Archive for the ‘Europe’ Category
Keep Sweden Swedish: Swedish Democrats, the early years.
France-Inter this morning compared the success of AfD (Alternative für Deutschland) and the Swedish anti-immigrant party, (which while it no longer uses the sticker pictured still stands for keeping Sweden Swedish) the Swedish Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna, SD) to the rise of the French Front National and the British UKIP.
A conservative German anti-euro party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), has won seats in two more regional parliaments.
Local elections in eastern Germany on Sunday gave the AfD 12.2% in Brandenburg and 10.6% in Thuringia.
The party entered a regional parliament for the first time two weeks ago in Saxony – another eastern German state.
The AfD is mounting a growing challenge to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats. It wants to scrap the euro and sees law and order as a priority.
The party is attracting right-wing supporters, while avoiding links with nationalist extremists.
The Social Democrats (SPD) won in Brandenburg with 32% and are set to remain in power in coalition with the socialist Die Linke who polled 18.9%.
The Christian Democrats (CDU), polled 33.5% in Thuringia, only a few points ahead of Die Linke, who won 28% of the vote.
Until now, the CDU has been in coalition with the SPD in Thuringia but could lose the state to Die Linke if the Social Democrats switch allegiances.
The staunchly pro-euro CDU refuses to form any coalition with the AfD.
The AfD was among many Eurosceptic parties which made large gains in the European elections in May.
The AfD, founded just over a year ago, has seven seats now in the European Parliament. Its MEPs sit in the same grouping as the UK Conservatives, demanding fundamental reform of the EU.
The party campaigns against bailouts for southern European countries, angry that taxpayers’ money has been used to save the euro.
“We are the force that’s renewing the political landscape,” said AfD leader Bernd Lucke, 52, an economics professor.
“One can’t deny it anymore: the citizens are thirsting for political change,” he said. BBC.
Not noted by the BBC report is that the left party, Die Linke, lost more than half of its votes in this election in Brandenburg (Linke verliert mehr als die Hälfte der Stimmen) while it scored a record total in Thüringen with 28,2%.
Sweden‘s Social Democratic party, which on Sunday ended its longest spell in opposition in a century, faces a weak minority government after the far-right Sweden Democrats emerged as the third-largest party.
The below seems reasonable comment (extracts) by Hela Sverige (Spectator) ,
Who are the Sweden Democrats?
They call themselves “Sweden’s only opposition party”, the implication being that the Stockholm elite is one indistinguishable blob of vested interest. Like UKIP, they say they are neither left or right. I’d put them closer to Maine Le Pen’s National Front in being anti-immigration and protectionist. Is Ms Romson fair to compare them to racists? There is no doubt that the Sweden Democrats have moved towards the mainstream in recent years and tried to address racism within their ranks. Their language is a mixture of Salmond/Farage-style anger at the elite and populism.
….what unites these Scottish, UK and European nationalist parties is the strategy of posing as the insurgent, out to stand up for the people against a Westminster elite/Riksdag elite etc.
At 2’07, the Sweden Democrats’ video shows the EVIL ELITE in a limo and the narrator says:-
“We want to hit out against the elite who have let our society disintegrate for decades. They are to blame for the problems in our society… It is, therefore, no mystery that politicians want to be elected on the same policies which caused the problems in the first place… Their failed integration politics is solved by more mass immigration. And the problem of begging is solved by having even more people come here to beg.”
Then at 3’03, cut to a picture of a herd of cows…
“And the strangest thing of all: no matter what the other parties say, they still tend to think the same thing. Sometimes they think so similarly that they use the same campaign slogans.”
They accuse the other parties of changing their policies to suit the confected outrage of the Twitter elite in Soder (Stockholm’s equivalent of Islington). They (5.50, with the hard rock music) say they haven’t gone to political school, but worked out their policies from real life. At 6’32 they show a crowd with a placard saying “no to racism” and the narrator saying: “they’ll say anything to shut us up”. This, of course, is what the BNP said here: it almost relished the racism charges.
