Non asylum seekers seeking asylum

By: Adam Paquin

The Bull article has an interesting take on populism and tells us that all over the world there are several different definitions for this term we call populism. With many different styles or ideologies and in most cases, it is set to a sort of moralism which turns the official into a person of good and their opponent into a person of evil. She also argues that often a populist leader uses ones memory against them creating fabricated visions of history while placing their enemy at the center and stating that they are the reason for the states downfall.

The Molnar article gives us and in depth look into racism, antisemitism and all-around fears of immigration that many of the German citizens had after the Second World War. He specifies the fact that during the cold war and up until the mid 90’s anti-immigration sentiment was on the rise and until then they only accepted very minimal amounts of immigrants under strict circumstances. But after the collapse of communism, they started to receive a massive spike of immigration. One part I found rather interesting was the fact that their welfare system was so good that many German citizens proposed the idea that many of the “asylum seekers” might not even be seeking asylum. But in fact, taking advantage of the German taxpayers and the welfare system. Which now began to spread large amounts of violence both from Germans and immigrants seeking asylum. Molnar proceeds to go in depth more on the violence and riots that erupt afterwards.

Rehabilitating fascism and electing authoritarians: how it happened

By Jim Dagg

In “1984”, George Orwell wrote “who controls the past controls the future”. We are seeing this over and over again in this course. Bull’s article in this week’s readings positions “counter memories” as a commonly used and powerful tool of populist parties. With her focus on Italy, she highlights Berlusconi’s work in the 1990s vilify the left, which he has simplified to “communist”, and to which he assigned false blame for the Bologna massacre (at least). This was part of his work to rehabilitate the AN (heirs to MSI, and hence Mussolini). The second part of the “1984” quote is “who controls the present controls the past”. That part applies to Berlusconi – the media tycoon – just as aptly.

Bull’s notion of an “empty signifier” – what a great term! – is new to me. The signifier really is empty to begin with. Using Berlusconi as the example again, he co-opts “freedom” and fills it with the specific meanings that will appeal to a sufficient coalition of the population. In the winter of 2022, we in Ottawa saw the same term “freedom” used in precisely the same way by the trucker convoy. 

The Kalb chapter was dense and powerful.  He described the devastating effects of neo-liberalism on workers in former Soviet satellites. Then he showed how the reaction produced today’s populist authoritarianism in Hungary and Poland especially. While notionally western parts of the individual Visegrad countries have become important manufacturing centers for Europe, the eastern parts of these countries have fallen behind. Easterners in Hungary were then hurt badly by the financial crisis of 2008 and turned to populists for the answer. Orban was elected in 2010 and transformed Hungary into an “illiberal national workfare state”. The idea spread to Poland next.

 Kalb believes that, in transition to open markets, there grew a rift between the self-perceived “deserving” and “undeserving” workers. He claims this undermined possible solidarity among workers and was a missed opportunity. His description of conflict and hierarchy-seeking makes sense, but would broad solidarity among workers in eastern “provinces” have made any difference to their prosperity – or their precaritization 😉?

Legitimate Problems and Illegitimate Solutions by Aimee Brown

While scholars may struggle to define what populism is, it’s a lot less difficult to identify what causes it. Populism is a direct reaction to neo-liberal capitalism. As the Marmonova, Franquesa, and Brooks article puts it, “socio-economic inequalities are the fundamental driving force in defining political cleavages and conflicts in rural Europe today” (1516). Despite the claims currently being made in many neo-liberal democracies, neo-liberal democracy is the cause of, not the solution to, the ascendance of populism. However, as the Molnar article articulates within the context of Germany, in order for this fact to be comprehensible, the hegemonic teleology of neo-liberal democracy must be dismantled. If this is done, then the post-Cold War period “appears less as a redemptive end point and more as a foreboding new beginning” (514). This is because even in a success story like Germany, the application of neo-liberal capitalism resulted in losers as well as winners. Just ask the small farmers of Saxony. Neo-liberal democracy isn’t a centrist and neutral position. Nor is it inevitable or inarguable or without alternative. The alternative is populism. As the Marmonova, Franquesa, and Brooks article illustrates in several countries, while neo-liberalism has been great for agricultural mega-corporations, it has been really bad for small farmers, so why wouldn’t those small farmers look for a political alternative? Similarly, due to the depopulation caused by neo-liberalism, representative democracy no longer works for rural areas, so why wouldn’t the people who live there look for a political alternative? However, that alternative doesn’t have to be neo-fascism. For example, the politics of rural Spain demonstrates that, if the Left can provide a compelling alternative, then they too can be successful. In the absence of a compelling leftist alternative, however, far-right populism wins by default. Unfortunately, far-right populism does nothing for the economically disadvantaged people who support it because, as Bull describes in the Italian context, populism reacts to economic problems not by encouraging class-consciousness, but by creating a consciousness of “the people”. This provides no alternative to neo-liberal capitalism, the root of the problem, but merely an “other” group (southern Italians, Roma, Turks) upon which the problem can irrationally be blamed. In the absence of a credible Left that would identify class as the most useful category of societal analysis, the losers in the rigged game of neo-liberal capitalism are left only with a far-right populism that expresses their legitimate rage using an illegitimate discourse of nationalism and race.

