Europe Note:
National Socialist
28 May 2014

¶ At the LRB blog, Jeremy Harding compares Marine Le Pen and Nigel Farage, leaders of the right wing parties, in France and Britain respectively, that garnered big chunks of the latest European Parliament vote. Observing that “Britain doesn’t look like France as you track further right,” Harding excoriates the laddishness of Farage’s UKIP, which is just what you’d expect. What’s odd is his respect for Le Pen’s reformed ideology.

She has turned her party around from the days of her father’s brief flirtation with market-liberal theology to formulate a kind of national socialist programme as coherent as Ukip’s is vague and contradictory. The only antipathies they have in common are for immigrants and European union as it stands. Neither looks like a serious programme for the future but hers has one conspicuous advantage over Ukip’s: consistency. A party that argues against the free movement of money, jobs, goods and services is well placed to make a case against freedom of movement for human beings, whether it hides its racism – as the FN tries to do – or proclaims it from the rooftops.

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