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Posts Tagged ‘far right

Jacques Cheminade: LaRouche Candidate in French Presidential Elections.

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LaRouche’s targets.

It’s not all serious politics in the French Presidential election.

A serious quester for truth, Jacques Cheminade is also standing.

He calls for ” libération de l’occupation financière »  leaving the European Union, the Euro, and NATO. He is also denounced “«sionisme» (Zionism – more on this here). Cheminade is an admirer of the film, The Great Global Warming Swindle

Jacques Cheminade wants to colonise Mars and industrialise the moon, has likened Barack Obama to Hitler and accused Queen Elizabeth of being involved in international drug trafficking. His party, Solidarité et Progrès, is the French branch of the US’s far-right LaRouche movement. In 2005, his party was listed as a “political sect”.

On the Moon, Robotic exploration, industrial and scientific centres, and a Lunar Village.”LANCER UNE EXPLORATION ROBOTIQUE LUNAIRE DE GRANDE AMPLEUR SUIVIE DE L’IMPLANTATION DE CENTRES INDUSTRIELS ET SCIENTIFIQUES SUR LA LUNE. SOUTENIR LE PROJET DE « VILLAGE LUNAIRE » DE L’ESA.” (L’espace, impératif économique et culturel).

What is the LaRouche Movement?

Wikipedia begins what could turn into a long, a very long, trail on the Net:

Lyndon LaRouche began his political career as a Trotskyist and praised Marxism, He and the National Caucus of Labor Committees abandoned this view in the 1970s. LaRouche no longer opposes capitalism as an economic system, and his analysis of political events is no longer phrased in terms of class.

According to Tim Wohlforth, during and after his break with Trotskyism, LaRouche’s theory was influenced by what he called his “Theory of Hegemony” derived from Vladimir Lenin‘s view of the role of intellectuals in being a vanguard helping workers develop their consciousness and realize their leading role in society. He was influenced by Antonio Gramsci‘s concept of a hegemon as an intellectual and cultural elite which directs social thought. LaRouche’s theory saw himself and his followers as becoming such a hegemonic force. He rejected Gramsci’s notion of “organic intellectuals” being developed by the working class itself. Rather, the working class would be led by elite intellectuals such as himself

This is also interesting,

LaRouche’s critics have said he is a “disguised anti-Semite”, in that he takes the classical antisemitic conspiracy theory and substitutes the word “Zionist” for the word “Jew”, and ascribes the classical antisemitic caricature of the “scheming Jew” to particular Jewish individuals and groups of Jews, rather than to the Jews as a whole.[37][38][39][150] “Modern Zionism was not created by Jews, but was a project developed chiefly by Oxford University“, LaRouche says. He says “Zionism is not Judaism.”[151] In 1978, the same year LaRouche’s article cited The Protocols, the LaRouche group published Dope, Inc.: Britain’s Opium War against the U.S., which cited the Protocols and defended its authenticity, likening the “Elders of Zion” to the Rothschild banking family, the British Royal family, and the Italian Mafia, and the Israeli Mossad, General Pike, and the B’nai B’rith. (Dope, Inc.) Later editions left out cites to The Protocols. This is the genesis of the claim that LaRouche has said Queen Elizabeth runs drugs. When asked by an NBC reporter in 1984 about the Queen and drug running, LaRouche replied, “Of course she’s pushing drugs…that is in a sense of responsibility: the head of a gang that is pushing drugs; she knows it’s happening and she isn’t stopping it.”[152]

Chip Berlet argues that LaRouche indirectly expresses antisemitism through the use of “coded language” and by attacking neoconservatives.[150] Dennis King maintains, for example, that words like “British” were really code words for ‘Jew.'”[153] Other critics of LaRouche believe that LaRouche’s anti-British statements disparage the British system rather than the Jewish religion. Laird Wilcox and John George write that “Dennis King goes to considerable lengths to paint LaRouche as a neo-Nazi, even engaging in a little conspiracy-mongering of his own.”

More on  Jacques Cheminade FrenchEnglish.

When he last stood for the Presidency (1995)  he got  0.27% of the votes.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 6, 2017 at 1:42 pm

George Galloway: Aaron Banks’s Star Columnist.

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Galloway Visits Gorton. 

