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Left Party leader sparks communism controversy

German guy

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While America is struggling with a controversy about debate culture, Germany has an entirely different, yet strangely familiar problem:

What happened? Gesine Lötzsch, co-chairwoman of the socialist Left Party (currently 4th strongest out of 5 parties in the parliament with 11.9% of the votes in 2009) said:



Quote:
"The path to communism can only be found if we hit the road and try it out, whether in the opposition or in government."

She did so in an article for the far-left newspaper "Jungle World", where she also honored the communist revolutionaries Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, who attempted to erect a Soviet Republic in Germany in 1918/19.

Also, she had planned a debate panel together with a former terrorist of the communist terror group RAF ("Red Army Faction") that committed several robberies, kidnappings, murders and even hijacked a plane in 1970s' West Germany, which almost caused the resignation of a government, and with a member of the splinter party DKP (German Communist Party).

(I've read the article and my personal impression is that her rhetoric is more radical than the actual content, paying a lot of tribute to historic figureheads of far-left wingnuts, but what she says is rather prone to well-meaning interpretations in her favor that suggest she rather was after reconciling the far-left with parliamentarism, than vice versa. But still ...)

So what's the reaction?

Apparently, not even her own party is happy with her statements and many prominent members did a lot to distance themselves from her statements.

Thuringia Left Party party leader Bodo Ramelow said: "Millions of citizens have been killed in the name of communism. This must always be a part of the conversation, and must always be made clear".

Berlin Left Party member of parliament Stefan Liebich: "If you're going to sit down at a podium with a former RAF terrorist and the leader of the German Communist Party, then the least you should do is say very clearly that a lot of crimes were committed in the name of communism, from which we distance ourselves very explicitly", in an interview for a radio station.

Of course, the other four parties immediately jumped on Lötzsch and the Left Party and used this huge opportunity Lötzsch's interview has given: "Communism as a national objective clearly reveals the unconstitutional convictions of the leadership of the Left party," said a member of Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU), suggesting the Left Party should be observed by the Verfassungsschutz ("Office for Protection of the Constitution", a kind of "German NSA" which also observes neo-Nazis and potential terrorists).

Across all parties and the mainstream media, Lötzsch's comments were condemned and often used to attack her entire party.

Lötzsch, facing this mess she had created, backpedaled just a bit: "My political goal is democratic socialism, as I described it in this article: peaceful, democratic and free from exploitation for all people".

Well.

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,14756015,00.html

Considering the harsh reactions even from within her party, it's safe to say that even within the Left Party, many people are no longer fond of communism -- at any rate not among its voters, their numbers dropped in recent polls (down to 8% from ca. 12%).

The socialist Left Party was formed in 2007, when the successor of the former communist state party in East Germany, PDS, merged with a West German left-wing split-off from the center-left Social Democrats (SPD). In the last national election, it has won 11.9% of the votes in entire Germany, but regionally up to 30% in former East Germany.
 
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Republic_Of_Public

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Jungle World sounds about right.

Could part of this be because Germany was once divided and that there are bound to be some idiots still taking the party line like it was the straight truth? Looks like it, though experience has disgusted others in her party, if nothing else. Left wing dreams can be shattered by experience, as a drop-off in support for communism during Lenin's first purges proved.

Could part of it be due to a faulty perception of far-leftiness being equated with a somehow valid youthful rebellion or angst?
An 'alternative culture'? I've seen scores of kids wearing Che Guevara shirts without being molested, yet young fascists can't enjoy the same freedom with a Musslolini shirt! Such an attitude would doubtless hold over into later life for many leftists.

Indeed our own Labour Party has been riddled with communists. (Then they talk about the BNP as extremists and fascists!)



NEW LABOUR'S COMMUNIST HERITAGE AND PRIDE
(DOCU-SKIT):



"Millions of citizens have been killed in the name of communism. This must always be a part of the conversation, and must always be made clear".
Part of the package isn't it, sweetie? Though some commie posters even here, like neo-nazis, can't face what their politics won't let them:

http://www.debatepolitics.com/europ...nst-oppression-anybody-else-see-oxymoron.html



"My political goal is democratic socialism, as I described it in this article: peaceful, democratic and free from exploitation for all people".
They say that when they want to get in. Then the rules change when they do. Funny how communists don't play the game yet expect everyone else to.
 

