What’s going on in Europe? Here's a primer on the craziness happening in politics across the pond.

As Not the Bee's resident legal alien, I was asked to explain what on earth is going on in Europe.

Last week, after well over a decade of Conservative Party control, the Labour Party won a large majority during the United Kingdom's election (ironically on Independence Day), while the hopes of right-wing parties in France were scuppered again at the last minute.

First, let's take a look at the United Kingdom.

With one seat left to be declared, Labour have won 412 of the 650 seats available in the House of Commons, with each seat representing a constituency. In simple terms, it's like the House of Representatives with no air conditioning. This result reversed the blow-out implosion of Labour in 2019 after the scandal of anti-Semitism under friend-of-Hamas Jeremy Corbyn.

Why did this happen? In small part, because the Scottish National Party collapsed, handing Labour a bunch of seats. But mostly, it's because the Conservative Party have achieved very little of worth after 14 years in power, while stumbling from controversy to controversy (such as Boris Johnson's infamous Partygate during COVID) while bouncing between five different leaders.

Next, what happened in France?

While it seemed like right-wing parties were knocking on the door of power, after a week of political horse-trading, more than 200 left-wing and centrist candidates decided to pull out from the second round of voting to consolidate against their opponents.

Enter the NFP — a motley crew ranging from the extreme left to the more moderate — who snagged 182 seats in the National Assembly, making them the largest group in the 577-seat parliament. Macron's supposedly centrist Ensemble alliance, which was lagging in third after the first round, made a surprising comeback with 163 seats, and the right-wing RN, despite their strong start, ended up with 143 seats.

The result? France is staring down the barrel of a hung parliament, leaving us with a "cordon sanitaire": an unwritten rule that mainstream parties must band together to keep the far-right out of power.

Democracy at work!

Here's the issue: a strange habit of commentators and media figures and politicians is to draw comparisons between European politics and American politics, like they're in any way alike. Boris Johnson is the Donald Trump of England, they'll say! But apart from a few institutional similarities, American politics couldn't be more different from European politics.

France is just sheer chaos, with Islamists and radical Leftists teaming up to keep control while their country commits cultural suicide. In reality, the French are only good at two things: cheese and surrendering.

In the United Kingdom, the Conservative Party is about as conservative as Bill Clinton at a Marxist lunch party, while Labour Party policies sound like what you'd get from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez if you added at least a hundred points to her IQ.

In the United States, the differences between the Right and Left are stark: abortion, gun rights, free speech, immigration, taxation, and healthcare are all catalysts for division and debate.

In the United Kingdom, division only swirls around issues like "should we tax people at 35% or 40%?"

Folks, we are not the same.


Follow Ian on Substack or X (@ighaworth).

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Not the Bee or any of its affiliates.

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