Skip to main content

European politics

A timely reminder for Britain’s Europhiles

Riot police in Marseille on Saturday. Clement Mahoudeau/AFP/Getty

For Remainers, says Zoe Strimpel in The Sunday Telegraph, “the EU has always been a bastion of grown-uppery”. Lefty writers make pilgrimages to Paris and Berlin to report back on “how the grown-ups do it”, with their grown-up policies and their grown-up attitudes. And all the while, they make unfavourable comparisons to “horrible infantile Britain” with its “poor impulse control and malfunctioning economy”. The past week has been a timely reminder of how misplaced this veneration of the EU’s heavy hitters really is.

France is in the grip of an “apocalyptic rioting spree”, with streets “literally aflame” over the police shooting of a 17-year-old boy. The French are no strangers to civil disobedience, but recent days have seen public buildings burnt, over a thousand arrests, and looting and arson attacks on schools, town halls and police stations across the country. Imagine something on even a fraction of that scale in Britain. “Precisely. You can’t.” Meanwhile Germany is in recession (the UK is not), and the far-right Alternative für Deutschland is gaining ground, winning its first district election last week. The day after the vote, a man in neo-Nazi kit was seen handing out AfD balloons at a kindergarten. “Wow. If only we could be more like them.”

🙁👮🏻‍♂️ Allies of the French far-right leader Éric Zemmour had yesterday raised more than €1m for the French police officer who shot dead the teenager, Nahel Merzouk. A similar campaign set up to support the 17-year-old’s family had raised just €189,000.