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Could part of this be because Germany was once divided and that there are bound to be some idiots still taking the party line like it was the straight truth? Looks like it, though experience has disgusted others in her party, if nothing else.
That's a good point and my impression as well: At least in East Germany, there are still quite a few GDR-nostalgics. Most of them older people, though, people who had their best times in life in times of communist dictatorship. Chances are, this brand of Stalinists will die out over time.

But I believe their word when the Left Party leadership claims they have accepted our liberal, democratic political system and parliamentarism. Most of the time, they behaved accordingly, so I give them the benefit of the doubt.

Also, the Left Party is a rather heterogenous bunch: You find moderate union people in there, individualist pacifists, democratic socialists but also radical communists, you find sectist ideologues and pragmatic people, dreamers and realists. Apparently, even within that party, quite a few people were alienated by Lötzsch's article. So the party had no choice but backpedaling, since they didn't want to alienate the more moderate party members and voters.

Could part of it be due to a faulty perception of far-leftiness being equated with a somehow valid youthful rebellion or angst? [/I]An 'alternative culture'? I've seen scores of kids wearing Che Guevara shirts without being molested, yet young fascists can't enjoy the same freedom with a Musslolini shirt! Such an attitude would doubtless hold over into later life for many leftists.
You're right, in my impression, questionable leftist symbols and attitudes enjoy more leeway than according right-wing attitudes. Personally, I am not happy this is the case.

But it's also understandable, if you ask me: Unlike fascism or Nazism, leftism at least has honorable goals. Eliminating poverty is not a bad goal, if you ask me, unlike, for example, establishing racial segregation, genocide or slavery. So it's probably understandable more people fall for it.
 

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Unlike fascism or Nazism, leftism at least has honorable goals.
Goals which Che or Castro obviously attained, especially with all that shooting! And to trying and 'abolish poverty' is only relative. If you take the wealth from the rich man, too little to spread and improve the lot of the poor man, everybody's poor and 'equal'. The communist government can then claim 'job done'.

Communism's for dupes and socialism only seems to lack the true secret state police. And like Nazism and fascism, leftism promotes a bright and happy tomorrow with everybody well catered for, but delivers death and destruction and tension around the world.
 

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Goals which Che or Castro obviously attained, especially with all that shooting! And to trying and 'abolish poverty' is only relative. If you take the wealth from the rich man, too little to spread and improve the lot of the poor man, everybody's poor and 'equal'. The communist government can then claim 'job done'.

Communism's for dupes and socialism only seems to lack the true secret state police. And like Nazism and fascism, leftism promotes a bright and happy tomorrow with everybody well catered for, but delivers death and destruction and tension around the world.
Sure, you're right about what you say. But still I'd say eliminating poverty is a noble goal, and what made communism so horrible was not that goal, but the means that were taken on the way to reach that goal, which was never actually reached anyway.

A world without poverty is a nice idea, isn't it? Unlike the idea of a racial pure nation that enslaves all other people and committs genocide on millions (at least for me. I don't know, maybe you find the latter goal more appealing). So it doesn't take me wonder people identify with the goal of eliminating poverty, but are too naive or are lacking history knowledge and/or common sense to realize communism is not a suitable way to achieve that goal.

When Marx pointed to poverty in the working class, you have to admit he at least posed a valid, important question, even if we disagree with his answer.
 

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A world without poverty is a nice idea. But we're stuck with it 'til we reach a situation where there's a job for every good person and no politician wants to punish other people for having more than someone else.

Though one point is that nowhere in Hitler's election leaflets did he mention killing jews and lebensraum. Though he was open in his antisemitism, he promoted Nazism as a power to the people thing too. For example, he promised to curb the powers of big business, give every German a job and some pride, plus to see his country independent from the Versailles Treaty again.

By and large, the pre-power communists and Nazis behaved the same, insofar as there were riots on the streets, promises of punishments for dissidents as well as an open dislike for democracy. In power we got what we know of.
 