The Right’s Favourite Pass-time: Othering Migrants

Jacob Braun

The topics of migration and democratisation stand out to me most succinctly in this week’s readings. In the years following German reunification and the dissolution of the USSR, these topics were on the minds of everyone in the Western Bloc; how to manage the influx of migrants from formerly Communist states, and how to properly integrate those states into the Capitalist free market world order. Combined with the increasing globally-interconnecting environment of the 1990s and early 2000s, issues that arose during this period continue to plague European politics to this day. Most notably, I would like to draw parallels between increased foreign migration to Germany after reunification and increased migration to Europe as a whole resulting from the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War in 2011.

As we’ve discussed together in class, racism and “othering” seems to be a constant in the ideology-bundle of right-wing populism. Throughout the Cold War, large numbers of Turkish immigrants migrated to West Germany to rectify their postwar need for labour. Many of them were unable to become German citizens, as West German citizenship law operated under jus sanguinis (meaning your parents must be German for you to be German). It would only be until 2000 when Germany would reform their citizenship law to jus soli (meaning if you are born on German soil, you are German). Yet, the presence of a large non-German population would spark a wave of neo-Nazi resurgence and attacks on foreigners from people desperately trying to keep Germany for the Germans. Come 2011 with the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War and subsequently the largest refugee crisis since the Second World War*, the German right-wing would capitalise on a large influx of non-white Muslim immigrants to popularise their platform. Similarly to the influx of Turks, discrimination and violence would befall these populations.

*This title may now go to the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War, which has produced almost 15 million refugees displaced worldwide compared to Syria’s 11 million.

Persistent German Racism in the Post-Soviet Era

Image from

Even before the dissolution of the Soviet Union, vast swaths of people from East-Germany had attempted to flee into the west. Many would attempt to cross the wall in Berlin with some even being killed. Of course this issue would spill over once the Soviet Union fell, and many individuals that made it into the west were not all necessarily coming in with good intentions, and the Molnar article explains how German society found itself more multicultural then it ever had been, and that this had created a lot of tension among the far-right. This tension would spill over in the form of violence against non-Germans, and would highlight that racist sentiments were still very much prevalent in Germany even by the 90’s. What is even more shocking is that these sentiments were not just disorganized far-right groups, but the German government itself “Chancellor Helmut Kohl and his government developed a plan that sought to dramatically reduce the number of Turks in Germany by paying them and their families to leave Germany forever. The plan, overwhelmingly supported by the German people, was put into law in 1983.” (Molnar) The fact that this action was overwhelmingly supported by the German population hammers home that those racist sentiments were still there. What is even scarier is that it is still present pretty much to this day as highlighted by Mamonova when she talks about how the right-wing party “Alternative für Deutschland” is heavily backed by eastern villages in Saxony where racist anti-refugee sentiments are very strong. Why do they still feel this way though? Is it really just remnants of fascist ideology, or is there something else at play here?

Readings Used:

Christopher Molnar, “Greetings from the Apocalypse”: Race, Migration, and Fear after German Reunification” Central European History, (2021), 1-25.

