Posted on January 1, 2003

O Tempora, O Mores! (January, 2003)

American Renaissance, January 2003

Haider’s Party Stumbles

Jörg Haider’s Freedom Party (FPO), which rocked the European establishment in 1999 when it entered an Austrian coalition government, won only a disastrous 10 percent of the vote in the latest parliamentary elections. The FPO’s tally dropped from 27 percent in 1999, with its coalition partner the conservative People’s Party picking up many of the defectors. The People’s Party won 42 percent of the vote, its best showing in nearly 40 years. The leftist Social Democrats, the strongest party in the elections in 1999, won just under 37 percent of the vote, and the Greens came in fourth at nine percent.

Jörg Haider

Jörg Haider

The FPO’s 63 percent drop at the polls does not mean Austrians are turning away from nationalism and immigration-control. The decline in the FPO and the gains for the People’s Party seem to have two main causes: Jörg Haider’s erratic behavior, and the adoption by the People’s Party of many of the FPO’s most popular positions. There is still a good chance the People’s Party’s leader Wolfgang Schuessel will offer the FPO several cabinet seats.

It was Mr. Haider himself who provoked the recent elections by instituting a purge within the party that resulted in resignations from cabinet positions and the fall of the government. This created a huge rift among party supporters, and Mr. Haider’s image was not improved by three widely-criticized trips to Iraq over the past year. After the November 24 vote, Mr. Haider announced his retirement from politics, saying the poor results showed “mistrust in me and in my policies.” Only a few hours later, he took back his resignation, saying party leaders had persuaded him to stay on. His close supporters now promise yet more purges: “An iron fist will be necessary,” says one. Associates say the 52-year-old Mr. Haider is increasingly mistrustful of colleagues and fearful of betrayal. [Austria’s Haider Plans to Step Down, AP, Nov. 25, 2002. George Jahn, Austria’s Haider Quits Politics, AP, Nov. 26, 2002. George Jahn, Haider Backers Attack Austria Moderates, AP, Nov. 26, 2002.]

At this remove, it is very difficult to tell what is going on inside the Freedom Party. The world press has been eager to report anything that might discredit Mr. Haider, but there does appear to be something unsound about his leadership. He has threatened to resign from politics many times, sometimes in pique, sometimes as a strategy to keep party dissidents in line. Still, he has succeeded in putting immigration-control and national identity at the center of Austrian politics, and the FPO paved the way for other nationalist parties to join coalition governments in Europe. He and his party may yet get a grip on themselves and lead Austria towards a brighter future.

BNP Wins Again

On Nov. 21, the British National Party (BNP) won a surprise victory in an off-year local-government election in Blackburn, Lancashire, in northwest England. Robin Evans, a builder, won the seat by 16 votes in a four-party contest. In May, the BNP shocked the British political establishment by winning three local council seats in neighboring Burnley, scene of last year’s anti-white rioting. The victory is especially sweet given that the British establishment from Prime Minister Tony Blair, Foreign Minister Jack Straw, and the Bishop of Blackburn on down begged the people of Blackburn to vote for anyone but the BNP.

While the votes were being counted (and recounted three times), protesters from the leftist Anti-Nazi League harassed and harangued the BNP’s Mr. Evans and his supporters. When the final tally was announced (578 votes for Mr. Evans, 562 for his nearest competitor, the Labour candidate; 32 percent of the total vote for Mr. Evans), a spokesman for the group bemoaned the low voter turnout — 39 percent — and sniffed, “The Nazis have stolen this seat on less than a third of the vote.” Of his win, Mr. Evans said it was “an important victory for a long neglected majority in other wards in Blackburn who now have a voice in me.”

After the election a chastened Mr. Straw, who represents the Blackburn area in Parliament, tried to downplay the victory by pointing out that only a minority of voters in the four-way race voted BNP. “The politics of racial exclusion can have no place in British society and all mainstream parties and politicians will now have to work harder to defeat it,” he added. [David Higgerson, Tony Blair Appeals to Blackburn Voters, Lancashire Evening News, Nov. 20, 2002. Matthew Tempest, BNP Gains Blackburn Council Seat, Guardian (England), Nov. 22, 2002.]

Near Miss in Switzerland

Swiss voters just missed giving their country the tightest, most sensible asylum laws in Europe. A referendum “against abuse of the right of asylum,” put on the November ballot by the Swiss People’s Party lost by only 3,422 votes. The law would have made it impossible for anyone coming from a persecution-free country — including all of Switzerland’s neighbors — to claim asylum, thereby cutting the flow to nearly zero. Christoph Blocher, leader of the People’s Party was exultant: “The outcome of the vote is sensational,” he said. “We were on our own against the Cabinet, all the other parties, against the media, and yet we finally only lost by a handful of votes.” He warned the government to take asylum-control more seriously, and promised to offer a similar ballot for the next elections. [Clare Nullis, Swiss Reject Anti-Immigration Plan, AP, Nov. 25, 2002.]