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As far as I know, Hitler did reveal that he wanted German world dominance, colonies, "Lebensraum" in the East and segregating the Jews/expelling them from Germany, in "Mein Kampf", which was published in the 1920s already. He was very open about it. Just nobody took it seriously and thought it's just one more bold book by a shrill politician.

And he didn't reveal he actually planned to *murder* all Jews. But his plan to make Germany "judenfrei" was well known, IIRC.
 

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Also, the Left Party is a rather heterogenous bunch: You find moderate union people in there, individualist pacifists, democratic socialists but also radical communists....

Most of the time, they behaved accordingly, so I give them the benefit of the doubt.

Over 1 million voters gave the BNP the benefit of the doubt at the last Euro elections and they're a rather hetrogenous bunch too. But that didn't stop the roar of protest and riot against them which is queerly absent from the Communist Party's activities here. Perhaps our political establishment could stop putting Nick Griffin in court and trying to close his party down or the German Establishment should try doing the same with the Left Party.

Though I will give the Left Party this credit: They seemingly try living up to their name as widely as the remit could stretch!
 
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Over 1 million voters gave the BNP the benefit of the doubt at the last Euro elections and they're a rather hetrogenous bunch too. But that didn't stop the roar of protest and riot against them which is queerly absent from the Communist Party's activities here. Perhaps our political establishment could stop putting Nick Griffin in court and trying to close his party down or the German Establishment should try doing the same with the Left Party.
That I'm giving most leading Left Party politicians the benefit of the doubt doesn't mean I'd vote for them ever. I'd rather vote for the conservatives, than considering voting for the Left Party! :D

And don't worry, the Left Party is observed by the Verfassungsschutz (German NSA) in some states, along with neo-Nazi groups or islamists. If there was enough evidence to support the accusation the Left Party is plotting to topple the democratic system or commit violence, it could be banned and their members prosecuted. That this isn't happening is apparently because the Verfassungsschutz believes they are mostly harmless.

Also, I don't think banning the Left Party is a good idea. They do a good job integrating old GDR nostalgics into the parliamentary, democratic system. Those old Stalinists trust the Left Party leadership, and when these leaders say it's a good thing to play by democratic rules, run in elections and change the country peacefully, many of those nostalgics are likely to go along, they are less likely to revolt and may even reluctantly embrace our free system.

The same happened with former low-rank Nazis in the 1950s and 60s, when the conservative CDU/CSU integrated them. Many of them soon embraced democratic parliamentarism and the free system.

That may make the respective party ugly, and I might not be willing to vote for them, but globally, they are doing a valuable job of winning old authoritarians over for our free system.
 

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Over 1 million voters gave the BNP the benefit of the doubt at the last Euro elections and they're a rather hetrogenous bunch too. But that didn't stop the roar of protest and riot against them which is queerly absent from the Communist Party's activities here. Perhaps our political establishment could stop putting Nick Griffin in court and trying to close his party down or the German Establishment should try doing the same with the Left Party.

Though I will give the Left Party this credit: They seemingly try living up to their name as widely as the remit could stretch!
It is odd that it seems to have escaped your notice that there is a left of centre tradition and history in the UK that goes back to groups such as the Levellers and the Chartists. I suspect that there are few Revolutionary Socialists or Communists left in the UK and my experience is that there is now a broadly democratic socialist tradition that encompasses Socialist and Communist parties.

When you vote for a Socialist or Communist party in the UK it stands for what it says on the tin. The reason that the BNP gets such a hard time is because no one believes that they say what they mean which reminds me of Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) and "They came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.....". Oppose them now so that they don't come for the Slavs when they have finished with the Muslims, Liberals, Gypsies, Jews, Communists....
 
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"They came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.....".

That, at least, can be forgiven because communists are just as heinous a bunch of evil, mass-murdering b******s as the Nazis were when allowed in charge. When the communists and Nazis divided Poland, oppression, dispossession, murder and deportation followed on either side of the Brest-Litovsk fence.

Street thuggery, famine, shootings, concentration camps, mind control and destabilising international power struggles... communist country to communist country, it's the same old story to whatever degree.

