The periphery folds; The centre holds

Alastair Crooke
Al Mayadeen English

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.

William Butler Yeats

Issues such as immigration, falling living standards, and anger at the Green Agenda played a big part in the election ‘mutiny’, but the Ukraine war is central (though its centrality is never explicitly admitted).

The dismay, confusion, and shock emanate from Europe as first the UK, then the French Establishments fall, and the German too is humiliated. What we are experiencing is the ‘noise’ from the outer defensive lines of the European Establishment folding, whilst -- for now -- the Centre stands defiant and unyielding.

Apart from the political mayhem that the Euro-elections wreaked across Europe, the key point is that Brussels’ first ‘defensive fortification lines’ were breached.

This defensive ‘line’ (known colloquially as the ‘Cordon Sanitare’) represents the understanding that the political Right -- invariably denigrated as the ‘Far Right’ -- must be ‘walled off’ from mainstream politics. It has been a forbidden act to allow any coalition, or partnership, to cohabit with non-Centrist parties of the Right. All contrarian parties were to be ostracised.

In Italy, the Cordon ‘trenches and tank traps’ were already being breached by Georgia Meloni. In France, Le Pen’s Rassemblement National drove a tank across the Cordon lines. And the AfD and Sara Wagenkecht’s party punched another hole, too, in Germany. However, ‘the Centre’ -- a bloc of Left-Centrist Brussels-linked MEPs -- may still (just) have the majority in the European parliament. Their narrative is that the ‘Centre has held’.

Translated: they are saying, ‘no compromise’; we’re still on top. Brussels will try to ignore these recent events -- ‘nothing changes’; but a ‘window has opened’ nonetheless in Brussels, and fresh air is pouring in upon the fusty habitual fug. Coalitions across a wider political spectrum will happen. New parliamentary ‘blocs’ are already emerging, and settled institutional EU politics will be challenged.

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