The New South Africa

Old Map of South Africa

South Africa circa 1905

Recently, a 29-year-old woman from Gloucestershire, England, flew to South Africa for a three-month visit with her white South African boyfriend. On November 16, the two were driving through the picturesque mountains of the Eastern Transvaal and stopped at a scenic overlook. Five blacks came out of the bush waving a pistol. They beat the two whites, gagged them, tied them up, and threw them in the back of the car. They then drove for 14 hours around the Transvaal, stopping frequently at illegal drinking dens called shebeens. The blacks got drunker and drunker, and several times brought other drinkers out to the car to show off the two trussed-up whites. They rightly assumed no one would object or call the police. The men frequently punched and kicked the defenseless whites. At least one of the attackers raped the woman repeatedly, but they do not appear to have passed her around the shebeens. They fired the pistol several times towards the couple, once through the floor of the vehicle where they were lying.

The blacks got so drunk that at 4:00 a.m. the next morning the driver lost control and flipped the vehicle. Two passing cars stopped to help, and as one of the drivers approached, a kidnapper shot him in the head, killing him. In the confusion, the whites escaped into the darkness, and were later able to flag down a passing motorist. The police picked up the couple, and as they were driving to the police station, the whites saw two of their attackers walking along the road. Police arrested them and found one had the man’s wallet and cell phone.

Several days after her ordeal, the woman was reportedly in such a state of shock she could still not give a statement to police. Doctors were giving her drugs to combat the AIDS virus, which her attackers may well have given her. [Tim Butcher, AIDS Terror of British Tourist Raped by Gang, Telegraph (London), Nov. 19, 2002.]

Blacks killed another white tourist in the same province just a few days later. On Nov. 21, Geoffrey Dex, who lives in South Africa, was staying with his family at the Umbhaba Lode in Hazy View. At about 10:15 in the evening he heard a noise at the bar and walked over to investigate. Three masked men, who were holding up the receptionist, shot Mr. Dex three times in the chest. There have been at least 29 violent attacks on foreign tourists alone in the province, which have undercut its attempt to promote itself as an exciting new vacation destination. [Tourist Killed For R1,000, African Eye News Service, Nov. 22, 2002.]

Meanwhile, South African prison gangs have a new punishment for disobedient inmates: rape by AIDS carriers. The prisoners call the punishment “slow puncture” because the victim, once infected, dies a lingering death, just like a tire slowly going flat. Gideon Morris, director of the South African Judicial Inspectorate of Prisons, says AIDS may now be the leading cause of death in the country’s prisons, but it is difficult to say because many AIDS deaths are incorrectly listed as death from natural causes. [Reuters, S. Africa Prison Gangs Use AIDS Rape as Punishment, Nov. 21, 2002.]

Some South Africans saw the writing on the wall even before the country was handed over to blacks in 1994. In the early 1990s, a group of Boer farmers established the town of Orania, on the edge of the Karoo Desert, as a white enclave. They hoped it would eventually become an independent Boer republic, and they expected thousands of far-sighted whites to apply to become residents. At first there were only 600, but Orania is now beginning to fill up. “We are overwhelmed by calls from people inquiring about moving here,” says John Strydom, a doctor who arrived five years ago. “We have had 200 calls and e-mails in the last month alone.”

Orania is based on the principle of separation, and its residents believe whites should do all the work of the town, no matter how menial. They see the old apartheid system as hypocritical, because it was a hierarchical arrangement rather than genuine separation. Riekie de Jager, 62, concedes that she misses the services of the black staff she left behind to move to Orania two years ago, but expresses what are no doubt widely-held views:

People think we are here because we hate the blacks — we don’t. We are very friendly with them when we meet. But I am happier here with people like myself. Things are going the way of Zimbabwe and we have come here for some security. Things are very bad now, but you wait — when Nelson Mandela dies there will be nothing but chaos. But at least in Orania we can feel safe. [Jane Flanagan, Fearful Boers Flee to South Africa’s Last White Enclave, Telegraph (London), Nov. 24, 2002.]

For how long?

The Old Nigeria

The Miss World pageant was supposed to be held in Nigeria this year, but organizers and contestants fled the country after controversy over the contest led to four days of rioting and more than 200 deaths. Nigeria has a history of Christian-Muslim violence, and the prospect of pretty girls prancing in bathing suits pleased Christians but angered Muslims.

The violence went into high gear when This Day newspaper published an editorial on Nov. 16, suggesting the prophet Mohammed would have approved of the contest. “He probably would have chosen a wife from among them [the contestants],” the paper concluded. This was too much for Muslims in the northern city of Kaduna, who think beauty contests promote promiscuity. They hacked at Christians with sticks and knives, and Christians hacked back. Kadunans also took to burning each others’ houses, and an estimated 4,000 people lost their homes.

