Comment of the day, from the comment thread to an editorial at the far-left London Guardian lamenting the success of Marine Le Pen’s National Front in yesterday’s regional elections.
The commenter first quotes from the editorial:
“That [i.e. Hollande’s center-left and Sarkozy’s center-right joining forces to defeat the National Front] would require either the merging or the withdrawal of some of their lists of candidates in the run-up to the second round. Surely that would be a healthy choice, for France’s democracy and for Europe as a whole. It is urgently needed.”
The commenter then remarks:
Are you sure that the way to defeat a party that draws much of its support from the narrative that the centre-left and the centre-right are but two sides of the same, elite-serving, no-love-for-the-peasants coin is to merge the centre-left and the centre-right? I’m afraid this will produce the exact opposite result. [The Guardian view on the French regional elections: the remarkable resilience of the far right; Editorial, The Guardian, December 6th 2015.]
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Channel, there was a by-election in the old-industrial town of Oldham, a mere stone’s throw–about 20 miles–from the hearth-place of both the Derbyshire and Brimelow clans in East Lancashire.
The main interest of the Oldham election was to see whether Nigel Farage’s U.K. Independence Party, which favors major reductions in immigration, could defeat the Labour Party of Jeremy Corbyn, an old-line eat-the-rich Trotskyite recently fitted out in a spiffy new suit of clothes from that well-known firm of Savile Row tailors CultMarx and Ethnomasochism Bros., Ltd.
They couldn’t. The result was a decisive win for Labour.
Reports from the campaign trail in Oldham had suggested Labour was haemorrhaging votes among its traditional white working class supporters, horrified by what one commentator called the party’s transformation into a “poncified” party of middle class Metropolitan liberals.
This fed directly into Labour fears that their vote in their traditional English strongholds is as brittle as it proved to be in Scotland.
And that UKIP, with its tough line on immigration and appeal to patriotic values, was poised to replace it.
The London-based away-day pundits have been proved wrong, however. [Jeremy Corbyn hails Oldham West and Royton by-election victory; BBC News, December 4th 2015.]
Oldham by-election: did Muslims worried about war in Syria save Jeremy Corbyn from doom?
Among the British population as a whole, 30 per cent oppose air strikes, according to Survation. Among British Muslims, however, that proportion rises to 56 per cent, according to the same pollster.
And while Muslims make up around five per cent of the UK population overall, they comprise about 25 per cent of the population of Oldham West. Of the 102,616 residents registered in the seat in the 2011 census, 25,220 were Muslims. [The Labour leader’s strong stance on military intervention may have helped secure his victory in Oldham West and Royton by Asa Bennett; Daily Telegraph, December 4th 2015.]
Elect a new people–It really works!
Jeremy Corbyn, Tom Watson, and local Labour candidate Jim McMahon meeting their imported base in the formerly English town of Oldham
UKIP leader Nigel Farage has claimed there was election fraud, and says he may be filing a formal complaint.
That of course is just sour grapes. Who ever heard of electoral jiggery-pokery among South-Asian Muslim populations? I mean, really! These nativist bigots will say anything.