Yesterday the Observer carried this long story,

Arron Banks: ‘Brexit was a war. We won. There’s no turning back now’

Now out of Ukip – the party he bankrolled – Arron Banks is creating a political movement of his own. We met the ‘bad boy of Brexit’ just before article 50 was triggered – and found his ambitions go far beyond leaving Europe.

An important thread in the story was the importance of Putin’s grab for international political influence and use of all forms of media.

The following caught my eye,

Out in the open is this, Banks’s statement to me: “What you’re talking about is the degree to which the Russians actually – let’s say they influenced the Brexit vote. Say I’m pro-Putin. Nigel said he’s not anti-Putin, if that’s the right word. But all we’ve said is that there are elements of what Russians do that we don’t disagree with. We don’t agree with everything they’re doing, like murdering journalists in the street.”

I interrupt him. You’re saying, on the record, that you don’t agree with murdering journalists on the street?

“I’ll only say it once,” he says.

We both laugh. Though possibly only one of us has a slightly high-pitched edge to our voice.

Dismiss, distract, dismay. This, Nimmo tells me, is the classic Russian disinformation strategy. You launder information like you launder money. You pass it through a set of different bodies. You send it from one shell company/mouthpiece to another. You confuse its origins. You chuck in a distraction. You create outrage.

The Star columnist for Bank’s Westmonster site is George Galloway.

Galloway has close enough relations with Russia to have his own show on RT.

Now he has cosy connections with Banks and Westmonster,

GALLOWAY: I’M BEING CHEERED FOR BEING A BREXITEER

Read George Galloway’s Gorton by-election diary exclusively on Westmonster.

… as I reported last, down on the streets of Manchester- astoundingly the Official Child Poverty Capital of the country – the alleged 60% support for the EU is as visible as an honest MP.Last time I described my campaigning in the two Gorton Wards of the constituency. I faithfully reported that I found not a single Remainer or Regretter in a whole day of politicking.

Cynics put that down to the large number white English people in those two wards (itself a stunningly telling alibi).

Yesterday a huge crowd of mainly strangers came to the official opening of my campaign HQ. I filmed the speech and the audiences reaction and livestreamed it on Facebook.

Standing Room Only in Galloway’s Cubbyhole. 

It was an almost suspiciously perfect cross section of the Gorton constituency.
Black, white, Asian, young and old, poor and rich, men and women.

I dealt with my reasons for being a Brexiteer. They were cheered to the echo. As can be clearly heard.

My opponent – it is already a two-horse race – has as an MEP millions of good reasons for loving the monster that is the EU. His campaign initially thought my Brexit record might be my Achilles Heel. I suspect he now knows and with more than 30 days to go, that like with so much else inside the bubble, that is the opposite of the truth.

People Rush to Gorton Galloway Rally.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 3, 2017 at 12:58 pm

The Fake ‘Secularism’ of Marine Le Pen.

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Image result for front national gens de couleur bougnoules

The Front National Has Changed!

Last year Marine Le Pen announced that he would ban “all religious symbols” including kippas, headscarves, veils, burqas and burkinis from public spaces if she is elected president, explaining the move as a “sacrifice” to combat Islamic extremism.”

On Thursday evening Marine le Pen was interviewed on France 2.

A full critical account of her statements is given in le Monde,  Etrangers, décret anti-immigration… Les affirmations trompeuses de Marine Le Pen dans « L’Emission politique »

But this is of special interest.

She reiterated the above commitment, extending the 2010 French law, which prohibits the full-body veil, the Burqa in public to anybody with  such ‘ostentatious’religious symbols or dress.

As many commentators have noted enforcing such legislation would invite a veritable “hunt” for those wearing religious symbols, in the front line, Muslim women wearing a variety of head scarves, veils, not to mention one religious groups that has Kippas…..

But as Jonathan Bouchet-Petersen in today’s Libération observes, (La laïcité de Marine Le Pen s’arrête aux portes de l’école, on the central issue of French secularism, the education system, the école publique, obligatoire, gratuite et laïque, Marine Le Pen strongly backed confessional private schooling. 

