The Times of London has published an article by Hugo Rifkind — the son of disgraced former government minister Malcolm Rifkind — in which he reveals his great fear of what he terms “Bannonism”.
The article states concerns over the spread of the populist nationalist movement across Europe, with recent wins being racked up in Italy, Poland, Hungary, and Austria, alongside strong results in France, Germany, and possibly Sweden later in 2018.
Rifkind — also related to the former British minister Leon Brittan — explains how he believes Bannonism will be confined to European nations outside of Britain, and laments “a Conservative Party more right wing than I would prefer”, despite the British government’s inherently left-wing streak.
For the past fortnight, Bannon has been on what some have called his “European far-right roadshow”, perhaps having calculated that, if he already looks like he lives on the road, he hasn’t much to lose. How long, do you reckon, since he ran out of socks? By now, I’ll warrant, his boxer shorts are not just back to front but inside out, too.
Bannon started his trip in Rome, with a ringside seat for the Italian elections. When the far-right League and anti-establishment Five Star Movement polled well, he called it “a populist victory” which “should send a massive signal to the permanent political class”. Next stop was Switzerland, where he gave a speech enthusing about the “populist revolt” he sees bubbling away in Hungary, in Poland, in Austria and in the Czech Republic. While there, he also met Alice Weidel, parliamentary leader of Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland (AfD). Then on Saturday he woke up on a bench (perhaps) in Lille, before joining Marine Le Pen on stage to address her National Front. All of which raises the obvious question of whether he’ll be coming to Britain, too, and who he’d want to speak to if he did.