the semantics — it’s totalitarian control.

  • Thought Criminal

    The analysis, prepared by Professor David Coleman of Oxford University for the Migration Observatory think-tank, is a fresh indicator of the impact of large-scale migration on life in Britain.
    Professor Coleman, an expert in demography, the study of how populations change, endorsed a projection he made two years ago suggesting that at current migration rates white British people will be a minority in the population by about 2066, in just over 50 years.

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  • grumpy oul man

    Firstly it doesnt predict the native population (whatever that is) will be in a minority it said that it is possible that the immigrant comunity could reach 38% and the good professer went to lengths to inform us that this is only a possibilty.
    So calm down with the scare tactics.
    You, me and everybody elae are mongrels, we are the products of interracail breeding.
    This diversity give us strengh, has enriched our culture and generally improved our gene pool,

  • Thought Criminal

    He’s predicted a minority in the UK by 2066 (minority in births well before then). France is going to be much sooner than that and for some reason wasn’t in that study.

    We already have enough diversity within the gene pool to prevent in-breeding. (and actually this doesn’t require immigration, just not marrying your cousins like Muslims do). Contrast all the differing eye and hair colours of European peoples, and compare to the rest of the world (and no, we are NOT the result of “interracial” breeding as the races have been created by geography and adapted to the differing environments). The only effect of mass immigration from the 3rd world is for (already recessive) European genetics to be diluted, with genetics from the 3rd world increased while also maintaining its presence in the 3rd world. Globally, the net result is a reduction in the diversity of humanity, not an increase.

  • Thought Criminal

    ” interbreeding of the races has been happening since the year dot”. No it has not. Races exist due to geographical separation and adaption to differing environments.

  • Thought Criminal
  • grumpy oul man

    oh i see, your peddling that old crap about colored people being stupid and criminals,
    interestingly Asians and Muslims would score high on the sat tests and low on the crime ones.
    i love the way you pull a single set of stats out of your hat without any background or allowance for local conditions.
    I could produce stats that said most sectarian killers in NI where white protestants does this mean i must believe that most protestants are sectarian killers (i think even you would balk at that conclusion) but you manage to make that call for others.

    you tend to ignore the good that other peoples bring to a country, how about we look local, been to see a doctor lately, or a nurse, if you are lucky enough to live in a area with a good racial mix you will your bus driver will be from the “3rd world” or more likely his parents.
    your kids will possibly be taught by a person who,s family came from the third world!
    Most serial killers (by far) are middle aged white men, should we distrust all middle aged white men.
    I am blessed with friends from many races and would not swop them for the world.

    your racism is depressing and i am glad i am not you,

  • grumpy oul man

    maybe it wasn’t in the study because it isn’t true.
    sorry i would still want to see the math (not a biased article in the Daily mail) and before you starting with the pseudo science you do know i am going to ask you to explain the phrases you use,
    1/in what way are European Genes recessive.
    2/Any animal or plant breeder (or geneticist) will tell you that the only solution for recessive genes in a group or population is to introduce more varied genes not inbreeding.
    The bit about people from the third world coming here and reducing genetic diversity through interbreeding is a complete and total nonsense, when you add more individuals from a varied background to a gene pool you get increased diversity.
    your science is as bad as your stats.

  • Thought Criminal

    The stats don’t lie as that generalisation is absolutely true concerning lower IQ 3rd world migrants with poorer aggression control — this pattern is repeated in every study that has been done, no matter the geography. None of the things you list are a benefit and those jobs you listed should all be going to local people. If some upper-middle class liberal wants to experience other cultures they can get on an aeroplane, not invite them to take away our own resources.

    As for your unrelated comment Loyalists were reactive to pro-active Republican violence and hence was of a different nature. Some more local data:

  • Thought Criminal

    It’s fairly obvious looking at the phenotypes producced from mixed offspring that many European genes are more recessive. Read up on Mendelian inheritance. And why would I want a “solution” to recessive genes? I don’t see them as problematic and may be a result of more civilised societies fending off outside threats for millennia.

    You seem to be confused between local diversity and global diversity. I said global diversity would be reduced by diluting white European genetics while keeping 3rd world genetic numbers large. To me the global picture is the important one (if you want to see other peoples get on an aeroplane), and don’t see why ethnic Europeans should be reduced to being the world’s red squirrel (numerous foreigners I have met have been shocked at the lack of local people in numerous parts of the UK as they have got off the plane). As I have already stated, we are already quite diverse locally, and more local diversity usually results in greater chaos and conflict (as we should know locally), not harmony. I predict the places of the world lauded as “melting pots” by the open-borders globalists crumble in civil conflict in the coming years as all the identity politics stirred by globalists reaches boiling point (if it hasn’t already started in France with the numerous terror attacks in the last year alone). Better to just avoid such problems altogether by not importing them.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Well could you not use the world totalitarian instead of Marxist?!