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Wednesday, 18 May 2016

German Left debates suspending elections / defying the Constitution

Der Spiegel is one of the few lefty organs for which I have a genuine regard. It has high journalistic principles and is strictly honest in a way that the Guardian, for instance, is not. Der Spiegel prints stories that often conflict with overt leftish interests, on the basis that if the German left loses honesty (as the British left has done) then it is finished. And thus it must have agonised a little about bringing into the light of day a fundamental debate that is being held amongst the German left. The question is whether the threat of German electors voting for AfD is great enough to justify suspending elections or contravening the 'eternal and cast iron' provisions of the post-war German constitution. 

I urge you to read a good piece by Dirk Kurbjuweit. He uses the jargon 'populist' to mean anyone getting more votes than Europe's old dying parties, and is open to the reality that the change in democratic opinion is not confined to Germany; France, Austria, Poland and Hungary are all moving in the same direction. But who decides when the people's democratic choice is undemocratic? Do the parties that occupy the centre-ground rejected by the voters have that right?

He is also frank that the insurgent parties are not members of the cosy and sclerotic political club that has run Europe into the ground over recent years - the new parties cannot be relied upon to join the cross-party institutional democratic corruption that has so befouled European democracy. And that is the real fear of Europe's entrenched establishment - and the stakes are high enough for them to subvert democracy, overturn constitutions and ride roughshod over democracy. 

To Der Spiegel, we must be thankful for the warning and hopeful that the malign powers will allow democracy to prevail - whatever the result.


mikebravo said...

It strikes me that people vote for "populist" parties and policies when they think that their concerns are not being listened to and acted upon.

They may well vote in a destructive leader or party but they will then have to bear the cost of their folly. Venezuela??.

Perhaps these things are needed for a democracy to survive. The voters need to educate themselves and be on guard against voting for those that do not represent their best interests.

How long will people go on voting for the scum party or the lying tories? They have been crapping on the people of this country since the 60's at least. They should have been replaced long ago. If not the parties, at least the MP's. Effing Lucretia Berger for gods sake!!!

CornCrake said...

A very thought provoking article Radders, thank you for bringing it to my/our attention.

Corruption of democracy has always been present in our political life here in the UK. Probably on a smaller scale since the end of WW2. However, it now seems to have accelerated in the past few decades, with the creation of the Westminister bubble.

Party first, personal power advancement and get on the gravy train ASAP now seem to be the norm with all our politicians. Waving two fingers at us as the train leaves the station.

Then they wonder why us plebs start looking to other means/parties to regain our, the people's, control of democracy.

Personally, I would like to see the power of re-call given to constituencies. It might not be the total answer to bringing our politicians back to earth but it may just act as a handbrake to make them join the real world with us.

On a more general observation i think we will live in very interesting times between the announcement of the referendum results and the next general election. Which I don't think we will see in 2020.

Mr Ecks said...

Bullets are cheaper than ballots and easier to count.

If they don't want ballots anymore--ie ignore what they don't like, well.....

Anonymous said...


"A post-democratic one that continues to have and to use all the institutions of democracy, but in which they increasingly become a formal shell. The energy and innovative drive pass away from the democratic arena and into small circles of a politico-economic elite! - political sociologist Colin Crouch, who coined the term in 2000.

Former EU commissioner Peter Mandelson is well known for using this term, because the status quo that is the EU demands it. Cameron may be playing the game but it was creatures like Mandelson who made the rules. Furthermore George Osborne was mentored by Peter Mandelson, and David Cameron is a big fan of Tony Blair. All of them are Third Way - as are the Clintons - all of them New World Order.

A United States of Europe is one stage short of a One World Government; a socio-political condition that requires obedience, not democracy.


Anonymous said...

Moral Relativism begets an ocean of feotid piss and upon it float the political and establishment turds and that's just Socialism.

The corporate claque, aka the Nazis, were, are just manipulative realists, they knew, know how to coerce, browbeat, inveigle, finagle people, politicians and nations - slush funds, lobbying and how does money talk!............. power corrupts, absolute power deforms the human mind - Bliar realized how much power he had, it was enough to tip him over the abyss of megalomania and Dave is getting there.

Ravenscar. said...

Oh and er btw Radders, can we see some new pics of Chez Raedwald CHQ 'Eastern Alpine fastness'?

Pretty please:-)

anon 2 said...

". . . we must be thankful for the warning and hopeful that the malign powers will allow democracy to prevail - whatever the result."

Gosh, Raedwald - I suspect irony, though! After all, if we think rightly, the malign powers should have no sway over us: unless we surrender to them.

Personally, I have neither respect nor liking for continental euroland -- and I prefer not to consider Britain european. I certainly will never bow to euro rule over Justice and Right in Britain - however they respond to naysayers.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

A somewhat depressing article, imho.

