Why did Angela Merkel do it?
When the world’s most powerful woman says multi-culturalism or ‘multi-kulti’ is dead, we have to listen and take note. Germany is after all the paymaster of Europe – bailing out the banks in schtuk in Greece. And in the background it has its own dark history lurking, never going away.
But it’s much more than a German problem. Le Pen was the advance guard in France two decades ago. His daughter has now picked up the baton to continue the work. Geert Wilders in Holland and J Amiesen in Sweden are the latest front-men for the Far Right across the continent.
Coming back to Germany, it is worrying to say the least when one of the top Bundesbank bankers writes a best seller, slandering Muslims.
So why did Angela do it?
Because there are two state elections coming up early in 2011 with a good chance the Greens will its first ‘governors’.
Islamophobia is fuel for stoking fear and winning elections.
Many mainstream politicians have calculated they would no need for the ‘Muslim votebank’. They have larger numbers on the other side.
Muslims, mainly Turkish remnants of the Gasterbeiter / guestworker era number only one in twnty four, or four million in total. While their enemies may crow ‘ four million too many’, it means the numbers are stacked against them in a country of around 80 million.
More than one in three Germans think their country is ‘swamped by foreigners’.
Is there something else also going on?
Is there a long term move to get rid of Turks and replace them with skilled Russians?
Germany is utterly dependent on Russian gas to power its manufacturing machine. Russia is dependent on Germany’s high technology goods.
So why not deepen that relationship by inviting cheaper, intelligent workers from outside the EU… from Ruble-land to Euro-land, since they are are not Turks or Islamic?
According to this line of thought, Lutheran Germany is fine with the Eastern Orthodox Church.
This would be anathema to London and Washington.
What a surprise then that British Prime Minister David Cameron has come out in favour of Turkish entry into the EU? What possible interest would the Right in the English home counties have for Turkey being inside the European tent?
Meanwhile, action man Nicolas Sarkozy tries to stitch together a Franco-German-Russian alliance, reminiscent of pre World War One maneoverings.
Big geo-political moves are afoot.
Meanwhile, except for Germany, the economy tanks, propped up only by funny money printed by Central banks.
The heart of free-market Neo-liberalism has stopped after thirty years but the Left have not got their alternative out onto the kitchen tables of the citizens. They have only just reached a few barricades in Paris and Athens.
Hardly Pan European.
Reality check: there is no big enough alternative force in place on a continental scale. The Left and Greens (not referring to the Irish kind) have not left the starting blocks.
The other side is doing all the running. With unemployment rising inexorably watched by a fearful public, powerful leaders can weave three games into one:
a) Islamophobia to wave a red rag in front of voters
b) Economic and military restructuring to drag Europe into the 21st century and loosen the embrace of the Atlantic powers.
c) the fallout of the collapse of the banks and the chance to impose draconian cuts on pensions, welfare and education to fund the bailout
Sweden’s three neighbours (Norway, Denmark and Finland) are used to Far Right politicians being elected to their legislatures. The Northern League has long been a permanent fixture in Italy (and that unfortunate land has had to live with Berlusconi!) Austria, Switzerland and Holland are host to influential inflammatory extremists.
France bans the burqa. Belgium follows. Spain narrowly survives a vote to do the same nationally though local councils have already been doing this.
With depression level unemplyment, how long before the ghosts of Franco are mixed with the 800 year experince of Islamic rule in Iberia to create a convenient backlash against Muslims?
Lest we forget, Iberia was the priginal launchpad of expulsions of Jews and Muslims in 1492. Is it ripe for a return of ancient hatreds?
Paradoxically for many internationalist Leftists and Greens, the presence of today’s separatists may be helping steam this tide with Madrid still the Old enemy rather than new coloured foreigners. So far. The ultra-Right, in its role of guardian to the State, is busily building its case and Madrid could well turn. It could get ugly on that peninsula.
What about Albion?
Looking from a distance, the English voter does not seem to ‘get it’. The remnants of the Left are still cheering their victory in getting rid of the BNP domestically in 2010, one year after the racists had captured the European stage and the airwaves.
Complacency rules the political commentariat. It is as if the English Channel will play its historic role of protecting the island from a wave from the mainland – this time of Far Rightist politicians.
The softly-extreme UKIP girds its loins for elections in eighteen months. How can we forget the Far Right of the Tory Party, heirs to Enock Powell?
For the moment, the dirty work is done by the English Defence League.
How long before the equivalent of an English Tea Party rises here?
With the tabloids shovelling coal into the furnace daily, the temperature is rising steadily.
The foundations of a broad Far Right platform are being laid. In time to appear just as the elite send the bulldozers in for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to demolish the welfare state.
When the cuts bite, the political agenda will be defined by benefits, housing and education and the competition for scarce state resources.
How difficult will it be to pen a narrative pointing at coloured foreigners, especially at Muslim ones, as ungrateful, unnecessary, ‘unlike us’ and undeserving of ‘our money’?
It’s coming and not too far down the line.
The familiar patronising Guardianista way of telling ‘white people in council estates’ not the vote ‘the wrong way’ will not work then.
An alternative message that carries punch and makes sense is the obvious solution. Problem is: who is going to deliver it?
Corpulent trade union leaders? Forget it.
The next generation of New Labour leaders, steeped in the politics of ditching principles to win elections at any cost? They need 13 years out of power to rid themselves of that virus?
The vast majority of the dominant political class is intellectually bankrupt. They drained the last drop of progressive thought over the last two decades as they embraced the free-market mantra. The word ‘progressive’ is used by politicians invading countries and propping up bankers.
The minority radical parties and groups on the better end of the spectrum are still too small, humstrung by the rotten electoral system. In US style politics, lefts and greens are not meant to shine.
That isn’t going to change anytime soon.
So what will happen? Time will tell. I expect nationalism to make a big entry this decade and change much of the rules. For good and bad.
The signs are not good then…………..