Source : http://www.dawn.com/2012/03/21/a-lurch-to-the-right.html
OVER the past few years of recession and regression, it has become a trite truism of European politics that you can’t go wrong going to the right. Politicians across the continent have found a new magic formula for electoral success and survival by playing on fears of foreigners and particularly of Islam — the wink and a nod that says that immigration has been the root of our social and economic decline.
This is by no means an exclusively rightwing vice. Anyone who has heard the Dutch Labour Party recently will have difficulty putting light between them and the demagogue Geert Wilders.
Until now, they might have tried to argue that there was no harm in it, that it’s a rebalancing of the scales after two decades of biting our tongues and creeping political correctness.
The French airwaves have been full of such ugly equivocation these past few weeks as President Nicolas Sarkozy has lurched his party wildly to the right in an attempt to save his skin, claiming there were “too many immigrants in France” and stoking Islamophobia with a ridiculous claim that the French were being secretly forced to eat halal; his prime minister Francois Fillon even said Jews and Muslims should put their dietary laws behind them and embrace modernity.