Over the hill - what next?

14. August 2018 | Text: Hubert von Goisern

It is but one small step from verbal hostility to violence. Anyone who engages with world history knows that. When it comes to the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ), inhibition threshold is traditionally less pronounced. I remember the year 1993. Back then the Freedom Party was driving the division of society with their Austria first referendum, by leading a veritable crusade against foreigners in general and immigrants in particular.

At a club meeting Heide Schmidt warned the party chairman at that time, Jörg Haider, that his rabble-rousing could lead to violent riots. His answer: "I'm even expecting something to happen, but we have to go through it." This attitude has not changed despite new faces. FPÖ politicians repeatedly suffer from rhetorical diarrhoea. It is no wonder, given the poisonous food they serve us and themselves.

Barriers are set up to secure national borders, but the boundaries of linguistic propriety and honesty are removed. With the FPÖ, which has been crafting its own (incongruent) interpretation of reality for years with the shameless and ruthless use of falsehoods, the commotion is understandably great when someone like Wolfgang Ambros turns up and tells the unvarnished truth. Because by no stretch of the imagination does Ambros conform to the self-proclaimed homeland party's classic image of an enemy. He has no immigrant background, he is not a tax evader, he does not regularly attend a synagogue or mosque. He is actually exactly the way they would want.

However, Woiferl is undiplomatic, awkward, incorruptible, sincere and yet in his choice of words more sophisticated than the usual blue party functionary spokesman. Then a party soldier, himself on a drip, feels obliged to insult him as an "over the hill minion of the system". Are you crazy???
Speaking of being over the hill and put out to pasture. I am sure the general secretary would like artists to wear bridles, so that he can lead them to water. But artists are free spirits. Horse manure on the heads of all those who want to keep us on a tight rein.

Hubert von Goisern