Faced with these developments, the EU and its centrist governments seem paralysed. Article 7 of the EU Treaty allows a country to be sanctioned or suspended if it commits a severe breach of fundamental rights. But it needs two-thirds majority in the parliament and has never been invoked. This month it must draw the line in Austria. Europe must make clear it will refuse to recognise a far-right president in Vienna. It’s their democratic right to elect a cleaned-up fascist; it’s ours – by treaty – to suspend Austria from the EU.
A serious question. How far left wing would a government have to be to be suspended? Obviously the autarkic fantasies of Colin Hines would qualify as they’re against the basic rules. But would a 130% tax rate qualify? As Roy Jenkins did in 1967 or so? Or does it need to go full on Pol Pot to be too left wing?