Natalia Mamonova, Jaume Franquesa, and Sally Brooks, “‘Actually Existing’ Right-Wing Populism in Rural Europe: Insights from Eastern Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom and Ukraine,” The Journal of Peasant Studies 47, no. 7 (2020): 1497–1525

Cutting Off Russia from the World Op Ed # 2

By: Adam Paquin

In the past several months since Russia’s invasion on Ukraine, many countries across the world have begun cutting ties with Russia and refusing to purchase several commodities as well as oil. All of this in a hope to damage the Russian economy, slow down their flow of military funds and support Ukraine in these unprecedented times. From a far, this seemed to be an easy task as most thought that Russia was only good for exporting oil and gas, but in fact they are also massive suppliers of precious metals as well. Russia is the world’s largest producer of Palladium which is used in many electronics and cars. And they are also the world’s second largest producer of platinum which is used in jewelry and many medical devices. They are also major producers of gold, aluminum, and nickel.

In the eyes of the rest of the world this is their first step in an attempt to put Russia economy and their development several decades. As over the past few decades we as a complete human race have discovered that working as a whole world speeds up development of knowledge and technology. If Russia as a country was no longer part of this international development, they would have to create many of their own internal domestic technology and technology firms all from scratch. Now this comes with many advantages and disadvantages for not only European countries but for the Unites States as well. Let’s say that Russia never existed, and Europe ended right at the edge of Finland, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and China who would the United States have to fight with in an arms race. Would the United States be where they are now if not for their cold war with Russia during the late 20th century. Would Germany have won previous wars against Europe if Russia had not been involved. Russia although in modern times is not a part of NATO and may seem like a foreign place to outsiders. The country has been a major player in the history books, and I am sure would impact the lives of everyone if one day in the near future is cut off from the rest of the western world.

I am sure that the world would find the ability to replace Russian resources eventually if we lost them completely, but we would certainly struggle until we replaced them. As we are already seeing gas prices are rising drastically all over the world, and this is just the beginning. Some countries such as Germany, who rely on Russian gas much more than other countries. People would freeze to death in the winter months if cut off from natural gas instantly and completely. Nickel prices rising astronomically in London on the London Metal Exchange which forced a shut down for over a week. And the car industry and vehicle prices would also climb to unprecedented levels until we were able to find another source of palladium to supply the world.

 So now we need to ask ourselves who is being hurt more by the sanctions placed on Russia them or us, and if the answer is them does Putin really care enough to put an end to this war in order to restore his countries reputation with the world. But if the answer is us, is there any alternative to show our support for Ukraine? Either than starting World War Three, do we continue to aid Ukraine in sending military equipment and continue this outrageous war that Russia has started. Or do we stop helping Ukraine and let them fall to the hands of Putin, all of these questions have been on the minds of Members of NATO for the past several months and have put many countries aside from Russia and Ukraine in a very tough moral dilemma. I for one am more curious as to what will happen once this war comes to an end. Will all be forgiven as if it never happened or will Europe and the rest of the world put Putin on trial for his war crimes along with many of his military leaders who supported some of the travesties that have happened to innocent Ukrainian civilians.

Op/Ed #2 – What to expect from Meloni and the Brothers of Italy

By Jim Dagg

Italians have elected a government led by the FdI (Brothers of Italy) party. Opponents call it neo-fascist, though its leader – and now Prime Minister – Giorgia Meloni calls it post-fascist. What should we expect from Meloni’s government?

FdI is definitely on the far right. The Thesis of Trieste, passed at a party congress in 2017 is the party’s ideological platform. Using a model of R.R.P (radical right party) characteristics, one analyst establishes the importance of “nativism, nationalism and authoritarianism” as well as “euro-skepticism” in this platform. Having said that, the platform is one thing; implementation when in power is another. History shows that situational parameters (social, political, economic) and the abilities of the leader have a huge impact on the ability to implement a program.

Meloni is an excellent politician. She has a reputation within the Italian establishment for “pragmatism and sharp intelligence”. And as a woman who has made it to the top of Italian politics… she is tough. In 2012, she led a split from Berlusconi’s mainstream center-right “People of Freedom” alliance, creating the FdI and became its first (and only) leader. She is a fiery and captivating speaker. She is charismatic: even the attempt to mock her in a video “Io sono Giorgia” worked in her favour. When the national unity government of Mario Draghi took power in 2021, she kept her small party in opposition, aware that Italians tend to vote for change. During the snap election which followed Draghi’s resignation, as it became clear that Meloni might win, she began to moderate her positions – including on supporting the euro. In the end, her party won 26% of the vote, up from 4% in 2018. Her coalition partners each won under 9%, putting Meloni in the driving seat of a strong majority government.

