Gordon Brown faces ouster threat
By Cassandra Wood
Love it or loath it the European Union is a reality. You can bury your head in the sand and pretend that it doesn't exist, or you can engage and try to change things. This was the opportunity to do this by making your vote count - sadly that didn't make a difference to the 57% who failed to vote! For those who managed to get past what I can only describe as voter apathy there were certainly some surprises in store. While America moves towards the left Europe, on the whole, has moved towards the right.
Germany, France, Italy and Belgium already have right leaning administrations in place. Now a shift to the right as well in both Spain and the United Kingdom where opposition right parties gained the upper hand and took the major portion of votes and seats. Although there may not have been dramatic changes in the governance of the European Parliament there have been significant ripples that will be a loud and sometimes raucous voice in the halls of Brussels and Strasbourg - these come from the emergence of the far right parties in such countries as Holland and the UK.
The BNP in the UK and Geert Wilders PVV (Freedom) party emerged onto the scene, gaining their first ever seats. Although these two parties only represent six seats out of the 736 seat strong Parliament they will gain strength by joining with other far right parties such as Vlaams Belang in Belgium, Fronte Nationale in France etc. For most of these parties the agenda, though oft times mildly disguised in other agendas, are essentially operating an anti-immigration agenda. They are essentially a reaction to what they see as over liberal administration that allows immigration into the countries at such a level, and with scant controls in a way that facilitate the subversion of the the culture and fabric of their nations to the extent where they give a significant threat to the indigenous population. Fear mongering? Maybe. However, something has happened in countries like Holland, once the bastion of liberalism in Europe, to make the people say enough is enough.
Of course murders of Pym Fortuna and Theo Van Gogh fed into the feeling of a country who were at odds with a population to whom they had given refuge. This is not an isolated country, it is a growing concern through many countries and the EU elections have given them a voice. All feel that the growing power within the EU Parliament will eventually erode the sovereign rights of the various nation states and impose centralised control under things like the Lisbon Treaty.
In the UK the beleaguered ruling New Labour Party saw even more crushing defeats, being beaten overall into third place behind Conservatives and UKIP (United Kingdom Independence Party). This defeat followed their resounding defeats in the Local Government elections last Thursday when they lost control of their strongholds, allowing control to go to the Conservatives.
Why the defeat? Well, it could be the disastrous economy, it could be the sleaze that emerged over the MPs expenses, it could be the lack of controls over things like immigration and profligate spending (need I mention handouts to failed bankers?) - it could be any number of things. Gordon Brown faces defeat at the hands of his own party, and perhaps, just perhaps, the people think they lack leadership! Many feel he should fall on his own sword and leave with some dignity, others want to keep him around and wait till they have maneuvered into a position to further their own agendas.
It would be nice to think that what has happened in the EU elections will bring about change. My cynical side says no but my optimistic side hopes for a better and brighter future for Europe. Whether in our own individual Governments or in the EU Government there has never been a time when we have needed to look for our strength and capitalize on it. Surely the whole point of belonging to any coalition is that it gives you additional strength.
(For further details of EU wide results go to http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/