As the ideologies of dominant factions within Toryism converge with far-right thought in the rest of Europe, claims that the U.K. does not face radicalization on the right look absurd. The transformation of the Tory Party looks irreversible, but it remains to be seen what kind of far-right movement it will become.
Government-formation talks following the Netherland’s shock elections in November are going into quiet mode, as Geert Wilders, the far-right provocateur who went from fringe figure to would-be prime minister, tries to cobble together a coalition. At the moment, the most likely scenario is a weak and unstable government led by Wilders.
The parallels between the current challenges facing the U.S. and EU, particularly when it comes to obstruction from far-right populists, has reinforced a tendency to equate the problems faced by both systems of government. However, the EU is suffering from a chronic but manageable affliction, while the U.S. has an acute condition.
On Oct. 28, the British Library went dark, the result of a ransomware attack by the cybercrime group Rhysida. The impact of the incident has been limited to a small community of researchers, but it is also part of a wider pattern of ransomware attacks against the public sector in the U.K. and around the world.
British media and policymakers paid only brief attention to a bombing in a South London suburb last week that in other contexts might have generated national panic. This remarkable lack of fuss was partly due to what the bomb had targeted: cameras enforcing an air-quality and climate initiative to discourage the use of older cars.
Although the scale of the unrest that engulfed the streets of Dublin last month took both the authorities and the general public by surprise, it probably shouldn’t have. It is just the latest and most extreme in a series of incidents in Ireland over the past six months fueled by the far right and rising anti-immigrant sentiment.
The EU and China concluded their first in-person leaders’ summit since 2019 this week, with trade imbalances and China’s continued support for Russia front and center. While the latter has fundamentally shifted Europe’s view of China, the economic issues dominated discussions at the summit, particularly with regard to electric vehicles.
For years after British voters narrowly voted to leave the European Union in a 2016 referendum, the country’s political environment was characterized by anger, turmoil and confusion. Now Rishi Sunak, who found himself in the prime minister’s seat when 2022’s game of musical chairs ended, has reestablished a modicum of order. But he has so far struggled to address the country’s problems, many of them self-inflicted.
The British national news agenda these days is dominated by debates over migration, economic stagnation and infighting within the Conservative Party. Though understandable, that is obscuring coverage of a breakdown in local governance affecting hundreds of communities across the U.K. that could have a profoundly destabilizing impact.