29 May 2014, The Tablet

Polls offer a difficult pill to swallow

With some important exceptions, the consistent pattern of the results in the European Union’s parliamentary elections was the rise of right-wing parties that stand outside the consensus of conventional European politics. This seemed to be the case in at least half the EU’s member states. And the single issue they had in common was immigration, criticism of which by some of them went as far as outright racism. The results also represented, in country after country, a politics of anti-politics, disowning the political class that has ruled Europe for decades as incompetent, corrupt, self-serving and out of touch. The British and French results were the most emphatic, with the United Kingdom Independence Party topping the poll by some margin and causing an immense headache for Bri
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