You may have seen that I have issued a short statement congratulating the Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD) party on their substantial gains in the German federal elections. The seats have not been allocated yet, but it seems that they will be on around 94 (from none previously), and are the second largest party in the former East German states.
Today, virtually all media and commentators are describing the AfD as ‘Far Right’, and the left are saying that this is letting Nazis into the Bundestag. Some members may feel uneasy about this – some have already contacted me regarding our invitation to the AfD to speak at Conference.
It seems to me that the AfD are being treated just as we have been, and without justification. There is no description of ‘Far Left’ in the coverage, despite the rise of the Linke party. I have looked as best I can at the allegations against AfD members, and found scant evidence for calling them fascists.
AfD was founded by a former CDU State Secretary of Hesse, along with an economist and the former editor of FAZ, one of Germany’s leading newspapers.
This is not to say that we regard them uncritically, or would have any truck with anti-semitism, militarism, expansionism or any of the actual indicators of a fascist party. But as a few wiser commentators have pointed out, none of these are currently present. They are opposed to Merkel’s migration policy, however, which is why they are both hated by the centre-left and popular with the German working class.
I could have left it, and avoided any controversy and the inevitable lefty backlash of damnation-by-association against us, but the way almost everyone is talking about them really annoyed me.
Change of speaker for Conference
Following their election success, the Deputy Leader of AfD Beatrix von Storch in understandably unable to come and see us on Friday. Instead, we will hear from Dr Hugh Bronson, a senior member of the party and MEP list candidate.
Dr Bronson was educated at the University of East Anglia and formerly worked for The Economist Intelligence Unit, as well as running businesses in Europe and India. He is a lecturer and a member of the Berlin state parliament.
Interim Party Leader