Britain – a small, uncomfortable nation

“There are two kinds of European nations,” Kristian Jensen, the Danish Finance Minister, said last year, referring to Britain’s situation. “There are small nations and there are countries that have not yet realized they are small nations.”

—From the New Yorker

Anti-immigration <==> Don’t know many immigrants

The National Front has, in recent years, become more popular in many rural areas and small towns like Wizernes, places that are often relatively homogeneous and have few immigrants.

– Will France Sound the Death Knell for Social Democracy?, January 26, 2017 at 10:59AM

It’s the same here in the UK – many of the places that voted most heavily for Brexit, and are most anti-immigrant, are also the ones with very few immigrants.

I’m guessing it’s easier to whip up a fear of the unknown – immigrants people in, say villages of NE England, have never met – than of the known – immigrants people in London meet, work and play with every day.

Further down, in the same article… Lecoustre is anti-immigration, NF supporter, while Sailliot is anti-NF, leftist union leader.

I asked Lecoustre if immigration had changed his life in any direct way. He thought for a moment. “No,” he said.

Sailliot interjected. This was the absurdity of it all, he said. There were hardly any migrants in the area, and yet somehow, immigration was everybody’s biggest problem. How could that be?

Angela Merkel, the last Jedi

…the sole European leader willing to stand up to a newly assertive Russia.

Since the annexation of Crimea in 2014, Ms. Merkel has been the most consequential voice for punishing Russia. The next year, she welcomed a million refugees into Germany, and pushed the rest of Europe to do the same — thus, in the view of Russian ethno-nationalists, diluting European culture. And she still believes in a united, integrated European Union, a bastion of liberal values and, at least implicitly, a political and economic bulwark against Russia.

Angela Merkel, Russia’s Next Target, January 11, 2017 at 03:31PM