It's interesting and a bit scary to see that as soon as the economy starts to go to crap, the far-right appears from the gutter. Stupid people the World over become more protectionist and seek to blame someone else who looks a bit different for their problems.
This has been evident in a series of unrelated events in the last week.
In the European elections in the UK the BNP just won their first two seats. Whilst many have been quick to point out that this has more to do with voter dissatisfaction with main stream politics than a shift to the right. This disatisfaction is not without good reason but being pissed off with your MP for swindling his or her expenses does not seem like a very good reason to allow a bunch of bigoted, scum bags to have a forum. When a bear comes to eat you just saying "I'll stand still because I don't want to climb trees today" is not going to stop you getting mauled.
Meanwhile in the US, George Tiller a doctor who performed abortions was shot dead in church by a "pro-life" activist Scott Roeder. I am sure that I am not alone in detecting a stench of irony and hypocrisy in the phrase "pro-life". Whilst those who claim to be pro-life will say this psychopaths' actions were protecting the life of someone who is innocent, they would not rush to ban war or even the death sentence, despite the fact that both will result in the death of innocent people. See cdk007's excellent youtube site for a more in depth discussion on that point.
The final horrible piece of news is the death of security guard Stephen Johns while on duty at the Holocaust Museum in New York. John's was shot by an 88 year old White supremacist called James von Brunn who went on a rampage at the museum with a hunting rifle. How full of hate and loathing must the sad, pathetic old man have been to want to just go and kill random people?
But of course the real irony is that the religious right in the US is absolutely no different to the Taliban who they purport to have a moral high ground over. Both believe that their God has given them the absolute right to murder people with a different point of view; both groups denounce science and promote ignorance and both want to inflict a barbaric, misogynistic, old testament way of life on the population.
Maybe there is something positive in all of this. Maybe having a liberal, black president is drawing all the nutcases out of the wood work. Maybe seeing minor BNP success in a fairly insignificant round of elections will galvanise people and stem voter apathy. Seeing the fat sweaty form of Nick Griffin, spotting ignorance and hate on the TV will make people realise that, yes Labour have abandoned the working class but no fascism is never the answer.