Pragmatic, smart and tough, Meloni will play the cards she has been dealt and look for opportunities to implement her party’s program. She has already said that she is leading a center-right government, not a far-right one. She tried hard to recruit a non-political technocrat as finance minister, though she was unsuccessful. She has fully stepped away from euro-skepticism: €200B from the EU – in COVID recovery grants and loans – is immediately at stake. She knows that Europe makes it easier for Italy to manage its huge debt, and that 71% of Italians support use of the euro. She is a full-throated supporter of Ukraine, in complete alignment with EU policy – and against the policy of far-right fellow-traveller Viktor Orban in Hungary. In affirming this recently, ‘she said that Italy was fully, and “with its head held high, part of Europe and the Atlantic alliance.”’  She has no interest in changing the abortion law nor laws that permit same-sex civil unions, as these have proven popular to the population at large. Smart politicians – even true believers – know when the time is not right.

Meloni will pursue her far-right policies where she can: most likely under the categories of nativism and nationalism. This may include new legislation around perceived “illegal” immigration and all aspects of “welfare chauvinism”. Both initiatives are likely to target Islamic immigrants especially. An amplification effect is likely: when the government discusses and passes laws which move to the right in this way, they shift the understanding in the community. This may lead to self-justification for additional official (police) and unofficial (vigilante) action against the identified communities. This is what the world should watch out for.

Talented and determined though she is, Meloni faces daunting challenges. The economy is projected to contract by 0.7% in 2023 and inflation is at 9.4%. She couldn’t recruit as she wanted for some cabinet posts, including for the Minister of Economy and Finance: Giancarlo Giorgetti, who got the appointment and was in Draghi’s unity government as Minister of Economic Development, actually said that he was not confident he could do the job. Meloni’s coalition partners Salvini (The League) and Berlusconi (Forza Italia) have made a habit of expressing approval for Putin and his war in Ukraine. They may choose to make trouble for her for their own reasons. And EU human rights rules as well as economic factors may make it difficult for her to implement some of her agenda.

Meloni’s government, like any democratically elected government in history, will need to be pragmatic about implementing her party’s program. Meloni will likely prioritize some high-profile policies which advance the nativist and nationalist aspects of her platform. But anything more will be limited by situational considerations including an inflationary yet shrinking economy, Italy’s immediate dependency on the EU, and Meloni’s own dependency on mercurial partners Salvini and Berlusconi.

European Football and Populism: More than a Coincidental Connection? OP/ED #2

by Jacob Braun

Football and right-wing populism in Europe are irrefutably intertwined. Although FIFA ostensibly supports an apolitical stance at its games, spectators and players alike engage in right-wing sloganeering and nationalist displays. Attracting large numbers of predominantly white, male spectators who get riled up for their club’s victory, it’s no wonder there’s a problem in the pitches. Whether FIFA likes it or not, their football arenas are used as political tools by European populists to take advantage of the xenophobic and racist sentiments rife within them. If we want to deal with this issue, we really need to kick it out!

European football fans are notorious for being quite violent at times. With such an aggressively charged macho atmosphere surrounding the sport, it’s easy for passionate crowds to erupt into thuggish mobs. For star black players, football spectators channel their anger towards them for anything from missed goals to lost games. Take the 3 black players for England’s Euro 2020 team, who faced racist abuse after their loss to Italy in a shootout. When also taking into account the fierce nationalism which pervades the realm of football, populist rhetoric can effortlessly take root among amped-up spectators.

A defaced mural of Marcus Rashford is covered with supportive messages against his abuse following England’s 2020 Euro loss. Source

Populists love their dichotomies. The us versus them dynamic is integral to the populist ideology; denoting a clear enemy of the cause. It makes sense then why the “Donald Trump of Portuguese Football,” Bruno de Carvalho, used this binary rhetoric during his tenure (with the addition of some colourful language). De Carvalho rose to prominence thanks to his fiery personality and disdain for the old guard, echoing many other eminent populists. Thankfully the aggressive president-fan was ousted in June 2018, but his presence as the head of Sporting CP serves as an insight into how populists make names for themselves and take root in the football world. 

Bruno de Carvalho, the “Donald Trump of Portuguese Football.” Source

The purpose of football has evolved past solely kicking a ball around and scoring goals for amusement. In Hungary under the auspices of Viktor Orban, it has become a political tool. With every match that takes place on a Hungarian pitch, he pits his illiberal democratic values against the liberal democracies of western Europe. Because of his presence at matches in Hungary, football has become a meeting place for populist politicians and businessmen who are supportive of Orban. It has also become a place of populist rhetoric dissemination among the spectators, resulting in homophobic chants.

