Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Spain's National Day celebrated in Barcelona

On 12th October a demonstration was held in Barcelona to celebrate Spain’s national day. Around 1000 nationalists attended the event that was organised by Democracia Nacional.

The Spanish National Day commemorations remember the historic events surrounding the discovery of America by Spain, which began with the arrival of Christopher Columbus in America on 12th October 1492 on behalf of the kings of Spain.

Torrential rain was forecast throughout the Mediterranean on the eve of this year’s event and the day began with intermittent showers and strong winds. Yet the weather did not deter a steady flow of people to this emotional ceremony throughout the course of the day.

A small army of mainstream media were present who were keen to interview DN President Manuel Canduela (pictured speaking above).

Mr Canduela spoke of the importance of 12th October 1492 and its significance as the beginning of the era of Spanish imperialism in which the people of Catalonia, as loyal subjects of the Crown of Aragon, consolidated their presence throughout the Mediterranean.

"It was the start of national unity as we know it today", he said.

He also discussed the Reconquest of Spain from the forces of Islamism, which saw the recovery of Granada and its incorporation into Spain, Europe and Christendom...”without which we could not even enjoy the most minimal freedoms today, or even simple things like men and women sitting here together...or enjoying a Sunday beer and a “tapa” of ham, something that the totalitarian religion forbid us,” he went on.

Canduela labeled as traitors the separatist politicians that hate Spain but "allow mosques to be built all over Catalonia". (This may remind readers of some of the separatist parties here in the UK.) His speech drew applause from the public on several occasions.

This was followed by the traditional ‘allegiance to the flag’ ceremony, which involves more people every year, especially in regions where the Spanish are persecuted. After swearing a traditional oath coined by Vicente Estarelles, each participant kissed the Spanish flag.

The demonstration concluded with the playing of the national anthem.

One thing I have noticed about this party is that although they have not yet had the sort of electoral success that other nationalist parties may have achieved elsewhere, they are very professional and produce some fantastic looking propaganda. Everything I have seen them produce looks great, and this clearly extends to their public demonstrations.

Check out an article and lots of great photos from the event here, and well done to our friends in Democracia National for organising this successful event.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Jobbik Advance Continues

Pictured: With Jobbik MEP Krisztina Morvai in the European Parliament in Strasbourg

Jobbik, the Movement for a Better Hungary, has established itself nationwide at local municipal government levels, after entering into the National Parliament for the first time in April 2010. Although only 47% of the eligible voted in the elections held on 3rd October, Jobbik achieved outstanding results even in Budapest, normally considered a heaven of Liberalism and where Socialist-liberal councils were elected for the past 20 years.

Fidesz conquered Budapest with Istvan Tarlos elected as mayor of Budapest. Tarlos had previously promised former Socialist and Liberal Democrat deputies positions in the Hungarian capital city's key offices, a practice that seems to be a Fidesz-policy after its "orange-revolution".
The Socialists (MSzP) achieved a relatively good result mainly due to many voters coming back and turning away from the barely existing new liberal party LMP they had voted for in April. LMP's result was disastrous nationwide with less than 50 deputies but managed to get 3 mandates out of the 33 in the Budapest Chamber, not long ago a stronghold of Liberalism.

Jobbik also has 3 deputies in the Budapest Chamber and deputies in all but one of the districts in the capital city.

Nationwide, Jobbik now has 311 deputies in the local councils, 61 deputies in the county councils and now has mayors in Tiszavasvári, Hencida and Hegyháthodász.

Gabor Vona, Jobbik's Chairman stated that Jobbik is now inevitable in Hungarian politics and the deputies will represent Hungarian interests at local level.

Tiszavasvari could become Jobbik's example for town leadership, where both the mayor and the majority of the deputies are Jobbik representatives.

The above article was taken from Jobbik's English language website.

The scale of the gains made by Jobbik in these elections is immense. Before 3rd October Jobbik had only a handful of local councillors. They didn't have a single county councillor and certainly did not have any mayors.

The surge in support for Jobbik that was in evidence in the recent General Election in April has clearly continued into the elections of 3rd October, as seen by their local council representation rising from a handful to over 300 and the election of 61 county councillors and three mayors, not to mention the election of 3 deputies to the Budapest assembly, which are additional to the local seats won. This assembly in Budapest is a unique chamber that is not replicated in any other Hungarian cities.

The three successfully elected Jobbik mayors gained between 53% and 70% of the vote in their respective towns.

It is always heartening to see our friends in Europe doing well and it is great to see that Jobbik continues to make real electoral progress.

Jobbik's party political broadcast is well worth a watch. It is only 30 seconds long and has English subtitles. This broadcast was banned by Hungarian state television and radio but was eventually broadcast following successful legal action taken by the party. It made me chuckle anyway.

Monday, 11 October 2010

FPÖ landslide victory in Vienna

The following message was sent out earlier today by Andreas Mölzer MEP:

FPÖ‐landslide victory in Vienna

The Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) managed to nearly double their election result from 2005 in Vienna, whereby it could increase its number of seats in the regional parliament from 13 to 28.

Yesterday, on October 10th, the regional and local elections in Austria's capital Vienna took place. As one out of five Austrians lives in Vienna, this election is seen to be extremely important.

With an incredible plus of 12.3 %, the FPÖ reached a fantastic result of 27.1 % of the votes. It remains the only party that could improve its result of 2005. Their voters primarily came from the Social‐democratic Party (SPÖ) of Mayor Michael Häupl, but also bourgeois voters from the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) could be won for Heinz‐Christian Strache.

The main topics in the election campain of the party were the lacking integration offoreigners and the progressive Islamization of Vienna. In Vienna, officially 7.8 % of the population are Islamic.

