With the landslide victory of Boris Johnson in the UK general elections, Brexit drama will hopefully come to an end now. Whatever be its positive or negative effects at least the chaos which it had created not only in the UK but across Europe will cease to exist.
But beneath this victory, there’s a larger message given by the British public, which is very much indicative of the public mood globally. This Christmas, elections were fought largely on the issue of Brexit. Conservatives under Johnson were quite clear on what they want, moving out of EU at the earliest—either with or without any deal. The Labour party, on the other hand, was confused until the very end and had made a case for a second referendum.
While it is true that Britain suffered from voter fatigue and that public gave a massive majority to Johnson to get out of this mess, it also means that British public has ratified that its 2016 referendum was not a judgement of an error on its part. Endorsing Boris Johnson (an imitation of Trump) is indicative of further consolidation of far-right in the Kingdom.
Now, consider the global electoral math in the last couple of years. Barring Justin Trudeau, who returned to power this November in Canada, all the major powers have either seen re-election or further consolidation of the far right. While Germany is witnessing the resurgence of AfD both in the provincial and the EU elections, France under Macron has been rattled by the Yellow Vest movement since the last one year, which, of course, is motivated by far-right ideological leanings. This historic victory of vocal Brexit supporter Boris Johnson will further embolden the Eurosceptic far-right, National Rally (France) and Alternate for Germany, thus threatening the very idea of liberal, inclusive European Union.
Back in Asia, the historical return of Narendra Modi, with a renewed focus on its core issues such as Article 370, UCC, Ram Mandir, NRC and CAB, backed by huge public support has nothing but added to the global rightist assertion. India’s neighbour Sri Lanka, with the return of openly majoritarian Rajapaksa, promises an imitation of the Indian model in its cultural sphere.
Further, in West Asia, the military adventurism of Erdogan in Turkey and the controversial decisions of Netanyahu, which, in fact, has till now ensured his survival, further adds to the growing clamour for the far right.
The similar sentiments can be seen across the Atlantic with the victory of regressive strongman Bolsonaro in Brazil, who cares little about human rights and even less so for the environment. Up north in the US, Trump continues to be popular among his core voters and the democratic infighting coupled with their ideological extremity in the form of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, only gives hope to Trump for a return in 2020. The democratic position in the US is somewhat similar to the extreme left stand taken by Corbyn in Britain and the NGO-like campaign run by Rahul Gandhi in India, the results of both are quite visible.
Given the way the global right has established itself and conquered new forts so rapidly, it seems that the liberals like Corbyn, Sanders and Rahul Gandhi are only supporting their cause in a way.