No wonder we're stable and intelligent enough not to have a mainstream communist political culture, though there are many communist splinter parties here.
 
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William Rea

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....No wonder we're stable and intelligent enough not to have a mainstream communist political culture, though there are many communist splinter parties here.
Out of curiosity, which "we" is it that you are referring to?
 

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That's a good point and my impression as well: At least in East Germany, there are still quite a few GDR-nostalgics. Most of them older people, though, people who had their best times in life in times of communist dictatorship. Chances are, this brand of Stalinists will die out over time--
Where there not equally a number of East German nazi and ultra hard right movements? The freedoms won by the end of the Soviet Empire simply saw different repressed groups suddenly given oxygen of freedom; ironically, the freedom to propose taking other people's freedoms away if their policies became popular.

-- Perhaps our political establishment could stop putting Nick Griffin in court and trying to close his party down --
Not to derail the thread, do you have examples of where the political establishment have tried to unfairly or incorrectly tried putting Nick Griffin in jail or close his party down?

Goals which Che or Castro obviously attained, especially with all that shooting! And to trying and 'abolish poverty' is only relative. If you take the wealth from the rich man, too little to spread and improve the lot of the poor man, everybody's poor and 'equal'. The communist government can then claim 'job done'.

Communism's for dupes and socialism only seems to lack the true secret state police. And like Nazism and fascism, leftism promotes a bright and happy tomorrow with everybody well catered for, but delivers death and destruction and tension around the world.
An "ideal" is not the same as the "method" used to achive it - you can have any ideal you wish but if you enforce it against another's wishes or free will then your ideal becomes tyranny. That goes for any religious political and or social ideal held by any group.
 

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Where there not equally a number of East German nazi and ultra hard right movements? The freedoms won by the end of the Soviet Empire simply saw different repressed groups suddenly given oxygen of freedom; ironically, the freedom to propose taking other people's freedoms away if their policies became popular.
Yes. The political landscape in East Germany is still much more volatile than in the West, even 20 years after Reunification, which means people in the East vote a little more radical, and there are many more "flip voters" (people who don't vote for an established party out of "tradition", but don't feel really connected to a particular party, but switch from one election to the next). On top of that, turnout is usually lower in the East than in the West (although it's still rather high compared to American standards).

Most imporant, the socialist Left Party, successor of the former communist state party, is very strong in the East. In many states, it's even the 2nd strongest party. That means results of up to 30% of the votes for the Left Party (compared to only 4% to 8% in West German states). In the 2009 election, the Left Party won 28.5% in the five East German states, but only 8.3% in the West.

Technically, the Left Party is no longer a stalinist or communist party (as mentioned in the OP), but a party of "democratic socialism" that has reformed in 1989/90, threw the old Stalinists out and put the "German Gorbachevs" in power, but it's still more leftist than the other parties and at least has a communist wing whose chairwoman is member of the party leadership committee. One reason for the relative success of the Left Party in the East may be a prevalent "Eastalgia" among a part of the East German population: They have rosy memories of GDR times, but feel disappointed with the new system (often, because of bad prospects, unemployment and so on, which is almost twice as high than in the West) and thus vote the old state party.

Neo-Nazi and far-right ideas are more prevalent in the East than in the West as well. About half of the 9000 members of the neo-Nazi party "National Democrats" (NPD) live in the two structurally weak East German states of Saxony and Mecklenburg, where that party scored a success d'estime, entering the parliament with 5.6% (Saxony 2009) and 7.3% respectively (Mecklenburg 2007) -- but the NPD did not manage to win enough votes to enter the parliament on national level (only 1.5% of the votes in 2009), especially because they usually win only 0.x% in the West, which drags down their national numbers, because 80% of the Germans live in the West.

In some rural areas in the East, neo-Nazi violence is a real problem. "Comradeships" of neo-Nazis, usually unemployed young men with few prospects, are often involved in violent crimes. There were even several cases when immigrants (although in these regions, there hardly are immigrants, due to bad prospects there) were chased, attacked and even murdered by an angry mob of neo-Nazis. That's why I'd rather advice tourists, who look visibly "non-native-German" (blacks, Asians, "southern types"), to avoid small towns in rural East Germany.
 

