Austrian election: a wake-up call to the UK idiot-left

May 24, 2016 at 2:41 pm (Austria, elections, Europe, fascism, immigration, internationalism, Jim D, left, Racism, Socialist Party, stalinism, SWP)

Above: Norbert Hofer came within a few thousand votes of winning

To #Lexit:

Lexit-leaflet-cover copy 2 

Wake up you idiots!

Norbert Hofer of the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) has come terrifying close to winning the Austrian presidential election. The FRO is still on track to finish first in the next Austrian parliamentary election, due within the next two years.

The FPO has Nazi origins and like the French Front National and right wing populist parties that are coming to the fore throughout Europe, it is viciously anti-immigrant, with a particular hostility towards Muslims. In Hungary, Poland, Finland and Switzerland these parties are already participating in national governments. They are all, of course, anti-EU. Marine La Pen’s Front National could well win next year’s French presidential elections.

How long would it be before these new and resurgent right wing movements tear the EU apart?

Which poses a question for you people on the British left who advocate what you call “Lexit” or “Exit Left” – the Communist Party/Morning Star, the SWP and its spin-off Counterfire, plus the Socialist Party tagging along, together with the RMT union:

Do you really want the break-up of the EU at the hands of these forces? Do you really think anything progressive could possibly come of such an outcome?

Presumably, as self-proclaimed internationalists, you do not merely favour the UK pulling out: you must, logically, favour the break-up of the EU in its entirety.

Have you given any serious thought to what this would mean?

The freedom for workers to move across Europe would be lost. ‘Foreign’ workers in each country from other ex-EU states would face increased hostility and racism.

Any possibility of a humane and fair resolution of the migrant crisis would be completely ruled out, as each European country competed with each other to increase border controls and deport migrants even more ruthlessly than they mare doing now.

There would be a big reduction in the productive capacities of the separate states, cut of from broader economic arenas.

Governments and employers in each state would be weaker in capitalist world-market competition, and would thus be pushed towards crude cost-cutting. In the same way that small capitalist businesses, more fragile in competition, use cruder cost-cutting than bigger employers. The limited, but real, workers’ right brought in by the EU would be swept aside.

There would be more slumps and depression, in the same way that the raising of economic barriers between states in the 1930s exacerbated the slump then.

Inevitably, economic tensions between the different nations competing elbow-to-elbow in Europe’s narrow cockpit would lead to increased tensions and, eventually, war – as happened in Europe for centuries and twice in the last century.

Austria’s close-run presidential vote reveals people are disappointed with the mainstream parties and don’t feel represented any longer, while the refugee crisis, the euro crisis, Islamist terror attacks and dissatisfaction with the EU have also caused a shift to the right in Austria and throughout Europe. But the answer is to put forward internationalist, pro-working class, anti-austerity policies across Europe, not to attempt to jump on the nationalist, racist anti-EU bandwagon of the far-right.

In the weeks that followed Hitler’s seizure of power in February 1933 the German Communist Party (KPD) and the Communist International clung rigidly to their view that the Nazi triumph would be brief and that it would be a case of “after Hitler – our turn”: is that what you #Lexit people really expect to happen after the far-right succeeds in breaking up the EU? If so, you are not just politically illiterate: you are criminally irresponsible.


  1. Steven Johnston said,

    But why is it terrifying? Firstly, he cannot win an election without mass support and secondly and more importantly politicians do no control capitalism, it controls them. The far-right normally outspend the far-left!

    • Glasgow Working Class said,

      You do not need mass support at the ballot just the military, polce force and beaurocracy in support and the job is done hence Adolf.

  2. PW said,

    You can’t wake the dead or the brain dead. FYI.

  3. Roger McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

    Have you never heard the old joke about the ‘Elephant and the Polish Question’?

    This blog’s obsession the paltry fringe of far left factionettes campaigning with zero apparent impact for withdrawal is almost a mirror image of right-wing Europhobes and their obsessions.

    As for the absurd notion that the Tory- and UKIP-voting UK remaining in the EU (and I have zero doubt that it will as the ruling class have already long ago made up their minds) will make any great difference on the speed at which its eastern marches succumb once again to the authoritarian populism which is seemingly hardbaked into their state DNAs…

    • Steven Johnston said,

      You mean you are not impressed with the galaxy of luvvies campaiging on either side of this non-issue?
      Though it is interesting to see the UKIP now saying that if the economy would not suffer if the UK left the EU as employment rights could be weakened AND immigration would go up!

      • Roger McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

        Definitely in plague on all their houses territory at moment.

        Re UKIP that is presumably just another expression of the tension between the libertarian space cadet faction and the racist know-nothings?

  4. John Palmer said,

    “Instead of reining in the radical right, Netanyahu kowtows to it. He may not like analogies to Germany of the 1930s but he might find himself one day being compared to Franz Von Papen or Kurt Von Schleicher, the conservative German chancellors who thought they could rein in the Nazis by coopting them: they were ultimately devoured by the monster they helped create.” (Chemi Shalev, in the Israeli daily Haaretz). Something for a different version of the Idiot Left” to contemplate?

    • Roger McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,


      Surely a key difference is that with a different policy the SPD and KPD together just MIGHT have stopped Hitler?

      (Except IMO the most probable result of a left united front threatening to win actual power would have been a Reichswehr coup – although if you are playing the silly counter-factual game it is hard to imagine a Schleicher or Groener military dictatorship slaughtering civilians by the million – and so maybe that particular alternative universe might have had an at least somewhat less sanguinary twentieth century…)

      In contrast what little is left of the Israeli Left is pretty much powerless.

      And if this goes for Israel’s Left what can you say of the tiny minority of the tiny minority that is the UK ‘Left’ who pursue the Lexit delusion? (while everyone else has drank the Europhile Kool-Aid and is bleating on about Social Europe as if it were still 1990).

      As for comparing Netanyahu to Papen…

      Papen was a mere aristocratic dilettante while Netanyahu monstrous as he is has dominated Israeli politics for twenty years and will surely bury Lieberman.

      • Glasgow Working Class said,

        Netanyahu has defended Israel and is a step ahead of Islamic fascist and the usual other fascists that hate Jews.
        The left has been ridden by Jew haters since the left invented itself, some of the tossers think Jews run the planet.
        When Netanyahu snuffs it another stong man will step. I have said before that the Jews will not step onto the back of trucks for the holiday camps.

  5. seditionsquare said,

    Didn’t you hear? The ‘fair’ European Union has already ‘humanely’ solved the migrant crisis by sending battleships to North Africa (“Operation Triton”) and diverting the land-based flow to Turkey! I’m so glad I’m part of such an ever closer, loving EU.

    • Jim Denham said,

      And you think getting out and/or dismantling the EU will improve the prospects for migrants? Seriously???

      • seditionsquare said,

        What difference will it make? Accepting migrants, the only human response to such a crisis, has been done on a nation-by-nation basis anyway. All united, EU responses have been craven, inhuman and totally irrational – as I just pointed out.

      • Jim Denham said,

        So you think lining up with the most racist, anti-migrant forces in the UK and throughout Europe, is going to benefit migrants in some way ????

      • seditionsquare said,

        After Operation Triton and the Turkey deal, I can’t distinguish anymore between ‘racist, anti-migrant forces’ and the EU.

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