It is shot through with the assumptions that "left=good" and "right=bad", and the underlying views are quite clear:

1. People who don't support the leftist consensus are, sadly, misinformed and mistaken, and must be gently corrected - or if that doesn't work, simply sidelined.


2. Ultimately, if the people insist on voting for the wrong parties, democracy and the constitution that guarantees it will be set aside, regardless of eternity clauses.

It's a veiled and subtle threat (made more so by translation from the German, I guess), but it's still a threat.

Make no mistake: we may yet need to spill blood to get rid of these bastards.

Poisonedchalice said...

"The greatest arrogance, though, would be telling the voters that they voted for the wrong candidate because they don't know what is good for them. The defining characteristic of true champions of democracy is that they accept election results as they are because they take voters seriously. Anything else leads to a revolution."

You see, this is Cameron is going very wrong. He has fallen into the same trap as Blair and Brown in thinking he knows what is best for the people; and there is no such thing as the wisdom of crowds. Instead of spouting his lying tales of doom and destruction post Brexit, he should have been man enough and leader enough to say "whatever you decide, I will support you, no matter what". But he didn't did he!

Coney Island

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

Seems obvious that some folk have been taking Venezuelan holidays.

Anonymous said...

"whatever you decide, I will support you, no matter what".

But he didn't did he!

No shit.

#For the love of God!...... for, heaven forfend it, that, the little people cannot be allowed to decide - they're all fruitcakes and loonies! said the cunt known as 'cast iron Dave'.

Who also said, "I want to see the EU stretch as far as the Urals"

"I will renegotiate a new deal with EUrope"

"If you vote out it will mean WWIII!"

"Isis will come knocking...............oops! thanks to our open door"

Sitting in Doha the Gulf slave satrapy, speaking on al jizyah TV, he averred, "Britain's best interests ( meaning his personal interests) are best served, remaining as part (satrap) of the EU"

hinting that 'America was the senior partner during WWII'.

"I've just talked with Al Gore, man made warming is a major threat to the planet"...............

Aye, but which planet are you on, though - Dave?

Until, the green tosser disassociates himself from his Oxford baggage, his expert advisers and former instructors* like Letwin and other egregious fuckwits, Shapps, Feldman, Clarke, Tarzan, Major, Juncker, Merkel, Barry O'bama (good God) - what hope is there, for this fucking eejit?

None, I would posit. But the worst of it, is, that his champagne Socialist wifey Sammy - wears the trousers, just like the witch runs Bliar's life - the power behind the throne should never be discounted - any longer, currently, does no one read Shakespeare?


"The thing is this," one graduate laughs, "PPE is such a big subject that no one can ever know everything, so we all have to bullshit like mad at times to cover up our ignorance. And we by and large get away with it. So we carry on bullshitting once we leave Oxford and most of us are still getting away with it.[...]


Anonymous said...

Vene zulu holidays?

Nah, that would be Caracas.

James Higham said...

One gets the impression that there is much cynical intention in getting these groups riled. As if the conflagration is the end game and the parties just means to that.

Cascadian said...

"But who decides when the people's democratic choice is undemocratic? Do the parties that occupy the centre-ground rejected by the voters have that right?".......A very good question, that has already been answered several times, not least in Austria when a certain Mr Haider (sp?) was deposed for wrongthink, and repeated in various referenda until the "correct" answer was received.
Euroland is post-democratic, you are ruled by the chosen people, and herded as they see fit, you were better off as serfs.

Budgie said...

The old men in power now were the socialist/communist/Trotskyist/Maoist/Leninist/Stalinist students of the 1960s and 1970s who in the UK at least, passed the rule in the student unions: "No platform for Fascists". They then defined "fascist" as anyone to the "right" of Labour and even they were suspect.

Most students ignored the student union politicos. Unfortunately the politicos seem to have since climbed the greasy pole, without ditching their authoritarian and statist views. Perhaps we should have fought them rather than ignoring them.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

@Cascadian: it wasn't just Austria. Remember that the duly-elected Italian government was removed by the EU and replaced with a "technocracy"; remember also that when the Greek people gave the wrong answer, so loudly that their chosen government actually took office, pressure was applied (who knows what pressure, and how), to make them abjure their promises to the electorate and do the bidding of the Ubermenschen.

Perhaps Cameron knows that if he loses the referendum he will himself be replaced by some compliant coterie of EU appointees who can be trusted to toe the line properly? I wonder what constitutional figleaf would be used to make such an arrangement legal? I am sure they'd find something.

Anything is possible, it seems - except democracy, that is finished.

Cascadian said...

WY, I used Austria for obvious reasons, your examples amplify the message, and I thank you for them......"Anything is possible, it seems - except democracy, that is finished."