Monday, May 23, 2016

Health warnings required

As we wait today for the result of the election in Austria, to find out if a European nation will for the first time have a president from the nationalist far-right, I’m asking myself whether politicians should come with a ‘health warning’… a clear indication of their potential toxicity. How can one not see as a grave danger any elected official who enjoys the support of the insidious pan-European Identitarian Movement, unapologetic xenophobes reminding us surely of dark days in the twentieth century? ‘Ethnic cleansing’ anyone?

My questions are posed exactly a month before the voters in the United Kingdom (although not British expats resident in the EU) will be asked to decide for or against Brexit. How on earth is the electorate supposed to react to the hysterical claims, supported by highly questionable data, made by both ‘in’ and ‘out’ campaigners? Should there not be a ‘health warning’… an alert advising us that the politicians on both sides of the argument are leading us to the brink of a dangerous cliff? Frankly I can understand only one reason why an intelligent person might wish to leave the European Union, if sincerely of the opinion that the EU is itself an institution doomed in the medium or long term to implode. 

Update from The Guardian
"The Austrian interior ministry confirmed that after postal votes were counted, Hofer’s final score was 49.7%, against 50.3% for his rival Van der Bellen, a former Green party leader and the son of two wartime refugees."

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