Over on the New Statesman, George Eaton offers some wider context,
In total, the centre-left alliance won 43.7 per cent of the vote to the centre-right’s 39.1 per cent. Social Democrat leader Stefan Lofven will now seek to form a coalition with the Greens and the Left Party, but the worryingly high level of support for the Swedish Democrats, who only entered parliament at the last election in 2010, presents the grim prospect of the anti-immigration party holding the balance of power.
Having fallen short of an overall majority (by 15 seats), while refusing to work with the far-right, the centre-left is danger of legislative gridlock. As outgoing finance minister Anders Borg said: “It is clear that from a broader perspective that this is difficult for Sweden. We go from having one of Europe’s strongest governments to having a weak government power with considerable uncertainty about economic policy.” The Feminist Initiative Party split the left-wing vote by winning 3 per cent (up from just 0.4 per cent in 2010), but fell short of the 4 per cent required for parliamentary representation. Their rise in support, combined with the far-right insurgency, means that despite finishing first, the Social Democrats only increased their vote share by 0.4 per cent.
From a UK perspective, the result is damaging for David Cameron in two respects. First, he has lost one of his closest EU allies in the form of Reinfeldt (part of his “Northern Alliance“), further tilting the odds against a successful renegotiation if he is still prime minister after next May. Second, the rejection of the Moderates, whose vote fell by 7 per cent, marks a backlash against welfare cuts and privatisation after a series of free school failures and care home scandals (policies emulated by the coalition). The ideological wind is no longer blowing the free market right’s way in the Nordics.
One final point worth noting, as Rob Ford suggests, is that the result looks eerily like a preview of the British election in May 2015: an unpopular centre-right government is expelled as voters protest against privatisation; a weak centre-left takes power without a majority; and the populist right (Ukip) surges into third place.
Like France-Inter I am principally struck by the rise of rabid right-wing populism in Germany and Sweden.
Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste Seeks to “save” capitalism, says International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI).
Flags Waving to Save Capitalism says ICFI.
Just when you thought you could be smug about the charming but eccentric ways of our old chum Bob Avakian this comes along,
The pseudo-left New Anti-capitalist Party (NPA) has reacted to the formation of the new government of Prime Minister Manuel Valls with empty, hypocritical criticisms to mask its responsibility in the installation of this deeply right-wing government, which the NPA will continue to defend.
The World Socialist Web Site, published by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) continues in this vein (8th of September) – at length. (1)
For those mourning the withdrawal of cde Tony Greenstein from the fray this site comes as a blessing,
What the NPA fears above all is that the collapse and discrediting of France’s ruling Socialist Party (PS) will provoke a crisis of rule in which the NPA could not stifle a political movement of the working class directed at the PS and its political satellites, including the NPA itself.
There is more but this mighty blow against the NPA stands out,
The NPA, by its hostility to a socialist and revolutionary perspective, contributed to the installation of the most right-wing regime France has known since the World War II-era fascist Vichy regime.
In fact, it is the NPA that is neither revolutionary nor anti-capitalist. It does not seek the overthrow of capitalism, but to save it under conditions where it threatens to provoke war and economic collapse, and the conditions for an eruption of social revolution are fast being prepared.
Not to mention that
This anti-working class party is ready for unprincipled alliances with organizations of all types, whose only common point is their hatred of the working class and of socialism.
(1) The International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) is the name of two Trotskyist internationals; one with sections named Socialist Equality Party which publishes the World Socialist Web Site, and another linked to the Workers Revolutionary Party in Britain.
Both groupings originate in the struggle against “Pabloite liquidationism”,
“To sum up: The lines of cleavage between Pablo’s revisionism and orthodox Trotskyism are so deep that no compromise is possible either politically or organizationally. The Pablo faction has demonstrated that it will not permit democratic decisions truly reflecting majority opinion to be reached. They demand complete submission to their criminal policy. They are determined to drive all orthodox Trotskyists out of the Fourth International or to muzzle and handcuff them.”
Despite this background many of the SEP’s ideas would meet with approval or at least some agreement from a lot of people on the left: they are for the United Socialist States of Europe, oppose austerity and cuts.
