The populist radical right wins power in different countries in different ways. In Hungary and Poland, what were initially mainstream conservative parties with populist tendencies drifted inexorably, and now, it seems, irrevocably, into illiberalism once in government. Brexit provides perhaps the most striking illustration yet of populist radical right parties — first the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and then its effective successor the Brexit Party — wielding, and indeed effectively achieving, power without winning office. These parties have ensured their pet issue — Britain’s membership of the European Union — is now the major dividing line in British politics. How did this happen?… Seguir leyendo »
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So Prime Minister Theresa May lives to fight another day. She won Wednesday’s vote of no confidence: 200 members of her party stood by her; 117 did not. Indeed, under the Conservative Party’s rules, it will be another year before her opponents in the party can try to unseat her as leader.
But does her victory really resolve anything? There’s been speculation that the deep divisions and factional fighting between the hard-line Brexiteers and the Conservatives’ less Euroskeptic wing might do more than just unseat the prime minister; it might ultimately break the party apart, with some members coalescing around a nationalist, even populist, alternative while their less strident colleagues join a putative “centrist” party committed to a more moderate, more open style of politics.… Seguir leyendo »
Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative government in Britain is in turmoil. But the resignations that have rocked it in recent days — even that of Boris Johnson, who was until recently her obsessively ambitious foreign secretary — risk blinding us to a simple truth: The big reason Mrs. May’s party is in so much trouble over Brexit is that it is determined at all costs to end “the free movement of people” that, even for those European countries outside the European Union, is a condition of belonging to the bloc’s single market.
Why are Britain’s Conservatives so set on that course, despite the fact that access to that market is vital to the prosperity of the country they govern?… Seguir leyendo »