The results of the 2018 midterms erect a roadblock against Donald Trump’s legislative agenda, and will allow the US Democrats to initiate federal investigations into Trump’s conduct and links to the Russian state. They also saw a handful of breakthroughs in terms of the diversity of Congress, with the first native American woman and the first Muslim woman, as well as the election of America’s first openly gay governor. But really what these elections delivered was final proof, if any were needed, that the far right is the new normal. A huge proportion of the American population gave a vote of confidence to a President whose policies include locking migrant children in cages, banning Muslims from the country, and denying the existence of climate change. The results also showed a continuing political polarisation from which a new left is emerging. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was the most prominent successful candidate backed by the Democratic Socialists of America, but … [Read more...] about ConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlight The midterms show the far right has been normalised. To beat it, the left must be bolder
The far right
Your anonymous contributor exposes the dangers of nationalism (Who’d live in a Nazi town in Germany? I do – it’s terrifying, 31 October). Indeed, you don’t have to scratch very deeply to find nationalism boiling just below the surface of everyday life in Italy, Sweden, Denmark, France, Germany, the UK, Austria, Holland, Hungary and Poland. It has long been one of the weaknesses of the EU that when people perceive that they have lost control of their countries’ internal affairs, because of EU institutions that are not directly accountable and which tend to ignore the histories and cultures of the very different member states, then scapegoats will be found and there will be a return to a hard and resentful nationalism. This, unfortunately, may be the lasting legacy of the EU. The EU worked best under its old cloak of the EEC – a cooperative economic association. This left intact the independence of member states when dealing with domestic matters. If … [Read more...] about The worrying rise of the far right across Europe and America
In a small tailor shop in Prati, a plush Rome neighbourhood close to Vatican City, Francesca Carmen sighs as she looks up from her sewing machine towards the unsightly scene from across the street. “I have to deal with this all the time,” she said. “I arrive in the morning to seagulls ripping through the rubbish bags, looking for food thrown away by restaurants overnight.” Overflowing bins are currently as ubiquitous across the Italian capital as engine-revving, pollution-generating motor scooters, another scourge of Carmen’s working day: “Look at the way they’re parked – the exhaust pipes directly face the shop; during the summer I’m forced to keep the door closed to avoid breathing in the fumes.” For years Romans have lamented their city’s crumbling infrastructure and chaotic services – from the uncollected rubbish, potholes, rat infestations and scrappy parks to buses that either never come or ageing ones that … [Read more...] about Will the far right clean up as Rome crumbles?
The election of Jair Bolsonaro (Report, 29 October) marks an extremely serious point in the rise of the global far right. It came a day after the shocking antisemitic attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue, Pittsburgh, in which 11 people were killed (Report, 28 October). Notorious for his attacks on women, black and LGBT+ people, Bolsonaro declared that “leftists will have to leave the country or go to jail”. He said “these red outlaws will be banished from the homeland”, and declared refugees “the scum of the earth”. The alt-right is supporting far-right groups in Europe, North America and Latin America, including support for Bolsonaro in Brazil. In Britain, a violent, far-right street movement has emerged, mobilising the biggest numbers in decades. It is receiving political and financial support from Donald Trump’s former chief of staff Steve Bannon and far-right figures across Europe. The impact of neoliberalism and austerity, and cuts on our … [Read more...] about Bolsonaro and the rise of the far right
TOMMY ROBINSON'S money spinning tour of Australia will see him take the stage alongside Gavin McInnes - the founder of a group of far-right hipsters known as the Proud Boys. The Trump-loving group has been sparking outrage in the US since its formation in 2016 mixing a passion for tattoos, Fred Perry shirts and craft beer with a furious opposition to immigration, feminism and cultural diversity. As well as their main base of the USA, the Proud Boys boast chapters around the world - including Canada, Israel and even Britain. The group was started by right wing Canadian comic and campaigner Gavin McInnes, who was one of the founders of liberal culture bible Vice Media before embracing right wing politics and conservative social issues. Today it was revealed than McInnes, a 48-year-old former punk rocker, will appear alongside far-right hot head Tommy Robinson on a tour of Australia next month where the pair are expected to debate media censorship, immigration and social issues. … [Read more...] about Meet the Proud Boys – the far-right tattooed hipsters touring Australia with Tommy Robinson as they stoke outrage around the world