A fan runs on to the field protesting the Germany-Hungary Euro 2020 football match. This match took place in early June of 2021, shortly after Hungary’s legislation of anti-LGBTQ laws. Source

Football in Europe and right-wing populism go hand in hand. In the modern age football has evolved into a platform for political discourse, which has been co-opted by populist fans. As much as the governing agencies try to discourage its games from becoming political arenas, there is nothing that can be done other than actively recognizing and combating the issue. Holding an apolitical stance will do nothing! Overall, the need for the football to populism pipeline to be recognized is at an all time high while Europe is threatened by populist leaders. Maybe by shutting it, we can make a significant change down the line.

Op/ED #2: New Boss, Same as the Old Boss: The Corruption of Europe’s Anti-Corruption Populists

Owen Billo


When populists come to power part of their platform is almost always anti-corruption, and yet these same populists are consistently corrupt themselves.  They portray themselves as outlets of the people’s will, and of course the people are opposed to corruption.  But positioning oneself as the sole outlet of the people’s will also creates an image of infallibility, which is inevitably used to cover up corruption.  Focusing on Europe, the populist parties which have taken power (primarily in Eastern Europe) have been ideal examples of this.

In Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orban started off as a liberal opposing Hungary’s authoritarian Communist regime.  He and his party, Fidesz, fought against that regime’s deep-seated corruption, and he has built off of that image ever since.  Today, as a far-right populist, Orban rails against the fictional corruption of George Soros and the LGBT+ community, trying to shore up his image as Hungary’s saviour from financial, political, and moral corruption.  At the same time, Orban’s government is in a standoff with the European Union (EU) over nepotism as well as misuse and embezzlement of EU funds by Orban.  Hungary’s media situation is also atrocious, with media regulations being heavily biased in favour of the ruling Fidesz party and most private media being owned by the pro-Fidesz Central European Press and Media Foundation.  Both Hungary and Poland have been accused by the EU of weakening judicial independence in their countries.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban delivering a speech at a right wing political convention. Source:

While Poland’s Law and Justice party is not quite as corrupt as Hungary’s Fidesz, that charge of weakening judicial independence is very much true.  Last year, Poland fell to its worst ever ranking in the global corruption index from Transparency International.  This year, it worked the rolling back of anti-corruption legislation into a bill also assisting Ukrainian refugees.  Because “you wouldn’t want to vote against helping Ukrainian refugees, would you?”  All of this is in stark contrast to the party’s fight against the fictional corruption of what it calls “LGBT ideology.”  Even the party’s name, “Law and Justice” conjures up the image of an anti-corruption party, and yet an anti-corruption party it is not.

Czechia is a country which recently removed its corrupt anti-corruption party, the ANO (Action of Dissatisfied Citizens), from office.  However, before that happened the ANO was just like Fidesz and Law and Justice.  ANO’s leader, Andrej Babis, is the second-richest person in Czechia and “has won elections based on a pretense that [he] is not a part of the establishment and that he would deal with [a] corrupted political elite.”  Despite this image of Babis as an anti-corruption crusader and his party’s name reflecting anti-corruption attitudes, after losing his election he is now on trial for committing fraud worth $2 million.

Corruption as discussed above is not just limited to EU countries either, as Russian President Vladimir Putin is one of the worst offenders in power right now.  Since he came to power almost 23 years ago, Putin has publicly waged a battle against Russia’s oligarchs – powerful Russian businessmen who hold monopolies over various Russian industries.  He rose to popularity in part because of his aim to clean up Russia after the difficulties of the Yeltsin administration, and this still bolsters his popularity.  Before his invasion of Ukraine, Putin was in hot water due to his lavish, multi-billion dollar mansion being revealed by Putin critic Alexei Navalny.  Navalny was later poisoned -narrowly surviving- and then jailed by the Russian government as retaliation.  After the invasion of Ukraine began, American sanctions on Russia are beginning to reveal the true extent of Putin’s wealth and his friendly connections with oligarchs who were ostensibly supposed to be his enemies.

