Monday 25 April 2016

Goose stepping to victory

Twitter is like a city. There are pleasant leafy parks and gardens, interesting people and places. You may sometimes engage with people you disagree with, but because you disagree with them doesn't mean they don't sometimes have interesting things to say.

And then there are those parts of town which are best avoided, and on Twitter just as in real life, anyone with common sense knows the places not to go, and the sort of accounts it's best not to follow.

The account belonging to Nathan Gill, our Ukip MEP, is one of those places it is generally best not to go, but you can still take a peak at what he's broadcasting to the world without following him, and his timeline is full of stuff which tells you a lot about Gill's view of the world.

Last night his attention was caught by the presidential elections in Austria. The first round of voting was won by Norbert Hofer representing the far-right Freedom Party of Austria, and he now faces a run-off second ballot.

Hofer is, to put it mildly, a highly unsavoury character whose passions include weapons and a belief in pan-Germanic nationalism. At his behest, his party's official aims now include statements to the effect that Austria is a part of the "Deutsche Volksgemeinschaft", or German national community. This is a term with very strong Nazi overtones.

Hofer has also appeared in the Austrian parliament wearing a blue cornflower which was a symbol worn by Nazi sympathisers in Austria before Hitler's annexation of his former homeland. He has also complained bitterly that Austrian children are being "brain-washed" by the state when they are taught about the Holocaust and other Nazi crimes.

28_20131029_Norbert Hofer(c)Martin Juen

Over in the European Parliament, Ukip and the FPO sit in different groups, but they have a lot in common. Anti-EU, anti-immigration policies are just a start, and the national parties and some of their MEPs to and fro between different groups with bewildering regularity. Gill's former colleague,the very undelightful Janice Atkinson, now sits with Hofer's troops, for example.

So when Nathan Gill pressed the retweet button on this from someone called David Jones ("UK government have abandoned Brits. We need to exit EU, ECHR, stop all immigration + look after British people. Like UKIP. Southampton/Isle of Wight"), I can't help feeling that like Mr Jones, Gill was quite pleased to see Herr Hofer doing so well, don't you?

1 comment:

Jac o' the North, said...

I almost envy you being able to read Gill's tweets. For some reason I'm blocked!