The crushing defeat last week of the Spanish Socialists is yet another nail in the coffin for overreaching, overspending government in Europe. The continent over, socialist and social democrat governments are being wiped out for a more fiscally sound alternative.
These crushing electoral defeats are not about an anti-incumbency feeling, as some comrades have tried to claim, but a rejection of an economic philosophy that has brought Europe to its knees. The electorate the continent over have finally had enough of governments spending too much, and propping up excessive and unsustainable public sectors.
As said, the final hauling down of the red flag occurred the other week in Spain, when the socialist party was removed for the centre right Popular Party, against a backdrop of spiralling debt. Just days before, Greece's socialist President George Papandreou finally walked the political plank, with both the Greek and European economy almost on its knees. He had not stopped the trend that had allowed almost half the country to become employed by the state.
Of course, this is not a phenomenon unique to mainland Europe. Here in Britain we shed the Labour Party after an election campaign dominated by the economic chaos they had wrought, and their inability to take responsibility for fixing it. Next door in Ireland, even the more centrist Fianna Fail couldn't survive, having suffered the most crushing defeat in their history at the hands of the centre-right Fianna Gael.
It seems when the going gets tough, people vote for the right. Indeed the only centre-right politician to fall under the eurozone debt crisis bus was Silvio Berlusconi, and even then his country would rather unelected technocrats run them than socialists!
The European left can ignore the electoral evidence if they want, but the fact remains almost no socialist or social democratic governments remain in Europe. The economic crisis in both the eurozone and the UK has shown that governments with a huge public spending agenda eventually max out the credit card, and nobody likes waking up to find a red letter waiting for them.
The difficult readjustment we are all going through is a direct result of profligate governments, and people know and will remember that. We may not like the inevitable difficulty that austerity decisions cause, but that pain is like holding something hot as a child, it burns your hand once and you remember what caused it, and never grab it again. The loss of trust for socialist and social democratic parties caused could, and should, last a generation or more.