Monday, 13 October 2008

Jorg Haider

Here's a tale of a man who thought he was destined to be a 21st Century fuhrer.

Daddy was an early member of the Austrian Nazi Party, and of the SA, Mummy was a leader in the Hitler Youth. Both suffered from the post-war de-nazification policy. He became very wealthy by inheriting the estate of an uncle who had gained it by a forced purchase from a Jewish family in 1941.

He tried to distance himself from this Nazi inheritance and developed a kind of yuppie fascist populism. By doing so in 1999, his Freedom Party managed to get 29% of the vote.

But he couldn’t help himself and made a number of Nazi gaffs: Like denying the holocaust and opposing compensation being paid to its victims. Or calling for the rehabilitation of Waffen SS veterans. Or saying that if the Freedom Party had stood on the programme of the old Nazi Party it would have achieved an overwhelming majority.

In the best traditions of the Far Right, the Freedom Party split. Partly over policy as to how accommodating they should be to the conservative mainstream, and partly over personalities – amidst rumours of the leader's closet homosexuality.

Depressingly though the Far Right continued to maintain its success, with one part of the split entering into government coalition. But there's a happy ending : On Saturday Jorg Haider lost control of his car and was killed.

There’s already talk amongst the conspiro-loons that this was sabotage by rival Nazis or Mossad. Who cares ? Let’s just savour the moment of one less arsehole in the world.

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