Ukip may come top of the Europolls in Britain on 22 May. The Front National, which has a clear-cut fascist lineage, leads in pre-poll surveys in France. Right-wing populist “anti-European” parties will do well in other countries.
In Germany, the new, right-wing, and anti-euro AfD is at 6% or 7% scarcely a year after being launched.
Ironically, Greece, the country which has suffered most with cuts plans from the European Union and European Central Bank, is an exception.
There, many polls suggest that the left-wing party Syriza will for the first time run clearly ahead of the main right-wing party, New Democracy. Syriza rejects the EU leaders’ cuts plans and proposes Europe-wide solidarity to break them rather than advocating “get Greece out” as an answer.
Alarmingly, the neo-Nazi (and anti-EU) Golden Dawn party may improve on its 7% in the June 2012 Greek parliamentary elections. The other group gaining ground is a new party, To Potami, which is vague but leftish and not anti-Europe.
Greece shows that the left can provide answers to the social discontent, but only with an effort.
If the left goes halfway with the nationalists by endorsing “get out of the EU” as the first-step answer to social ills, that will only help the right. Fanciful footnotes which speculate that the re-raising of economic barriers between countries will somehow push towards socialism have little weight.
Voters persuaded that re-raising national barriers is the first step will mostly tend to drift to the serious, powerful barrier-raisers: the nationalist right.
“No to the EU” agitation threatens the position of millions of workers who have crossed EU borders to seek jobs.
We should instead seek to unite workers across the borders for a common cross-European fight against the cross-European plans of capital and of the EU leaders.