Ah, yes, the far right

Austria’s crisis is a lesson for Europe: far-right parties are unfit to govern
Julia Ebner

That particular party does indeed seem to have had more than just the one scumbag in it.

Leaked video recordings show the now-resigned vice chancellor HC Strache and parliamentary whip Johann Gudenus offer Austrian contracts and assets, including the country’s most widely read media outlet, Kronen Zeitung, to Russian oligarchs in return for campaign support.

So different from offering contracts and assets to prop up Cuba, as Chavez and Maduro have done, isn’t it? Corruption and idiocy being an entirely far right wing construct, obviously.

12 thoughts on “Ah, yes, the far right”

  1. Oh well, might as well vote for sensible, moderate parties who will sell your country off to the Chinese while importing hordes of illiterate savages to rape your kids.

  2. Tim, Tim. It’s NEVER wrong when lefties do it, The act is sanctified by the good intent and high ideals of the actor. Eny fule noes dat.

  3. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    Austria is very prone to this sort of corruption. However the wind changed a few years ago and there is far greater scrutiny. There are (interminable) investigations into the Eurofighter purchase (Austria always used to buy 2nd hand Saab jets ) various banks and dodgy subsidies.
    There is no way Strache could have got away with bungs like that. It’s not like the old days. He was just showing off.
    And needless to say most dodgy deaaling comes from the two main parties, who carve up the best corporate and civil service jobs between them ( proporz as it is known).

  4. No names no breach of attorney/client privilege (and from the comment above there’s hope that the situation is now better) but I listened with horrified interest years ago as an Austrian social democrat described in precise detail just how the tender for a public infrastructure project was rigged in his favour. Elections on a party list system guarantee election for the top names on key lists, generating more than the standard opportunities for corruption that many at the MittelEuropean business/politics nexus regard as the very purpose of state regulation of (and involvement in) commerce. Perhaps the new right politicians are outside the cozy club where the corrupt shield each other? Odious though some are, that may be a good reason to vote for them — at least when they’re corrupt they’ll likely get caught!

  5. So different from offering contracts and assets to prop up Cuba, as Chavez and Maduro have done, isn’t it?

    Chavez and Maduro are unpersons, Venezuela is an unstate as determined by the CommentMachtFrei inner party. Our man Winston has done an excellent ensuring that any post 2015 references to that mysterious geographical area no longer exist, at least inside Big Brother’s Guardian safe space.

  6. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    There are numerous reasons why and how this sort of corruption becomes institutionalised.
    The political system of FPTP/list means that coalitions are inevitable and that the parties have to cosy up to each other, so there is no incentive for the opposition to blow the whistle – unless they’re Green and no one takes them seriously.
    This results in a revolving door, politicians who retire are provided with a plum job in a corporation, divvied up along party lines, because the senior management are all in on the deal. Occasionally it goes a bit wrong, ex-Chancellor Viktor Klima was given a director’s job by VW and sent to Argentina and Christian Kern has landed up in Russian Railways.
    The former finance minister KH Grasser is constantly being dragged before committees due to his rather dodgy period in office. Funny thing is he did a really good job, but now we know how.
    I suppose in Belgium and italy they are more upfront about it. Around the corner ( literally the next street) from where we used to live in Vienna was a grotty cafe where the local rozzers picked up their bungs. They would go in, have a coffee and collect a brown envelope. Everyone knew about it. Viennese police are renowned for their stupidity and I guess anything more sophisticated would have been beyond them.
    (second part of rant follows)

  7. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    OK I’ll give you a an example that really gets on my tits, I have to take a couple of tablets first…

    Brigitte Ederer was a Socialist MP, firebrand, feminist you all know the sort. retires from front line politics and is given a job at Siemens Austria as head of HR.
    Firstly Siemens made her marry her long term boyfriend, Hannes Swoboda who was then head of the Socialist fraction in the EuroParl. Cunt is the only adjective that fits this man, he is evil personified.
    Anyway Ederer then proceeded to sack 3000 employees in Austria (mostly at their industrial complex in the 3rd District ) as Siemens pulled out of all sorts of branches.
    She made such a good job of throwing people on the scrapheap in Austria that they promoted her to Head Office in Munich, where she took the axe to thousands more in Germany.
    An Austrian mate of mine was made redundant in Munich in this wave and complained “I fucking voted for the bitch, too!” It took him a while to get another job and was on pills for his nerves, but he is pretty talented and is OK now.
    Fair enough this sort of thing happens everywhere, but this was particularly cynical.

    The only politician for whom I’ve had any time in the last 15 years or so is Maria “Mitzi” Fekter. I don’t know what she is doing now, to be honest, she retired a couple of years ago. She was Interior Minister and was a right laugh, the nearest thing to a “String ’em upper” one would get in Europe these days. She proved too popular and the patriarchy forced her into being finance minister. Now unless one goes in with an agenda or specific policies (cf Kark Heinz Grasser previously) this is a non-job and she was reduced to reciting Tractor statistics in parliament. Although she did attend EU meetings during the various crises around Greece and so on and would come out saying to the cameras “These idiots haven’t got a clue what they’re doing!” She wasn’t devious enough to get to the top and she’s a woman, so it wouldn’t happen in Austria in any case.

  8. Bloke in North Dorset

    Siemens – a synonym of bribery.

    “Mr. Siekaczek (pronounced SEE-kah-chek) says that from 2002 to 2006 he oversaw an annual bribery budget of about $40 million to $50 million at Siemens. Company managers and sales staff used the slush fund to cozy up to corrupt government officials worldwide.”

    Sounds like they were made for each other.

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