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The Hills are alive with the sound of Extreme Right Wingers, Hofer almost wins in Austria

Tom Winnifrith
Monday 23 May 2016

I wrote this article pre postal votes. I have updated it to reflect the fact that they altered the result. EU boss Martin Schulz warned the Austrians not to do it but I guess that they stopped obeying orders from the Germans some time around 1945 and so have almost just elected an extreme right winger as their President. Norbert Hofer denies he is a fascist or a Nazi but he, and his Freedom Party founded by , are pretty right wing. Excluding postal voted Norbert won, overall he lost narrowly. Who is to blame for the rise of the far right? No doubt David Cameron is already blaming Brexit while his new best buddy President Erdogan of Turkey is blaming the Kurds.

In a sense nobody is "to blame". The left only likes democracy when it wins. But as Ben Gurion noted of Israel, his country only became a proper country when it had prostitutes and fascists.

The people of Austria have "form" in voting for extreme right wingers. There was the war criminal Kurt Waldheim for starters. And then of course that native born son with the moustache who emigrated to Germany but returned to take control after the Anschluss.

The Freedom Party almost won power under its founder Jorg Haider in the 1990s. Incidentally, in Austria, you can be fined 100,000 Euro for suggesting that the late Mr Haider - who died in a car crash after drinking heavily in a gay bar after rowing with his long term male lover - was gay or bisexual. I guess I won't be visiting Austria soon then.

As democrats, we must respect the choice of large numbers of Austrians in voting for gun toting immigrant bashing Herr Hofer and his party which was founded by a gay and Jew bashing closet homosexual who took funding from both the late Saddam Hussein and the late Colonel Gadafi. We must respect that choice even though Herr Hofer is pretty loathsome. I am not quite so sure the EU will see it that way.

Because, in a sense, the EU which claims to have brought peace to Europe. is once again to blame for the rise of extremism not just in Austria but in France (Le Pen's National Front), in Greece (Golden Dawn) and elsewhere. Austria was last year forced to absorb immigrants equivalent to 1% of its population. That is an almighty influx.

Some of us might say that with an ageing population, Austria needs immigration. But it is not for me to say that. Nor is it a decision that the EU should be making. It should be a decision for the people of Austria and it seems that they are not that keen on the idea. Yet it has been imposed on them by the EU, abetted by home grown bien pensants who think they know what is good for the "little people".

No doubt the EU has also meddled in Austria with daft new regulations on the length of Lederhosen or alpine horns. Across Europe there is a growing backlash against the edicts of corrupt, grossly overpaid and remote officials in Brussels. Herr Hofer and Madame Le Pen, in opposing this interference, are the electoral beneficiaries of the EU's power grab.

The people of Europe clearly do not want ever closer political union. In Britain we are being lied to as we were in 1975 when we are told that the choice is out or status quo. It is not. It is out or ever closer union. Across Europe folks are waking up to the lies and starting to fight back. I loathe pretty much everything Hofer stands for - other than the right to bear firearms - but I can see why he has won so many votes and if anyone is to blame it is folks like Martin Schulz and his comrades at the EU.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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