July 31, 2012

When asked how best to arrest a nation’s economic meltdown, neither Milton Friedman nor John Maynard Keynes ever prescribed “€œmore rappers and basketball players.”€

Golden Dawn is one of those European parties one frequently hears described as “€œneo-Nazi“€œ and “€œextremist.”€ These labels, reflexively applied for years by panic-stricken elite media liberals, are becoming comically inaccurate. Geert Wilders’s “€œfringe”€ Party for Freedom recently became the third biggest in the Dutch Parliament. Another third-place finish, this time for France’s “€œfar right”€ presidential candidate Marine Le Pen of the National Front, prompted a predictable outbreak of Captain Renault impersonations by Gallic media mavens.

It’s amusing to watch irony-depleted journalists desperately asking each other what makes all these “€œextreme right-wing fringe”€ parties so, er, popular. Their anti-immigration platforms aside, these parties sound pretty much like old-timey big-government socialists to North American observers.

Sometimes the amusement stems not so much from the “€œfar right”€ part than the “€œfringe”€ bit. In 1987, Canada’s Stephen Harper helped found the “€œextreme right wing”€ Reform Party. Then he became leader of that party’s new iteration, the “€œfar-right fringe”€ Canadian Alliance. Twenty-five years and one more name change after he started, Harper’s Conservative Party now presides over a majority Parliament.

Given that trajectory, watch for Voula Papachristou to be appointed Minister of Sport in the Greek Parliament in 2036. Then, in her new official capacity, watch her get sent to the Olympics.

That is, if Greece survives that long. When expelling Papachristou, Greek Olympic Committee President Isidoros Kouvelos sniffed haughtily:

She made a mistake and in life we pay for our mistakes.

Except when Germany pays for them.

Then beats you at soccer.

Right, Greece?

As for Toronto’s Greektown, get off at the Pape subway stop and grab a delectable souvlaki while you still can. Every year, restaurant by restaurant, another block’s blue-and-white awnings disappear, replaced by neon signs advertising “€œHALAL MEAT”€ (which somehow manages to come off as both a promise and a threat).

The women pushing strollers along that stretch of the Danforth may be blonde, raven-haired, or even bald for all I know. They”€™re wearing niqabs.



Sign Up to Receive Our Latest Updates!