The Ruthlessly Effective Rebranding of Europe’s New Far Right

the_ruthlessly_effective“Across the continent, rightwing populist parties have seized control of the political conversation. How have they done it?”

These parties “have made a very public break with the symbols of the old right’s past, distancing themselves from skinheads, neo-Nazis and homophobes. They have also deftly co-opted the causes, policies and rhetoric of their opponents. They have sought to outflank the left when it comes to defending a strong welfare state and protecting social benefits that they claim are threatened by an influx of freeloading migrants.

…Brexit was just the start. Europe’s new far right is poised to transform the continent’s political landscape – either by winning elections or simply by pulling a besieged political centre so far in its direction that its ideas become the new normal. And when that happens, groups that would never have contemplated voting for a far-right party 10 years ago – the young, gay people, Jews, feminists – may join the working-class voters who have already abandoned parties of the left to become the new backbone of the populist right.”

Written by Sasha Polakow-Suransky, read by Andrew McGregor and produced by Simon Barnard

The Guardian’s Audio Long Reads | 25th November 2016