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-- Neo-Nazi and far-right ideas are more prevalent in the East than in the West as well. About half of the 9000 members of the neo-Nazi party "National Democrats" (NPD) live in the two structurally weak East German states of Saxony and Mecklenburg, where that party scored a success d'estime, entering the parliament with 5.6% (Saxony 2009) and 7.3% respectively (Mecklenburg 2007) -- but the NPD did not manage to win enough votes to enter the parliament on national level (only 1.5% of the votes in 2009), especially because they usually win only 0.x% in the West, which drags down their national numbers, because 80% of the Germans live in the West.
Have you noticed any similarity in other former Soviet Bloc countries?

I travelled around Slovakia, Poland and northern Hungary every summer for 3-4 years and saw little evidence of such movements there. I find it strange that Germany which is also the main powerhouse of Europe would have such groups. Especially because employment prospects in Germany would (on face value) be better in Germany than somewhere like the Czech Republic.

--In some rural areas in the East, neo-Nazi violence is a real problem. "Comradeships" of neo-Nazis, usually unemployed young men with few prospects, are often involved in violent crimes. There were even several cases when immigrants (although in these regions, there hardly are immigrants, due to bad prospects there) were chased, attacked and even murdered by an angry mob of neo-Nazis. That's why I'd rather advice tourists, who look visibly "non-native-German" (blacks, Asians, "southern types"), to avoid small towns in rural East Germany.
Similar groups seem to have grown in Russia (particularly Moscow) where Eastern Russians and other immigrants have been brutally murdered by such far right extreme groups.
 

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Out of curiosity, which "we" is it that you are referring to?
The UK. We have the Communist Party, Revolutionary Communist Party, etc.



Not to derail the thread, do you have examples of where the political establishment have tried to unfairly or incorrectly tried putting Nick Griffin in jail or close his party down?
And myself not to hold a man with a past like Griffin's up as a folk hero, but the two 'wicked vicious faith' trials he came away from, with nowt but acquittals then Not Guilties, suggest only pointless trials to slap a man speaking his mind. For a man with Griffin's minute influence, the effort and taxpayers' money spent was reckless.

Then the second (also failed) ECHR trial against the BNP itself, for its already amended constitution after the first court case under the new Department, makes the whole Trevor Phillips thing look like a vendetta. Especially when Operation Black Vote's Simon Wooley said on one TV news report I saw that his aim was to close the BNP down.

They haven't won much recently but they can still boast they win in court.
____________________

Though the link is down at the mo', I'm sure this one was indeed the news footage of WOOLEY'S QUOTE: http://www.truthtube.tv/play.php?vid=2254




An "ideal" is not the same as the "method" used to achive it
If you know of a Communist country with no poverty, state control of every social and political aspect of life, 'punishment' of dissidents or the jaded, not to mention indoctrination of kids into hating the 'decadent' Western capitalists, then maybe I could induct in your class and get a school trip there for a look at this ultra-rare novelty.
 

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Have you noticed any similarity in other former Soviet Bloc countries?

I travelled around Slovakia, Poland and northern Hungary every summer for 3-4 years and saw little evidence of such movements there. I find it strange that Germany which is also the main powerhouse of Europe would have such groups. Especially because employment prospects in Germany would (on face value) be better in Germany than somewhere like the Czech Republic.

Similar groups seem to have grown in Russia (particularly Moscow) where Eastern Russians and other immigrants have been brutally murdered by such far right extreme groups.
I'm not sure about "grassroot" mobs like neo-Nazi "comradeships", but from what I've read, it seems several former East Bloc countries at least have or had some trouble with chauvinist political opinions and parties. In Poland, there was that ultra-Catholic far-right party ("Party of Polish Families" or something like that) which included anti-Semitism and fueled hatred against Germany and Russia even more than the Kaczynski brother did. And the Kaczynskis' party, in a coalition with the Catholic radicals, regularly ranted against homosexuals and made laws to discriminate them. When one of the brothers was mayor of Warsaw, he banned the Christopher Street Day and then ordered the police to club down those gays who showed up despite the ban.

