By Ashlee Pitts
The antipathy for political correctness and the hunger for something new, even irrational or unpredictable, seemed to be the driving force behind the appeal of the new president-elect of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump. His policy proposals regarding issues ranging from criminal justice reform, trade, climate change, reproductive rights and combating global terrorism changed about as often as his one-on-one feuds with other politicians, celebrities, foreign leaders, journalists and even Pope Francis. Despite his lengthy list of scandals and the unprecedented amount of negative international news coverage, it appears that Trump’s rather unconventional populist message was in fact the winning strategy to secure the White House.
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The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Husein, recently criticised a columnist in a British tabloid for ‘inciting racial hatred’ and referring to migrants attempting the Mediterranean crossing as ‘cockroaches.’  The tabloid in question has the widest readership of any paper in Britain. The High Commissioner went on to compare the xenophobia in elements of the British press as akin to that found in propaganda produced by Rwandan media outlets prior to the genocide in the 1990’s. Self-evidently such sentiment has no place in any society that professes to be civilised, however the increasing confidence and impunity with which those not simply on the fringes of the political spectrum, but the mainstream as well, attack migrants is a worrying development for all in Europe. Our history as a continent is an illustration of where divisive, anti-migrant and nationalist rhetoric can lead. The modern migrant crisis, with 1 in every 122 people displaced due to war, environmental pressures and state oppression, is a situation unprecedented in the years since the formation of the European Union.  This article will consider the potential havoc the invocation of resurgent nationalist identities across the continent, partially in response to this crisis, could cause to one of the biggest political projects in the modern world: the European Union.