That is,

l’enseignement libre hors contrat, qu’elle entend largement favoriser au détriment de l’école publique. Or de quoi s’agit-il ? En premier lieu de l’enseignement catholique tendance Manif pour tous, qui se porte déjà bien, mais aussi des écoles juives, plus ou moins orthodoxes, ou bien sûr des établissements musulmans, plus ou moins salafistes.

Private education without state contracts (and controls)  which she intends to favour to the detriment of public state education. What is this? In the first instance, Catholic schooling, in the (hard line) line of the anti-Gay Marriage movement Manif pour Tous, but equally Jewish schools, more or less orthodox, and, naturally, Muslim institutions, more or less Salafist.

Some ‘secularist’.

This also raised eyebrows today  (Washington Post),

PARIS — French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has vowed to request all people with dual citizenship in France and other countries to choose only one nationality, except for Europeans and Russians.

She said this doesn’t mean foreigners would need to leave the country, explaining they can stay “as long as they respect French laws and values”.

Le Pen said she considers Russia to be part of the “Europe of nations.” In response to a specific question from a reporter on France 2 television Thursday night she said the measure would involve Israel, since it’s not a European country.

This is their Europe of Nations, give or take a degree of exaggeration:  France’s Nationalist Party Has a Plan to Break Up the Euro and Probably Start a New Financial Crisis  Jordan Weissmann (Slate),

Le Pen’s top economic adviser, Bernard Monot, outlined the plan to Bloomberg recently, and reportedly discussed it back in September with a governor from the Bank of France. The plot has three steps:

  1. Le Pen would call a meeting with the EU and ask it to replace the euro with brand-new national currencies. If it balked, France would go it alone.
  2. Le Pen would commandeer the French central bank, ending its independence.
  3. She would print “new French francs” to finance government spending.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but the National Front is essentially threatening to suicide-bomb the whole EU monetary system.

At present  indications point to a Le Pen lead in the first round of the coming Presidential election, and a “Macron versus Le Pen” duel in the Second, with Macron the favourite, in the latest opinion polls, to win.

 

Les intentions de vote ne constituent pas une prévision du résultat du scrutin. Elles donnent une indication de l'état des rapports de force et des dynamiques au jour de la réalisation du sondage.

Written by Andrew Coates

February 10, 2017 at 11:52 am

Europe’s Far Right Capitalises on Brexit and Trump Victories.

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Image result for Proteste gegen Europa der Nationen und der Freiheit)

Against Far-Right Meeting: Koblenz Stays Multihued!

The pro-Brexit UK left claimed that a vote to leave would strengthen the ‘anti-austerity’, left-wing and labour movement, forces across in Europe.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Now Donald Trump, who gives credit to the victory of Leave to his own triumph, heralds America First! – a slogan straight out of the back catalogue of his own, and the European extreme right’s favourite tunes.

The European far-right is also trying to capitalise on Brexit, and the success of Trump’s reactionary populism.

The Irish Times reports,

Koblenz will be the meeting place of European far-right leaders this Saturday. Hosting the event is Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) co-leader Frauke Petry and her new husband, party MEP Marcus Pretzell. Guests include French presidential hopeful and Front National (FN) leader Marine Le Pen, Dutchman Geert Wilders, whose Party for Freedom (PVV) is leading polls ahead of March elections, and Matteo Salvini of Italy’s Northern League.

Hours after Donald Trump’s inauguration in Washington, European far-right leaders see a mutual benefit in presenting themselves in public as a united front opposed to the EU’s current form, to its open borders, to its currency and to its approach to the refugee crisis.

The Tribune de Genève carries the same story:

Au lendemain de l’investiture de Donald Trump, la présidente du Front national en France, Marine Le Pen, retrouve samedi en Allemagne des dirigeants de partis de droite extrême et populistes européens, pour tenter d’afficher un front uni avant plusieurs scrutins cruciaux.

The day after Donald Trump’s investiture, the President of the Front National in France, Marine le Pen, is meeting this Saturday with the leaders of the European extreme right and populist parties, to attempt to assemble a united front before several crucial election contests.

The far from left friendly or even liberal Bild report that this meeting has caused outrage in Germany,

Wilders, Le Pen und AfD tagen in Koblenz Empörung über Gipfel der EU-Hasser

Gegen den geplanten Kongress formiert sich Protest

Wilders, Le Pe and Afd (Alternative for Germany) meetin in Koblenz. Outrage at the Summit of European Union Haters. Protests are being organised against this Congress.

