This article belongs to And That's the Way It Is column.

It can easily be said that Europe, as a continent, has learnt very little from the events of two world wars, the Kosovo crisis, Bosnia, Northern Ireland and a number of other such events that took the lives of millions of Europeans and in the end really achieved nothing apart from causing a lot of pain and suffering in a number of countries, as well as countries having to rebuild whole towns and cities as well as their communities.

Analysis of such events have more than proven that, in most cases, ethnic and/or religious friction have more than accounted for the causes of armed conflict between countries just as much simple and not so sophisticated attempts to gain territory and it can also be concluded that in most cases, moves to the extreme right or left of politics can often precede alarming consequences.

Many people seem to forget that Hitler for instance was elected as was Mussolini, both these individuals practicing extreme right politics while in Russia for instances, it was the extreme left that led to the likes of Lenin and subsequently Stalin.

Hitler had a particular dislike of the Jew, while Stalin had a particular dislike for everyone else and the outcome of the politics practiced by these two tyrants had grave consequences for everyone in Europe and even beyond.

The problem with European politics is that, while in other parts of the world, there is often breathing space for extreme politics to take their course and then eventually be defeated in democratic processes or by military coups, such breathing space or leverage does not exist in Europe this partly due to their being a large number of countries all bottled up on a fairly small continent meaning that when one country swings to either the extreme right or left the whole continent automatically becomes a breeding ground for extremism resulting in a powder-keg situation.

The European Union has, to some extent, been able to temper the ambitions of extremism but in recent times, there appears to have been an upsurge of extremism within the political environment of various countries the target and motivation for such extremism not being Jews on this occasion but more often Muslim communities and immigrants. Even the Roma appear to be on the target list these days.

photo courtesy of Telegraph.co.uk
A perfect example appears to be the rise and rise of a Dutch extremist named Geert Wilders. Wilders, being the pontificated arse that he is, founded the anti-Muslin PVV party which aims to ban the Koran, aims to ‘export' Muslims out of Holland and aims to ban Muslims from coming to live in The Netherlands. During the last Dutch elections, Wilders and his PVV gained a substantial slice of the Dutch vote and his party now is one of the parties holding the balance of power within the Dutch parliament. A very dangerous situation this given the fact that eventually the likes of Wilders could even become Prime Minister in Holland.

Even in more moderate France, there have been a Government moves against the Roma with a number of them having been rounded up and subsequently been sent to Romania. In Germany, there also appears to be moves further to the right of politics, a trend that current the German chancellor has warned against.

In EU terms, these moves to the extreme right within Europe are counter-productive as such moves are often very nationalistic and thus often opposed to what the EU was designed to do meaning, one European voice in the world as well as having a cooperative voice within and throughout Europe. EU cooperative policies led to the establishment of the Euro, free movement within Europe and a host of other policies and initiatives that have benefitted Europe as a whole.

Certainly, in my view, it would be a shame to see all to positive work in Europe being undone by a few pompous extremists of the Geert Wilders type and I would certainly hope that history has shown Europeans that they would better served by EU rather than the likes of Wilders.

And so, like it or not.

My name is Henk Luf.

And That's The Way It Is.