Austria's Social Democratic chancellor, Werner Faymann, said the result offers a reminder that the federal government needs to do more to integrate the country'simmigrant population. "We must be better at acknowledging the problems," Mr Faymann said on Austrian television. "The population must feel that we are aware and active, when they have problems with poor integration."

Strache called Faymann “the election‐loser of the nation”, adding: “Of course this has an importance at the federal level.”

Comments in the Press:

"That was a severe defeat for Mayor Michael Häupl and the Social Democratic Party, a disaster for the Austian People's Party, an acceptable result for the Greens and anincredible triumph for Heinz‐Christian Strache and his Freedom Party. The FreedomParty has managed to enter into core layers of the SPÖ.

With this result, Heinz‐Christian Strache can feel as the legitimate successor of JörgHaider. About 27 percent, this is about as much as the FPÖ had in Vienna under Haider." ("Kurier", Vienna)

"If the policy doesn't tackle the topic migration/integration and present real solutionmodels, the growth curve of the FPÖ upwards is without limit." ("Wiener Zeitung", Wien)

"Behind the result, there is a message: The voters are tired of the red‐black dawdling, they are drawn in droves to the one who addresses a major problem: yes, the integration problem." ("Vorarlberger Nachrichten", Bregenz)

"Sunday's result marks the latest and most convincing sign that the Freedom Party,which has been beset in recent years by a series of power struggles, is resurgent."("The Wall Street Journal", New York)

"Vienna's Mayor Michael Häupl declared his party as a bulwark against the right populist Freedom Party, but the shot went off back. The SPÖ could pick up voters in the inner districts, with their students and self‐employed voters of the Greens, but lost their core voters in the working‐class areas to the FPÖ. There the right‐wing populists got to up to 37 percent. The campaign against asylum seekers and Islam was neither new nor original, but had the spells. Especially young voters found the excitement about that 'cool'. It used to be Jörg Haider, now it is his successor Heinz‐Christian Strache who 'dares'." ("Tages‐Anzeiger", Zurich)

"The Vienna state election of yesterday, Sunday, has many losers and one winner. The Freedom Party of Heinz‐Christian Strache. Because even if Mayor Michael Häupl with his Social Democratic Party landed unchallenged at number one: The Blue catapulted from about 15 to 27 percent and second place ‐ and took the Town Hall Reds the absolute majority away." ("Dolomiten", Bolzano)

Friday, 8 October 2010

Over 10,000 at Nationalist Demo in Vienna

Pictured: HC Strache in Vienna yesterday

I have been following with great interest the election campaign currently being fought by our friends in the FPÖ (Freedom Party of Austria).

This is centred around the campaign of party leader HC Strache for the post of mayor of Vienna.

What strikes me is the scale and professionalism of their campaigns.

Take as an example the demonstration held yesterday on the Stephansplatz in Vienna. Over 10,000 people came to listen to live music and political speeches, and this was followed by a party in the Praterdom nightclub.

The above links really are worth clicking on to get a feel for the scale of this campaign. You don't have to undertstand German to appreciate these videos. (Indeed, even if you do speak German you may not understand everything, as Austrian-German is about as close to High German as the Glaswegian dialect is to the 'Queen's English'.)

I find it inspirational to see such impressive events being organised by our friends abroad. These are the kind of events that our party needs to be aiming to be organise here.

The election is this coming Sunday and I will update this blog with the results when I have them.

You can follow HC Strache on Facebook here.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Trip to Waterloo and European Parliament

This weekend I was in Belgium on a trip I organised with fellow parliamentary assistant Eddy Butler.

This is the first of such group visits that I have been on, and despite being a joint organiser for the trip (and therefore being ‘on duty’ throughout) it was a truly fantastic and enjoyable weekend.

We actually stayed in Waterloo and took the opportunity to visit some of the attractions commemorating the historic battle fought in this location in 1815. It turns out that Eddy is something of an expert on this conflict, and he was happy to share his knowledge over the weekend and gave a talk on it on the battlefield.

We went to the Wellington Museum (housed in his former Headquarters), watched two films and went up the Butte de Lion monument (if you can run up all the steps of this monument then you are very fit indeed), went in the wax works museum opposite and also viewed the impressive painting of the battle captured on the inside of the panorama building built in 1912.

One thing that was brought home to me very strongly on this trip was the terrible human cost of this battle, which cost some 9500 lives and left 33,000 wounded. It was also a hugely important battle and one that gave its name to the maxim that all dictators and dictatorial regimes will at some point have their very own Waterloo. (For those who know literally nothing about the Battle of Waterloo, this was the battle that finished off Napoleon for good).

The evening meal on the Sunday was held in the wonderfully atmospheric Bivouac de l’Empereur restaurant, which brought the day’s events to a satisfying close.

On Monday we attended the European Parliament which gave us the chance to take the obligatory group photograph in front of the flags of Europe, visit the public gallery of the Hemicycle (assembly room), and hear a talk from an official from the parliament regarding the workings of this institution. Andrew Brons also spoke and Eddy Butler and I said a few words too (see pic above).

The trip was a pleasure to organise and attend and I can honestly say that what made it so good was not the attractions or the meals or any of the other actual activities that took place, however good these undoubtedly were.
What made it special was the atmosphere of camaraderie amongst those on the trip, with old comrades and young (the ages of the participants ranged from those in their 20s to those in their 80s) really getting into the spirit of things and making the most of the weekend.
Everyone knew they could let their hair down and relax, safe in the knowledge that they were among good nationalists, men and women of honour.

Thank you everyone who helped to make the trip such a huge success.