Fri Dec 15th, 2006 at 06:44:02 AM EST
German politics sometimes turn into soap opera.
Last Tuesday, the boss of the German Social Democrats (SPD), Kurt Beck, visited the Christmas market in Wiesbaden (capital of Hessen state) for a photo op. As he was there, Henrico F., a jobless man and member of the Left Party, started to shout abuse at him, and "thanked" him for Harz IV (a 'reform' that cut benefits for many). Which Beck, not a member of the left wing of his party, countered thus:
|Sie sehen nicht so aus, als ob sie in ihrem Leben schon viel gearbeitet haben. Wenn Sie sich waschen und rasieren, haben Sie in drei Wochen einen Job.||You don't look like you have worked much in your life. If you wash and shave yourself, you'll get a job in three weeks.|
Now the fun part is that this wasn't the end of the story. For Henrico F. replied:
|Ich wasche und rasiere mich und komme dann bei Ihnen in der Staatskanzlei vorbei.||I will wash and shave myself and will cruise up at your state office.|
And so he did:
Beck was enough of a media politician to know how to turn this for his own benefit: he promised publicly to seek a job for the man.
The reality behind this soap opera is more than four million jobless people in Germany, many of them desperate, many of them jobless due to restructurings directly or indirectly effected by government policies -- and facing widespread prejudice that "unemployed people are just lazy". So widespread that even supposedly leftist politicians share it.
In other news from Germany: a notorious everything-phobe from Saxony announced he leaves his party. Quips member of parliament Henry Nitzsche aired and his party bosses for long tried to sweep under the carpet:
|Deutschland dürfe nie wieder von Multi-Kulti-Schwuchteln in Berlin regiert werden!||Germany should never again be governed by multi-culture faggots from Berlin! |
[referring to the previous Red-Green government and Berlin's gay SPD major]
|Patriotismus ist gebraucht, um endlich vom Schuldkult runterzukommen||Patriotism is needed to get out of the cult of guilt at last |
[referring to the discussion of the Holocaust in Germany]
|Eher wird einem Moslem die Hand abfaulen, als daß er bei der Christlich-Demokratischen Union sein Kreuz auf den Wahlzettel macht.||A Muslim will let his hand rot off before he draws a cross on his election ballot for the CDU.|
|Arbeit, Familie, Vaterland!||Work, Family, Fatherland!|
[his 2005 election slogan; a year earlier the neonazi NPD party's slogan, originally the Vichy regime's slogan]
Why do the worst conservative politicians always look just like we imagine them?