And I think in Slovakia, there was a radical party or movement that was based on hatred against the Hungarian minority ... or was it vice versa?

In Romania, a far-right Nazi party has won around 15% in the last election. IIRC, their main target are "gipsies". They allied with the French Front National and Italy's Allessandra Mussolini (Benito's granddaughter) in the European parliament at first, but when those started hateful rants against allegedly criminal Romanian immigrants in France and Italy, this cooperation ended.

In Serbia, angry mobs aided by the police mashed up a gay pride parade in Belgrade last year, many were wounded, some even killed, IIRC.

So I think a certain prevalence of far-right chauvinism in East Germany is not unlike that in other former East Bloc countries, just that it has a particular German twist to it here.

At any rate, I've often heard and read that the Iron Curtain still pretty much exists when it comes to homosexuality: Even in former East Bloc countries which are fairly liberal on other fields, homosexuals are still not tolerated and face hatred and discrimination unheard of in the West.
 

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I'm not sure about "grassroot" mobs like neo-Nazi "comradeships", but from what I've read, it seems several former East Bloc countries at least have or had some trouble with chauvinist political opinions and parties. In Poland, there was that ultra-Catholic far-right party ("Party of Polish Families" or something like that) which included anti-Semitism and fueled hatred against Germany and Russia even more than the Kaczynski brother did. And the Kaczynskis' party, in a coalition with the Catholic radicals, regularly ranted against homosexuals and made laws to discriminate them. When one of the brothers was mayor of Warsaw, he banned the Christopher Street Day and then ordered the police to club down those gays who showed up despite the ban.

And I think in Slovakia, there was a radical party or movement that was based on hatred against the Hungarian minority ... or was it vice versa?

In Romania, a far-right Nazi party has won around 15% in the last election. IIRC, their main target are "gipsies". They allied with the French Front National and Italy's Allessandra Mussolini (Benito's granddaughter) in the European parliament at first, but when those started hateful rants against allegedly criminal Romanian immigrants in France and Italy, this cooperation ended.

In Serbia, angry mobs aided by the police mashed up a gay pride parade in Belgrade last year, many were wounded, some even killed, IIRC.

So I think a certain prevalence of far-right chauvinism in East Germany is not unlike that in other former East Bloc countries, just that it has a particular German twist to it here.

At any rate, I've often heard and read that the Iron Curtain still pretty much exists when it comes to homosexuality: Even in former East Bloc countries which are fairly liberal on other fields, homosexuals are still not tolerated and face hatred and discrimination unheard of in the West.
Do you hear much news regarding Socialist/Communist groupings and "queer-bashing"? How about Socialist/Communist groups and "Paki-bashing", "Nigger-baiting" or plain everyday racially motivated harrassment?
 

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Do you hear much news regarding Socialist/Communist groupings and "queer-bashing"? How about Socialist/Communist groups and "Paki-bashing", "Nigger-baiting" or plain everyday racially motivated harrassment?
Not that I'm aware of. But the successors of the former communist state party in Germany, the Left Party and its supporters, are not into that, at any rate. From what I know, they are fairly tolerant when it comes to immigrants or homosexuals. But they don't especially emphasize it either, unlike the Greens or libertarians.
 

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-- And myself not to hold a man with a past like Griffin's up as a folk hero, but the two 'wicked vicious faith' trials he came away from, with nowt but acquittals then Not Guilties, suggest only pointless trials to slap a man speaking his mind. For a man with Griffin's minute influence, the effort and taxpayers' money spent was reckless.

Then the second (also failed) ECHR trial against the BNP itself, for its already amended constitution after the first court case under the new Department, makes the whole Trevor Phillips thing look like a vendetta. Especially when Operation Black Vote's Simon Wooley said on one TV news report I saw that his aim was to close the BNP down.
How is this the actions of the "political establishment though? political parties get taken to court as do various members of different parties- the point of our system is to be able to try and hold our politicians to account.

--If you know of a Communist country with no poverty, state control of every social and political aspect of life, 'punishment' of dissidents or the jaded, not to mention indoctrination of kids into hating the 'decadent' Western capitalists, then maybe I could induct in your class and get a school trip there for a look at this ultra-rare novelty.
That doesn't counter the very simple point I mae.
 

