‘The rise of the radical right’

A narrative that requires scrutiny

Letters to the Editor. Illustration: Paul Scott

Sir, – A hearty “good effort” to John O’Brennan for his article on the rise of the “radical” right in the forthcoming European Parliament elections (“The rise of the radical right means these European elections are unlike any others”, Opinion & Analysis, May 20th).

Granted, he did backslide into “far right” once or twice, but overall an excellent effort, only falling at the last hurdle with “we may be on the cusp of a new era of pushback against democracy”, as though the election of right-wingers was somehow illegitimate. Better luck next time. – Yours, etc,

DAVID SMITH,

Swords,

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Co Dublin.

Sir, – Una Mullally warns us of the danger of the “far-right”, using the expression seven times in an article that she ends with the ominous example of two recent attempted assassinations of politicians (“They say ‘Dublin 1 is for the far-right’ and threaten to kill a politician, yet Ireland ignores the threat”, Opinion & Analysis, May 20th). What she is rather vague about is that she would also undoubtedly characterise both of these targeted politicians as far-right.

Robert Fico, prime minister of Slovakia, has long campaigned on an anti-immigrant and anti-Romani platform. Alejo Vidal-Quadras, a former leader of the People’s Party in Catalonia, opposes abortion and gay marriage and, in fact, was targeted due to his vocal opposition to the Iranian regime.

Perhaps she thinks her readers are so ill-informed that they will accept this hand-waving “far-right violence sweeps Europe” narrative without examination? Or is this a cunning rhetorical trap designed to flush out centrist dads? – Yours, etc,

DANIEL CAFFREY,

Naas,

Co Kildare.

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