How left wing is too left wing?

Paul Mason:

Faced with these developments, the EU and its centrist governments seem paralysed. Article 7 of the EU Treaty allows a country to be sanctioned or suspended if it commits a severe breach of fundamental rights. But it needs two-thirds majority in the parliament and has never been invoked. This month it must draw the line in Austria. Europe must make clear it will refuse to recognise a far-right president in Vienna. It’s their democratic right to elect a cleaned-up fascist; it’s ours – by treaty – to suspend Austria from the EU.

A serious question. How far left wing would a government have to be to be suspended? Obviously the autarkic fantasies of Colin Hines would qualify as they’re against the basic rules. But would a 130% tax rate qualify? As Roy Jenkins did in 1967 or so? Or does it need to go full on Pol Pot to be too left wing?

36 thoughts on “How left wing is too left wing?”

  1. It’s the leftist delusion. Immediately to the left of you are people you can have a sensible discussion with about the right way to crush the kulaks.

    Immediately to the right of you are neo-Nazis.

  2. The Inimitable Steve

    What SE said.

    Austria is going to be informed that democracy only exists in the EU so long as you vote for politicians who want to replace you with a horde of Muslims.

    Can we leave yet?

  3. The Inimitable Steve

    It’ll be really fun when President Trump takes power in January.

    What will the Eurocucks do then? Refuse to recognise the United States? ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

  4. “it’s ours – by treaty – to suspend Austria from the EU.”

    Lucky old Austria. Double winners.

  5. Daft question Tim – there is no such thing as ‘Too Left wing’ – at least not for Mason, who is like a 95% literate version of Ritchie – a complete imbecile oft quoted approvingly by various forms of Ultra Left winger on my FB feed….

  6. Wouldn’t it be appropriate to wait until the fascist government actually does something against the law before sanctioning them?

  7. Interesting. Perhaps fat people should get fewer holidays. Would fit people who smoke get more or fewer holidays?

  8. What’s so rightwing about these Austrians anyway? Just opposition to unlimited immigration? Or are they planning Operation Barbarossa Part Deux? What’s the deal?

  9. Wouldn’t it be appropriate to wait until the fascist government actually does something against the law before sanctioning them?

    Well, given that the Presidential run-off election isn’t until 22 May, Mason is showing his true colours by demanding that Austria is sanctioned before they have dared to elect an evil facist. If it came from anybody with an ounce of credibility, you might call it “scare tactics”.

    But any Austrian voter stupid enough to pay attention to Mason will be solid a Green / Independent supporter already.

  10. Soooo Pauuulll, which fundamental rights has this neo-fascist-racist-lickspittle running dog ceremonial president run roughshod over in the handful of days since he was elected?

  11. Why are we still stuck with a dead Georgian’s terminology? Anyone who didn’t agree wholeheartedly with Stalin was “extreme right wing”, according to him, and this still seems to be the standard usage amongst the Left today?

  12. A ‘Fascist’ for the Left these days would probably hold 90% of the policy positions a Labour voter would have held in, say, 1970.

  13. @Rob, if they looked at a “fascist” manifesto anno 1930, they’d probably find that they’d agree with 80-90% of it.

  14. Rob

    You are not wrong – I’m on FB with people who regard the Green Party in Britain post the council splitting as ‘Hard Right’ – it’s a form of delusion which is almost beyond comprehension….

  15. So the EU refusing the demands of the Greek people that it, meaning the Germans, pay off their debts for them is apparently undemocratic even though it was there for all to see in the agents the Greeks had made with the EU when it entered the single currency. By contrast hammering down the Austrians for even daring to contemplate voting for the wrong man is just what modern civilised democracies do these days.

  16. So, Mason is claiming that electing whoever-this-man-is in Austria is a “severe breach of fundamental rights”.

    I don’t understand the link there at all. Whose rights have been breached?

  17. “Oswald Mosley was a Labour Minister.

    I wonder how many people know that?”

    So he was! Why are we not making them wear that?

  18. Mason is just reviving the tactics used last time the Austrians elected someone of whom the euro overlords disapproved: Jörg Haider was just the leader of a party in the government coalition, he wasn’t even a minister.

    I’m only surprised they didn’t do the same when Kurt Waldheim was elected president.

  19. So if an “authoritarian” gets elected by a majority of the people, then we sensible chaps should use force to keep him out of office.
    Who is actually being authoritarian?
    If “sensible” parties fail to deliver what the people want, then the people will cast around for alternatives.

  20. Jack C, Mr Mason’s fundamental right to tell other countries who to elect, it would appear.

  21. Two points.

    1. Mason reveals the left’s true contempt for democracy. They are ‘Democracy Once-ers’.
    2. By the same logic we should call for an extreme leftist govt to be excluded from the EU on the basis that they are anti-democratic and don’t respect the rule of law or private property.

    Idiot. Music degree for God’s sake.

  22. Leaving aside the ranting here from various types who are just letting their preconceptions run riot, I think it’s reasonable to point out that it’s not the economic policies of a far-right party that are objectionable, it’s their social ones. If you look at Greece and so-on you can see that a far left party is also not tolerated by the EU, and with rather less reason.

    At the end of the day, the fact is that the Austrian ‘fascists’ – no such thing, of course – stand for things that are diametrically opposed to the things the EU stands for. You can’t have a government that is built on discriminating against various groups at the same time as being in the EU, which is built on not discriminating between those groups.

  23. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    When the FPÖ came second in the elections in 1999 the EU sent in a team to make sure that the new coalition govt. didn’t do anything un-European. So who did they send ? Two fatsoes who had gorged themselves on the EU teat. Maarti Slartibartfast ( or whatever he was called ) from Finland and Jean Luc de Haan of Belgium. I kid you not, a man so crooked his own picture wouldn’t hang straight. I think that the Austrian govt locked the pair into a room full of food and let them get on with it.

    Hofer’s opponent is Alexander van de Bellen, who is of the Corbynite/Dinosaur Left. He obviously didn’t expect to get this far – as in the last debate I saw, he was feverishly rowing back on his campaign rhetoric because it had been too partisan and unpresidential. I never had a problem with vdB, because I thought him a harmless throwback to a bygone age. Now I’m not too sure.

    I reckon personally vdB will win as he will gain the socialist and independent votes and that everyone who is going to vote for Hofer has already done so. If the turnout is low, Hofer could win, because he will mobilise his support and everyone else will stay at home.

  24. ‘a man so crooked his own picture wouldn’t hang straight’

    Great metaphor, BnLiA!

    I’m going to use it concerning a Democrat running for President in the U.S.

  25. @BiW
    “Jörg Haider was just the leader of a party in the government coalition, he wasn’t even a minister.”

    Look what happened to him.

  26. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    Not my invention alas, Gamecock

    Jack Regan in the Sweeney film describing his boss (Debholm Elliott).

  27. Gamecock,

    Just to be clear would you be changing the pronouns to she?

    There is also a long-time Democrat running as a Republican that fits rather well.

  28. So Much For Subtlety

    It’s their democratic right to elect a cleaned-up fascist; it’s ours – by treaty – to suspend Austria from the EU.

    It is the Brezhnev Doctrine EU-style. The people of Austria have the perfect right to vote for whomever they like.

    But no one is allowed to undermine the Socialist system or leave the Warsaw Pact.

  29. The EU rule that I find my eye keep sliding towards is the one that says members have to be democracies. I can’t help thinking:

    1) Military coup in the morning
    2) Out of the EU by teatime
    3) Profit!

    Yeah, OK, bad news for all those old blokes scattered about the sunnier reaches of Europe, but still…

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