Deutsche Welle provides the background,

Frauke Petry is careful about her reputation. She does not want to be seen as a right-wing extremist and nor does she want her party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), to be labeled as such. She has called the Thuringian AfD leader Björn Höcke, who held a controversial speech in which he criticized the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, a “burden for the party.” For a while, Petry’s reservations have kept her from contacting Marine LePen from the France’s National Front, which is considered to be at least a notch more radical than the AfD.

Last summer, Frauke Petry secretly met Marine Le Pen. Now she is seeking public appearances with LePen, Wilders and Matteo Salvini from the Italian Lega Nord. Nonetheless, the AfD itself is not hosting the party gathering. Petry’s new husband, the head of North Rhine Westphalia’s AfD, arranged the meeting. He is a member of European Parliament for the AfD and as a lone MEP joined the Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF) parliamentary group, whose driving force is the National Front. Pretzell’s only party colleague in Strasbourg, Beatrix von Storch, is a member of Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFD), which is mostly run by Britain’s UKIP and the Italian Five Star Movement.

There are people in the AfD who think Petry’s appearance at the gathering is wrong. “That is a pure ENF matter that has nothing to do with the AfD,” says Jörg Meuthen, who ironically makes up the party’s leadership duo with Petry. Even the Berlin AfD chairman Georg Pazderski says that the AfD should distance itself from the National Front, as its economic policies are too “socialist” for him. The FN does indeed advocate isolationism and anti-globalization, unlike the economically liberal AfD.

The protests today:

a broad counter-alliance with the slogan “Koblenz remains diverse” has formed and will demonstrate on Saturday. The head of the SPD and deputy Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel wants to join the march as do representatives of the Green Party, the left-wing party Die Linke and even the Social Democrat foreign minister of Luxembourg, Jean Asselborn. “We cannot leave the destiny of the continent in the hands of the nationalists,” Asselborn told the German Press Agency.

Yesterday around 100 people demonstrated against the far-right in Koblenz: Erste Demo gegen Rechtspopulisten in Koblenz

 Notice of the much larger  march today:

ENF (Europa der Nationen und der Freiheit) kommt nach Koblenz – Statement zu den Hintergründen und der Brisanz – Proteste am 20.01/21.012017 in Koblenz

Der ENF (Europa der Nationen und der Freiheit), die Fraktion ultranationalistischer und rechtsradikaler Parteien im Europäischen Parlament, besteht aus 39 Abgeordneten des „Front National“ (FN, größte rechtspopulistische Partei Frankreichs um Marine Le Pen), „Der Freiheitlichen Partei Österreich“ (FPÖ – Rechtsextreme … ENF (Europa der Nationen und der Freiheit) kommt nach Koblenz – Statement zu den Hintergründen und der Brisanz – Proteste am 20.01/21.012017 in Koblenz weiterlesen

Written by Andrew Coates

January 21, 2017 at 11:23 am

Ernst Nolte, Historian of Fascism and Nazism, Dies at 93.

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Ernst Nolte, Historian of Fascism and Nazism, has just passed way ay at 93.

Ernst Nolte’s The Three Faces of Fascism (Der Faschismus in seiner Epoche. 1963) was the first serious book that I read (in the late 1970s and still have a copy of) which dealt properly with Action française. That is the French pre-Great War movement that arose from the anti-Dreyfus campaigns. This violently nationalist (and ‘monarchist’), and anti-Semitic group which was the precursor of many forms (the youth squads of Camelots du Roi) and ideas of the 1920s and 1930s European extreme-right. Nolte took time to unravel the writings of their ideologue, Charles Maurras. His “nationalisme intégral” and use of Catholicism against Laïcité  (even if as a self proclaimed Comtean ‘positivist’ he was not a believer, and was eventually denounced by the Church)  has echoes which can still be heard in France today..

The book deals head on with the anti-Marxist strain of Action française.

