Monday, July 18, 2005

The Left Party: New Conservative Movement in Germany?

The blog decides to second Dr Sigismund Heuschrecke, the "capitalist locust" communications guru, to the hard-left WASG party, and its Stalinist East German partner, the PDS.

These parties are the only true conservatives in the upcoming German election, and the only movement with a fighting chance of turning the clocks back a good fifty years. They will insulate us against the modern world with a host of exciting initiatives:

- bring back the class war;
- beef up protectionism;
- punitive redistributive taxtation;
- send East Germany back into a communist ghetto.

The effect of all this admirable atavism will be entirely positive, the blog believes. For one thing, it is likely that the servant problem will be dealt with for once and for all. Hopeless poverty will engulf the 5 million German unemployed, and they will be looking desperately for work of even the most humiliating kind. That will solve all Lady von E's headaches about recruiting a brace of second under-footmen. And thousands of beautiful castles - currently on the market in East Germany at prices as low as a couple of euros - will become even cheaper, allowing the blog to maintain a few more hunting lodges, discreet harems, goose-liver stuffing factories, knocking shops, and the like. The opportunities are literally unending.

But the challenge facing Dr Heuschrecke is enormous.

"It doesn't look good," he mutters, grimly scanning a picture of Oscar "the Bolter" Lafontaine, the twinkly-eyed, shifty-looking leader of the WASG. Lafontaine may indeed appear to be the most appalling shit, but appearances can deceive. Keep him off the politics, says Heuschrecke, and he's a perfectly agreeable chap.

The great joke about Lafontaine is that he resigned right at the start of the first Schroeder administration. There was some unpleasantness, with Chancellor Schroeder wanting to be nice to "business", and Lafontaine wanting to be nasty. Lafontaine looked like losing out. He shrank back, aghast, from the levers of power. Recently, he has also left the SPD party (whose chairman he once was). Hence his nickname, "the Bolter."

Now the Bolter is aiming to ally his WASG party to the jolly Stalinists of the PDS, who have just changed their name to Die Linkspartei (The Left Party). Whilst this name might have the trusted sound of a tedious play by Harold Pinter, it is, Dr Heuschrecke opines, hardly going to electrify the punters. Should a merger happen, Dr Heuschrecke is tossing a few alternatives in the air, such as "The New Conservatives" or "The Popular Front".

One thing is clear. Whilst these people may only have some 11% support in the national opinion polls, in the former East, this rises to 31% - the largest party. But if Dr Heuschrecke brings some rigour to their communications, and steers the Bolter away from excessive tendency to talk politics, they might attract a sizeable protest vote.

They will strike a great blow against the poor, and condemn the late working class to permanent, state-sponsored servitude. It may seem a high price to pay to furnish Lady von E with her second under-footmen. But we think it's more than worth it!

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