AfD mobilized irrational fears of future, especially in the east, say pollsters | In Depth | DW | 25.09.2017

Here’s a first-rate article from Germany’s DW. In their post-election analysis, researchers say that the Alternative for Germany‘s success cannot be reduced to any one particular group. Nonetheless, as a community, AfD supporters are unlike other German voters.

Source: AfD mobilized irrational fears of future, especially in the east, say pollsters | In Depth | DW | 25.09.2017

This article puts the AfD election success in context. There are six core threads emerging. Here are the main threads:

  1. The AfD is strong not just in the east, but also among younger eastern voters
  2. The AfD recruits significant support from former non-voters on the Internet
  3. The AfD’s success does not represent a massive lurch to the right
  4. The AfD is a protest party but not only that
  5. The AfD depends on fear of foreigners that is actually a fear of the modern world
  6. The AfD is fundamentally different from other German parties

Time will tell whether these are the only factors. For sure, Germany must face radical change in the workplace, like other advanced countries, and we must hope that those people most affected, especially the young, do not turn to the Far Right.

Since 1945, modern Germany has emerged as a beacon of democracy, with a balance of power between political classes, workers, business and the law, especially the Constitutional Court. Unfortunately, Germany’s post-war success is probably not sustainable for all. Whilst business and the wider economy will continue to grow and compete, Germany’s labour force will potentially become more hostile.



Opinion – G-20 Violence: Questions Remain after Hamburg Riots – SPIEGEL ONLINE

Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany

Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s an outstanding article from Spiegel. With the Hamburg summit now over, it highlights overshadowing by the violence on the streets outside, and Angela Merkel and the rest of the G-20 leaders managing to find mini-compromises on major issues. But it questions ‘Was it worth it’?

Source: G-20 Violence: Questions Remain after Hamburg Riots – SPIEGEL ONLINE

It reasons that despite the limited agreements on major issues, the Hamburg G20 was a major success in bringing world leaders together, citing the case of Putin and Trump.

But ahead of the election in Germany, the Hamburg violence will be embarrassing for Angela Merkel. The violence has become a political issue in Germany. Spiegel illustrates:

It’s no wonder, then, that representatives of the SPD and of Merkel’s conservatives have been trying to outdo each other in condemning the violence that took place. Merkel’s Chief of Staff Peter Altmaier has referred to it as “left-wing extremist terror” while Martin Schulz, the former European Parliament president who is running as the SPD’s candidate for chancellor, called the rioters “murderous arsonists.”

For me, Peter Altmaier’s comment about ‘left-wing extremist terror’ was significant. My mind quickly moved to growing left-wing radicalism in the UK. With both the Labour and Conservative Parties deeply divided, and both with weak and wobbly leaders, surely there’s a risk of left-wing extremist terror on British streets too? Are UK newspapers referring to ‘revolution in the UK’ really overstating the risks?