Vladimir Putin’s lavish mansion on the Black Sea. Source:

Overall, Eastern Europe (both inside and outside the EU) provides some great examples of how populists portray themselves to be anti-corruption and then turn out to be corrupt themselves.  Additionally, when the corruption they initially railed against is defeated or if they are personally suspected of corruption, they tend to use scapegoats as a distraction.  Anti-corruption populists do often replace genuinely corrupt, non-populist governments. That corruption should not be ignored, but nor should anybody forget that the populist replacements are just as corrupt as those they replace, if not more so.  In the end, the anti-corruption populists are the new boss, same as the old boss.

Opinion Piece #2

Beating Them or Joining Them? The Conservatives and the Far Right in Britain by Aimee Brown

Tomorrow, Rishi Sunak will become the prime minister of Britain. He will, in fact, be the third prime minister in just seven weeks, a fact indicative of a level of dysfunction that makes being positive about British politics difficult. However, if pressed, one might observe that at least Britain no longer has a far-right populist party to worry about. After all, it was only a couple of years ago that the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) surprised everyone with its electoral success. But now, it has sunk back into electoral irrelevance. Surely this is cause for relief given the plethora of Britain’s continental neighbours in which far-right populist parties have experienced unprecedented electoral victories, most recently The Brothers of Italy and The Sweden Democrats. In contrast, Britain’s democratic institutions and mainstream parties seem to have successfully weathered the storm of populism.

And yet, perhaps the reason that UKIP doesn’t exist anymore is because it doesn’t have to. Following UKIP’s breakthrough in 2013, then prime minster David Cameron worked to beat the party by co-opting elements of its message, especially around immigration. Most significantly, the Conservative Party felt so threatened that Cameron called a referendum on Europe, which he infamously lost. This was UKIP’s great victory, after which it promptly collapsed as the Conservatives reinvented themselves as the party of Brexit. In essence, they rendered UKIP irrelevant by ceding to its demand. Former leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage, has stated that “My achievement has been to take an issue that was considered to be completely wrong, perhaps even immoral, and help to turn it into a mainstream view in British politics.” UKIP’s sole representative in the House of Commons, reflecting on his party’s catastrophic 2017 election results, stated that he was “far from despondent. In fact, I am elated. Why? Because we have won.”

UKIP was not the first far-right rivel that the Conservative Party outflanked by co-opting its ideas. In 1967, the fascist National Front (NF) party was founded in response to opposition to immigration. A year later, Conservative member of Parliament Enoch Powell gave a speech in which he denounced immigration from the Commonwealth because it would have the result that “the black man will have the whip hand over the white man.” He further argued that banning racial discrimination in housing, employment, commerce, and public services would unfairly disadvantage “the indigenous population”, and that it would be like “throwing a match on to gunpowder.” He ended dramatically by saying that “As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding; like the Roman, I seem to see ‘the River Tiber foaming with much blood’”. Upon making the speech, Powell was immediately fired and his top-tier political career was effectively ended. However, recruitment to the National Front soared. According to a former party official, “Before Powell spoke, we were getting only cranks and perverts. After his speeches we started to attract, in a secret sort of way, the right-wing members of Tory organisations.” The National Front grew to claim over 12,000 members and enjoyed unprecedented success in the Greater London Council elections of 1977.

But in 1978, leader of the Conservative Party Margaret Thatcher gave a television interview in which she stated that “people are really rather afraid that this country might be swamped by people with a different culture.” Indeed, “the British character has done so much for democracy, for law and done so much throughout the world that if there is any fear that it might be swamped people are going to react and be rather hostile to those coming in.” Of course, the frightened British people in question are presumed to be white, the immigrants are presumed not to be white (no mention of a terror of New Zealanders, for example), the verb ‘swamped’ is used twice for emphasis, and the end result of violence is implied. This interview did not signal a change in Thatcher’s policy so much as it did a change in the rhetoric used to talk about it. In effect, Thatcher had introduced the National Front’s racist discourse into mainstream politics and brought the exiled Powell’s ideas back into the fold of the Conservative Party. By doing so, she managed to steal the far-right’s thunder. After the interview, the Conservative Party enjoyed a dramatic surge in support and, a year later, won the general election. The National Front, on the other hand, failed to win a single seat and collapsed into irrelevance. Dead but not gone, it joins UKIP as a fellow anti-immigrant and Eurosceptic ghost that haunts a Conservative Party whose current dysfunction is not unrelated to its previous success in beating its far-right opponents by joining them.