Monday, June 08, 2009

DAYS OF WEIMAR


"Mr Goldman?" she called. "Are you all right?"
He paused by the pump and looked at her. 'No, I'm not, Mrs Langstone. How can I be? I'm frightened."
He raised his hat in farewell and a moment later was out of sight. It was only as Lydia was letting herself into the house that she realized what he had meant.
He was not frightened of the uniformed thugs in the undercroft. 
He was not even frightened for himself.
He was frightened of what the uniformed thugs stood for.
He was frightened on behalf of all those people who stood in their way.
He was frightened of the future.

Bleeding Heart Square: Andrew Taylor [page 396]

5th German Federal Election 20 May 1928
National Socialist German Workers Party NSDAP [Nazis]      2.6% of vote

United Kingdom European Elections results 8 June 2009
British National Party BNP                                                                   6.5% of vote

In Yorkshire and Humberside the BNP received                        9.8% of vote

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing: Edmund Burke 

10 Comments:

Blogger Philip said...

A vital, vital point so clearly expressed, Norman. I am in utter dismay at the results of these elections in Britain and on the Continent, because of the success of the far-right and for a number of other reasons besides, the nub of the matter being that the only change in all this is for the very worst. Anyone who asks me about this today had better have a few hours to spare. I'm incensed by the whole thing.

3:09 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

If I think about this any more Philip my blood pressure will go through the roof. I am totally distressed with regard to the success of the BNP but more by the total failure of the main stream parties to understand some of the reasons for this success.
They seem to think they will counter them by simply shouting "don't vote for them they are racists". In fact what is required is a more thoughtful approach with perhaps some modifications of the policies that the indigenous population feel are unjust in the field of employment.

4:21 AM  
Blogger Dorte H said...

A very thoughtful quotation, and sadly also very relevant in my country.

9:03 AM  
Blogger crimeficreader said...

I am not as worried as you because I think the end quote has been implemented to the opposite effect thus far. In not giving them airtime in the media; in mainstream parties not wishing to share a platform with them for open debate; they have effectively been silenced to the underground where they have continued to network. I don’t believe for one minute they have a big following; I think that on this occasion they have picked up a number of protest votes to propel them forward. Now that they have two seats, we may actually be able to hear them first hand and I’m sure that their words will repulse normal people.

As for the protest votes, look at the locations in which they have achieved these seats. Both are in the north of England, a place of suffering in terms of redundancies and unemployment. Was it last year or earlier this year that there was a strike because a contract for some shipping work had gone to an overseas company and the company was literally shipping in foreign workers? This was at the time when the hapless Brown called for countries across the globe to avoid protectionism but managed the Freudian slip of also telling us he’d seek jobs for the Brits. Thus our ever open doors on our borders are close to the hearts of some and I’m sure that will have led to protest votes.

Ditto, the extent of multiculturalism in places in the north, where some have also proven to be the birth ground of some who have ended up recruited in terrorist attacks. This may also have led to protest votes.

When these guys have a platform and we hear from them, their own words will be their downfall. Griffin has a strange view of democracy already noted. On winning, he has said that he will not represent black and Asian constituents, I believe – cannot find the media article right now – because the other parties are doing that.

Do you remember the time when Gerry Adams could only be seen on the TV and not heard? Then a voiceover was allowed. When, eventually, we could hear him word for word, I for one, could not understand a word he said. He seemed to go around in circles and say nothing of construct. (A talent repeated recently when he answered to the DT on their ACA claims, even though they’ve never taken their seats in the commons.)

If people get to hear enough of the first hand reality of the BNP in their own words, the truth will out. Some will regret their protest votes too.

I think we ought to be worried but not fearful. The fact that the country has voted in the way it has across the board indicates to me that the anger you can read on newspaper forums and in comments is real and people are saying enough is enough for the way politics is run in this country. People actually do want people to represent them who concentrate on the real issues of the day like the economy. They realise, because of their own household budgets, that spending your way out of a recession, based on more borrowing does not make sense. For me, I see people voting to draw a line at this time, with underlying sense.

I may be wrong of course! But I hope not.

One of the saddest things has to be that on the weekend of the 65th D-Day commemorations, the BNP gained two seats at the European parliament representing this country. I hope that most of those who made protest votes in their favour come to their senses. Teaching a bit of our history in schools would be a decent start.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

Great post Norman, it made me very sad.

12:54 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Thanks Donna I too am very sad, but also afraid that by ignoring the concerns of the indigenous population you play into the hands of those who promise easy solutions.

Rhian we have a big advantage over the people in the 1930s in that we know what happened in the past. But I am not as sure as you that the BNP is just a protest vote. There were many ways to register a protest in this election against the big parties. Our ballot paper in the South West was almost as tall as me.
The danger is that Griffin and Brons now funded by the taxpayer will sound "reasonable" and if we slip further into recession the unemployed and the newly impoverished will out of sheer desperation fall into the trap of believing them.
Employment policies that attempt to redress past discrimination are dangerous in that they give the BNP something to pick on and claim they only want a level playing field.
The situation is extremely worrying as we have a PM who does not have a mandate and this brings democracy into disrepute.

2:16 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Dorte have the extremists gained seats in your election as well ?

2:21 PM  
Blogger Dorte H said...

It may be unfair to call Danish Folkeparti an extremist party, but in my opinion they are. Denmark has taken a sad turn to the right for the last 10-15 years, and the absolute winner of the election (with 250,000 votes which is an astonishing victory in DK) is a young man who was recently accused of ´hailing´ and singing Nazi songs in a Danish restaurant. I wasn´t there so I don´t know how much of it is true but still ...

2:30 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Thanks Dorte. Interesting and worrying.

2:38 PM  
Blogger crimeficreader said...

Norm, more tomorrow as I am feeling bushed and in the middle of a post of my own. But for now, please don't think they will sound "reasonable". They won't. They can't. They are not.

Think of all the votes that went elsewhere - other than to Labour. The electorate is saying "enough is enough" and both the Tories and the LibDems, and the nationalist parties in Wales and Scotland come to that, have been implicated in the DT's reporting on expenses - negatively.

This is a vote about policies not working for the electorate. This is a vote about non-delivery of promises. This is vote saying the dire economy is not recoverable in the hands of Labour.

On the TV earlier today, a reporter was in Wales at a Labour Club and members were saying they did not vote. That was their protest. It's in the DNA in regions of Wales to vote Labour, so that is a protest vote - staying at home. The members cited redundancy and unemployment.

I think the electorate, at all levels of interest, is now proving that words of spin are not actions with the desired result and that "the end of boom and bust" was just hyperbole. Everyone is aware, because they feel it, are living it, or read it, that outside parties have said the UK was not best prepared for a downturn due to borrowing.

And if it proves you didn't hack the Treasury, then you can't hack the leadership of this country into recovery. That's what matters most to all.

The expenses reporting and debacle, the elections, the divides in Labour all detract from what matters most to all: the economy and jobs.

I know I have a vested interest in that, but 50-odd year old men who have just been made redundant from the manufacturing industries have more to feel strongly about and fear than I do.

I still don't believe this EU vote was about hate and fascism. It was about protecting and making the most of ourselves and recovering our economy.

As GB said the "end of boom and bust" and led us into the biggest bust of all time, is it any surprise that people feel he lacks credibility?

More tomorrow. If you're up for it Norm! I am on a roll at the mo... I read too many political blogs! Too frequently...

2:40 PM  

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