Fascism is anti-Marxism which seeks to destroy the enemy by the evolvement of a radically opposed and yet related ideology and by the use of almost identical and yet typically modified methods, always, however within the unyielding framework of national self-assertion and autonomy

The study has its faults, above all the reliance on the history of ideas. But this is also a strength in that Nolte offered a lot of detail that did not depend on his theoretical framework. But it’s hard to ignore that he neglected class issues  which is extremely important in the way French nationalism appealed to a constituency beyond the ‘traditional’ Monarchist strongholds in the army and conservative fractions of the bourgeoisie, to the peasantry and a section of the ‘patriotic’ working class. And these became more apparent as the Three Faces extended towards the rise of Italian fascism, which is unintelligible without the role of post-war workers’ conflicts, not to mention Nazism, born in the heat of intense class conflicts.

By underlining the anti-Marxist ideology of the far-right Nolte’s contribution to the history of the French far-right  stands head and shoulders over Zeeve Sternhell’s La droite révolutionnaire, 1885-1914. Les origines françaises du fascisme, (1978) and Ni droite ni gauche. L’idéologie fasciste en France, (1983).

Sternhell claimed that French fascism derived much of its force and ideology from Boulangisme, the 1880s  populist movement around the  nationalist would-be dictator George Boulanger, seeking revenge for France’s military defeat by Prussia,  Revolutionary syndicalism, which (he falsely asserted),  embraced fascism in its early stages. His evidence relied on the mere existence of the  Cercle Proudhon (a small discussion group). This involved syndicalist patriots loosely  connected to the contrarian leftist Georges Sorel), the  modernist novelist  Pierre Drieu La Rochelle and Monarchists associated with Action française. Its exact influence, rather than associations,  was is never demonstrated.

There is no doubt that the period before the First World War saw a rise in “political confusionism” in France, with some on the left passing to the right, even the far-right, (as is happening today across Europe). But French fascism, as it emerged as a para-military force with some strength in the 1930s, owed more to traditionalist nationalism (Maurice Barrès) and forces hostile to the French Revolution human rights universalism and cosmopolitanism , than to anything from the left apart from rhetoric about capitalism and  Anglo-American ‘plutocracy’. Nolte’s account made this absolutely clear. In this respect the Three Faces remains an important, essential, work.

 Nolte’s contribution to understanding this dark side of history is, nevertheless, overshadowed by  this: the Historikerstreit

The debate opened on June 6, 1986 when the philosopher and historian Ernst Nolte had a speech printed in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, entitled Die Vergangenheit, die nicht vergehen will (“The past that won’t go away”). Nolte argued that the “race murder” of the Nazi death camps was a “defensive reaction” to the “class murder” of the Stalinist system of gulags. In his view, the gulags were the original and greater horror. In the face of the threat of Bolshevism, it was reasonable that the German people would turn to Nazi fascism.[10] He had already articulated this argument the previous year in an essay published in English: “Auschwitz… was above all a reaction born out of the annihilating occurrences of the Russian Revolution… the so-called annihilation of the Jews during the Third Reich was a reaction or a distorted copy and not a first act or an original

This is how his passing was reported.

 

Controversial German historian Ernst Nolte dies at 93 (Deutsche Welle.)

 Controversial German historian Ernst Nolte dies at 93

German historian Ernst Nolte, responsible for a contentious essay on the causes of Nazism, has died in Berlin after a short illness. Nolte’s 1986 essay was the source of much debate among historians.

With his 1986 essay in the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” newspaper entitled “Vergangenheit, die nicht vergehen will” (“The past that will not pass away”), Ernst Nolte caused an uproar in historical circles.

His controversial thesis that Hitler and the Nazis were Germany’s logical reaction to the “existential threat” represented by the Russian Revolution launched a wave of indignation and led to furious debate among historians.

“Did the ‘Gulag Archipelago’ not exist before Auschwitz?” Nolte wrote in the essay. “Was Bolshevik ‘class murder’ not the logical and factual predecessor to the Nazi ‘racial murder’? … Did Auschwitz not, perhaps, originate in a past that would not pass away?”

Nolte was also known for published works including “Three Faces of Fascism,” “Germany and the Cold War” and “The European Civil War 1917-1945: Nazism and Bolshevism.”

Born in the university city of Witten, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Nolte did his doctorate on Karl Marx and was a professor at the Free University of Berlin.

Written by Andrew Coates

August 19, 2016 at 1:30 pm

Following Austrian Far-Right British anti-Europeans Turn to Immigration.

