Take heart, Britain! All is not as bad as the European election results make it seem!
Yes, Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party won 28 of the UK’s 73 seats, indicating an alarming shift to the political hard-right. But that doesn’t mean a hard-right election win. The Brexit Party didn’t even get a majority in the UK.
Also, the simple fact is that anti-EU parties led by Nigel Farage don’t actually do anything in the European Parliament, other than fart around making speeches that annoy the serious politicians. They certainly don’t take part in any democratic votes because it is a pillar of their beliefs that the EU cannot be a democratic organisation.
Just take a look at Mr Farage’s own voting record for the evidence. You’ll see the word “absent” a lot.
People who voted for the Brexit Party won’t make a difference in the EU because the Brexit Party won’t turn up.
In fact, the only reason the Brexit Party even campaigned was so Mr Farage could deliver an ultimatum on Brexit negotiations: He wants a place at the table so he can push for a “no deal” Brexit.
No deal means no NHS (he’d sell it to the Americans), no human or workers’ rights, chlorinated chicken for dinner and a massive increase in the cost of groceries and other goods. He would pauperise everybody who voted for him.
Best thing to do would be to give him the place he wants at the table – and then ignore him in the national interest.
Yes, the Liberal Democrats enjoyed a surge of support as UK citizens who want to remain in the European Union protest-voted for them.
How they expect to push their promise that a vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote for remaining in the EU, when the European Parliament won’t be voting on that subject, is a mystery.
But those votes won’t be wasted. They’ll be used to promote right-wing Liberal Democrat policies – the same kind of policies they supported when in Coalition with the Conservatives, here in the UK, between 2010 and 2015.
Socialist remainers who voted Liberal Democrat should monitor the result very carefully – and probably with dismay.
But there was also a surge of support – across the EU – for Green parties and policies that address the growing climate change and environmental crises caused by a human race whose policies have been controlled by people like the Brexit Party and the Liberal Democrats for far too long.
The UK’s Green Party now has seven MEPs – an increase of four – who will help boost the total number of Greens in the European Parliament to a projected 71. This could give the Greens the balance of power in the European Parliament.
Any parliamentary group that wanted Green support would have to deliver on three key principles: climate action, civil liberties and social justice.
The party will exert maximum pressure on climate policy, but will also push for more social justice when it comes to who winds up footing the bill for the green transition.
And Labour will learn the lesson of its losses. The party as a whole will continue to express dismay at the polarisation of politics around a Leave/Remain conflict but will say there is no political solution coming from Westminster or Brussels so the question must go back to the people – directly.
That means either a general election or another referendum – the “people’s vote” that so many MPs, of many parties, have been demanding.
Labour has always said it will abide by the results of plebiscites on our membership of the European Union, and while a “people’s vote” referendum has been framed as a way of establishing support for remaining in the Union, the European election result (although not representative of the entire electorate as only a little more than one-third of the UK electorate took part) suggests otherwise.
It would be a way of silencing this divisive debate, once and for all.
So in the end, Labour’s policy may prove to be the winner.