The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) calls for a decisive and unambiguous No vote in the September 18 referendum on Scottish independence. All claims that “independence” is a democratic demand, offering an alternative to cuts and austerity, are lies.
The move for separation from the UK is being led by right-wing forces espousing nationalism, whether or not they attempt to dress this up in fake left language. The aim is to transform Scotland into a low tax, cheap labour platform for the benefit of the banks and transnational corporations.
The victims of this will be workers on both sides of the border, who will see a deepening of the ongoing offensive against jobs, wages and conditions that has been waged by all the major parties in both Westminster and Holyrood
Their French membership is believed to hover at 2.
Holocaust Denier Dieudonné Faces New Charges.
The jocular Jew-hater began by observing that the deaths of Saddam Hussein and Colonel Gaddafi, hanged and lynched, had not seemed to move anybody.
The video of James Foley’s killing, by contrast “moved the cadres of the Rothschild Mafia”.
With heavy-handed irony the ‘humorist’ stated that since the guillotining of Louis XVI decapitation was a sign of civilisation and progress. The king was even executed in public, on the Place de la Révolution.
In any case the convicted anti-Semite was more concerned with the death of a Cameroonian footballer, Albert Ebossé, who was killed this August struck on the head by a missile at a game in Alegria – this he compared to a stoning (lapidation)
Dieudonné added that his editor had had a good laugh at the murder.
The video has been taken down by Youtube.
French prosecutors have launched an investigation.
A penalty of five years in prison for “justification of terrorism” may be demanded.
Those who like Dieudonné range from disaffected urban youth to the classic French extreme right. Le Pen is the godfather of his daughter and he is close to holocaust denier, Alain Soral. The ideas behind the Dieudosphère are a miasma of conspiracy theory, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and anti-Western clichés.
* A pretty hard pun on the literary word ‘feu’ (deceased), les feux follets (will-o’the-wisp) and Folly (folie, madness), and James Foley the American journalist whose decapitation by ISIS was videoed.
Thieving Capitalists Now to Run Suffolk Libraries?
That Was last Month.
This month we learn,
Ipswich County Library is holding a ‘Get Connected’ event in partnership with John Lewis.
It’s a chance for anyone to come along and find out more about downloading library eBooks, eAudio books, our Freegal free music downloads and getting practical help and advice on using eReaders, tablets and other devices.
It’s also a good opportunity to come along and use the library free Wi-Fi which was recently installed.
Staff from John Lewis at Home Ipswich will be offering expert advice on a range of eReaders and devices available from their store.”
Attention comrades: this is a take-over by the dodgy likes of John Lewis.
My dad was a union organiser in John Lewis after the second world war.
He had a merry tale or ten about the anti-union so-called ‘partnership’.
They have not changed.
I merely cite this, by Dr Abby Cathcart
“My findings challenge the popular view of the organisation as a simple profit sharing entity by emphasizing the radical intentions of the founder, and exploring the principles of democratic participation outlined in the constitution. Workplace partnership in John Lewis is rife with tensions and paradoxes. The tension is not simply a struggle between management and workers, but rather that managers and workers have fluctuating visions of the purpose of partnership and the best way of achieving that purpose. Managers welcomed ‘robust exchanges of views’ and condemned ‘compliance’ and ‘deference’. However, they also demanded ‘loyalty’ and support for the management’s decisions. Non-management partners wanted meaningful voice and a vote on key decisions, but they also indicated their faith in their management, and a preference for seeking participation on operational rather than strategic concerns.
Defend Public Services!
Don’t’ give out Libraries to Private Thieves!
“Germans! Defend yourselves! Do not buy from Jews” (“Deutsche! Wehrt Euch! Kauft nicht bei Juden!“).
The Respect MP told a meeting of party activists in Leeds on Saturday that Israeli tourists were not welcome in Bradford. West Yorkshire police said they had received two complaints and were investigating the Bradford West MP’s comments.
Reports the Guardian.
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign more generally known as the “Don’t Buy Yid‘ movement, has yet to comment.