So now we know.
“Nobody is overestimating the value of pre-election promises but there must be limits of decency. Beyond that is absolute mistrust. Which is really sad for our now completely ruined relations. And which is good news for terrorists.
“One more thing. This military action is a clear indication of the US president’s extreme dependency on the opinion of the Washington establishment, the one that the new president strongly criticised in his inauguration speech. Soon after his victory, I noted that everything would depend on how soon Trump’s election promises would be broken by the existing power machine. It took only two and a half months.”
“Those who wanted us meddling in the Middle East voted for other candidates.
“Trump campaigned on not getting involved in Mideast. Said it always helps our enemies & creates more refugees. Then he saw a picture on TV.”
Trump’s horrific blunder demonstrates one problem with “outsiders”, especially businessmen, getting involved in politics – vanity and an addiction to quick-fix solutions.
The anti-immigration party “Alternative for Germany” (Alternative für Deutschland – AfD) has made worldwide headlines this week after yesterday’s elections to three German state parliaments (Landtag) in which AfD finished in second or third place.
AfD was only formed in 2013 and until last summer was mainly focused on reform of the European Union and the single currency: effectively a milder version of our UKIP. In the European Parliament its members were in the same transnational group as David Cameron’s Conservatives and the Polish governing party Law & Justice. They have now been expelled from this group and will probably ally with the Austrian Freedom Party and Marine Le Pen’s French National Front.
AfD was transformed into a more radical anti-immigration force less than a year ago under a new leader – Frauke Petry – and is now seen as the main voice for Germans disgusted by the liberal immigration policy of their Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Mrs Merkel’s Conservative CDU and its traditional opposition the SPD (similar to our Labour Party) were the big losers in yesterday’s elections, and the anti-immigration AfD were the big winners, fighting all three states for the first time.
The most dramatic result was in the former East German state of Saxony-Anhalt, where AfD finished second with 24.2% and will now be the main opposition to an unprincipled coalition of conservatives, socialists and greens who will attempt to govern the region. The nationalist NPD (which is fighting a court case against an attempted ban by German authorities) polled 1.9% (down from 4.6% last time) and a new nationalist party called Die Rechte (The Right) polled 0.2%.
AfD finished third in the traditionally prosperous and conservative western German state of Baden-Württemberg, polling 15.1%. The NPD (for whom this was never a stronghold) slipped from 1.0% to 0.4% and another nationalist party, the Republikaner (who held seats in Baden-Württemberg from 1992 to 2001) similarly fell from 1.1% to 0.3%.
In another western German state – Rhineland Palatinate – the AfD again finished third with 12.6%, while the NPD and Republikaner polled 0.5% (down from 1.1%) and 0.2% (down from 0.8%).
The immigration crisis and the rise of AfD inspired large numbers of Germans to take part in these elections: turnout was 61.1% in Saxony Anhalt and 70.4% in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland Palatinate.
We can now expect AfD (despite the levels of support achieved in these elections) to be intensively targeted by Germany’s heavily politicised security agencies, who will support efforts by establishment politicians to intimidate anti-immigration campaigners.
The increasingly shameless David Cameron today appointed a new Home Office minister for Syrian refugees. His choice was Richard Harrington, a Jewish property developer who served for many years as chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel.
Harrington was one of the speakers at the funeral of Cyril Paskin, notorious as “field commander” of the ultra-violent 62 Group, an alliance of militant Jews and communists whose raison d’etre was to attack nationalist meetings.
Alongside prominent Blairite financier Sir David Garrard, Harrington was a trustee of Paskin’s charity the Philip Green Memorial Trust, which gave regular donations to the ‘anti-fascist’ journal Searchlight.
Searchlight editor Gerry Gable was a colleague of Paskin in the 62 Group, and spoke alongside Harrington at Paskin’s funeral.