Italy, Austria, and France, in that order, are the next dominos likely to fall in the global wave of populist political sentiment. Italy and Austria will both go to the polls on the same day next month, December 4th, for somewhat different reasons, but with both outcomes likely to advance the political forces on the right in Europe. In Austria, it’s expected that Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party will prevail. That would make him the first elected far-right leader in Western Europe since 1945. Italy’s vote is a referendum initially scheduled for the fall. On the table is a package of constitutional reforms that Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has proposed to streamline lawmaking, but it is increasingly being seen a plebiscite on Renzi’s government, which it appears he may lose, causing his government to fall, and creating an opportunity for the far right to form a new anti-immigration government. In the upcoming 2017 Presidential election in France, ultra-nationalist Marine Le Pen is seen as the possible front-runner.


This issue began with Fox News alleged terrorism expert, Steven Emerson claiming that there were “no go areas” in England for non-Muslims. In an extraordinary turn of events, British Prime Minister David Cameron was asked to comment on Emerson’s claim, and replied that he had almost “choked on his porridge” when he first heard that claim, and that the alleged terrorism expert was “a complete idiot.” It was an extraordinary but necessary response from the PM, and both Fox News and Emerson apologized to Cameron. But the French were not done with Fox News.. at an extremely sensitive moment for the French, the Canal Plus satirical news show Le Petit Journal, described as something of a French version of John Stewart’s The Daily Show, decided to use classic French satire to further skewer Fox News. The brilliant stroke of genius, included fake news reports from Fox correspondents in Paris reporting from the alleged “no go areas.”