THOUGH she doesn’t strike me as the novel-reading type, I often wonder if Home Secretary Suella Braverman has read The Camp Of The Saints by French writer Jean Raspail.

If she hasn’t read it then her behaviour and policies certainly appear to take a leaf out of this 1973 dystopian and racist book that envisions a takeover of the Western world by refugees from developing countries.

For those unfamiliar with the book, suffice to say its weird, nasty, poisonous storyline foretells the “swamping” of the southern coast of France which is suddenly overrun by boats carrying hundreds of thousands of refugees who engage in a violent takeover.

As France’s military response fails to halt the flow and the political hierarchy and government capitulates by liquidating a small resistance band (the “Saints) the country falls to the “black and brown” hordes “swarming” across France and the West. Above all, these “hordes” breed in what Raspail calls “the Calcutta solution” – genocide by stealth.

Needless to say, Raspail’s loathsome novel along with that of this fellow French writer Renaud Camus who wrote The Great Replacement in 2011, have become nothing short of manuals for the contemporary far-right who declare them prophesies of the impending extinction of white populations by huge numbers of “new arrivals”.

READ MORE:  Suella Braverman claims multiculturalism has failed in EXTREME speech

These are the go-to reads for the likes of Steve Bannon – his favourite book apparently – as well as other erstwhile close advisers of Donald Trump. They are bibles also for the wider alt-right, neo-Nazis and fascist groups, who devour each book’s premise to inform their own policies, instil fear and justify their own noisome response.

I suppose then it’s not really beyond the realms of possibility that Braverman one night over a glass of witch’s brew cosied up with a copy of either book then subsequently thought to herself: “Yes, that’s the message I need to get out.”

Whether it’s all out admiration or simply an acknowledging wink of approval for the message in both these books, what we so often see is an alignment of both conservative politicians and those of the far-right. Braverman fits the bill perfectly, moving effortlessly between the two camps.

Though many hold the view that she is simply incompetent and a car-crash-type of politician that would be to underestimate the real threat she poses. For example, sometimes it’s actually difficult to distinguish what the Home Secretary is really up to.

Is she on the one hand simply furthering the Tory Party approach by stoking fears over refugees with a view to the next General Election? Or is Braverman putting in place a strategy to further her own ambitions as the candidate of the far-right? Then again, could it be a mix of both, which is arguably an even greater cause for concern.

The National: Home Secretary Suella Braverman is interviewed by PA journalist Eleanor Barlow at the British Embassy in Washington, DC. Picture date: Wednesday September 27, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Braverman. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA

For such a long time Europe’s far-right parties were largely an oppositional force, entities that brought pressure to bear on their more mainstream and “acceptable” rivals who largely retained power.

But across Europe and elsewhere through the likes of Braverman and her political ilk, those days have long since passed and such far-right political cuckoos have slipped into the nest in the corridors of power.

Those that once would have been identified a mile off as racist or fascist and roundly denounced, are now tucked into our mainstream political midst morphing into “plausible” and “normal” faces of government.

This is the real threat that Braverman poses, one that you need look no further for evidence of than her trashing this week in a 30-minute speech of 70 years of the United Nations’ Refugee Convention at the right-wing US-based think tank the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

READ MORE:  Suella Braverman says UK Government has done 'well' on barge

That she has been rebuked by, among others, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf is to be welcomed.

But Braverman is not the first and certainly will not be the last senior Tory to parrot extremists. Frankly I’m not even sure it is simply parroting anymore, for her voice is increasingly representative of what we can expect from a government that looks more and more fascist in appearance almost daily. And believe me, I don’t use that f-word lightly or without due reference to its real meaning and historical resonance.

Even more worrying is that if you cast an eye towards Europe and beyond Braverman is far from alone, for the far-right is on the march again and their voices are becoming increasingly strident.

In some places, far-right leaders are taking power. In others, more traditional centre-right parties are allying with the right-wing fringes once considered untouchable. In Europe especially, cooperation between the right and the far-right is advancing apace.

It is almost 25 years ago since Jorg Haider’s far-right populist Freedom party (FPO) won just under 27% of the vote and entered government in Austria shocking Europe.

In the wake of that event Jean-Marie Le Pen of France’s National Front (now known as National Rally or RN) reached the presidential runoff.

But how things have changed when across western Europe far-right parties are not only advancing in their own right but shaping the policies of the mainstream right to reflect populist platforms, and occupying select ministerial roles in coalition governments.

In Hungary and Poland the far-right is doubling down after years of rule. Italy and Finland are governed by its forces, and in Belgium, France and Sweden they edge closer to office.

In many of these places right-wing political “pilot fish” have been at work for years navigating each country on such a desired course bringing them closer to the extremist right.

Braverman is one such pilot fish, nefariously attempting to steer the course or take over the helm. For that reason, she is much more dangerous than many perhaps realise or recognise.

Midway through Raspail’s novel, the French president asks his army to consider shooting refugees on sight. Yes, we are talking about a work of fiction here, but sometimes, just sometimes, I wonder just how far the likes of Braverman would be prepared to go in pursuit of her odious policies.

Only the most naive or foolish would underestimate the malign nature of the politics Braverman represents or the degree to which she is bringing them into the mainstream.