Turning of the tide in Europe

MORE than a week after the European Parliament elections, the hand-wringing in Britain over the success of the ultra-right British National Party continues. Having secured two seats in the European Parliament - a first for the BNP - many in the political and media class are rehashing, at least implicitly, the line made famous by German playwright Bertolt Brecht. Surely, they wonder, it is time to elect a new people, a more sophisticated, better informed people not prone to nasty and vicious xenophobia. Mainstream political leaders - Tory and Labour - mutter in disgust. Newspapers mull over whether a 1920s version of militant fascism is emerging. The BNP, with its racist, anti-immigrant agenda, should be driven out of British politics as an illegitimate force, they say. The BNP is surely a repellent political force, but again elites have misjudged the meaning of its rise. Read more.