Five years ago Austria's most loved and hated politician of recent years Jörg Haider met his death at the wheel of a two ton car on a bendy road. The work of a Mossad death-squad, I was told by an Austrian academic earlier this year, using a laser beam to blind him. And either his drinks were spiked, or the female Mossad agent who checked his body for signs of life immediately after the crash, called 911 then disappeared never to be found, injected alcohol straight into his veins. This seems quite a popular opinion in Kärnten, whispered or spoken sotto voce rather than proclaimed. That Haider was an extremely corrupt politician there is no doubt; mafia money as well as millions from Saddam and Quaddafi. That Israel saw him as a threat and had him tracked is also no secret. And like the death of David Kelly there are many unanswered questions and the certainty that the government know more than they're saying but I'm not convinced of the assassination theory. I don't dismiss it, I just regard it as of equal probability as the McCanns having murdered their own daughter.
Haider's death certainly left a huge hole in Austrian politics and no politicians even remotely approaching his stature, charisma or populism on the stage. For this many Austrians are saddened. It's not a nation with much luck at producing charismatic leaders, with one obvious exception. Here's some solemn Austrian music of the kind that many will be playing in Kärnten today;