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Stand up for Your Homeland: Brexiters Follow Lead of Austrian Anti-Immigration Far-Right.

Brexit is only way to control immigration, campaigners claim

Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Gove try to turn referendum debate back in leave side’s favour after Barack Obama intervention.

This stands out,

Duncan Smith said: “You cannot reject anybody unless you can demonstrate categorically that they pose an immediate threat to the life and livelihood of the UK.

“The reality is that we have to accept people, even criminals. There are a number of cases of people who have got criminal records, then come over here and commit crimes, and we can’t even get rid of them without permission of the European court of justice.

“We would have a policy to have controlled migration, it’s not an end of migration. It means you want people to come in here where there are needs for them – software engineers, engineers generally, skills that are required.”

The Financial Times reports,

Michael Gove, justice secretary, said Britain would be subject to a migration “free for all” as the next wave of EU applicants joined the club, a reference to countries including Serbia, Albania and ultimately Turkey.

Mr Gove claimed in the Times that the NHS faced “unquantifiable strain” if Britain remained in the EU.

The Brexiters’ campaign  immediately follows the success’of the far-right in Sunday’s Austrian Presidential Election..

The British far-right daily, the Express, gleefully reports,

Norbert Hofer, the candidate for Austria’s right-wing Freedom Party, won 36.4% of the vote, and will face an independent candidate in the final vote next month.

It was the Freedom Party’s best result in a national election after a campaign that focused on the impact of the .

More than 100,000 migrants have arrived in Austria since last summer.

The migrant crisis has divided the country and in a major U-turn the government, who initially backed ’s open-door policy, shut Austria’s borders.

Mr Hofer, who has run an anti-immigrant and anti-Europe campaign will now go head-to-head with environmentalist and pro-refugee Alexander van der Bellen Van Der Bellen on May 22 for the post, which is largely a ceremonial role.

The Austrian results saw the collapse of the Social Democrats’ (SPÖvote in their historic heartland, Vienna.

They got just  12,31%  for their candidate,  Rudolf Hundstorfer, in the Capital. The far-right  Hofer got 29,28%, and the Greens’ ally, Griss obtained 18,71%. (Wikipedia).

For more see: Grün-blau oder: Das Ende des roten Wien.

Apart from its anti-immigration programme the Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs, FPÖ (Freedom Party, Wikipedia) offers an extreme cultural version of national ‘sovereigntism’.

From the mid-1980s, the concept of Heimat (a word meaning both “the homeland” and a more general notion of cultural identity) has been central to the ideology of the FPÖ, although its application has slightly changed with time. Initially, Heimat indicated the feeling of national belonging influenced by a pan-Germanic vision; the party assured voters in 1985 that “the overwhelming majority of Austrians belong to the German ethnic and cultural community.” Although it was noted then that Austria was the mother country which held the national traditions, this would later be favoured more explicitly over the pan-German concept. In 1995 Haider declared an end to pan-Germanism in the party, and in the 1997 party manifesto the former community of “German people” was replaced with the “Austrian people”. Under the leadership of Strache, the concept of Heimat has been promoted and developed more deeply than it had been previously. After his reelection as chairman in 2011, the German aspects of the party’s programme were formally reintroduced.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 25, 2016 at 12:07 pm

Alternative für Deutschland in Electoral Breakthrough.

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They’re Jubilant: Few other People are. (1)

AFD (Alternative für Deutschland) RIDES HIGH reports Reuters.

With a high turnout in all the votes, the AfD, already represented in five of Germany’s 16 regional assemblies, succeeded in entering three more.

Its support was strongest in Saxony-Anhalt, where it grabbed 24.2 percent of the vote behind a diminished CDU showing, surpassing even the Social Democrats (SPD), Merkel’s coalition partner in Berlin, ZDF television projections indicated.

With campaign slogans such as “Secure the borders” and “Stop the asylum chaos”, it was the first time the AfD had come as high as second in any state.

“We have fundamental problems in Germany that led to this election result,” said AfD chief Frauke Petry.

The AfD’s rise, which has coincided with strong gains by other European anti-immigrant parties including the National Front in France, punctures the centrist consensus around which the mainstream parties have formed alliances in Germany, and may embolden more European leaders to challenge Merkel on the migrant issue.

