What counts as a ‘far-right’ opinion?

 

Sir, – A letter from a concerned citizen references recent doom-laden Irish Times takes on the threat of “populism” (September 7th), but just who and what exactly constitutes the “far right”?

Anyone who voted for Brexit is, of course, labelled “far right” in these pages. Indeed, the mere words Trump and Brexit are now shorthand for fascism in similar scaremongering articles. By this logic, there must be at least 17 million far-right fascists in our neighbouring island, which would indeed be troubling, if it were true but, of course, it is not.

Over in France, the election of President Emmanuel Macron is often portrayed (incorrectly) as a youth-led rejection of the fascist Front National. In fact, more than 50 per cent of under 25s voted for Marine Le Pen, so there are an awful lot of French voters of all ages with “far-right” sympathies. The “far right” is also apparently on the rise in Italy, Hungary, Sweden, Poland, etc.

Meanwhile in the US (currently enjoying healthy economic growth and the lowest black unemployment rate since 1972), over 60 million fascist-enabling far-right trolls put Donald J Trump in the White House back in 2016 in an outbreak of what the letter writer refers to as the malign influence of “Trumpism”.

There can only be two conclusions to reach here: either there really is a dangerous rise in fascism engulfing the western world or The Irish Times definition of what constitutes the “far right” is so ridiculously all-encompassing these days that it includes many millions of ordinary citizens who simply disagree with a certain prescriptive, narrow, globalist, pro-EU editorial line.

This hysterical phenomenon of seeing Nazis everywhere, simply because a few elections haven’t gone the way you wanted, seems to be some modern version of 1950s “Reds under the bed” paranoia (and it’s every bit as delusional). – Yours, etc,

SIMON O’NEILL,

Dublin 3.