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-- And I think in Slovakia, there was a radical party or movement that was based on hatred against the Hungarian minority ... or was it vice versa?
You're correct there but those hatreds go right back to when the Magyars first arrived in Eastern Europe and displaced the local Slavs. Hatred on both sides goes beyond the iron curtain.

--In Serbia, angry mobs aided by the police mashed up a gay pride parade in Belgrade last year, many were wounded, some even killed, IIRC.

So I think a certain prevalence of far-right chauvinism in East Germany is not unlike that in other former East Bloc countries, just that it has a particular German twist to it here.

At any rate, I've often heard and read that the Iron Curtain still pretty much exists when it comes to homosexuality: Even in former East Bloc countries which are fairly liberal on other fields, homosexuals are still not tolerated and face hatred and discrimination unheard of in the West.
I have come across some small elements in my travels but I didn't feel the general discriminatory element was any different or worse than most other places I have been. One curious thing though is that we (in the UK) have had to put in special training for Polish and other former eastern bloc schoolkids that came with their parents in the last 10 years as they have had no exposure to other ethnic minorities and end up being overtly racist to local ethnic minority children in UK schools.

The Polish Educational Society of London approached the priests following claims of racist behaviour among Polish children and their parents. Headteachers reported that pupils were moving their desks away from Asian and black children in fear and saying that white people were superior.

In one case Polish children drew pictures of apes sitting in palm trees and claimed this was what their black classmates looked like, while in a school in Acton, west London, a group of teenagers hurled daily abuse at non-white staff and pupils. According to headteachers, some parents asked whether their children would be taught by 'darkies'.
Funny - but the citizenship training we put into place for muslim and non EU immigrants to expose them to British ideals of fairness and equality have also been used to try and integrate Polish kids. Unfortunately in Northern Ireland and here on the mainland - local British youths have also been openly racist to Polish workers.
 

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How is this the actions of the "political establishment though?
It was the Government Departments taking Griffin to court four times, headed by the same bloke (plus John Wadham), set up and backed by Labour with taxpayers' money. I'm not moaning about holding politicians to account in court though.



That doesn't counter the very simple point I mae.
I look at how things turn out rather than what the pulp theory says. And we've had nearly 100 years of 'results' from Communism around the world.
 
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Infinite Chaos

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It was the Government Departments taking Griffin to court four times, headed by the same bloke (plus John Wadham), set up and backed by Labour with taxpayers' money. I'm not moaning about holding politicians to account in court though.
have you got links? I found the Leeds trials where he was cleared and there is the membership clause case now for which there's a contempt of court proceeding.

I also found the Marmite case where the BNP had to pay around £170,000 in an out of court settlement but I don't see others.

-- I look at how things turn out rather than what the pulp theory says. And we've had nearly 100 years of 'results' from Communism around the world.
Fair enough if you wish to compare apples and oranges.
 

Republic_Of_Public

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have you got links?
To prove what? We know Nick Griffin and Mark Collett were found Not Guilty on some charges and were acquitted on the rest during the first 'wicked vicious faith' trial. There was the re-trial which saw Nick Griffin being found Not Guilty on the charges he was acquitted from.

Then we saw the first of the new trials where the ECHR used new race laws to have the BNP fix its constitution. The BNP did this but they were taken to court by ECHR again because the Department had the idea that the BNP may not like blacks anyway.

As I recall, the Secret Agent case was brought through the CPS and sponsored by the Commission for Racial Equality, though to be fair I found no websites confirming it was anybody. I wouldn't have thought the Beeb had the money. Certainly, the CRE pushed for a re-trial.


To my mind it was significant that Gordon Brown was quoted as saying that if Nick Griffin couldn't be sent to jail then the law should be changed so he can be. Rather like trying to squeeze the foot to fit the shoe.


Here's one link anyway: BBC NEWS | UK | England | Bradford | BNP leader cleared of race hate




Fair enough if you wish to compare apples and oranges.
If I do so then they're certianly not alien to each other sat in the fruit bowl. Further to that I think everything was already explored in the Communists Against Oppression topic.
 
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