The CDU’s leader in Saxony-Anhalt pointed the finger squarely at Merkel for his party’s losses.

“The issue that has brought the AfD into parliaments across Germany can’t be ignored on a federal level any more. We need solutions,” Reiner Haseloff told ARD television.

Charlotte Knobloch, former head of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, bemoaned a “massive shift to the right”.

“If voters follow the call of right-wing populists and extremists to such an extent, it is a failure of the democratic parties,” she said.

SPD SUFFERS

In Baden-Wuerttemberg in the southwest, the Greens for the first time became the strongest party in a state, with 31.1 percent of the vote, ZDF television projections indicated.

The state was a CDU stronghold for more than 50 years before turning to a Green-led coalition with the SPD in 2011 after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, and CDU support fell by another 12 percentage points on Sunday.

Also damaging for the CDU was the result in Rhineland-Palatinate, the home of former chancellor Helmut Kohl.

There, the CDU’s Julia Kloeckner, who had positioned herself as a future candidate to succeed Merkel, failed to unseat SPD state premier Malu Dreyer.

It was the only bright spot for the SPD, the biggest loser overall. In Saxony-Anhalt, its support almost halved and in Baden-Wuerttemberg it sank by more than 10 percentage points.

Asked if the SPD’s weak showing in those two states would trigger questions about SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel’s future, deputy party chairman Ralf Stegner said: “No, not at all.”

It is still unclear which coalitions will take power in each state, but the splintered vote opens the prospect of deep changes to the political landscape.

Die Welt, presenting a detailed break-down of the vote, notes that the AfD support came above all from former CDU and SDP voters: (Woher die Stimmen für die AfD kamen)

The Süddeutsche Zeitung points out that, the AfD has one central theme: “Es gab ein Thema, das in diesem Wahlkampf, an diesem Wahlsonntag alle anderen überlagert hat: die Flüchtlinge. DieAfD ist gegen “Multikulti”, prangert das “Asylchaos” an, ist stattdessen für “Mut zu Deutschland”, für “kontrollierte Zuwanderung”. That is, refugees. The AFd is against multiculturalism (in their derogatory slang, with echoes of ‘cult’), singles out Asylum-seeker chaos, their “Pride in Germany” and demands for a “control of immigration.”

The paper lists its other appeals as a “protest party”, as a “social-media party” and a party of “donnernden Reden”, thundering speeches, which we would more freely translate as loud-mouthed demagogy, shouting “”Merkel muss weg”, Merkel must go!

Taz reports on the AFD’s jubilation-time, and its satisfaction that it is no longer an East Germany party facing with the “lying-media”:

Jubelzahlen aus der Lügenpresse

Auf der Wahlparty der Rechtspopulisten ist die Stimmung gut. Die AfD sei nicht mehr nur eine Ostpartei, freut sich deren Spitzenpersonal.

 Taz also reports on the results in  BadenWürttemberg

Daniel Cohn-Bendit über Kretschmann

„Es bleibt nur Schwarz-Grün“

Also bleibt nur Schwarz-Grün, die neue Große Koalition.

That is, Cohn-Bendit foresees a Green-‘black’ (CDU) coalition running the state.

The Guardian states,

The German government will stick by its existing refugees policy, a spokesman has said, after the anti-immigrant Alternative für Deutschland made strong gainsin regional elections on Sunday.

Asked if the results in three German states, where support for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives dwindled, would lead to a change in policy, Steffen Seibert said: “The German government will continue to pursue its refugee policy with all its might both at home and abroad.”

AfD entered state parliaments in all three regions that voted, winning 24% of the vote in Saxony-Anhalt and over 10% in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate.

The results suggested that German politicians increasingly appear to have two options: rally behind their chancellor, or rail against her.

Although AfD enjoyed considerable momentum, the majority of votes still went to parties who support Merkel’s pro-refugee stance. In all three states, incumbent premiers held on to their seat. In Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate, the Green and Social Democratic (SPD) candidates managed to increase their vote after resolutely backing the chancellor’s open-border position.

(1) Except perhaps this man: Wie Putin die rechten Parteien in Deutschland hofiert.

Written by Andrew Coates

March 14, 2016 at 1:46 pm