Europe’s Alpha & Omega

Chancellor Angela Merkel faces three regional elections in the German states of Saxony-Anhalt, Baden-Weurttemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate that are being described, by various observers, commentators and news outlets, as a ‘test of support’ for the Chancellor’s stance on the refugee crisis. ‘Test’ is one way to describe the process, I suppose. Whilst frau Merkel might wish it to be otherwise, the sudden rise of the anti-establishment and populist AfD (Alternative für Deutschland), which is presenting its regional campaigns as a national referendum on Germany’s open-door response to the crisis and which is polling well above the 7.1% of the vote it … Continue reading

This is tabloid country

If the BBC sets the agenda for the media, then the right-wing tabloids play the role of court provocateurs. The written word is traditionally more partial than television news in the UK. So the tabloids are still defined by the BBC, as they rail against it. This is the irony behind the talk of a ‘left-wing’ bias. Even still, Britain’s tabloids have become notorious for their news coverage. The two biggest players, The Sun and the Daily Mail, are worthy of classic case studies. The Daily Mail is well known for its sensationalist headlines, and its ultra-conservative agenda. By contrast, … Continue reading

The death of the BNP

The British National Party has now been removed from the official list of political parties. This is because it failed to pay its annual £25 registration fee. Without registering, it’s not possible for the BNP to contest elections. Even six months notice wasn’t enough for the party to make the deadline. So this may well be the last gasp for the BNP. Whether or not it can regroup is hard to say. Some parties of the far-right have lied dormant for years. The National Front, the precursor to the BNP, which was founded in the late 1960s, has seen a … Continue reading