When violence spread to Abuja, the capital, where the pageant was to be held, organizers decided to clear out. Beauty queens in tank tops and short summer dresses climbed onto a chartered Cameroon Airlines flight, which took off at 3:45 a.m. on Nov. 23–12 hours behind schedule. Christians in Kaduna, who saw the pageant’s evacuation as a victory for Muslims, were sharpening their knives for vengeance. [D’Arcy Doran, Miss World Pageant Moves to London, AP, Nov. 23, 2002.]

Meanwhile, further north in Kano, there are fewer Christians and less violence, but health authorities have a different problem. The latest drug craze is to get high on lizard dung, either by smoking or drinking it. “Since I discovered the use of lizard dung I have found peace,” says 28-year-old Ado Kabir of Kano. “I no longer have to spend much money on drugs since I discovered the efficacy of lizard excrement,” he adds. According to Mr. Kabir, there are many ways to take the drug. One of the most popular is to mix it with water and blue laundry detergent, and drink it. “It produces a strong effect similar to the effect of drinking strong whisky to excess on a hot day,” says the articulate Mr. Kabir. The droppings can be dried and then smoked with tobacco, marijuana, or heroin. The effect, says, Mr. Kabir, is “exhilarating.”

Bala Abu is a 20-year-old high school graduate living in Kano, who cannot find a job. He, too, loves the new drug. “Since I discovered the use of lizard dung I have found peace, because whenever I smoke it with tobacco all my worries are gone,” he says. [Junkies Get a Kick Out of Lizard Dung, Independent Newspapers (South Africa), June 27, 2002.]

White Flight

A recent study shows whites are still willing to tell pollsters they don’t want to live among blacks. Maria Krysan of the University of Illinois at Chicago and her colleagues surveyed 1,600 whites in Detroit, Boston, and Atlanta by showing them outline drawings of 15-house neighborhoods with varying numbers of black residents. Three percent of whites said they would move if there were blacks living in only one of the houses. Thirteen percent would move if there were blacks in three of the 15, 19 percent if blacks were in five. Thirty-eight percent said they would move if there were blacks in eight of the 15 houses, giving the neighborhood a slight black majority — which is to say that 62 percent claimed they would stick around while their neighborhood became majority black. Whites cited higher crime rates and dropping house prices for the reasons they would move.

Dan Krichbaum, the executive director of the Michigan office of the National Conference for Community and Justice, explains why whites say they would move: “[I]t obviously comes from their insecurities and the fact that their experiences are so limited with people from other racial and ethnic groups.” Needless to say, Mr. Krichbaum got it wrong. [Oralandar Brand-Williams, 40% Say They’d Leave If More Blacks Move to Neighborhoods, Detroit News, Nov. 22, 2002.]

No Different in Norway

Fifty-nine percent of the robbers in Oslo, Norway, are immigrants even though immigrants account for only 20 percent of the city’s population. Immigrants account for even more teen-age robbers: 69 percent. Two ethnic groups, Pakistanis and Somalis, are particularly over-represented among teenage robbers. Pakistani teenagers are only 3.5 percent of the teenage population but commit 20 percent of robberies by teenagers. The figures for Somali teenagers are one percent and 15 percent. [Kjetil Kolsrud, To av Tre Ranere har Innvandrerbakgrunn (Two Out of Three Robbers are Immigrants) Aftenpost (Oslo), Oct. 28, 2002.]

During the first several months of 2001 there were 111 reported rapes in Oslo. Of that number, 72 were committed by non-white immigrants, 25 by Norwegians, and 14 by unidentified men. Non-white immigrants therefore accounted for 65 percent of the rapes but only 20 percent of their victims were non-white. [Kjetil Kolsrud , Sjokk-tall om Voldtekter i Oslo: To av Tre Anmeldte er Innvandrere (Shocking Statistics About Rape in Oslo: Two Out of Tree are Committed by Immigrants), Aftenposten (Oslo), Sept. 5, 2001.]

Crazy Crazy Crazy

As a fund-raiser for the Fort McHenry Military Museum in San Pedro, California, volunteers planned a December 7 showing of the film Tora Tora Tora about the bombing of Pearl Harbor. There were to be ushers in World War II uniforms, vintage cars, and Pearl Harbor survivors at a gala evening at the 1930s-era Warner Grand Theater in Sand Pedro. The event is off. The Department of Cultural Affairs of Los Angeles, which runs the theater, says showing the movie on Pearl Harbor Day would be too insensitive to Japanese-Americans. “Dec. 7 is a tough day, especially for the second and third generations of Japanese-Americans,” says Los Angeles councilwoman Janice Hahn. “Why do we want to do something that makes it more difficult?” [Donna Littlejohn, Mixed Feelings Over San Pedro Film Event, Daily Breez (Torrance) California, Nov. 18, 2002.]