Progressives becoming irrelevant by ceding ground to farright populists

first_imgShare via Email Thu 29 Nov 2018 11.41 EST Share on Twitter Share via Email Last modified on Thu 29 Nov 2018 11.45 EST Share on WhatsApp Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Since you’re here… Hillary Clinton … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Topics I found your article (Clinton: EU must close doors to migrants to combat far right, 23 November) deeply disturbing since it perfectly demonstrates how centre-left leaders are drawing the entirely wrong conclusions from the rise of populism and proposing solutions that will not succeed in making them electorally more successful. Indeed, by continuously conceding ground to far-right populists and proposing to place further restrictions on immigration, leftwing leaders are only making themselves and their political agendas more irrelevant by the day.It is especially shameful that the person who voted for the war in Iraq and was behind the bombing of Libya has so quickly forgotten what has caused the spike in immigration in recent years. Unfortunately, just like Mrs Clinton, many establishment politicians have been scared into advocating tougher immigration policies and decided to cut deals with countries with some of the world’s worst human rights records, such as Niger and Sudan, to dramatically reduce immigration – effectively and at great human cost. Mrs Clinton is thus wrong in suggesting Europe is not taking measures against immigration, and fails to even recognise the damage US foreign policy and inhumane anti-immigration policies have done thus far.Instead, the main reason leftwing leaders have lost support is that they seemed to have either run out of ideas to improve society or run scared of standing up for the principles they believe in. By copying the policy programme of the party on the other side of the political spectrum, Mrs Clinton is aiding the death of the political choice many people desperately would like to have.Maarten VeldmansLondon• Migration is a wholly natural phenomenon whereby life and people migrate towards better resources and opportunities. If migrants decide to risk travelling to new environments to improve their chances of survival and quality of life, what right do we have to discourage and obstruct their bravery?Perhaps we should look to our own backyard and decrease the inequalities in access to safe, comfortable, affordable housing; healthcare; education; employment; and social welfare both at home in the developed world and across our planet. Further, we should be using resources and opportunities equitably to improve living conditions throughout the world, rather than only for the benefit of an increasingly wealthy minority.We would all be significantly healthier and enjoy richer lives socially, physically and culturally by concentrating on the bigger picture of more than 7 billion human beings on Planet Earth, as well as considering our own personal wellbeing.Paul Ashley SingerLondon• Your investigative report (Bannon plan for far right in Europe in disarray, 22 November) unveiled that the Movement, Steven Bannon’s project to help rightwing populist parties ahead of the 2019 European parliament elections, would be illegal in most of the target countries. This finding omits one major consideration: Bannon’s ultimate aim is not to offer free services to rightwing populists but an American vision of politics, which – being fundamentally money-driven and cynical – is still largely unknown to most of continental Europe. No country can prevent that from happening.Alberto AlemannoJean Monnet professor of EU law, HEC Paris, Global professor of law, NYU School of Law in Paris, Director, The Good Lobby• Join the debate – email [email protected]• Read more Guardian letters – click here to visit• Do you have a photo you’d like to share with Guardian readers? Click here to upload it and we’ll publish the best submissions in the letters spread of our print edition Population It would be wrong for the EU to say no to migrants, sayMaarten Veldmans andPaul Ashley Singer, whileAlberto Alemanno is concerned about Steve Bannon’s influence letters Share on Pinterestcenter_img Shares1010 Share on Messenger Letters Share on Twitter Population Progressives becoming irrelevant by ceding ground to far-right populists ‘Hillary Clinton is wrong in suggesting Europe is not taking measures against immigration, and fails to recognise the damage US foreign policy has done thus far.’Photograph: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images Share on Facebook Migration Steve Bannon Support The Guardian Opinion Opinion The far right Reuse this contentlast_img read more