Fear of the Far Right

BBC The Nine carried a report tonight on the rise of the ‘far right’ in Europe and their entry into the coalition Government of Estonia.

It was diagnosed as resentment by those who have been left behind and who wanted someone to speak up for them.

If the result of elections is to be feared, the question arises if mainstream media believes in democracy or not. Along with the fight to overturn the Brexit Referendum result, we are witnessing not simply the rise of the far right in Europe but also anti-democratic attempts by those in power to hold on to the status quo and to demonise those who rise to challenge their position and use of power.

It is a question how to debate in a world where the only way to be heard is to be more and more strident or to make a spectacle of oneself to draw the attention of television cameras to one’s cause.

Less than two hours later, BBC Newsnight discussed inequality of democracy in Britain – where does political power lie? This was analysed to be the source of the rise of populism, traced back chronologically to the bailing out of the banks during the credit crisis. Responding to a report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies ‘Inequalities in the twenty-first century: introducing the IFS Deaton Review’ BBC Newsnight’s panel discussed the issues. Plenty of facts can be mustered but this is not the same as having the correct analysis nor the correct answers.

Project Fear as the means to secure attention and galvanise action has itself to blame if others use fear in order to fight fire with fire.

The media can hardly complain about the language of the far right when its own language is exaggerated to attract the attention of its readership and viewers. Freedom of speech and availability of public platforms are the issues under threat. If it leads to the rise of ‘the far right’, let the media examine itself how inclusive it is and how tolerant it is of views with which it disagrees. Protestant Christianity addressed this issue centuries ago, but with the decline of Christianity in the UK these lessons need to be relearned by our secular society.

‘Judgment is turned away backward, and justice stands afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.’

Isa 59:14

Update:

15 May 2019: BBC Newsnight tonight discussed the clash of “secular norms and religious freedom; liberal values and religious conservatism”. It suggests that organising against “the secular norms” is evidence of extremism and intolerance. Its report showed that secular repentance is being called out for what it is, but the suitably-selected imam on Newsnight complained about the parents shouting and denied that there was promotion of the homosexual agenda. He claimed that the driver of the school programme was inclusion and against bullying. The shouting only confirms that the unequal equality agenda is stoking up trouble. After the homosexual Labour MP had labelled the protestors as homophobic, the BBC presenter Emily Maitlis summarised that religious rights cannot trump homosexual rights, only demonstrating the pecking order in our ‘unequal’ equality laws.

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